Sandman isn't Welcome During Naptime

I really need help! I just started a nanny job and the baby is 13 months old. She is so adorable and sweet and very curious about everything. She is very smart already walking around and understands alot, she is saying alot of words also. But she doesn't want to nap, it is tiring when trying! The past nanny seemed to not have a problem with it. So I don't know if I am doing something wrong.

Here is what happens: around 9:30am I see the baby yawning so I heat a bottle. I put on relaxing music and close the window shades. We read books while the bottle is warming, then I take her to her room where there's a rocking chair and try to give her the bottle there. She immediately wants to get out of my arms. She may drink for a minute then stops and gets very fussy flaring her arms and manages to get out of my arms. So again I pick her up and sing a song and try with the bottle or pacifier. Even her eyes will start to close but she wakes herself up and struggles to get loose. It goes on like this for 30 minutes and then I give up.

When she struggles so much in my arms it is hard to hold her and I don't want to hurt her by holding firmly, she is quite strong. So I think well maybe she doesn't need a nap. So I let her play and then we have a snack at 11am. Well while she is eating she falls asleep in the highchair and sleeps for about 40 min! Then the whole schedule is off because she fell asleep late. Then she won't take her afternoon nap either and she is cranky when parents get home. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I really need help with this one because it is so frustrating trying to get her to nap and leaves me exhausted needing a nap! - Dana


Nanny c said...

Have you tried just putting her in the crib with a lovey and seeing if she is able to fall asleep?

Portland Nanny said...

I would suggest just reading her a couple books, and then put her in her crib with her paci, and let her fall asleep on her own.....

oh well said...

It must be very frustrating to be in this situation. I agree with the idea of letting her fall asleep on her own, but it would help if you knew the best time to do so, and some babies are very good at confusing us. How about trying to move back the time of the nap? You mention 9:30 am. You could try 10:00 or 10:30 am. Also, you give her a bottle at 9:30 am then a snack an hour and a half later, which I am not sure is necessary for a 13-month-old.
How about having a fun snack at 9:30, which will probably rev her up, then trying for a nap later in the morning, just before lunch? Now, she could also be graduating from the two-nap scenario, in which case you could try to go for an early lunch, then put her right down to sleep. Good luck

Anonymous said...

Sounds like she's not wanting to be held or rocked before a nap, have you tried letting her have her bottle on her own? Maybe putting her on the floor with a pillow while you read to her?
Or maybe she doesn't even need the bottle before the might be that she's getting so frustrated with the pre nap time activities, she loses the window of nap time opportunity?


Ann O'Neemus said...

At 13 months the little one may just need to do some squirming around before she falls asleep.

I suggest making the naptime preparations short and sweet.

A lovey blanket or soft toy to fiddle with may be helpful.

You can give the baby a chance to settle herself down, she doesn't need to be held to go to sleep.

A few minutes of fussing/grumbling and rolling around may do the trick.

Good luck :)

baby dalailama said...

She is probably ready to move on to one longer nap mid day. It's no good saying that a later nap throws the schedule out.. You need to change the schedule. Lots of toddlers change to one longer nap around this age. Just keep her happy and entertained until mid day , feed her then off to sleep for a couple of hours or more.

Student Nanny said...

After 12 months most children start transitioning to one longer nap in the afternoon, it seems clear this is what your charge is going through. I think you need to work on keeping her awake and active through lunch, then, as others have suggested, put her down with a lovey/paci and let her fall asleep on her own.

NannyBrandie said...

The key is not to change the routine. She is giving it her all and doesn't want to go to bed, but the fact of the matter is babies need sleep. Do the routine like you said, and when she starts fussing calmly tell her its bed time. Put her in her crib and say good night. She may scream her head off for an hour but she will eventually fall asleep. If she is inconsolable try sitting in the room, back to her so she wont interact with you, and say "shhhhhh" until she falls asleep. Do that for a few days, then move to the door way, again back turned to her, and then eventually leave her completely. Make sure the parents are doing the same routine, and aren't letting her sleep in bed with them. That could totally throw off her sleeping habbits.

