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Sleep, or lack of it...

Until recently Abby (just turned 2) has always been a very good sleeper although a bit of an early riser. :roll:

Anyway she is now absolutely refusing her lunchtime nap. We have tried everything, talking to her, leaving her to scream etc but she won't go to sleep. She is so tired that we all suffer during the afternoon. She can hardly lift her feet by early evening, her speech goes, she is 100% likely to have a temper tantrum, she bites her own hand in frustration, she doesn't eat as well. A couple of times she has fallen asleep on the sofa next to me whilst I've been expressing or feeding Charlie (3 months) but if I try to put her to bed she fights and fights. On the occasions that we have left her to cry (returning every few minutes to reassure) she has got so hysterical. All she says is "downstairs, downstairs". However she will still sleep at my parents or nursery without problems. In fact by the time she gets to my parents (once a week) she's so tired she often sleeps 2-3 hours.

Does anyone have any clues on what to do? She really does need this nap.

H xx


  • This might not be much help, but my ds also went through a phase of this - about a month after he turned two and his baby sister was 6 weeks old. We'd put him to bed in the day and he'd fight it, keep coming out of his room (he'd not even got out of bed on his own until that point, and he'd been in it 4 months!) and standing on the landing screaming - sometimes he'd eventually nod off on the landing, others he'd just shout for an hour until I brought him back down. Bedtimes were similar and he'd get up in the night and scream if we tried to get him back to bed too.

    I wasn't sure whether it was a toddler thing or a reaction to dd's arrival - either way it's quite similar to your situation isn't it (I understand Charlie's not been home long - fab news that he is home, btw). Plus I understand that you had to spend a lot of time away, which is likely to've unsettled Abby too.

    I'm afraid I ignored it as much as I could, still put him to bed and he'd stay up there for what I considered to be a nap time, with me reminding him he needed to rest, if he fell asleep on the sofa I'd still take him up - my HV agreed with getting tough with it, she said it was probably a reaction to dd, and it'd taken him a few weeks to realise she wasn't going anywhere - don't get me wrong, he loved her to bits (and still does), I don't think he knew he was reacting to her arrival, and in some ways it was that he didn't want to be separate while we were with her. She also advised as much quality time as possible during non-nap time - plenty of interaction and praise for good behaviour. It did last about three weeks, but did get better during that time - at times it felt a vicious circle, he was overtired so his behaviour would be bad during the day, but it was a phase! I really hope the same is true for Abby - I know how stressful it is and I'd sit downstairs crying myself some days - but tough love might be the answer. He did get the message and learnt that he was tired and needed his sleep, and then he could have some nice play time afterwards, which he'd enjoy all the more if he was rested

    Hubby did end up sleeping in his room a couple of nights, to get him to stay in bed - we thought that was better than letting him into our bed then having to get him out again!

    As for her sleeping at nursery and your mum's, I assume Charlie isn't there - so she doesn't feel as much like she's missing something by having to go for a nap.

    I don't mean to sound like I have the answers, I just went through something similar - as did my friend just after her second was born now I think about it!

    Hope it doesn't last too long xx

    Edited to say I only mean tough love at sleep times - plenty of reassurance that she's still your best girl at other times x
  • BF, we are going through the exact same thing with Skye with the daytime napping, and have been for about a month now, even down to the same phrase "Downstairs!" She has been difficult at bedtime too, but seems to be getting over this in her new big girl's bed, slowly...

    She's so miserable by teatime it's untrue!

    Anyway, I don't have time for a big reply, but just wanted to say that Karen from our Dec forum experienced something similar a few months back too, and advised that at around the age of 2 they get a sense of fear for the first time, and it may be something to do with that? Haven't had a chance to investigate yet, but thought it was worth mentioning.

    Hope it gets easier soon x
  • I had this with my Abby a few days ago, no idea what caused it and we seem to be over it now (touch wood) but I put it down to a combination of the excitment of Christmas (and that all being over now) and her begining to understand the reality of having a new baby in the house (she loved Milly a first - but now I think the novelty has worn off, she has started lifting my top up, patting my stomach and say "put back").

    We tried being all softly softly and letting her have her own way at first (she was playing in the living room at 9pm on Monday!) but in the end, she just had to scream herself to sleep. I think my intervention was making it worse (everytime I offered her anything, she would scream even harder when I left her again) so I stopped bothering with the time intervals they suggest with CC, and just left her until she was quiet (well I was sat outside her bedroom door crying - but as far as she was concerened, she was left) it took 10 minutes.

    So after that horendous evening, we have had a couple of tricky nap times, but we've been strict with her, and things have been a lot better since.
  • Thank you for all your replies. I tried putting her up for "quiet time" from Friday and it's worked. image On Fri and Sat she spent over an hour happily talking to her dollies and reading to them. Yesterday she talked for an hour and then slept for another. Woo hoo! And instead of screaming as I carry up up for a "nap" she runs up the stairs telling me which book she wants to read to dolly when we go up for "quiet time", even holding her arms up to be lifted into the cot. On top of that Charlie is now having a 1.5 hour lunchtime nap. image

    Thanks so much,

    H xx
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