Thursday, April 18, 2013

18 month old nap issue

(Grainy, but that's real life, yo.)


For those of you in the work force, this is a stay-at-home mom's version of a "lunch break."  This is the one time we don't have to "work."  (And by "work," I specifically mean doing things with/for our child.  Because we all know there are dishes to unload, floors to pick up, beds to make, showers to take, and laundry to fold.  Always.)

So what happens when nap time doesn't go as expected?

Mama gets mad.

I will say, we have been blessed.  Duke has been a really good sleeper from the beginning.  He slept 7-8 hours at night around 7-8 weeks.  He didn't drop his 3rd nap until he was 10 months.  He moved to one nap at 15 1/2 months.  In the world of sleeping, he's pretty "by the book."  This is NOT to say that we didn't have days of frustrating naps or 45-minute intruders or whatever else there is.  We have had bad days, for sure.  But for the most part, Duke loves his sleep.

The trick with the stage he's entered into now is that he's taking one nap.  That's all we've got, folks.  While I still stand by the belief that one nap a day really is nice, it does feel like the pressure is on.

The issue isn't that Duke will be a monster if he doesn't get the perfect amount of sleep.  Actually I've noticed the past few months that if he gets a longer/shorter nap, it doesn't really influence his level of fussiness.  It seems that he can be as fussy or as content as he chooses to be.  Welcome to toddler-hood, I suppose.

The issue is that mama doesn't get a break.  Or as long of a break as she might have wanted. 

Around the time he went down to one nap (2 1/2 months ago), he went through a lengthy phase of sleeping 13 hours at night and 3-3.5 (sometimes 4!) hours during his afternoon nap.  For the past 2-3 weeks, he's been sleeping closer to 12 hours at night (which is fine) and taking a 2 (YES, TWO!) hour nap.

I mean, 2 hours is nice.  Sure, it's an acceptable nap.  I realize it could be worse.  But when you're expecting 3 hours, 2 hours makes you start questioning your life and purpose here on this earth.

I'd be fine with accepting this as our new normal, however, Duke doesn't seem to be satisfied either.  Rather than waking up happy and talking in his bed, he cries.  So to me, it doesn't seem like he's gotten the amount of rest he needs.  And trust me, I give plenty of time for him to calm down and fall back asleep, but it just doesn't happen.

Two days ago, I actually thought about running into his room, shouting, "Go back to sleep!" and then slamming the door.  Mom of the year, y'all.  Luckily, my logic caught me before I acted like I was 13 years old.

Instead, I texted Kelsey.  Because when you feel crazy and think the mental asylum should take you away, you have to text people.  It's your lifeline.

In summary, I have no idea what's going on.  Here's what I do know:

I've tried multiple temperatures in our home.

I've tried multiple outfits to sleep in.

I've tried multiple kinds of blankets.

I've tried multiple start times for this nap spanning 1:00-1:30 and occasionally 1:45.  Pretty sure it's not a start time issue.  (Although yesterday I put him down at 1:45 and he slept 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I'll take and 15 minutes any day.  I'm going to try this again today and see what happens.)

We did recently get rid of the sleep sack during nap time, but he had several successful naps without it before this craziness started.  So I'm pretty positive it's not that.  (And even if that was the issue, the sleep sack is still bye-bye.  It's getting hot outside and his feet had poked holes through the bottom of it.  It's time.)

All of that effort for just one extra hour of sleep?  Yes.

In mom world, it's easy (and relieving) to just blame issues like this on growth spurts or teething.  But my gut tells me it's neither.

So while this unsolved mystery continues, I have some questions for you.  Help a mom out, moms!

Did your 18 month old ever go through a weird nap phase?  What did you do?  What time was/is nap time for your toddler?  How long does his/her nap typically last? 


  1. HI Claire, Abby takes a 2 hour nap usually, sometimes more and sometimes less, and from talking to my other mom friends that seems to be pretty normal for this age. I am jealous that you had 3 hours before! But I agree that even 2 hours is too short! There is such a difference between 2 naps and 1 nap. When Abby transitioned I was like, when am I supposed to shower?!

    Have a good weekend!

    Emily Schoenhals

    1. That's good to know! And yes, totally get you on the shower thing!

  2. Two hours has always been the average for both of my boys. If we have done something really active in the morning (zoo, playground, etc.) then they MAY go closer to three hours, but that is definitely the exception. I think most of my girlfriends with similar aged children tend to hover around the 2 hour nap mark as well (and typically around 1-3 p.m.). Honestly, every time I read Duke's nap times on your posts I am amazed! (aka, super jealous!) You definitely have an exceptional sleeper on your hands! But I totally understand how when you get used to a certain amount of free time during the day it can be maddening to have it cut short!

    1. Yes, switching from 3 hours to 2 hours has been a bit frustrating. But knowing that it's the norm for lots of other people makes me feel better! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. My little girl (who is 3 1/2) has only taken 2 hour naps. Nevvvver any longer than 2 hrs. You were a lucky woman to be getting 3! :)

    1. Yeah, evidently 2 hours seems to be the norm. So now, I'm just embracing it. :) If he does anything more than 2, I celebrate!

  4. My daughter has only ever taken thirty minute naps. She transitioned to one nap and it is still only 30 minutes long. She wakes up at 530 every morning only sleeping 10 hours at night. Count your blessings. You have no idea how good you have it. I don't get any time to get things done or clear my mind. It's made the first year and half of her life very challenging.

  5. OMG I'd kill for a 2 hour nap! Mine is only doing 1 hour and she is so crabby. I'm out of ideas, too. Blah oh well

  6. OMG I'd kill for a 2 hour nap! Mine is only doing 1 hour and she is so crabby. I'm out of ideas, too. Blah oh well


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