Naptime is my worst time!

Naptime is my worst time!

I know, who even says that, right!!!!  But I’m serious.  It is the most stressful part of my day most days.  Unless Maggie is going through a growth spurt, naptime exhausts me.  Now, I’m sure part of this is my fault, but that’s how it is. 

She is 17 months old, and I like to think that she could sleep for an hour or two without waking up…not the case.  She’s been like that since birth.  A little cat napper.  10 minutes here or there.  I read every book about this I could think of and have tried everything I can think of, nothing seems to help.  Now don’t get me wrong, we have improved, but it’s still awful! 

To make it even more fun, she’s at that stage where she doesn’t always need 2 naps, but most days she does.  That’s fine, I can handle that part but when she only takes 1 nap, it’s barely an hour long and she is such a crank! 

Here’s what our day looks like, we get up around 7 or 730.  Sometime between 10-11 she is generally ready for a nap.  Most days, this happens to be when we are leaving a baby class or the gym and she sleeps in the car for about an hour (yes, I’m that parent that let’s their kids keep sleeping in the car).  If we are home, I end up holding her for this nap, and some days, it lasts almost 2 hours.  Then about 3-3.5 hours after she wakes up, she is ready for another nap. 

Her afternoon nap, I am really consistent with because we are almost always home during this time.  I still nurse her, but she is always awake when I lay her in her crib.  Usually if I just sit in the room for a few minutes, she goes right to sleep.  I go downstairs and attempt to do things (like blog).  I’m lucky to get 20 minutes before she is awake.  I give her time to settle herself down, but it almost never happens.  If I go up there, I don’t pick her up.  I sit outside her crib with my hand on her back for a few minutes, then just sit by her until she falls back asleep.  If she falls asleep again, I go back downstairs, and within 15 minutes, she’s awake again.  Now, I have a sound machine playing in her room, room darkening shades, all that jazz, but she wakes up every 15 or 20 minutes, so I get absolutely nothing done. 

I am not the cry it out type.  I hate listening to that, but there are days like today where I have no clue what else to do.  If I go up there, I will just be frustrated with her.  If I don’t, she will cry and cry and cry.  And then, the end result is, still no nap.  I desperately need something to work….the baby will be here in 3 months, and while I know a lot can change in 3 months, it’s not that long for something we have been working on forever already! 

I wouldn’t care how long she slept for if she could wake up happy, but she doesn’t.  She needs at least two total hours of naps a day, and honestly, unless I hold her or sit in her room the entire time, it doesn’t happen.  I know, sitting in the room is our best option, but I parent alone most days, her dad works out of state for weeks at a time.  I need this time to recharge during the day.  I just want a little time to myself during the day so I don’t sit up until midnight every night in order to get it. 

Today has been a no nap day, she’s up there yelling at me and her nap time is over, but I can’t bring myself to go get her just yet.  I have to start dinner soon, and she will be crabby and clingy because she is tired.  As it is, she’s been whiny as can be today.  I am just at my wits end today!  A mommy can only take so much!  I know consistency is key here, and so I do my best to be consistent, but I don’t know what the best solution is for her and I, only that something has to change before baby is here.  It’s even more frustrating because bedtime goes so well.  She will wake up and go back to sleep a few times in her crib at night.  Not really sure what the difference is. 

I would love to hear how you deal with nap time and what works for you.  Please share your tips and tricks…just don’t judge me because the munchkin is crying while I write this.  I desperately need a little time away from her today 🙁  How did you know your toddler was ready to move to one nap? 


