Waking up angry after naps - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-22-2006, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes my dear little alien wakes up totally PO'ed after naps. Which is, in a general way, ok, I get grouchy when I wake up too. However, he's totally unreachable. He won't be touched, doesn't want to be talked to, doesn't want to be alone, doesn't want company... No matter what I try nothing seems to bring him into a state where I can reach him, and every suggestion or question is just answered by "NO!". This can go on for upwards half an hour, and I just feel so miserable for not being able to help him. When he calms he's very clingy for a very, very long time.

Again, I'm not saying it's bad to be angry and frustrated. I just need some way to cope with it, and perhaps ease the transition so that it's not this traumatic that it seems to be to him.
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:16 AM
 
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I don't have any solutions for you except to say you're not alone! I try to minimize stimulation by not forcing eye contact, not talking, and rocking her in the rocking chair... even so she is irritable, sort of wants to nurse but goes grumpily from breast to breast, squirming and complaining.
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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My DS is like this sometimes, both at naptime and in the middle of the night. Nothing helps him calm down, and anything I say or do, including doing nothing, just makes him scream louder. It is indeed frustrating and makes me feel utterly helpless, so I definitely understand where you're coming from.

Two things I have noticed about it. First, sometimes he seems to wake up but to not be entirely present, as if he's still in a dream state. Although talking to him often makes him more angry, I will periodically ask him questions or say things to him, maybe once every 30 seconds or so. My intent is to get his brain working and help shake him from the state he's stuck in, so I'll talk to him about what he might want to do - go have a cracker or play outside. It usually works pretty well, as eventually he'll quiet down and start listening to my voice and let me hold him.

Second thing I've noticed is that if he goes to sleep with DH or I in bed with him, and then he wakes up alone, he freaks out a lot more than if he wakes up and we are there. Because of being pregnant, I've been taking naps with him almost every day, and since starting that, he nearly always wakes up happy after nap, where before he was at a bare minimum whiny, clingy, and crying for a half hour or so.

Good luck figuring a way to cope. This is a tough one, mama!

Allison.... mom of DS1 (7) and DS2 (4) and awaiting #3 near the end of April 2011
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:20 AM
 
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My DD Heaven does the same thing. She is a cancer and is very prone to emotional outbursts... I just give her time and space. Sometimes it takes a while, but it's worth it. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone, we're good!!


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Old 07-23-2006, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's nice to know I'm not alone. And thinking a bit on it it might be related to things not being the same when waking up as when falling asleep, in combination with still being a bit tired (he almost never is as angry when he wakes up in the morning, only when waking up/being woken early from his nap)
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Old 07-23-2006, 02:09 AM
 
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You just described my son exactly (when he was still napping anyway ). What I would do is just sit on the side of his bed with the room still dark and not talk much or try to talk to him too much. It was hard because I wanted so badly to make it better. After a few minutes I would ask if he wanted his snack (he one favorite snack that we would always save for after nap) and I would carry him downstairs. I would get snack for him and he would get snack for me and we would eat it snuggled together on the couch. He was normal again about 30 minutes after waking. This became a really important ritual for us.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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Old 07-23-2006, 03:10 AM
 
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My dd had trouble when she woke up from her naps when she was a toddler. I found a glass of juice really helped her - I don't know if it had to do with her blood sugar or something like that, but once I figured this out it became much easier
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:23 AM
 
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Does he still take two naps? My DD was just like this with her second nap--soon after she dropped down to one nap and the anger went away. Maybe he's ready for just one?
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, been busy for a bit.... he's doing 1 or 0 naps. Though he really can't get through one day on no naps, which is evident if he ever is put in the car seat, the sling, or the stroller. He just can't stay awake in the afternoon if he can't run.
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:55 AM
 
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My ds is like that too. He quit napping months and months ago. On the rare days that he does nap, he's in the worst mood ever when he wakes up.
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Old 07-27-2006, 01:30 AM
 
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Ugh, DS is like that, too. He's 21 mos and takes one late afternoon nap, around 1.5 hours. A couple of times, I've been in a real rush to get to an appointment and had to just wake him up and throw him into the car with a cup and some crackers. It was really weird, but he was just fine! If we lounge around at home (with cup and crackers) he is a BEAR and throws multiple tantrums for awhile. I don't know what this is about, but I will probably be doing it more often, because it sure works for us. As soon as he gets up, woosh, out we go!
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:08 AM
 
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My daughter can be like that (just as you described) after a nap if she has not gotten enough sleep. I mean "enough sleep" cumulatively, over the course of a day (or even in the last few days.) If she is well-rested, she will wake calmly and transition easily out of a nap. We are dealing with this lately because of her naps starting a little later in the afternoon than "ideal" and consequently a later bedtime than "ideal," and she's a tad over-tired in general.
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:53 AM
 
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My DS was doing that a few weeks ago. Usually when he would wake up from his nap grumpy I would go out and shut the door. He would turn on his fish tank (in his crib) and when it was done playing I would hear him chattering and knew it was "safe" to go in. I guess for my DS he just needs time to himself, or did for that week. He's back to normal now. No idea what causes it.

Mommy to THREE sweet boys & ONE sweet girl + a newb due in February!  I need a nap. 
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Old 07-29-2006, 06:42 PM
 
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Like AmyC said above, my kids wake up angry like you described (and sometimes violent ) if they are overtired. They would even have nap terrors It took us a couple of years to figure out with our first, we just thought he had issues, but he's like a whole new kid when he's rested.

It's been more obvious with our second, who's always been a freakishly happy baby. If he has a bad night's sleep (lots of waking or too late to bed) or wakes from his nap too soon, he is so angry and pissy. The mood usually lasts until he completes a full sleep cycle, either a good night sleep or a full nap (3 hours right now).

Oh, one thing I thought of is that both of mine would often wake up halfway through their naps and if I just laid down with them and nursed them, they'd usually fall back to sleep for another hour or 2. The times when they'd wake up early and I didn't nurse them back down, they would be in that horrible mood until bedtime, with the angries and then the clinging. My 2 yr old did that just yesterday, it was horrid :

Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
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Old 07-29-2006, 07:11 PM
 
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how old is your little guy? does he have anything special he likes to do? my girls both love to wake up to a story book. it solves most wake up troubles for us now. when dd1 was a young toddler, though, she did that horrible wake up from nap when she woke up early. it was like she couldn't be happy until the alloted amount of time had gone by that she should have been napping for. food helped and then when she got old enough and we figured it out stories helped, too. if you do TV that might work. we try to save that for special occasions, though. maybe a CD of favorite music? what's your going to sleep routine? maybe just try that in reverse?

hope something helps for you.

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