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Help, I'm turning into Mommy Dearest!! Quick, hide the wire coathangers.....<br><br>
The situation: ds is 3, dd is 7 months. At night, dh sleeps with ds upstairs and dd and I sleep downstairs - everyone sleeps better this way. Only problem is, dh gets up at 6 am for work, and most times ds is up for the day by then. In the afternoons he NEEDS to nap. Otherwise he is unbearable from the late afternoon until bedtime. I also need him to nap, so that dd and I can nap too - I'm tired after the all-night nurseathons dd wants these days, not to mention the teething!!<br><br>
DS is a hard sell when it comes to sleep. Always has been. Very, very high maintenance, at least he doesn't nurse to sleep any more but it takes a lot of books, staying with him until he falls asleep, he tosses and turns for sometimes upwards of an hour. You cannot leave him during this time or he will panic and have hysterics.<br><br>
Naptimes these days are just hell. Even after reading lots of stories to calm down, he is still so hyper! Bounces all over the bed, kicks the covers on and off, pats his sleeping sister to wake her up. Telling him to lie down and be quiet doesn't work. Asking doesn't work. Singing songs doesn't work. Rubbing his back doesn't work. I can't leave the room - he will have hysterics and cry until he throws up.<br><br>
He can't just play quietly on the floor while we sleep. He would be bugging me every 3 minutes to come play with him. I can't let him wander around the house, or even the upstairs, there's just way too much stuff for him to get into.<br><br>
I know this may seem more like a sleep issue but I'm posting here because I. am. just. losing. it. When I am soooo tired and dd is already asleep, all I want to do is go to sleep with her!! I am having a very very very difficult time keeping my cool and not lashing out at ds. I get so angry at him for not cooperating. It is so tempting to get up and go downstairs and lock him in the room and let him CIO.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> Please, please, any suggestions on how I can cope, get some sleep, and refrain from doing something awful to my child that I will regret later???!!!
 

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I had this problem, too, w/my dd. In fact, I did lose it and snapped at her several times, so you're way ahead of me. It was yucky. We also HAD to have that nap. My ds was brand new and we were trying to move. Here's what worked for me, might be worth a try.<br><br>
There was so much pressure around naptime that she was actually getting really keyed up when it came around, not the desired mood at all. So I just made a deal with her that she didn't have to go to sleep, but she did have to stay in her room. She usually wanted to lay under her bed, she has a really high bed with a kind of a fort under it, so I'd put her pillow and blankie down there and give her books. Then I'd close her door and let her go at it. The first time she fooled around and played with her toys and didn't go to sleep at all. After an hour, I went and got her and read her some books and then just transitioned into the rest of the day like she'd had a nap. The second day she was more tired and cranky, and she fought it. She came out of her room over and over and I kept putting her back in and calmly saying that she had to stay in her room, that this was rest time. We did this for an hour, and then I just acted like she'd had a nap again. The next day she fell asleep in five minutes.<br><br>
Now we have another deal, that if she is quiet and stays in bed, I can leave her door open. She likes that because she doesn't feel like she's missing out. This is really sort of a bribe, possibly even a threat, but I like to euphimistically call it a compromise.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"> Anyway, maybe taking the pressure to go to sleep off will help him calm down and figure out for himself what it takes to go to sleep. Does that make sense? Probably not! Sorry! Anyway, at least you have a little bit of a break, even if you don't get to sleep.
 

