LO is 13 months today and for the past 6 months, every time it's time to sleep (nap, bed, whatever) he HOWLS. We had him in a sidecarred crib next to the bed until about 2 months ago, but we had to put up barricades during nap time because if he woke he'd silently crawl right out, so we finally lowered the crib. We kept him in our room for about a week, but he just cried all.night.long., I think because he knew we were there - we'd verbally reassure him or get up to pet him, but he didn't sleep at all almost that whole week, so we finally moved the crib into the living room (we live in a 1 BR). Since then, he mostly will sleep through the night, but it's getting him to sleep that's the problem. If he's completely knackered because he missed his morning nap or something, he'll only cry a bit and then sleep, but at this point it takes approximately 45 mins to get him down for his afternoon nap and 90 mins to 2 hours to put him down for the night. And that's not the bedtime routine, that's 2 hours of my standing over his crib, holding his legs down, and petting his head while he screams. It feels like I'm torturing him! But if I don't hold him down, he immediately pops up, crawls to the other side, and pulls himself to standing. He thinks it's HILARIOUS if I get upset, so I've tried to just ignore him, but then he'll stand there for literally hours, bouncing and giggling, and by 11 pm or midnight we give up and hold him down. We really really don't want to do CIO because we don't want to create trauma around sleep (I have sleep issues to this day - I feel like sleep is punishment because of the way naps, etc., were handled in my house), but at this point it's traumatic anyway! We just don't know what to do - we have a set bedtime routine that we've followed since almost the day he was born, we dim the lights, we've put blackout curtains around his crib, we try to talk about sleep beforehand and in happy tones: "You know what sounds fun? Getting a nice rest so we can play later! Otherwise we'll all be too tired to play. A nap sounds really nice, doesn't it?" But nothing seems to work. We tried cosleeping, but I get NO sleep when we do, so that's out. I start dreading the afternoon nap at about noon and don't stop dreading the sleep process until midnight after he's finally down... Advice?
Have you tried rocking, lulling him down in a carrier like an Ergo? I'm so sorry about your LO resisting sleep. I definitely empathize.
We have an entire routine to get our LO down to nap and sleep. We follow his naptime cues of when he is tired, so he naps twice a day (10:30/11 and again at 2:30/3). Bedtime around 7:30/8:00. Pull the shades, put on music, read the SAME nighttime books, and put him in a swaddle (Woombie) and kiss him & say, "Night, Night/Nap, Nap/Sleep, Sleep" We either bottle him down to sleep, and more recently putting him in a carrier with his legs free and rock him anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes with rock music/Iggy Pop playing. The rock music is white noise to him, so he sleeps.
It is a tiring routine, for sure. And there are definite days he even resists the routine. Good luck. We've tried what seems like EVERYTHING to get him down to sleep and just stuck with and added on techniques to what seemed to work for our LO...sometimes....
Oh, Mama. I feel your pain. I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions for you. Mine is 8.5 months, but the exact same thing has been going on for more than half her life. She just doesn't want to miss out on anything. I keep searching for the magic solution, and we're even trying to introduce her to a pacifier, but so far nothing helps. So, I'm just writing to offer my sympathy and to sit by and see if anyone else can fix my child, too!
For a few of the children I nannyed for the only way to get them down was either in the stroller or a car ride. I'd time nap time to going for nice long walk to get LO down and then either stop by the grocery for a few things or walk home and leave her in the stroller to sleep. Car rides were great too. I'd pick a neighborhood I wanted to explore, put on mellow music and drive slowly through the neighborhood til they fell asleep and then park the car at a park in the shade and read a book or drive home and put the baby monitor in the car, parked in the shade w/the windows all down til they woke up. This is what their parents did too. So don't flame me for saying we left littles in the car unattended, please.
At times if we really needed the LO in the house we'd just unbuckle the whole car seat and carry it w/the sleeping child still strapped in, in to the house and let her sleep in the car seat lol and I'm talking convertible car seat here, not baby bucket.
Good luck, everybody! This too shall pass...