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Two y/o cries from nap till bed time-going nuts, please help!!

539 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  justmandy
My son is a very active, bright, funny 2 year old boy (aren't they all?) He's nosey, independant and strong willed-while this makes him very fun and eager to help it also makes him hard to teach at times. This is one of those times.

He starts yelling for me the moment he starts to wake up. I've learned to leave him be for about 10 minutes for him to wake up some more. If I go get him immdeately, he's still laying in his crib usually with his eyes closed and wants nothing to do with me. This is followed by a very long clingy/crying time where he won't let me put him down but doesn't want me to talk to him, touch him or look at him. So this 10 minutes of half awake yelling is something he needs (Although I am open to any advice from someone else who has gone through this.)

In the morning he wakes up well (after the 10 minutes) we have breakfast, get dressed, he plays well with his siblings and by himself-good times in toddlerland. Then he naps. He only naps about 1.5 hours and again starts yelling before he's really awake. I get him and pretty much hold him or convince him to let me put him down only to have him really lose it. It can be him crying and wanting up to an all out tantrum-I've tried to hold him as much as possible, but I have a baby, dinner to make, house to clean etc. That's just not a possability. (He doesn't like to be worn-man that would fix everything!) I've tried to mimic our morning routine with a snack, diaper change and all that jazz, I've tried to talk him through it, I've given in, I've put him back to bed (boy that was a mistake) I've even resorted to suckers but nothing works. Once dh comes home, he cries for him to hold him-mind you this does not make him happy, it usually just keeps him from going over the edge. Dinner is a struggle, family time sucks, even when we go places, park, grandmas, freinds etc-he's in a terrable mood!

I started letting him sleep with a night light and books, hoping that he'd get occupied or gentally let himself transition better, it helps when he lays down (he was yelling then, too but not nearly as bad/long) but it has not changed his waking up. I think if he slept longer he'd be better-that's just a guess. I've tried changing the time he lays down to earlier and later to see if he was getting overly tired or not tired enough. As you can see, this has been going on a long time.

Please give me advice on how to make this daily 5 hour cryfest end! (Before I lose my mind!!)
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My son is the same age, and I have the same issue sometimes. This is what DP and I have figured out so far...

1. If he takes his nap too late in the day he'll be a whiny crabby boy all night, and dinner will suck. So even if he's crabby cause he hasn't napped, we try to keep him up and just let him go to bed an hour early. The "I haven't napped today" crab is easier to deal with than the "I took my nap too late in the day" whiney boy.

2. Get out of the freakin' house! If the weather is bad and rainy then I take him to the mall and let him run around. When I do this in the am, he naps better too.

3. Watch what he eats. We finally figured out that on days where he eats healthy whole foods he is a much happier guy after his nap than on days where I let him have chicken nuggets and no fruit with lunch.

4. He sleeps in our bed. Probably not possible for you if your baby is in bed. But maybe for naps? When DS is waking up from his nap I jump into bed with him, and lay with him the whole 10 to 20 minute time it takes him to wake up fully. He wakes up much happier this way than he does if I'm not there. I don't pick him up before he's ready usually we just lay there, talk, nurse, maybe even read a book until HE gets out of bed and is ready to leave the room.

5. I get the push mama away then grab her near me game with my DS when he's crabby as well. I just try my best to do things his way at those times. There is no way to reason with him "Mama can't be on the other side of the room and nurse you at the same time" I do what I can do. I can lay in bed next to him and look away while he nurses. 95% of the time after a minute he's laughing at the fact I'm not watching him or holding him and grabbing my nose and turning my face toward him.

I don't know how much of that you can use with a baby around. I only have my one DS (a January 04 baby) but maybe something will help.
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We have this same problem, and my son's doctor suggested it might be a blood sugar issue. I see that you've given him suckers, so maybe it's not related, but I give him a little juice right when he wakes up (yep, I bring a sippy to him in bed!) Sometimes this helps, sometimes it doesn't.

I agree that getting out works, although it's difficult for us to get out sometimes as he can be so crabby he won't leave. If I can do it though, we don't have any problems.

Hope this helps!
Carrie & Boden (8-19-03)
I like the bringing the juice to bed idea. I think I'll do that today and hand it to him then make myself busy in his room while he wakes up some more. I wish he'd nurse and sleep in my bed but he's way to independant for those things.

Now that it's getting nicer, I'll make it a point to get out every morning-we try to most days it's not raining but I'll try to be more consistant.

I never really paid attention to what he ate on his terrable days-good thought! I will keep an eye there too, although all he wants is peanut/almond butter, wheat bread and apples (oh and suckers...
) So it's actually pretty easy to get him to eat okay-it's the variety that I have issues with!

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Hmmmm....this is interesting to read! My dd (2 1/2) sometimes (maybe half the time?) is really cranky waking up. Lots of very similar things to what has already been said. So sometimes we have a horrible start to the day, or sometimes she's just a mess after a nap, but I haven't been able to pinpoint an exact reason, either. The only thing I've been able to figure out is that if she gets a nice long nap and is well rested, then it's less likely that she'll wake up cranky and inconsolable.
we are going through the same thing with dd, who will be 2 April 14th. I am glad to hear I'm not the only one but jeez it's tough isn't it? This is the worst time ever. I'm chalking it up to terrible 2s since so many of us are going through it. I just wish I knew WHY the 2s were so terrible!!
What a timely post! We've just started dealing with this with DD who is 18 mo. Yesterday she literally cried for over an hour. Same as everyone else said, not happy if we hold her, not happy if we don't.

I'll definitly try some of your suggestions!

Both my older two girls have done this. It has gotten a little better after we make sure they have protein at each meal.
The cureall is long naps, but that hasn't happened yet.
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I think nap consistancy helps. We've had this problem often. We're a pretty laid back household with only one child so we are able to take the time. I've followed most of the advise here in the past. The sugar low in the afternoon is definitely true. I always greet ds upon rising morning or afternoon with a sippy with juice and water. He is a passive eater so I have stuff available to pop in his mouth all day. Luckily it is fruit season again so it's easier with grapes and strawberries to pop in.

Our living room is just that. We live in a small apartment so it's all here. I will put on a video, hold ds for a while until he comes together and starts playing alone. Music video's are best. Baby Beetoven, Mozart or Bach. We just picked up a Thomas and Friends music video too which is great since we have a train table as our center ring attraction. Ds will go from the video to walking his trains around the table to eventually finding his way into the corner and his books. I also try to plan what will happen when he wakes up. After I'm done this post I'll go and set up the train table with something new to play with like blocks so he'll see something new to get his mind occupied.

Can it be teeth or anything like that? We are working on 3 at once so we do have our moments over the past week.
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Wow, the juice may have done the trick! I've been handing him his cup and not grabbing him up immediatly-sometimes that's a 4-5 minutes, sometimes 30 seconds, but it seems to fit him well.

He's also a big grazer-that's a problem in my house-but a topic for another thread, so the juice will help him get to snack and then through till dinner.

Thanks for all the great advice-nice to see I'm not alone!!
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