I know this is a pretty typical stage, but I don't know what to do in the meantime. Do I insist on laying her back down every time she sits up, or let her roam around the room a bit (I've done both)? At naptimes, how long should I try to put her to sleep before I give up and decide to try again later (I have sometimes attempted naps 3-4 times before she fell asleep, but I don't know if this sets a bad precedent)? How can I prevent her from beating on me, but still be there to cuddle with her when she's ready? Any other suggestions for how to let her know that sleep time is not playtime?
Thanks for the suggestion. When she's being excitable, she will not tolerate being held or rocked. But I have thought about wearing her more during the day-- I stopped months ago because she got so heavy, and I wonder if she misses it.
That may just be her fighting sleep. Whenever my nine-month-old is about to fall asleep in carrier or car seat, there's always a minute or two of protest as if he objects to falling asleep without the boob.
It might be worth experimenting to see if a few moments of fussiness in the carrier buys you a good nap.
(The crying lessened dramatically as he got used to it.)
He also needed me to be walking walking walking quite vigorously and bouncing him up and down until he got used to it...then I got to just stand and sway...finally I could sit down with him in the carrier and he'd still fall asleep. The other cue I used was a CD, the same CD every time.
I'd also make sure he's getting a ton of exercise so he's nice and worn down by sleep time. It can be hard at that age because they can't do much by themselves so you get more exercise than they do!
Hang in there.
She doesn't cry when I hold her, she squirms and arches her back until it's nearly impossible to keep a hold on her. I haven't tried with the carrier.
I'm starting to wonder if part of the problem is that she doesn't get playtime in her bedroom-- she always plays downstairs in the living room. So when we go up there for naps or bedtime, it's a complete novelty for her. I'm going to try incorporating some playtime in her room before naps and see if it makes a difference.