Magen said...

I agree with the other posters. I have a few years of infant experience and they do come to a place where they can be put down for a nap without being fussed over until they fall asleep in your arms. Just put her in her crib and say good night for a few seconds, then close the door and leave. make sure you have a monitor, or leave the door cracked so you can hear that shes a) actually gone to sleep, and b) when she wakes up. Put her on her back or stomach depending on how you usually sleep her and what her parents/doctor say. Good luck! ps. the first time might be hard to let her cry a bit, but she will most likely calm down and go to sleep. when that happens, pat yourself on the back!

MissMannah said...

1. Get rid of bottles, she's too old for them.

2. Stop trying to rock her to sleep, she's too old for it and obviously doesn't like it anyway.

3. As soon as you notice her getting tired (even before the first yawn), put her directly in her crib. Any naptime routines seem to be overstimulating her and keeping her awake.

4. Don't worry about her sleeping at specific times. Just watch her for tired clues. She may be trying to transition to 1 nap but maybe not. She needs to catch up on some sleep so her naps will probably be all over the place for awhile. That's ok, she doesn't need a fixed schedule.

Wednesday said...

Wow. leave that poor baby alone! Put her in her crib and sit there or just leave. I get wanting to settle her down with a quiet book but after that put the baby down and walk out.

Worked for me! Good luck!

Savannah Nanny said...

I have a 13 month old charge also. Her parents and I are currently trying to ween her off the bottle, but in my experience with past charges I have cared for, I have a 15 month cut off. As long as you are giving her formula in the bottle and milk and water in a cup, you should be okay giving her a bottle for a little longer. Don't let her fall asleep with the bottle though! I give Z a bottle 30 minutes to an hour before she gets sleepy. Also, if she thinks you are trying to put her sleep and fights you, prop her up on the floor or on the sofa next you and let her feed herself. Z's naps are all over the place, and she also fights me everyday when she gets sleepy.

It sounds like your charge is ready for one nap. Since she falls asleep eating at 11 am, I would give her a bottle at 10 am, then a snack right after. Forget the ritual of reading and making a quiet space. Like everyone else has said, put her to bed with a lovey and/or paci as soon as she show signs of falling asleep, even if she isn't finished with her snack. If she wakes herself up on the way to crib, put her down anyway.

If she's crying uncontrolably and/or standing up, keep laying her down, rub her back for a few minutes and then leave the room again. It will be exhausting for you, but you have to let her know you are in control, not her. Also try white noise (like a fan) or classical music.

Good luck!

Bethany said...

I think your little charge can go without bottles now especially per nap bottles.

Simplify the routine put her in bed with a kiss and a goodnight leave room and let her fall asleep on her own.

Try putting her down at 9 or 10. It's possible she is weaning off naps.

Try giving lunch at 11 . If she is taking short naps she'll be refreshed and ready to eat if she is weaning off morning naps she'll be ready to go down around noon and possibly sleep along time so lunch before would be good

Don't worry too much about The schedule schedules change throughout childhood

knittynanny said...

Just plop her in her crib. If she cries, see if maybe she will stop in about 15 minutes. If not go in and sing her a song and leave. only stay long enough to let her know you haven't abandoned her. At this age, she is capable of falling asleep on her own.

Brynn said...

I agree with some of the above posters. She is probably getting ready to transition to one longer nap a day instead of two. The little boy I watch used to fight naps at about that age too, then we switched him to one a day and he is sleeping great! Maybe try to put her in her crib after some relaxation, books, etc. and see if she falls asleep on her own.

MissWi said...

