I did the stupidist thing in the world yesterday and I’m completely traumatized. So here’s the deal. We’ve been trying to nap train. Teddy is a crap sleeper in general still waking up a few times at night but at least at night I can lay him down and he sleeps for a good 3-4 hours. If he wakes up before then we give him a binky and he cries for a minute or two and goes back down. And I’m sure most of you are saying, “Wait isn’t he almost one and that’s the ‘good’ part of his sleeping? Don’t you want to bash your head into a wall?” And I would say, “Yes, yes I do want to bash my head into a wall.” And to keep from doing that I will post funny baby sleep memes whilst I tell you my tale.
So what happened yesterday? I sat in the room with Teddy to see if that would “help him fall asleep”. You see this is after two weeks of trying to let him cry it out at nap time. After all CIO worked for night. It just took him 2 days and he was going down no problem. But naps are a different story. This is the 4th time I’ve tried to let him cry it out for naps and I vowed that I would be consistent and stick it out. But you know what it’s not working. I don’t care what people say SOMETIMES IT DOESN’T WORK!
The two weeks were interrupted by illness. So it’s really been a week of nap time routine, him snuggling up during the song (just like at bed time) but instead of the roll over and sleep it’s a full on mad angry hysteria. After a while it’s a weaker cry with a minute head down and then up again standing and crying. He did this for 40-70 minutes EVERY time (usually about 55 minutes). then he fell asleep for 20 minutes. It DID NOT get better. My once happy boy was cranky all day. Falling down, bonking. So we decided to call it quits. We weren’t wimps we freaking let our baby cry for almost an hour twice a day. Having witnessed CIO work for night I don’t think it’s extreme but you could tell there was progress.
A friend said she tried a thing where she stayed in the same room while the kid settled themselves so I thought well I’ll try that. And let me tell you it was torture. At least the other times the cries weren’t full blast or consistent. This was 50 minutes of him totally not getting why I wasn’t helping. I laid right by the side of the pack and play trying to get him to lay next to me. And now I have PTSD like seriously every time I hear him cry I get really stressed and anxious and my heart gets all racey. And guess what he’s a strong willed baby so he is going to cry.
What am I supposed to do? He’s big now, soon his Magic Sleep Suit won’t fit so I don’t want to put him back in there. And I’d go back to holding him for every nap and just accept that I’ll never get anything done but I feel like I need to teach him how to sleep. People say they lay down by their kids to help them fall asleep but don’t their kids crawl away or start trying to play? People say they rock them down and them put them down. Well that’s just not an option Teddy wakes up INSTANTLY and always has. You wouldn’t even believe how many people told me to just to do quiet time. Tell him he doesn’t have to sleep but no talking. He’s 11 months old he’s not in the room “talking” or noisily playing with his toys. He’s crying and tired and doesn’t know how to fall asleep. And it’s not like he wears himself out and then has a good nap. IF he falls asleep he wakes up after 20 minutes. I’m not exaggerating, we logged ALL OF IT.
For now we’re back to holding him although this time without his sleep suit since we know we’ll be forced to give it up soon. But if you had a bad DAYTIME sleeper and something BESIDES CRY IT OUT worked for you I’d love to hear. I know people say that I’ve got to do it now because it only get’s harder but you know what else they say? They say they miss just holding their babies, they miss when their boys would snuggle with them. So for now I’m just going to enjoy snuggling him for a little longer. I’ll keep trying to see if he’ll let me put him down and other things but I’m taking my friend’s advice and doing what it takes to stay sane.
I found all the images and the little baby letter on Pinterest. Unfortunately any that included sources were clearly not the original sources. If you know of who I can give credit to for these sillies please let me know.
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Anna Prasad says
I feel you, my now 4-year old was exactly the same. CIO worked for him at night for a while, but never during the day.
In the day he would only sleep 20mins at a time. I ended up walking with him in the pram or baby carrier to ensure that he would get a decent nap. I also was able to actually sleep with him during his naps and that seemed to work.
