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After alot of thinking and a lot of stressing, I have come to realize (ok - come to admit to myself) that it is my fault that my dd doesn't nap but maybe once a month-- even though she depserately needs it.

To keep this somewhat short and to the point... I, whilst unknowingly suffering PPD/PMDD, tried to wean my dd. The only time she nursed was at sleep times, and it took FOREVER to get her to sleep. hours sometimes. Well, I started by giving her a little time to nurse, then tried to get her to settle to sleep... etc... like you are "supposed to"... cept she never went to sleep. I dont remember how it went in the evenings, I just remember naptime being a huge disaster- and I was so focused on "if we stop this nursing businees, things will be easier" that I just let that happen.
This was in the Spring.
Yea, I just admitted this to myself now.
She still doesnt nap.
I don't know what to do.
She needs it- she is wild, out of control, a different child without sleep in the afternoon. she is exhausted by dinnertime, with heavy eyelids and all. When she does nap (maybe once a month) she is alot more fun for the rest of the afternoon and still goes to bed at 8-8:30....

Can I turn this around somehow??
 

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Can you take her for a drive? A ride in the stroller? DD sometimes fights going down for a nap when DH tries to put her down, and that's what works for him.
 

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Since becoming pregnant myself I have wanted to wean ds for nap time. I tried to gently transition from nursing to sleep for nap to not. Well it meant he didn't want to nap.
Now ds is fully weaned, I have no milk, it was HURTING to nurse. SO he doesn't nap unless he is in the car or in the stroller.

He seems to need to nap 3 times a week. If its a non-nap day we do quiet time. Now quiet time for us is laying in his bed and reading for an hour. He really needs this relaxing time to recharge and be ok for the rest of the day. I'm hoping that in the next few months 'quiet time' will be him reading to himself or listening to an audio book or something, but currently it's working well.

If it is a nap day, we go for a walk in the stroller and he sleeps for 30-60 minutes.

Also make sure dc is well fed. A sleepless, not fed child is a disaster waiting to happen
We snack A LOT during the day, especially non-nap days.
 

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When I know dd isn't going to be able to nap on her regular schedule, I make sure she at least gets 20-30 minutes of really calm quiet time to hold her over. If I were in your situation, I would figure out what time of day she seems most open to resting--what is the first sign of her getting tired? Then at that time every day, make a routine of snuggling quietly in low light with a stack of books and some cuddly blankets. I bet she wouldn't sit still for it at first, but I think if you did it every day at the same time she would get used to it and eventually expect it. Even if she doesn't fall asleep then, some quiet resting should recharge her somewhat. I think most toddlers who nap do so in the early afternoon--maybe you'd have some luck doing it after lunch as part of that routine (lunch, clean up, quiet story time).
 

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When we need to get DD down to sleep, either naptime or bedtime, and we can't nurse, or she won't nurse (sometimes she's actually all nursed out and still not asleep lol), we generally wear her down. Your DD is already a bit older so you may not feel up to STARTING baby-wearing if you haven't been doing it already (I'm guessing you haven't), but I notice you have #2 on the way so it might be worth looking into. It makes SUCH a HUGE difference, I honestly don't know how I got anything done when DS was a baby... but DD, she was just in a sling like 90% of the time until she was mobile... then it was 50% lol... now it's really only when she's really tired and fussy! Sometimes I want another baby just so I can wear it again lol...

Anyway, for an older toddler, and with a burgeoning baby bump to boot, my suggestion if you want to try this route, would be a mei tai (Asian-style) carrier. They're easy to learn, fun for older kids (it's like a piggy-back ride), supportive for larger kids. When she's tired, just pop her up on your back and do some household chores or go for a walk.

I personally find this easier than the stroller or car tricks (which I did with DS all the time) because you don't then have the problem of getting them OUT of the car or the stroller after they're asleep. You can either leave them in the sling, depending on what you're doing, or you can lie down with them, untie the straps and slip them off, piece of cake heh. Okay, it takes a LITTLE practice but it's worth it!


And believe me, with two young ones to look after, you will LOVE having a sling. Keep the newborn in a pouch sling or a wrap while looking after the toddler, for instance. Especially if you have a history of PPD, you want to make sure you find some coping tools to make things easier on you while keeping your connection with your babies.
 

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I agree with the other posters about quiet time. My DS gave up naps before he was really ready too so I also instilled quiet time. He was resistant at first but I would give him a closed ended choice: "DS, you can either choose to go for sleeps or have quiet time, what would you like to do?" Of course he chose quiet time. He would pick some quiet toys and books and settle into bed. He would usually do this for about an hour and I found it really helped re-charge his batteries. And the bonus was a few times (not many) he actually fell asleep.
 

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I think there's a No Cry Sleep Solution book for toddlers. I followed most of the suggestions in the version for babies when ds was 4 months. Even though it didn't create a miracle overnight, it did help foster a good attitude towards sleep. He's 17 months now and still loves to nap 2.5 hrs a day and sleeps from around 8-7 and lately (knock on wood) has been staying asleep. He really enjoys his nap and bedtime routines (nap routine is quick, but predictable things we do).

I do credit that book for helping me realize that some babies/children need a predictable pattern for transitioning into sleep.

Good luck!
 

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For my DD, routine is of utmost importance. She needs to know what will come next from day to day, it makes her frantic when she can't predict what will happen next.

So for us, it's morning stuff, lunch, washup potty time and/or diaper, and then naptime. It's usually right around 2 o'clock each afternoon. Some days (like today) she goes down like a dream in her toddler bed without a fight. Other days, I have to sing to her, rock her, hold her, fight with her, put her back in bed a dozen times, etc.

Since I'm 9 months PG and she's a feisty, squirmy 30 pounds, I've been trying for months to make adjustments to how she goes to sleep for naps. (Nighttime's a different story, DH does that routine and they have their own way. An easier way, of course! She doesn't fight him, because she knows he's never going to sing and rock her.) It worked well for a while, then we were back to singing and rocking... and fighting some days, whcih I'm not proud of.

But the kid's only 27 months old, she NEEDS to nap. She's a nighmare without a nap, and she knows it, but won't give in.

Anyways, long story short, try to set a naptime and stick with it. For us, 3 days is a trend, and anything I can keep up for 5 days straight is the new routine.
 
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