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When you let a baby CIO, the baby has no way of knowing that you haven't just dropped of the face of the earth and he isn't the only one left. I think that's why it's so traumatic.<br><br>
I have never just stuck my kids in a room and let them cry by themselves until they passed out. But when my ds was older (about your ds's age) we went through the same thing. And like you, I just needed him to take the nap. Not to mention, he needed it.<br><br>
What I did was this. I decided where he was going to take his nap, bedroom or living room. I explained to him very simply that I just didn't have time to sit with him for hours on end at nap time, that I had other things that needed to be done so that we could have more time to play later. I told him that I was going to tuck him in, and if he chose to get up, that was fine, but he had to stay in the room or I would put a gate up. He was capable of climbing over it, but as we use the gate as a safety device for the youngers and more of a safety symbol for the olders, climbing over it is stricktly prohibited. I've never had a problem with this. I told him that I would set the microwave timer for 2 minutes to work on my stuff, and if he was very quiet, he'd be able to hear it. When it went off, I'd come in and check on him no matter what. Then I would let him be (and he never did the I'm-really-distressed cry, it was always the I'm-so-angry-at-you scream in a half serious way...he mostly played) and when I came back in I would not mention his behavior if it was negative, if it was positive I would say something like "wow, you're being so quiet I thought you were asleep. You sure tricked me!" If he was sitting at the door screaming at me I'd go in and pick him up, give him a hug, tell him that I knew how hard it could be to go to sleep sometimes and reitterate that allthough I was getting some stuff done so that we would have more time to play and have fun later. Then I'd tuck him in again and set the timer for 3 minutes.<br><br>
I don't think this is like ferber (I think that's what it is) because at this age they have the ability to understand that you are in the kitchen and that you aren't abandoning them.<br><br>
Although I know you'd like to sit with him and comfort him until he goes to sleep it sounds like this is going to make you a less effective parent overall. Sometimes there is something that is just so draining, like this, that if you change the way you deal with it to a less than ideal, but still acceptable way in your mind, you'll have the energy to be your ideal parent the rest of the day. Nap time's hard. Kid's are ready to be done with naps by the age of two (or so they think!) and parents don't want to let go of them for another 8 years at least :LOL<br><br>
Take comfort in the fact that while you sit in your house struggling to get your little guy to take the nap he so needs, there are hundreds if not thousands of other moms around the world doing the exact same thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Sleep was my trigger issue, too. DD1 never slept much and it took a lot to get her to sleep. I had to "let go" of naptime. It just wasn't worth it. Though DD was tired (and eventually, she got over the hump) and I was, too, it was SO much better than the conflicts and, worst of all, my reactions to these conflicts.<br><br>
As for a nap for you . . .esp. when I was PG, I'd turn on the TV in my bedroom and slept while DD watched. Or, sometimes I'd just fall asleep while we played. Bedtime became earlier, too-- for both of us.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I think a gentle way to ease into the quiet time is something I did with dd. When she began refusing to nap we talked about quiet time. The first time I gave her two short books (toddler books) and told her when she was done with those she could come out. Oh and I had her pick out two books she wanted to *read* while in her room. I'd say this last maybe ten minutes. Very slowly and gradually I added time until it was up to 45 min. There was never any crying or tantrumming. Sometimes now she will say, *I don't want to rest.* I usually just say something like, you don't have to sleep, but I need you to rest quietly so that you are happy for the rest of the day and mommy can get some chores done. She usually agrees pretty easily. And bedtime moved up considerably...from 9p to 7p.
 

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at least for the short term can you get someone to help you during naptimes? family, friend, mothers helper, so you can get some sleep?
 

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This might seem like a silly question and maybe it isn't relevant, but do you drink a lot of caffeine? I had a friend who was nursing and drank a lot of Pepsi and coffee and found that her son had a hard time getting to sleep all the time. When she quit caffeine, that problem went away.<br><br>
If it isn't relevant, ignore, but if you drink caffeine, cutting that down or out might help.
 

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My kid gave up napping at 2, then started being able to fall asleep at night without problem...I guess I'm saying giving up the nap solved the sleep problem.<br><br>
Any chance you could get some help for a week and try it?<br><br>
Being exhausted is the worst, isn't it?
 

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Why did I think it was a 7-month-old who wasn't sleeping? LOL. I agree with the PP. My dd stopped napping between 18 months and 2. I think your ds might be simply outgrowing his nap. Maybe he could have some kind of quiet time instead of a nap so you could get some rest?
 

