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Is he overtired? There are a few kids who are ready to drop naps at 18 months, but most kids by far still need them. The running around and being unable to settle down could be related to overtiredness.

Has his night time sleep changed any? Is he going to bed later or earlier or waking earlier or later? These could all affect his napping.

I'd definitely make sure you have a very consistent, calming routine. Since it's taking so long to settle him, I'd start a bit earlier. That always helps me stay calmer when I know I've allowed lots of extra time.

A lot of kids respond well when they know what to plan on. So, in the morning, you could talk about your plans for the day. When it's getting close to naptime (maybe an hour away to when you start the process), mention that in about an hour, you'll be heading up for nap. Bring it up a few times so he's planning on it.

When we've gone through rough napping spells, I've sometimes talked to DS about the fun thing/yummy snack/etc. that he can have/do after he takes a nap. Then I'll plan something fun, but we'll only have time to do it if he falls asleep quickly. Your DS may still be too young for this, but some kids will respond well by that age. A lot won't, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Another thought, a lot of kids drop their second nap somewhere around 15-18 months or so. Is that a factor for your son? I remember that was a hard transition, but I'd often put him down a little earlier to head off the wild, falling totally apart stage.

And it will get better. Hang in there. Even just thinking of how you'll handle it can help you feel calmer when you're dealing with it.

I find changing my mindset helps a lot. Remember, he's still so young. You know he needs sleep, so it's your job to figure out how to make it happen. But he's excited because there's so much in the world to see and do! Trying to avoid battles the rest of the day (use distraction! put the things he can't touch away! give him lots of chances to run and climb in ok places!) might help the nap battles, or at least give you more patience for them.
 

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It's clear from her post that she thinks he needs sleep. And yes, kids will sleep when they need to, under ideal circumstances. But, I think it's our job to figure out how to help them when they can't fall asleep when they're tired. Does he want to be rocked? Does he need quiet? Is he overtired? What about a ride in the stroller or sling if you can still do it? Sometimes kids get past the point where they can fall asleep easily, and they need help to get the sleep they need. The same thing is true for adults, and I sure wish someone could gently rub my back or rock me to sleep sometimes!
 
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