16 Month Old Will NOT Nap

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Craig, Jun 4, 2009.

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  1. Craig

    Craig Puritan Board Senior

    My daughter has regularly fought her afternoon nap...we've given up on morning naps and she simply goes down for 30 minutes of "quiet" time after breakfast and play time...this worked well. She would nap for at least 2 hours in the afternoon and sleep 12 hours straight at night.

    This week she has been really fighting her naps...more so than usual. Yesterday she napped 45 min TOTAL for the day. The day before she napped about 1 1/2 hours...today...she was down for 3 HOURS and did NOT nap. My wife disciplined her. Took out any toys/stuffed animals. Disciplined. Left. Still no nap. Held her. Laid her down and rubbed her back: left...Still no napping.

    It's now 4:30pm and my daughter hasn't napped once today. Has anyone had to deal with this? What worked for you? Part of me wants to tell my wife to not hold Amelia, rather, to discipline her and lay her back down each time she sits up to play/jump in the crib.
  2. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Children go through physical and mental growth spurts. They nap more with one and less with the other. Sounds like she simply is not tired. I would put her down, leave a couple of toys, and close the door. If she plays, well, she is still having a quiet, reflective time which IS restful. She will continue to have these ebbs and flows into early childhood. I've even found that my 7yr old occasionally needs a nap or simply "quiet time". At 16mos, I wouldn't make this more of a battle by spanking...quiet time is enough.
  3. Craig

    Craig Puritan Board Senior

    I should have mentioned...Amelia walks around punch-drunk (i.e. can't keep her balance at all) and yawning...she is extremely tired in the afternoon.

    Do you think spanking would be effective in this situation?
  4. sastark

    sastark Puritan Board Graduate

    One thing we noticed when our daughter was going through these stages was that spanking often woke her up more. In other words, it did more harm than good. Now, if she did things she wasn't supposed to do, while she was supposed to be napping/resting (like coloring on the walls, or screaming for us to go get her), that was a different issue.

    JC has some good advice: it's a stage, she'll get back to normal naps. Lay her down, close the door, and let her rest, even if she doesn't sleep.

    Have you tried playing some calming lullaby-type music for her? Or darkening her room/covering her windows some during nap time? Both of these things helped us.

    Above all else, be patient!
  5. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    I wouldn't spank for this. You can't force a child to sleep. Certainly you can create rules and then discipline if they are broken--like getting out of the bed, or being overly noisy.

    I agree with JC--let her play in her bed. If she sleeps, great. If not, at least she is having some alone time.

    When my daughter misses a nap, we all suffer later in the day. Her weariness causes her to have poor attitudes and misbehavior--those are disciplined. If she is disrupting the peace with her poor attitude, we move her into her room to settle down.

    Our 2.5 year-old is HIGHLY active and is very lean due to all the calories she burns. She has also been a very light sleeper...and by "light" I mean she doesn't sleep much. Never has. Literally runs all day and only sleeps 8-9 hours at night.

    All that to say, you can't make your child sleep a certain amount. They will get what they need as long as they are provided the opportunity. Some need more than others.
  6. Repre5entYHWH

    Repre5entYHWH Puritan Board Freshman

    i also have a 16 month old and she really doesn't like naps either, but we try to keep the house quiet when we throw her in her crib and get the same atmosphere as when it's night time.

    but my daughter doesn't have fun in the crib, she cries her self to sleep.

    maybe too much sugar?
  7. Tripel

    Tripel Puritan Board Senior

    Mine has always had fun in her crib/bed. The normal routine was that she'd actively play for about an hour at each nap and bedtime before she'd fall asleep. And we didn't give her books or toys other that two stuffed animals. No sugar either.
    I gather it just changes greatly from child to child.
  8. CatherineL

    CatherineL Puritan Board Freshman

    I sympathize - as soon as you get a great routine going, they seem to grow out it!

    Around that age my oldest 2 both went from a morning and afternoon nap to one afternoon nap. I would try skipping the morning quiet time and trying for an early afternoon nap - say like right after lunch.

    As far as training, you can't make them sleep, but you can train them to lay down. I think that makes a lot more sense to toddlers. I've done this with my two girls and am just starting on my son (13 months).

