I Need Some Advice BIG TIME

6 Replies
ImpatientMommy - August 17

My almost 14 month old daughter is an ANGEL. I know she is. But when she doesn't take a good nap she is a beast, an absolute monster. Problem is, for the past couple of months, she hasn't taken a single good nap. Her naps average an hour and from experimentation I know she needs 2 hours in order to be okay for the day. So she spends every single day EXHAUSTED. I've figured out that if I break up her day with different environments, whether it means walks, going to the store, just going outside. It helps a lot with the time we do spend in the house she is a lot more well behaved then if we were in the house all day. By the way, she only takes one nap a day and will not take another unless we're driving she'll take another one around 4:30 or 5 if we're driving around those times but only if we're driving for quite awhile. She has better days than others but I know her behavior is due to lack of sleep, it's worst right now because her tooth is coming through and she takes teething HARD, it is not easy for her at all. Like today she threw a tantrum when I took her inside because she wanted to stay outside and I just ignored her and let her work it out on her own and she did eventually. Then She was bring really clingy and I put her down (god forbid right?) and she freaked out again. I told my husband not to pick her up and she was really going crazy but then he started reading a book to her and she calmed right down. Is ignoring her and letting her work it out on her own not teaching her anything or is it? Should I try to divert her attention so she calms down? Like when I put her down and she starts crying I don't want to pick her right back up because she'll know she got what she want because she cried, should I do what my husband did and try to get her interested in something like playing with a toy or reading a book, I feel like that's not teaching her a lesson it's just ignoring the problem. What should I do? I'm a little torn between the two.

 

lin7604 - August 17

my son was similar at that age too, he also was having one nap and would only sleep for the 2nd one in the car at the same time or else he wouldn't falla sleep at all and it was a super super early bedtime! That always back fired too cause then he was up super super early! I do both depending on how upset he is, i choose to ignore a lot of his behaviors and i tell him, mommy isn't going to llok at you or talk to you, etc until you calm down. Then if he doesn't stop, i would and he is freaking for my attention, i just tell him to plain old stop and he usually does. I then tell him temper tantrums arn't going to get you what you want! Sometimes if i know it's only b/c he is super tired/ OT, etc then i get his attention on something else. Hey grab that car and lets play, etc they both work equal for me, but i only divert him attention if it's b/c he's tired other wise i ignore all the way. I do believe they need to realize that they arn't always going to get what they want and this is one of those times!

 

DDT - August 18

I can say, "Welcome to the toddlerhood", but you probably don't want to hear that (hehe). I think its what you feel more comfortable with. Yes, distract her when she has a tantrum, or ignore her. I tend to ignore my ds (18 months old) because even if I attempted to distract him it doesn't work. He seems to feed off the attention I pay him. Usually he drops to the ground with a scream and rolls around. I walk away and after a couple of mins it ends and then we resume play ect. The latest thing is hitting when he doesn't get what he wants, and after a couple of months with us sternly saying "Don't hit!" he is finally getting it. We reward his good behaviour with a hug. About the napping issue: I can probably be no help with that because my ds is still taking 2 naps. But if she insists on only taking 1 nap my advice would be to give her a earlier bedtime. What time is she going to bed?

 

DDT - August 18

Also, maybe you are waiting too long before putting her down for a nap and she is becoming overtired. Even at 18 months I have noticed my ds can only handle 3-3.5hrs of awake time before he needs a nap.

 

Justine1 - August 18

Mine don't have many tantrums but when they do I either ignore it or try to distract them onto something else or say to my 2 year old What do you want? Well if you want x you just say Mummy please can I have x then I'll give it to you (a__suming it a reasonable request or I'll explain to her why she can't ahve it/can have it but later) - there's no need to throw yourself on the floor. Then normally my DD will ask nicely that time and the next times. If DD is having a tantrum as DS has got something she wants I'll tell her she has to fetch a toy for DS and ask him if they can swop and 90% of the time they swap toys and all is fine. They often just swap by themselves now. The other 10% I tell DD to then fetch DS's milk as well and thats normally enough to swing it to get the desired toy. Or if it something they can share I'll tell them to go on the object together. Sometimes I also try to persuade her another toy is better or distract her. I'ld never respond to a tantrum by giving them what they want. I think ignoring teaches them they can't get what they want by screaming and distraction - and telling them how they can do things correctly can show them there's other things to do than scream. I don't know with the naps - first one never took many naps but never really got tired, 19 month old takes 2 naps a lot of days and loves going to sleep. I would say that mine need no distraction before they'll go to sleep - anything like other children, music etc would stop them napping so maybe have a quiet time - at nursery they do this after lunch so maybe then but whatever time you feel would suit her routine. An earlier bedtime/later getting up may help too but I know it can be ahrd getting some to sleep - my DD hates sleeping.

 

in the woods - August 18

They are different, but they do look similar - tantrums due to the toddlerhood (which is a bit early for your daughter to be starting), and tantrums/ bad behavior due to the tiredness. The tiredness from the change happens twice - when changing from two to one, and when changing from 1 to 0. It's trying times, but they it's not terrible twos. I haven't found any magic way to help through the crankiness caused by tiredness - just tried to provide environment to help sleeping, like you do - driving, an intense activity to make them tired. My both kids changed their naps at 14 months, too, and it was a process, and by 16 months they adjusted and settled. They started changing their naps from 1 to 0 at 3, and we are still going through ups and downs with tiredness with my son (he's 3.5). So it's just relying on what you observe - flying by the seat of one's pants, basically.

 

ImpatientMommy - August 18

Thanks for you advice everyone! I kinda made it seem like she's worst than she really is. It all depends on the day. It really seems to happen more when she's tired and we're home all day. Like for example, today I had to travel an hour away to spend the night with her at my parents for a visit, I planned the drive down here for her nap time but she only napped for 30 minutes. THIRTY MINUTES! I was like oh my god today is going to be terrible! But we got here and she was fine then we went on a loooong walk through the park with my bestfriend and her baby and we stopped at a cafe, had a snack, kept walking then I let her down and she played in the park for awhile then we walked home. We were out for a few hours then we came back to the house and she was perfect all day right up until bedtime and then she went to sleep in like 10 seconds haha I'm SURE she was tired but she didn't act out because of it all day because we were out all day. She's fine if she's kept distracted, but if this was back at our house and we stayed in all day it probably would have been a rough day but even if we had stayed at my parents all day she would have been fine too because she's somewhere else sorta new (we only come here once every one or two months). I swear, sometimes I think she just hates our apartment. At home if she's cranky or REALLY cranky I'll take her upstairs to see my husband's parents and it's like a switch, she's fine, she's distracted. Oh welllllll... we're adding an addition onto our apartment and it's going to be our new bedroom so she can have the room we share now all to herself, hopefully that big nice new playroom will be a big distraction to her and she'll like being in the house a little more.

 

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