This past few weeks my DD who is almost 3 has has an awful time going down for a nap even if I nurse her. She really really needs a nap or her emotions and behavior are all over the place by 3pm. She also keeps her infant brother up, who is only 4 months old.
A few days ago I started to take myself and the baby out of the family bed and leave her in our bedroom for naptime. She hates this and howls and comes up with every excuse in the book to get me back into the room. I've tried reading a story, singing her to sleep rubbing her back, I got her food when she said she was hungry, drinks when she said she was thirsty. I took her to the bathroom every time she said she needed to go, but she will not fall asleep if I am in the room. After 3-10 minutes with the door shut and me non responsive she falls asleep, and sleeps for 2-3 hours. The sleeping part is great, but her cries break my heart. That said she also cries like this for me when we are all in bed together at nighttime and I am facing her brother to sleep and not facing her, even though she is pressed against me. She has always had horrible sleeping patterns, she has never once slept through the night. She needs the sleep so badly, and if I don't do this (shutting the door behind me) my attempts at naptime last 4 hours or more, which screws up her sleeping schedule too. IS this CIO? are there any other suggestions if you think it is?
ugh. What an awful situation. I too had a non sleeper. Have you tried teas, or melatonin or baths? What time does she wake up and go to bed? I don't know that this is "CIO" although it's obviously not the best way to fall asleep.
We try to start the bedtime routine at 7pm she usually doesn't fall asleep till 8 - 830, but sometimes if I'm too slow starting the routine she gets a second wind of crazy toddler overtired energy and she'll stay awake until 10pm. She wakes up for good at 6:30 am most days.
I haven't tried teas or melatonin. Like chamomile?
yeah chammomile. we like the sleepy time extra here. and some kids just need less sleep than others. ODD goes to sleep at 10 and wakes up at 7. She started that routine around 3 or so. Instead of forcing a nap, could you (gasp) put a quiet movie on for her? Have quiet time instead of nap time? Give her books on tape or a leapster or something to occupy her and let her recharge?
Oh, and if she's up at 6-7 the ideal nap time would be 1ish (right after lunch) with bed time being around 8-9. I think maybe you are startin gto early on the bed time routine. if she doesn't go to bed until 830, start at 8 instead of fighting for 90 minutes.
I don't know, I'm kind of in the camp of that age sometimes they need to let off a little steam. Three is HARD, and they get themselves so tightly wound that I know my oldest son sometimes needed to be vocal before he went to sleep around that age. I'd rather him whoop and yell a little before taking a great nap rather than giving him melatonin or herbs, or skipping the nap and dealing with a completely irrational 3-year old in late afternoon.
I don't think of it as cry it out, especially when you KNOW she needs the sleep, WILL sleep when left to do so, and you've exhausted all other methods.If she's sleeping 2-3 hours I definitely think she still *needs* the nap, as you say, especially since she melts down in the afternoon without it. I can't imagine withholding sleep from a little one that needs it so much still.
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