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View Full Version : Putting Toddlers Down for Naps


fctjc1979
06-20-2010, 10:57 AM
This is going to probably seem like a strange question coming from a provider. After all, as a provider I should probably already know this. How does everyone get their toddlers to go to sleep at nap time?

The reason I ask is because everytime my mother comes up for a visit and I end up having to run an errand while she is here, when I get home my oldest daughter is sitting silently in the living room looking concerned and I can hear my fifteen-month-old daughter screaming and sobbing upstairs. When I go up there, my mom is either holding her down in the crib while trying to gently rub her face or holding her and jiggling her. My baby has some hearing issues and has been held down in doctor's offices so they can get good readings on her ears and now being held down just creates one PO'd baby. I know this is how she used to put us down for naps and a similar method worked for all my nieces, nephews, and my oldest daughter, but it does not work for my baby. I've tried explaining this to my mother but she insists that since I'm pregnant that I need to get the baby on a schedule. And I'm not saying that I disagree. But my daughter naturally regulates her own schedule.

Around 10 every morning she will climb up into my lap and try to go to sleep. At that point, I usually give her a sippy with some milk. If going to sleep doesn't work within ten minutes or so, she will get down, do something to expend some energy (usually chasing the dog, lol) for about five minutes, and then she crawl back up into my lap and fall asleep. She does it the same way around 4 in the afternoon. Now, I realize that if she was in a daycare setting other than her own home, something more concrete would probably have to be started so she went to sleep at the same time the other kids did, but aren't there ways to shift sleep schedules around?

I guess that's one positive thing about me being home with her. I can let her be who she is. I figure that if she is regulating her own naps, trying to force a nap by holding her down is an unnecessary battle of wills.

MV
06-20-2010, 11:19 AM
IMO if you feel comfortable with letting her do this then ok but to be fair to her I'd stick to it. It's a little obvious that you mom won't get on your program (and honestly neither would I) so don't rely on her to help you put her doen for a nap. It causes stress on your child that is unnecessary. I'd just do my errands during hours that are not close to her approximate nap times. You've already created a ritual with her and changing it can be done it may just be a little difficult to get her on board.

As for the original question. How do you get toddlers to take naps ... this is how I have done it with my daughter, nieces, nephews and daycare kids. Id they are older than two I give them the option to sleep in a crib/pack n play or a cot/mat on the floor. They usually pick the mat. I tell them that it's quiet time (not call it nap time) and have them lay down same time every time, not an approximate time. They lay down with a small blanket and pillow and I read a maximum of 2 books and then they have to quietly lay there. If they are still having a hard time I may turn the TV or put a CD with no lyrics on at a VERY low volume, so low that if they breath hard you can't hear it at all. Even if they are quiet they have to strain to listen. They all eventually fall asleep within 5-10 minutes.

fctjc1979
06-20-2010, 11:31 AM
The problem is that I already don't do errands at nap time when my mom is here. She just decides that the baby looks tired and will try to put her down for a nap even if she just woke up from one. My daughter is constantly on the go. She rarely stops. But every once in a while she will get intensely interested in something. Since my mom knows that my daughter is usually in motion, if she isn't than my mom interprets this as being tired. An understandable mistake but I don't understand why she would try to put her down for a nap when it's not her normal nap time if she's worried about schedules. Seems odd to me. And I'm usually never gone more than 20 minutes. I've never asked my mom to put her down for a nap - mostly because I know that she puts herself down for a nap. If she's really tired and it's not her nap time, she'll just lay down on the floor and go to sleep and I just move her to her crib or off to the side. That rarely happens but it does occasionally.

I'm already planning on using the same method you mentioned once she is two and can understand that she has to stay put. At fifteen months, she doesn't really understand that she has to lay down even if she's not sleeping.

jen
06-20-2010, 12:42 PM
Can you take your daughter with you when you run errands? It sounds as though your Mom is going to do it her way no matter what and truthfully, it sounds really stressful for your daughter.

Personally, I would simply put a 15 month old in the crib, turn out the light, and shut the door.

fctjc1979
06-20-2010, 01:08 PM
My husband is deploying for afghanistan and the end of july. He's gone for annual training until the beginning of june. I honestly think that my mom is trying to help. She has been stopping by and asking me if she can watch the kids while I do errands. I think I'm just going to have to tell her that I don't have any errands to run. Or see if I can give her some cash so she can run and get the milk or whatever. I think she's trying to have the baby asleep by the time I get home so I'll have some quiet time but the kids don't bother me. It's the stress of everything else that is a burden. I don't want my mom to feel bad so I'll probably just have to explain to her that I need help in other areas, not with the kids. Hopefully that will work because, you're right, I think her nap time method is very stressful for the baby. I would much rather she just put her in her crib with the light off and shut the door if she insists on putting her down for a nap. Or since she's worried about schedules, tell her not to put her down for a nap unless it's 10am or 4 pm and then just make sure I'm not gone during those times.