Bug,  raving lunatic rant

The No-Nap Monster

Bad Toddler Day

Hi. Remember me? The mom who used to blog every day? What happened to me? Why so little blogging? Harumph. See that sad but very adorable and pissed off face up there? That’s the reason I can’t blog. It’s her fault.

Baby Bug officially turned 18 months. Eighteen months is when babies usually give up the morning nap and take one long one at 1 o’clock or so. At least that’s what my mom tells me and she knows what she’s talking about some of the time. Maybe some other version of that is realistic.

What Baby Bug has been doing is: not taking a morning nap until we drive somewhere in the car. I try and stay home and not do any errands anywhere but in the last few weeks we’ve had a million and one things to do involving all kinds of family and situations that are bigger than us. So here’s how it goes:

Baby Bug sleeps for ten minutes in the car (or an hour if I’m driving to the sticks) and decides that’s it for the rest of the day until we drive somewhere else. I try and try to put her down but it’s world war three every time. There’s only so much crying and carrying on I can put up with. Not to mention there is an office in our house where a troll works and he gets really really grumpy when there are babies crying all the time.

Finally, I get tired of waiting for her to take her afternoon nap so I haul her off to the grocery store or wherever other place I feel I need to go in order to keep the house running and Kabamo! she falls asleep in the car. It’s that blasted car seat. (or stroller)

It’s like magic. I buckle her in and la la la off she goes to the Land of Nod-your-head-off-your-neck-in-that-freakishly-toddler-rubberized-way. Except this never works if I put her in the car seat with the intention of putting her asleep. Not that I’ve really tried it… I’m already feeling guilty for all the breaking-her-will methods I’ve used on her.

By the times she decides she does need an afternoon nap after-all, it’s five o’clock and she says it’s time to take a big loooooooooooooong nap and sleep right through mommy carrying her up the stairs, right through mommy banging pots and pans around to make dinner, all the way until seven p.m.! Which would be an HOUR before her normal bedtime. Then she’s up for two hours (or more) and by the time she goes down for the night, the mommy (who used to be a blogger and freelance designer by night) is so frustrated and tired, she lays down with the wiggly baby to help her go to sleep and Kabamo! she falls asleep too!! We’re like two tired soldiers falling asleep in the mud, face down.

My normal trick to keep myself up at night blogging and working and making things is the “Just work for 15 minutes” rule. OMSH taught it to me a month ago or so. It really works. Every time I sit down to “just work for 15 minutes” I end up working for an hour or more. The time flies by and I’m fine. A little tired in the morning but nothing a little (or a lot of) caffeine can’t fix.

But lately my plans have been foiled and everything is suffering. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. Maybe I’ll just set an alarm for midnight and hope I’ve managed not to interrupt a normal sleep cycle. Or maybe I’ll just tell my eleventy-seven (well, not really that many but enough) clients that I’m out. Sorry. Here’s your money back.

Baby Bug is actually taking a nap right now in her “big girl bed”. I was desperate so I’m trying anything. I folded our futon in half and set her up with her favorite Hello Kitty pillow, then I lay down with her (read: held her down with my strong mom arm) until she fell asleep. It was the only way I could get her to stay asleep. Maybe she just has an aversion to her crib or something. Whatever works.

I gotta run. She might wake up and I have so many things to do!!!


  • justJENN

    One nap a day sucks. The end.

    I have the same problem every night. Frustrated. Tired. But must get work done. Then I look at the sleeping baby faces and feel so bad. ~wah~

  • Adele

    My youngest gave up ALL napping at 18 months. I hope that doesn’t happen for you too. Every once in awhile, I’ll get the afternoon nap on the floor, or the afternoon car ride nap, all of which I’m thankful for. A well rested baby, is a happy baby, even if she doesn’t understand the concept of napping :) Good luck.

  • nikkapotamus

    our newest trick is the “leave her in the crib” nap. I was desperate for some of my own down time, and the baby was not into it. So I stuck her in the crib with some books, furry friends, turned on the CD, and told her, it’s time for Mommy’s nap. I got a WHOLE hour to just veg and relax while she sang and read to her furry friends.
    It will NEVER work again, but I will remember it fondly.

  • Carrie

    You’re lucky you made it to 18 months! My daughter is 10 months and we are going through the SAME EXACT nap situation. At 10 months! How will I ever get anything done again?!?

  • Kami

    The transition period is no fun but it will get better and then she’ll nap for a nice long time in the afternoon and whamo, you have time for all the million things that need doing.

    Well time for some of them anyway…

    Hang in there!

  • andrea

    I am so scared of the transition period. I may actually have to push to do it early since we are going to have activities three mornings a week in the fall–right at morning nap time. I am beginning to rethink this whole overachieving mother thing…..

    Hope she starts taking a nice long afternoon nap for you soon so you can get all your work and most importantly your blogging done!

  • Kate B.

    Oh, I am completely with you on this, except Ella is only 14 months old. She’s trying to switch to one nap a day, which usually isn’t long enough, so she wants to do the long dinnertime nap, which just screws everything up. Our routine is so out of whack right now. I only blogged twice this week!