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Your situation sounds so similar. My ds (almost 3) gave up his nap about 3 weeks after dd was born <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: . I fought it for a while and we all ended up getting really frustrated and unhappy. Finally I accepted it and talked to ds. I basically said that I thought he still needed to have a rest and that if he wanted to I would sit in the room with him until he went to sleep. But if he didn't want to sleep, fine, we would get up and play quietly somewhere else. I made it clear that I was not going to sit there and get frustrated with the talking, playing, etc... It was a game to ds for a while where he would give me the look and climb out of bed and I think I threw him for a loop when I said "OK, whatever".<br><br>
That being said it was not always easy. I found wearing dd while she slept and getting outside with ds helped a lot. Dss' behaviour was not always the best and we got frustrated but at least we could chalk it up to being tired.<br><br>
But here's where things get interesting. Ds has now gone back to napping with little encouragement <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> . We got stuck in this vicious cycle of him collapsing around 6pm and waking up as early as 4am for the day. One day last weekend he got up at 4:30am and he was very busy all morning (hiking, Terry Fox Run). At 1pm I convinced him to lie down and he slept for 2+ hours! He has had a 2-2-1/2 hour nap each day since then. We talked about it and I think ds just realized that he feels so much better after napping. I think the biggest incentive is that he gets to spend more time with daddy in the evenings.<br><br>
I don't know what will happen in your situation but I just thought I would share my story. My only real advice.....of course it's probably the hardest....is to just let the nap issue go. For me, it made a huge difference in my attitude if I knew that ds wasn't going to nap rather than wondering if he was going to nap that day or not. Then I would be pleasantly surprised if he did fall asleep.<br><br>
Take care
 

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Quirky, I can SO see myself in your position. I'm not yet, because DD is 27 months and I'm due in December with #2. DD sounds EXACTLY like your DS in regards to sleeping and napping (right down to the hysterics and vomiting if left for even 10 seconds). I've already been close to losing it, and I don't even have the infant in the equation yet.<br><br>
What's helped now, like others have said, is accepting the fact that some days she just won't nap. I know she, and I, still both need a nap every day, but so far, she'll only ever go napless one day, and then the next she'll go down easy because she's that much more tired, so getting through the one napless day is easier for me, knowing that the next will be better.<br><br>
So taking that into consideration, our current nap time routine is like this. Getting her up into bed is fairly easy still, because she still nurses some, and in bed before and after naps and night time is the only time I'll let her nurse now (no flames, please). After she nurses a minute on each side, she gets a cup of milk, and I tell her I'm going to sleep, and I play dead while she drinks her milk. When she finishes, she usually starts trying to play with me, and she rolls all around, fidgeting and fussing. I continue to pretend to be asleep unless she says she needs to go to the bathroom (in which case I take her and afterwards we come right back to bed) or if she says she wants to snuggle, I'll put my arm around her. I lie with her there until either she falls asleep (usually about 1.5 hours), or it's been so long I know she won't (which is about 2 hours). The good thing about this is that even on the days when she doesn't fall asleep, I usually do fall asleep for a bit, so get some form of rest/nap.<br><br>
This doesn't sound too different from what you're already doing, except the expectation for her to sleep isn't there. I think taking that pressure off her really helps. I don't tell her to sleep anymore, I just tell her I'm going to sleep. And pretending to sleep through all her fussing helps, too. I can imagine that part would be a lot harder with a sleeping baby in the bed as well. If your DD is asleep, can you put her in a bassinet/crib/other safe sleeping area while you try putting DS down?<br><br>
I hope some of this helps, or that you find something else that works soon. Make sure to update when you do, so that I'll know what to do when I'm in the same boat next year!
 