I wouldn't put her as too old for a doubt she should be trying out sippy cups but she is still young enough for a bottle.
What did the last nanny do? And are you asking what time she gets up? Try feeding her her lunch a bit earlier so that by the time she is ready for a nap, she can be in her crib.
I'm a firm believer that kids need to self soothe. My 13 month old charge learned to self soothe at 6 or so months and now nap time is effortless. She may sing in her crib for a bit but manages to calm down. Have you tried just letting her cry it out?

different name said...

The child I watch is a pain like this. What I do is give him his milk if he wants. Then I hold him for a little bit put him in the crib. Pat his back for a minute and exit. I don't talk much. He starts screaming immediate. So I let him scream with the door shut for about ten minutes. Then if still crying go back. I don't say anything I just lay him back on his belly, pat again for a minute. Then exit then wait if screaming wait ten minutes and do again. It actually works usually after the two tries.

I don't tell my boss. She is the type that picks up her kid right away. Maybe, thats the reason why they are up all nite. Without any sleep. Its a really bad habit and kids need to nap.

Their Amby said...

It is a tough situation trying to figure out why a child does not like, or is not sticking to their routine. I would agree with most of the other posts, but I would also ask the parents if they wanted to transition her to one nap. If you or they prefer to keep the same routine, maybe ask the parents to (1) try putting her to bed a half hour earlier, or (2) wake her a half hour earlier in the morning. This small adjustment will make her mornings longer so she will be more ready to sleep. Also, depending on the parents, it may be appropriate to try a graduates cry it out method... Put her in her crib after a short nap time routine, and then leave the room. Allow her to cry for 5 minutes before going back in. The next time try for 10, etc... The charges I watch are the best sleepers I've ever seen. Their mother swears by Dr. Weissbluth's book, "Healthy Sleep Habits; Happy Child"
Finally one thing I have noticed, is sometimes If I put the little one to bed in her crib, she will stand up and play instead of napping. Rather than thinking she does not need a nap, I will go in and sit in the chair.My presence seems to tell her I mean business :)If she tries to talk to you either ignore her, or tell her, "SHHHHH I'm trying to sleep." Then she won't be keeping herself up by playing.
Hope this helps, and definitely check out the book or even have the parents read it.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I think that this child is ready for a longer, later afternoon nap. It would be nice for her to take two naps, however children at this age change so much.

Regarding nap time, I think when she yawns, you should put her in her crib. Start speaking in a low voice and close the curtains/blinds in her room. Set her gently in the crib and perhaps read her a story or two. Then blow a kiss and leave. Yes, she will cry and perhaps she will even start to scream. If she does this for more than say, 15 minutes, then you can go in briefly, check her diaper and tell her it is nap/sleepy time and she needs to rest now. It will be tough at first, but in the end you will be doing her a huge favor.

Children need to learn to fall asleep on their own w/out a ton of routine things such as bottle, singing, massaging, etc. They do not need any stimulation at all. Sure, they will cry at first, but is a baby crying really the end of the world? I think not.

If the parents practice attachment parenting however, you may be out of luck.


Fire Eyes said...

One girl I cared for, her parents could barely get her to go to sleep.

I tried the complicated regime they suggested, very similar to what you described. It failed.

I tried walking her in a stroller and transferring her to her crib. This worked, but clearly wasn't a long-term solution.

I tried lots of things, but skipping ahead the most effective means I found was to take her into her room, no books, no rocking, put her in her crib, lie down on the floor next to the crib and pretend to go to sleep.

I could lay there [and somehow not fall asleep] for twenty or thirty minutes with unusual ease. She would move around a bit, but eventually settle down and go to sleep. She didn't fuss.

It wasn't long doing this before it took only a few minutes for her to fall asleep. A couple months later, simply the act of being on the floor next to her crib was enough for her. I wasn't able to leave the room until she fell asleep, but I no longer had to pretend I was going to and I could read an ebook on my phone at its minimum brightness. Putting her down for a nap became a pleasant little break before prepping for her sister's return from school.

That all said, I have to agree with the thoughts above. It may be time to get the girl off many naps through the day and onto a longer, single afternoon nap.