I can tell you it will get better, and soon he will take longer naps. I would also use the time to cuddle him, if you are able to!
Hope it gets better for you!
I’ve totally given into the snuggles. Many times, I need a nap to anyway, so I snuggle with my little boy and we nap together. After doing that for awhile, occasionally I would be able to roll away from him and get up to do things while he finished his nap. Now I do this pretty consistently. I’m trying to get his to nap in his crib more, though. That’s been a hard-sell so far. Naps fine in our bed, on the floor, on the couch… but will wake up if I set him down in his crib.
Alternatives: he will pass out in his stroller on walks. Then, I roll the stroller inside and let him sleep in there while I get things done. I do not attempt to remove him from the stroller until he wakes up, I’ve learned this doesn’t work. He will also pass out in the car, so I’ll drive to a drive thru coffee place 30 min away, get my coffee, and take a “scenic route home.” This I don’t do frequently, because it’s just not economical gas wise, and impact wise, it’s not like I can get housework done from the car driving around (from this perspective, this is no different from me taking a nap with my kiddo). But I can listen to books on tape, park and read or knit, and generally get a little me time.
Do you have a sound machine for your little guy? That’s been super helpful for us in getting ours down for a nap or for bedtime. I set it to white noise and have a little star projection on the ceiling. For us, that cut crying time down a LOT. We go thru the sleepy time routine: he watches me turn on the white noise machine, and the star projector, and then we read before we lay down. Same routine for both naps and bedtime. The white noise seems to help soothe him to sleep and it definitely helps him stay asleep longer. I also make sure he has a big, protein rich snack right before we start the routine so his tummy is full and he doesn’t wake up hungry. This is because our kid is starting to wean, so I’ve only been nursing at night time, and even then, not every night. The snack reinforces that he doesn’t need to nurse to feel full, so he doesn’t nurse as long as he used to before falling asleep (unfortunately, he’s never accepted a pacifier).
gosh, if my kids go to sleep when they should then all else that happened throughout the day (tantrums) is forgiven. About 1yr was tough for our girls – I tried crying it out and it didn’t work. Neither did sitting with them and slowly moving out the door – it would take 2 hrs! After reading everything and trying it all, I went back to nursing or rocking them to sleep. Something everyone tells you not to do or else they will never fall asleep alone. It’s not true. If you find something that works at this moment (like rocking or holding him), then it’s the right thing to do. You won’t be messing up future sleep habits at this stage. Don’t stress and get through each phase the best you can! :)
Ohmygosh that sounds like such torture. I know the anxiety-induced feeling listening to the screaming though. I don’t have any advice except to just keep trying things that sound okay to you and hopefully something will work. I’ll be praying. I’m so sorry. (Oh, and reading the above comment, I agree with the “do something that works in this moment” and try not to think about what you’ll do to adjust later. You have to survive now.)
Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books says
Ughh I’ve been there. Hang in there!! All babies are different and no one thing works for every kid. My son was NOT a good sleeper… and he was strong-willed. I quit giving him naps at 16 months because it became too painful. Good luck!!
My little girl was just like this on and off. Every time she’d start to get it a new development would hit and we’d start all over. How many naps does he take? This was about the time I gave up two naps and my terrible npper went to one a little later in the day and then an earlier bedtime. Maybe try that? It’s SOOOO frustrating but it will end. Promise. Enjoy the snuggles as much as you can!
RAchel O. says
Here’s what we did with 2 of our kids: We went through our little before bed routine and laid the baby down. When baby cried we let him cry for 5 minutes the first time. Then we went in and comforted him with a paci and laid him down, rubbed back, whatever, without picking him up or cuddling. When he was soothed, we left. If he cried again this time we waited 7 minutes and did the same thing. Then 9 minutes, 11 minutes, etc. I liked this a lot better than CIO because I felt like I was helping my baby learn to self-sooth. Plus my kids are pretty stubborn and did the same thing yours did where they just got angrier and angrier instead of giving up and calming down. It seemed counter-productive for us. With this method I don’t think we ever got past 11 minutes, and usually it was more like 7 minutes.