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Oh boy - naptime was my hot button too. Not because I was tired but just because I needed a break from my intense child who needs constant stimulation .<br><br>
And then I read somewhere that there are two things you cannot "force" your child to do - they are potty and sleep.<br><br>
So rather than telling my DD SHE HAS to take a nap, I now tell her MOMMY needs to take some quiet time and she can either lay quietly with me or she can play quietly in her room. She 9 out of ten times will opt to play in her room. Then I set a timer usually for 30 minutes and she can come wake me up when it dings.<br><br>
This works great for us - no more fighting, no more tears and no more frustration from me.<br><br>
HTH. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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What about trying homeopathy or a bach flower remedy? My ds is 11 months and is extremely restless and hyper a night time and recently I made up a bottle of the bach flower remedy vervain (for the hyper restlessness) and walnut (for teething). It is totally safe for kids and works really well. Also, I keep rescue remedy on hand for myself when I feel like I am going to lose it.<br><br>
HTH, Anna
 

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This is where a 30 minute tape, or even a 60 min tape of Mr Rogers would come in really handy. Mr Rogers was filmed in real time, so it does not all the cutting and crazy camera angles that other programs have. Watching Mr rogers is not unlike watching a videotape of a grandparent reading a story to a kid.<br><br>
At any rate, I would quit fighting about sleeping. It's not getting you anywhere andit's stressing both of you in a very negative way. He may have outgrown his nap and in a few days might start falling alseep earlier in the evening. In four kids, i never had a napping 3 yr old, so I have no ideas on how to get a 3 yr old to sleep or rest without parental help.
 

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I feel for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I just had to give up on dd1 napping a long time ago. It was too stressful. At the time of the day when we'd normally nap, I switched to a cup of tea or coffee to get me through the rest of the day. If I'm just too tired, I'll turn on a movie at and dd2 and I sleep. Most of the time, I sit with dd2 asleep on my lap nursing and myself drinking a cup of tea while dd1 and I read books. Good luck.
 

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I wish I had an answer for you... what a frustrating situation! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the great advice, and the empathy! I've gone to no-naps for now - I think it's true that ds is just ready to give them up, but I haven't been! :LOL It really ups the pressure to be creative to fill the time between lunch and when I start checking the window every 3 minutes to see if dh is home yet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wild.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wild"> But at least I'm not power-struggling with ds every day and letting my blood pressure go through the roof.<br><br>
We are currently in the process of turning the "changing room" into an actual kids' room - ds doesn't have a room of his own, really. His "room" is where the changing table, the kids' clothes, etc. are but it's not set up for him to play. When we get it painted and get his new bunk beds set up I think it will be a much nicer place for him to be, and I'll try to get him interested in some "quiet time" in there. For right now, I'm trying to get us outside when the weather is nice - gets me some much-needed exercise, gets him some running-around time, and a chance to blow off all that crazy kid-energy before dinner. We've moved bed time way up, too - he's starting to sleep by 8 pm or so. It still seems to take him an hour of reading books and just lying with daddy to turn his brain and body off to the point where he can sleep, but I shouldn't be surprised - both dh and I really need an hour on our own reading, surfing the net, whatever, in the evening before we can wind down enough for sleep, too.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Peace.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Peace">
 

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When I needed the naptime, I would refer to it as quiet time for the kids to lay down for about an hour or so...this way they did not feel pressured to fall asleep, but simply be still. They were to remain quiet or still for awhile and we all laid down together for that time period. If they fell asleep that was great, but if not we remained as quiet as possible for that time period. Then another nap or quiet period would be in the afternoon; this helped them get a rhythm. Sometimes kids do not like the structure too much, but it keeps them knowing what to expect.<br><br>
After awhile the kid will out grow a nap time and you can probably do one naptime a day or change the time of the nap.<br><br>
If he is too irritable it does sound like he still needs naps in the day. You can also make him have an earlier bed time if no nap occurs...even in quiet time, if the child does not sleep, up the bedtime in the evening.
 
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