    Hope that helps!
  9. christiana

    christiana Puritan Board Senior

    What? Surely you jest! A child sleeps when they have the need. Just try and keep one awake in the car on the way home from a short trip at night. They sleep! Sleep would become punitive if you spanked for this. Just allow them a quiet period and leave them alone a while.
    Would you believe I was 11 yrs old and my mom still tried to make me nap during the summer. I think this quiet time is needed more for moms than the children.
    Today now, I do love a nap! LOL Its my favorite time of day! I get a good book to read but no, I fall asleep in the recliner!
    Humans cannot be made to sleep when they have other plans!
  10. Montanablue

    Montanablue Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm not a parent, but I have taken care of my cousin's children and I have three younger siblings. My family is kind of famous for not being able to sleep during the daytime, and so all of my siblings and I stopped naps at about a year old. (Very strange, I know). When my youngest brother was a toddler, he didn't go to sleep until 11 pm usually. My mother put him in his crib/bed with a toy and he stayed up playing (and singing!) until he fell asleep between 11 and midnight. When I took care of my cousin's children, they were much the same way.

    If your daughter is really really sleepy, then you might want to make her stay in her bed with a book, stuffed animal, or other toy and instruct her to play quietly or rest. If she's really sleepy, then she'll eventually fall asleep. I would hesitate to spank though... I kind of doubt that she is willfully staying awake. Now, if she's being loud, disruptive, or cranky, that's a different matter...
  11. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Also, keep white noise going. My 14 month old settles better with a fan going. Some of my children (older of course) used to beg to go to sleep listening to the Bible on tape (not white noise, but it was a soothing element to focus on).
  12. David'sBeloved

    David'sBeloved Puritan Board Freshman

    Everyone in our family sleeps with a fan on, it helps drown out those little "bumps in the night". I think it is a great idea to put her in her bed and let her listen to the Bible on tape. She will either go to sleep or she will not. It may vary from day to day. Sometimes children seem to need naps one day and not another. You may find her averaging so many naps per week. I would only discipline for defiance or disobedience.

    BTW, THIS SITE has excellent, Biblical advice on child rearing.
  13. Craig

    Craig Puritan Board Senior

    Not jesting. She is being disobedient. She is jumping up and down in her crib and playing...not resting.

    As I said before: she IS tired. She has the need.

    -----Added 6/4/2009 at 07:32:35 EST-----

    Thanks. I think you guys are right...it's just a stage. The only thing that inclines me to spank is how she disobeys her mother by getting up and jumping. Since she's already worked up, I figured a good spank would be good.

    I was pleased to come home from work to find a happy daughter...I got the "no nap report" via cell and was expecting a fussy evening...praise God it wasn't! She's going down for bed right now!
  14. David'sBeloved

    David'sBeloved Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree that MOST children will sleep when they have the need. But, that isn't always the case. Some children will fight sleep. The link I gave in my last post gives some tips on sleep issues. But, mainly it deals with obedience and training overall.

    If you tell her to lay down and she gets up, then that is disobedience and should be disciplined. If your wife disciplines and then after wards rewards her for the same behavior by patting, holding, etc. then she is sending mixed signals and undermining her authority.

    The key is to be consistent. AND if you start a battle of wills then you HAVE to win.
  15. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor


    If she's sleeping for 12 hours a night, start waking her up an hour earlier, or putting her down a little bit later at night. That way she should take a nap during the day.

    If she's still not wanting to take a nap, go ahead and put her in bed place a blanket over her, turn the lights out and let her be.
  16. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

  17. Spinningplates2

    Spinningplates2 Puritan Board Freshman

    Check with your Doctor because there could be a medical problem.
  18. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    My children were never long nappers, even when they were less than a year old. Both are high-strung and seem to have endless energy. I quickly learned that fighting them on nap time was useless. Putting them in their bed with toy or stuffed animal usually worked. Both my girls were teething on some of their back teeth at this age. It's possible this might be keeping your daughter edgy and that's what's keeping her up.

    How much attention is your daughter getting from your wife during the morning? Is it posible that she needs some cuddle time? Sometimes when my daughters were behaving like this at nap time, I realized that I had been too busy to spend time with them, and they were acting out to get attention. While I wouldn't reward the refusal to nap the day shes disobeying, the next day before she goes down, you could read to her or rock her.

    Something else you might do in addition to some of the suggestions here is to put a few drops of lavendar oil on her pillow and see if that relaxes her a bit.
  19. CatherineL

    CatherineL Puritan Board Freshman

    I second Tiffany on Raising Godly Tomatoes (the link she posted). I was considering linking to there too - someone on that board actually told me how to train my oldest to put her head down in the crib, but it was a long time ago and I couldn't find the post. Like Tiffany also said, if you start, you have to be ready to continue to swat everytime she get up - depending on how stubborn she is, it could take a while. I wouldn't even call these "spanks" just little swats on a diapered bottom. Just enough to provide a quick negative response. Don't take it personally and stay calm. My oldest (who fought sleep the hardest) learned and I could poke my head in her room half an hour after putting her down and telling her to lay her head down and see her awake, fiddling with her toes or whatever, but still with her head down. It took a few long training sessions, but I think its worth it. The important thing is that she's resting without jumping around or screaming. Then she'll be able to fall asleep if she's tired. Some kids get more and more ramped up when they're really tired and seem to have a hard time settling down, and I think this teaches them how to calm down to sleep rather than just leaving the to scream/jump/rattle the "cage" - which I as a mom just always found not acceptable to listen to!
  20. Craig