  • Jennifer

    UGH. I hate sorting out the sleep issues. Audrey has been down to one nap a day for a while now. I thinks he got tired of me waking her up all the time to go pick up her sister from preschool. The nap that she does take is not very long. At the most 1.5 hours. If I’m lucky, 2. BUT the payoff is that she goes to bed, for the night, at 6 p.m. and doesn’t wake up till 7 a.m. Maybe you can get that magic from BB soon?

    That pic is so sad. For the both of you! We do a lot of “whatever works” around here too. Keeps everyone happy!

  • familymclean

    Sounds so familiar!!! Kaitlyn switched to her big girl bed at that age and went throught the same nap time frustrations. She is now 23 months and today took her nap from 5:30 to 7:30 and just went down for the night at 12:30, I don’t know why they do this!

  • nila

    That sounds like pure torture. Maybe it’s time you enlisted mommy’s other helper. Sesame Street. How dare I suggest TV as a babysitter. All I know is that mom’s need time to ourselves and we need to do whatever it takes to get it sometimes. A happy mommy makes for a happy family.

  • BeachMama

    Don’t want to share any bad news, but J here gave up napping around 18 months. He had already gone down to one nap a day and then finally none. He also switched to a big boy bed by that time as well. I only used the car to put him to sleep twice, and was able to carry him in the house and lay him on the couch for the rest of his nap. This still works today if we have had a really busy day and he falls asleep in the car. But when he naps now, he goes to bed later (9 instead of 7) and Mom is toast by then.

    Best wishes with the naps, I know when J wouldn’t go for a nap, I refused to let him sleep until the last possible moment closest to his bedtime. It meant for a really grumpy toddler at suppertime, but the payoff of a whole evening complete with an extra hour of free time for me was worth it. I only had to do it a couple of times and he got the message.

  • Sue

    Why are babies so cute when they cry? Because she is just a doll.

    My kids all gave up naps at around 18 months as well. I had to choose between skipping the nap and having their normal 6:30 bedtime, or giving them a nap, and have them up and jumping around till 10:30. Skipping the nap was a much better option for us. I work from home too. I had to get a mother’s helper for two hours a day so that I could get something done during “business hours” and then I work at night after they’re in bed. Hence the early bedtime.

    I hope she is just bluffing and that she resumes her napping for you…

  • Chris

    Sleep issues do stink. My daughter (also 18 months) just switched to the 1-a-day naps but if you drive anywhere, that 15 minutes totally counts at that day’s nap. Not fun.

    Remember this though… when they drop that last night (at 3 years for my son) – that blows your world to smithereens. It makes the going to 1-nap look like a cakewalk.

    I’m totally cheering you up, aren’t I?

  • Amanda

    I’m going through this right now with my 15 month old. He is so messed up these days and it makes me so crazy that I have to eat lots of ice cream to keep myself sane. Oh, wait a second, I was supposed to be eating all of that ice cream because it’s hot outside. Whatever. It’s hot and he doesn’t like to sleep anymore. It is like the best ever.

  • Gretchen

    I was going to suggest laying down with her… But I see you found that already works.

    Something else to try… have an earlier afternoon nap – like if she’s used to napping at 10 and then again at 2, try having her nap at 12:30 or so. My guess is she’s getting over tired and having a hard time falling asleep. Just a guess…

    Also, for my kids – if one of them got up too early from nap – say after 30 minutes instead of after 100 minutes – I’d bring them to my bed and lay with them. 95% of the time they’d fall back asleep.

    Alas, now, we are losing all our naps. My Toddler is 3 and takes a nap only every other day or so. The other two are ‘so over’ naps… But I still need one some days…

  • My Buddy Mimi

    I don’t know that this will work for other kids, but we have had some success putting Mimi in the crib with a couple of books that she can “read.”

  • Madhouse Wife

    My little girl will be 10 months next week and gave up the morning nap a few weeks ago. Now she takes a long one (three-ish hours) at 11:30 or so. But she sleeps 13 hours a night (7p-8a), so I guess it’s OK. I know what you mean about keeping them out of the car, though. If we go anywhere in the morning, she’ll take a short nap and then think it counts.

    My little boy is three and a half; he usually still takes a nap, but everytime I mention that, people always say, “He STILL takes a nap?” I’d go crazy if he didn’t, so I pretty much make him.

  • Bethany

    Aw, that No-Nap Monster face looks so sad, I just want to give her a hug. I am sorry to hear you’ve reached this dreaded nap-transition. I will tell you what my good friend Heather, mom of two, tells me all the time when I am venting about something: this is only a season. It seems right now like it will be this way forever, but it won’t. Soon enough you will both settle into the new routine (whatever it turns out to be), and this will be a distant memory.

    I’d also like to second what Gretchen said above, about moving her afternoon naptime up an hour or two. That might help. And you just have to expect that she will fight sleep like this for a while, but keep persisting in having a naptime. Explain it to her as a quiet time, nap optional, if you like, and give her books or quiet toys in her crib (like nikkapotamus above). When Annalie first switched from two 45-minute naps a day to one nap, for weeks it was only a 30- or 45-minute nap, and I thought I would lose my mind. But eventually she settled into taking a 2-hour afternoon nap and sleeping a little less at night. I don’t know what BB’s schedule will end up looking like, but it WILL get easier. Hang in there! I’m praying for you! :-)