Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nap Time Struggles

I never realized until I had Grace how hard of a job being a mom really is. It's the most amazing job ever, but often by the end of the day, I just feel like collapsing. Grace has always been what I call a "high maintenance" child. She has a temper, is extremely stubborn, and is smart enough to try to get away with many things. I have friends who have laid back children who generally follow instructions, sit nicely in their strollers or high chair, and simply go to sleep when they're put in the crib. Grace has never been that child. And I've learned to be okay with that. I know she will be a strong independent young lady some day and I will be happy that she has such a strong will. But right now, it's a struggle. Especially when it comes to nap time.

Grace has never been a good sleeper. I've posted before about how we finally had to let her cry it out at night because she refused to sleep in her crib. Over a year later, she still does great at night. We go through our bedtime routine, I put her in her crib and she goes to sleep within a few minutes. She might fuss for a minute or two but it never gets to a full on fit. She sleeps 10-12 hours no problem.

But when it comes to nap time, she acts like I'm torturing her. I go through the same routine that we do at night. As soon as I try to lay her down, she bounces right back up and starts screaming bloody murder. She will then scream for as long as I leave her there. The longest I've let it go is an hour. Now that she's talking she will add "Mama, Dada?" into her scream sessions.

Before you go thinking I'm a horrible parent, please know that I have tried all sorts of things. I have never been able to just rock her to sleep and put her down, the moment you move her an inch she is wide awake. I have tried giving her books to read and told her that if she didn't want to sleep she could just sit quietly and read books. She threw them out of the crib across the room. I've tried the Ferber method (going in and comforting her at certain intervals,) which just seems to make her even more angry. I've tried an earlier nap time, a later nap time, exhausting her in the mornings, nothing seems to work. I've thought about simply having her skip naps all together, but every single day the moment I go get her out of the crib after the screaming marathon, she crawls right onto my lap on the couch and falls straight to sleep. She will then sleep for over an hour. Trust me, I've tried moving her at that point to put her back in the crib, but it just starts the screaming fest all over again.

I am literally at a loss for what to do. I see all of these stay at home moms with clean houses who are able to get so much done and I have to remember that they have 2-3 hours child free during the day that I simply do not have. And as much as I love the cuddling that comes during her naps, it can be frustrating to have no time to myself during the day at all. I have yet to come up with any good solution to any of this. I just needed to vent about it. I know there are so many worse things mom's face, but right now this is a daily struggle for us that has caused so many tears for both me and her.

Being a mom is hard.

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  1. That is...not to say that hugs will help her sleep. More just "I get it" consolation hugs. :)

  2. That happened to us for awhile. I just would put her in her crib and say 'mama needs to shower or do this or that' and leave. I'd let her scream. We tried all the things you are trying. I finally equated it to teething. This week we are finally back on track and she is actually taking naps again.
    Good luck!!

  3. I just stumbled upon this post and I have to say I could have sworn you were writing this about my one year old daughter from my perspective. We have the exact same story here. Once we did CIO at night after everything else failed, she now sleeps in her crib at night with no issues. Naps however are a different story. I can't get her to nap unless she's being held. I understand your pain in not having any me time or ability to get things done.

    Seeing that this is an old post, I'm wondering if you ever figured this out?

    1. Rebecca, Unfortunately I don't have great news on this. She never really got better about taking naps. We would occasionally have a few weeks where she would do well, but most of the time she would just end up sleeping on me. Now that she is two, most days she just doesn't nap at all. It's not fun, but I keep telling myself it's just a phase! I'm sorry I don't have any great advice for you but I hope your daughter starts napping for you in her crib!



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