    Craig Puritan Board Senior

    My daughter is definitely the type to get more and more ramped up. When she starts jumping, we know she's tired. It requires her to hold onto things to keep her balance and allows her to continue getting riled up. I took a peak at the godly tomatoes link...I don't have enough time to check carefully, so I shared it with my wife.

    I wish I could say this phase is a result of teething...she got in her molars a couple of months ago, and has been teething a bit recently...but not nearly as awful as when the molars came in!

    At this point, I'm aiming at preserving my wife's sanity as much as I'm wanting my daughter to sleep :)
  21. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I disagree, respectfully, with the notion to let the child play. At first I thought the child didn't need the nap but then you described her behavior without it.

    For what it's worth, we have trained our children to know what it means to "go to sleep" by about 12 months. A child that age can be "forced" to go to sleep if they are tired in the sense of disciplining them to lay still for about 5 mins.

    I don't know why it works but a stern male voice "Go to sleep" does. In some circumstances, I have also held a wiggly, screaming child still until they are literally exhausted from the struggle. It might take a few tries.

    Also, consider that, at this age, the child might be teething and that could affect their sleep and some Tylenol might help.
  22. David'sBeloved

    David'sBeloved Puritan Board Freshman

    Catherine, you are a fellow Shed lady? How neat is that?:banana: Do you mind telling me what your username is there? You can PM me if you prefer.

    I'm glad you mentioned teaching her to lay her head down. I thought of that too. I love to pass on the link to RGT because I know her methods work. The reason they work in my opinion is because they are just Biblical principles fleshed out. :)

    -----Added 6/5/2009 at 02:35:57 EST-----

    Craig, you won't regret using Elizabeth's methods if you decided to. It works best when both parents are in agreement and work together on it. :)
  23. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree.
  24. CatherineL

    CatherineL Puritan Board Freshman

    Yep, Tiffany, I'm another tomato-staker! I'm so blessed that I found that board before I even had my first, so I was really well prepared! I pass along people to her site a lot, though often the response I get is that its too hard to be that consistent. My kids are super high energy, so I shudder to think how they would act without this kind of consistent training. Actually, I see it now and then when I get lazy and inconsistent. I re-read Elizabeth's "basics" every now and then to remind myself!

    I'm CatherineL there too - gotta keep it simple! :)
  25. christiana

    christiana Puritan Board Senior

    I'm sure it does work as I feel terror now even reading it and think of sucking my thumb! LOL How does brute force promote loving compliance?
  26. David'sBeloved

    David'sBeloved Puritan Board Freshman

    Lawrence, are y'all fellow TSers or are you just agreeing about parents being in agreement? :)
  27. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Tiffany, we found out that we had been TSers before we knew there was any such thing. Our daughter is almost 14. I'm not sure if it was even around when she was little. We have referred a lot of parent to the material, however. But, yeah, if parents are not in agreement it is a recipe for disaster.
  28. CatherineL

    CatherineL Puritan Board Freshman

    Just to reiterate, I would definitely try ditching the morning nap, that might work in itself without anything else.
  29. David'sBeloved

    David'sBeloved Puritan Board Freshman

    Catherine, I've been reading through the site again myself. I thought it was a good idea since we have a new baby and have never parented this way since birth. I'm really sad that the board got hacked and is down. Rumor has it that they have lost the last years worth of the board. :(
  30. SarahB

    SarahB Puritan Board Freshman

    My son Liam is like your daughter. When he goes down for a nap, he more often than not wants to play and turns on the closet light. I don't mind him quietly playing (he's 2 1/2), but Sam (10mon) lays down at the same time, in the same room, and I don't want Liam to wake him up. I've had to spank to get him to stay in his bed and be quiet. Eventually, being in a darkened room and listening to something soothing, he goes to sleep for a little while.
    Something we do is to give Liam a sippy of milk to drink while he's laying down. It does seem to help calm him. Would something like that, or a small snack before the nap help? When you're hungry, it's hard to focus on anything except your growling tummy.:)
    I hope your baby girl will get back into her routine soon, esp. for your wife's sake:)
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