  • Aww Shannon, I hope you pass this phase soon, my daughter just turned two so I totally know how you are feeling.. routine and repeating is key, you certainly will go through the blues trying to get her to keep it up, but to be honest, she might not want to nap..? Have you tried maybe placing her in an activity chair to keep her busy and happy while you get going on your own schedule..? Maybe that might help, less naptime and full sleep time when she’s ready..? Holding her is certainly spoiling her, I know it’s the most rewarding feeling, from the love to security to comfort, but it totally spoils them rotten to want it all the time, unless my little one ois sick, I try hard not to do it.. It’s hard, but YOU seem to be an incredible mom and I’m sure with a lil patience, you two will work through this phase.. Sending you HUGS and best of luck hon..I am here as your newest follower with smiles via .. I am following you per Made In A Day Social Hop via GFC.. Hope you can hop over and say hello.. Loving your space here, so much inspiration, I look forward to getting to know you much more.. Wishing you a beautiful evening.. xo ~Marilyn

    • Thanks for stopping over! I have tried making our outside time during the morning when she starts to get sleepy or find a new activity to do with her, but usually it doesn’t work out well and I get a very crabby little girl who won’t eat lunch because she’s so tired. I had tried to stop holding her in the morning for her nap since that was the only time I was doing that, but then she got really sick last week, so that went out the window.

      I keep telling myself with lots of patience, we will get through this. She goes to bed great most nights, just a stubborn girl during her second nap especially. I will stop by your page 🙂

  • Napping is tough–so much depends on the child. When my daughter was about 9 months–yes, 9 months–she dropped to only 1 nap a day. She was doing the cat nap thing in the morning but I decided it wasn’t worth her being so aggravated, that I tried just the one and it worked. I was a little nontraditional about naps. I would put a blanket on the floor and let her play until she fell asleep. It worked until she was three, when she dropped naps altogether. Hope you can figure out something that works for both of you!

    Mel S

    • I was willing to just let her fall asleep when she was tired enough too, but to this day, it has never happened. I’ve seen it happen to tons of kids, but not her.

      Thanks 🙂

  • Our daughter was always horrible with naps! However here in Denmark most people put their children down for a nap in the pram outside. I was unsure about this, but we gave it a try. We either placed the pram beside a cracked window or put a baby monitor with her. She naps soo well outside, at least 2 hours. My son is the same way.

    Although I doubt you have a pram, but perhaps you could rig something up with a pack’n’play. (I know the idea seems really strange). We do this year around just bundle them up depending on the weather.

    That and having a set nap time is what works best for us.

    • I try hard to keep her naptimes consistent, give or take 15 minutes if she is obviously not ready. It has helped some, and I try to get her outside every day a little before her nap times and still give her time to wind down before I lay her down.

      I know napping outside wouldn’t work so well for us here, at least not all of the time, sometimes it’s just too darn hot, sometimes too cold. Plus being in the dark seems to help her sleep. I am going to look up what a pram is. I didn’t know about that, it’s kind of cool!

  • With my daughter (she is now 5…they do survive it), she refused to take more than one nap a day. My son (22 months) gave up taking 2 naps about a year ago. You really have to look at each child and determine what works for them. I read TONS of books with my daughter. With my son, I’ve just done what works. My daughter got up around 5:30 or 5:45 am (Ouch…we plan to wake her up when she is a teenager as revenge). Then she took a nap from 12-2:30. My son gets up around 7:00 and takes a nap from 12-2:30 most days. There are days he won’t. With my daughter she refused to go to bed at night so we had to start putting her to bed at 6:30 because the doctor felt she was overstimulated. My son goes to bed around 7:15-7:30. I would try getting rid of the morning nap. It’s just not worth fighting in my opinion.

    • I tried for a few weeks just getting rid of the morning nap…it was not working! She wasn’t eating, wasn’t sleeping any better, it was horrible. And all she wanted was to be held. There are days when it works, but most days are awful if she skips the morning snooze. Today, she was obviously not tired for her morning nap though, so it’s going to be a one nap kind of day….If she would at least sleep for a few hours, that would be great! I’ve tried to follow her lead, and it always says I’m tired. I know she gets around 11 hours of sleep a night, not continuous, but she’s awake very briefly, so I only expect an hour and a half at least out of her for naps, I’d love two! She is so cranky otherwise, it’s obvious she needs it. I can’t wait for just one nap a day though, I’m thinking it will help tremendously!

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