Do not torture yourself. Put him in the car and drive him around. Let him sleep in the car seat.
I have three boys, ages 5, 3 and 1. None slept great. Still get up sometimes with any of the three of them. I think babies just don’t sleep very well. Ever. Anyone who says otherwise has either forgotten how hard it is to get your kid to sleep or is a very heavy sleeper.
I am sorry. My only words are that life is hard. Kids are hard. I had this “idea” of how it would be to have a baby, read tons of books about babies, and then realized that I have a human and not a baby. The baby part is hard. The toddler part is exhausting. The pre-schooler part is hard. The kindergarten part is hard. Beyond that, I don’t know. But I bet it is hard, too. Try and enjoy your kid and don’t get too stressed out. But the “real life” part of having a family is that it never goes how books or Super Nanny tell you it should.
Sorry. Hope this isn’t a downer answer. I love my life and wouldn’t want to change it at all. But it is hard to be a parent! But I LOVE it! And i know you love it, too. It’s hard to love it when you’re tired, though. I know. GOod night.
Thank you for writing this and letting me know I’m not alone!! My little guy is 8 months old and still only sleeps in 2-3 hour chunks at night. He also only naps while I hold him – or maybe for about 10 minutes if I lay him down in the boppy so that it hugs him the way I would be. He’s my third and by far my worst sleeper. Both of my older kids were sleeping through the night and taking 2 solid naps at this age. I feel like I haven’t slept at all since he was born. And forget about getting anything done! I am trying to remind myself to enjoy the snuggles too. Most of the time I don’t mind, but I would love to teach Zachary to sleep for the good of everyone!
I’ve tried CIO with him and it flat out doesn’t work. He will cry forever and even when he stops crying, he won’t sleep. He will stay awake for until you pick him up (no matter how long you wait) and then he’ll instantly pass out. Needless to say – we gave up on CIO too.
Does Teddy have a lovey of any kind? My older kids both have blankies that help them soothe themselves and I think that is a big reason why they sleep so well. I’ve tried, but Zachary doesn’t seem to be attached to anything as a lovey that will help soothe him – no paci, doesn’t suck his thumb, doesn’t have a special blanket or stuffed animal.
Good luck! Hope you get some sleep soon!! :)
My oldest daughter didn’t take a nap until she was 9 months old. The way I taught her to nap was to buckle her into the infant car seat in her room,and then she would take a nap, so even if he is too big for that car seat in the car, it maybe worth a try to use it in his room. She napped daily in that seat until she was about 15 months and I transitioned her to the crib. I hope you figure out what works for him, and are able to get some sleep soon.
Hahaha…ohhhhh just wait til you have another baby and then not only do you get to repeat this cycle…buttttttttttt (said with the announcer from Price is Right): “You get a teething/screaming/bipolar-drjekylmrhyde/justanormalmeltdownterribletwOs toddler who won’t sleep AT ALL during the day and only a few nuggets of time during (some) nights!!” Ahhhh, it’s okay. Who needs sleep? Sleep deprivation is actually good for you! (Said those using it as a torture method for centuries….) hahah….so.tired.
-One momma who is Deliriously tired from lack of sleep thanks to one always snoring lumberjack, one 15 lb butterball bed hog and his adorably sweet but tantrum tactic two year old sister.
I realize this was originally posted many years ago but you have described my almost 6 month old son to a tee. It’s so good to know that it’s not something I’m doing wrong necessarily. We’re on week four of CIO and I’ve pretty much thrown in the towel. We’re back to boob naps and cosleeping during the day. CIO at one point triggered really intense reactions in me (same as you describe!) and it’s been too draining to keep facing those emotions multiple times per day :/ Taking it one day at a time for now! Thank you for sharing your experience.
hugs mama. I know you commented a bit back but I’m just seeing this. I hope you are finding some relief, if not just know it won’t be forever. you can do this!