My DD and DS have always been this way. He doesn't nap anymore, but she is 18 months and needs naps. They are always short (around 1 hour, give or take) and lately she has been fighting me so much to even GET a nap! She obviously NEEDS them though, because if she doesn't get one, she is a clingy, whiny, crying mess. The problem is, after her 45-60 minute nap, she is still a clingy, whiny, crying mess. After her nap yesterday, I had to carry her in the sling for about another hour, because she screamed when I put her down.
My thoughts are that she needs longer naps because when she wakes up she is still tired. She is too stubborn to let herself sleep any longer than that. (Has also not ever been a decent night sleeper either.) She thinks she is going to miss something and has always been this way. Naps have never been very long. Even though it's clear to me she needs them to be!
My DD is - or was, I guess - the same way. I personally think she needs more sleep time. She's probably waking up after a full sleep cycle and needs one more. Can you nurse her back to sleep or rock her back or whatever you do to help her sleep?
My 20 month old DS is the same way. I have to nurse him awake (nurse for about 15 minutes after he wakes up) from naps most of the time. Otherwise he is a cranky, whiny mess. He's just so used to nursing as a transition between sleep states. I can easily see him wanting to nurse until he's 5 or 6. It's a necessity for him. He's always been a "difficult" sleeper. Even as a newborn, he would nap for about 30 minutes to an hour tops. Now he takes one 30 min nap a day and still wakes several times a night.
i nurse my DD back to sleep too if she wakes up too early from her nap.
Like stacyann21, I also nurse DD awake every.single.time she wakes either in the morning or from a nap. When she first wakes, she seems totally annoyed to be "coming back to earth" from the dream state and will often times roll around moaning softly and not want to be looked at--yikes! After nursing for 5-15 min, she is all smiles and ready to seek out the next adventure. I imagine I'll be rubbing her back or something similar after our nursing relationship ends.
If she wakes too soon, I can successfully nurse her back to sleep most of the time. I try to give her a hearty snack shortly before naps or bed time to help keep her tummy full and her brain relaxed. Seems to help.
My dd does this when she's still tired and needs to go back to sleep. When she wakes up happy, I know she's had enough rest. But...some kids always wake up either crabby or happy, so you might not be able to change anything.
Another cranky waker here. My DS is another who hates to sleep and fights it with everything he can. He wakes at the 40-45 minute mark every single nap. I have to be right there to nurse him back to sleep or he vaults into a standing position before his eyes are even all the way open. I've tried everything I can think of to get him over that 45 minute wake up, but nothing has helped so far.
We also have to nurse for a while when he wakes up, or he's a total crank.
One good thing I've learned is that heading directly outside after he wakes up can be a huge help. I don't know if it's the sun, the fresh air, or just the knowledge that outside is far from his bed, but it works for us.
Oh goodness. Raising my hand for roll call, too...
DS is, just like the rest of you describe your LOs, a whiney, cranky, crying mess when he wakes up. Ugh!! Sometimes he wakes up this way in the morning, too. I get one child or another--the one who wakes up completely miserable (and determined to spread that misery!) and seemingly still exhausted, or the lively, happy, chattering, and smothering mommy with slimy kisses ball of cuteness. But I never know which kid I'm going to get!
For naps (DS is 14 months and sometimes takes 2 naps, sometimes 1) I also will usually end up nursing him back to sleep if he wakes early and unhappy. I can often get a 2-hour afternoon nap this way. Sometimes it's nice because I just lay with him the entire time and nap myself. But I don't always want to sleep, sometimes I have work that needs to get done. Unfortunately he just doesn't nap well alone. Thankfully I'm in a position where I can usually lay down with him--but it isn't always convenient, and of course if I had more than one child I think that this would be impossible.
my son needs nursies after a nap for a little while (5-10 minutes) and usually his sister will entice him to start playing and sometimes he's ready and other times he'll just lay on me. Generally though, something will catch his attention and he'll start to play again. It, however, cannot be rushed...or he'll start crying and just have a really hard time.
note to add...I took a nap with him when my mother was here this week and I slept about an hour and I had a really hard time waking up, even though I wanted to be awake, my body sure didn't. I just felt yucky and my eyes felt heavy. It took me about 20 minutes to come out of it. It really made me understand what my little guy must be feeling when he wakes up...and it is harder for some people than others....and at different times of the day. I NEVER have a problem waking up in the morning and neither does ds...but that afternoon nap is a different story.
I agree that he may need more sleep. If dd wakes up cranky I will rock her back to sleep (it usually takes forever to get her back, but it is worth it) and she will sleep for another hour or so. I have also used calming herbs or homepathics or rescue remedy to help her rest if I feel she is not able to calm herself down. Hyland's Calm Forte or Herbs for Kids makes a calming blend.