Author Topic: 15 Month Old Already in 18 Month Sleep Regression? Won't Nap! Help Please!  (Read 259 times)

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Offline MommaL

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Hi Everyone, I am so grateful for this website. From reading all the posts, I was able to get BabyL to sleep independently from three months using shush-pat and pick-up/put-down, and I was also able to resolve his chronic short napping with wake to sleep. BabyL started sleeping through the night on his own at 11 months (it ironically happened two days after I told my husband in BabyL's presence that I was so exhausted from night feeding and needed to do cry it out or something!). I also dropped the second nap around this time; I know it was early but he started sleeping through the night and I was too scared to make any schedule changes. Also the strongest reason was that he was sleeping more total hours on one nap. We've had four solid months of good sound sleep. What a difference in my mood! I don't think he's a high sleep needs baby but fair - averages about 12-12.5 hours total sleep. For a few weeks we had 13.5-14 hours when he was sleeping a good 11.5-12 hours at night but I think it coincided with walking. Since dropping the second nap, I've been waiting for months for his nap to stretch out but he's been consistently sleeping 1hr15mins with a very odd 2hr nap once every two weeks maybe. BabyL sleeps in his own room on a floor bed. We do his wind down routine and I leave the room, he's usually asleep within 10 mins.   

He was usually waking around 7:20am after sleeping through the night soundly. On one nap, I was calculating his awake time in the morning (around 5hr15mins) to put him down for his nap (usually 1hr15) and using a set bed time at 8pm (which meant his afternoon awake time was long sometimes 6hrs). This was working for about three months. Around the second month, he discovered he could open his door so we had a few nights where as soon as I put him down he would run to the door and stick his head out giggling. I kept walking him back to bed and repeating our sleepy phrase. After two days of doing this for up to an hour, I held the door shut while he cried and pulled. I went in after 2 mins to put him back in bed, then increased the increments to 4mins, 6 mins, 8 mins, 10 mins. I didn't know about walk-in/walk-out yet! Two days later, he was sleeping normally again. This lasted for another six weeks.

One night I put him to bed and went to water plants outside. I didn't hear the monitor until my husband came running out to ask me why BabyL was wailing. I thought he was asleep because I checked the monitor before I went outside. He was probably crying at the door for 15 mins? I felt so bad that I broke his trust. That night he woke up at 4am. Hasn't done that for months since he started sleeping through the night. He was hysterical. I had to sit next to him until he fell back asleep, then I left the room. The next two nights where he slept on his own but again woke up in the middle of the night and needed me to sit next to him. On the third night, after scouring the forums, I did walk-in/walk-out. It was horrible. It took 2hrs45mins. I was up from 2am to 5am! At the same time his nap suddenly got short and he was refusing to go to sleep on his own (both at nap and night). I knew we had a very overtired baby. We suspected molars and gave him Nurofen for three days but it did not make a difference. Then I thought it was separation anxiety. He then had three days when he was nursing double his usual amount; but this was a growth spurt with NO increase in sleep. I continued walk-in/walk-out. The night wakings stopped but he started waking earlier around 6:30-6:40am. I had to start making nap increasingly early. We then had a week when he was back to napping on his own 1hr15mins without complaint. He would wake up and I would go in, sit next to him and sing for 10 mins and he would fall back asleep for one more cycle (bringing the nap to 2hrs). I thought maybe he was transitioning to that blessed long afternoon nap people keep talking about?

Thankfully the night wakings are resolved. I've been putting him to bed at 7:30pm and it seems to make a difference. He's sleeping less than before about 10.5-11hrs. But suddenly this week, he's absolutely refusing his nap. I've played around with the awake times (anywhere from 5hrs to 6hrs). Increased his activity - he goes outdoors for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. Tried long wind downs before nap (like 45mins!). He won't nap. He's clearly tired after lunch which we start an hour before nap. He will yawn or rub his eyes or put his head on my shoulder during the wind down. But as soon as I put him down he's up and running (just discovered this skill) to the door giggling. I am trying to patiently do walk-in/walk-out but it's taking 40 mins to 1hr50mins! :( He thinks it's funny! He seems hyper? I stand at the door even and say sternly our sleepy phrase and he'll lie down laughing but cry when I turn to leave. I thought maybe he's overtired because of the hyperness but when I decreased the awake times it didn't change. This in and out quickly progresses to overtired crying after 20 mins. And for the last two days it's only a short nap because he's so overtired from the long awake time resulting from his nap refusal. Is this the 18 month-ish regression? Any tips please? I've normally always been able to fix any short term issues from this forum but this time at a true loss.

Day1
WU: 6:50am (slept 10hrs10mins)
NAP: 1:25pm-2:18 (started WD after 5hrs25mins AT but it took him an hour to sleep)
SLEEP: 7:35pm

Day2
WU: 7:00am (slept 11hrs21mins)
NAP: 2:23-2:56 (started WD at 5hrs35mins AT but it took him 1hr40mins to sleep, refused to sleep any longer even though I sang for 30mins)
SLEEP: 7:30pm

Day3
WU: 7:18am (slept 11hrs50mins)
NAP: 1:56-2:45pm (started WD at 5hr45mins AT but it took him 40mins to sleep, refused to sleep any more)

Help please...someone.
   

Offline creations

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Hi there and welcome to the forums :)
It's great to read your story and to hear that the past threads have helped you so much :)

It could well be the regression come early, the good news about that is that it will be over early too!
However, it may not be the 18 month regression but something else, in which case you have this to go through and then the 18 month regression too.
The thing to remember is that ALL these things are phases.  When you think you are at the end of your tether take a very, very deep breath and remind yourself that this will pass.  My DS was self settling from around 8 wks old but guess what, I still had ALL the developmental phases, the regressions, the routine changes, nap drops, teething and everything else which disturbs them to go through, just like anyone else. There were certainly times I felt at a loss.

Developmental leaps such as walking and running often bring sleep disturbances and bouts of SA 9seperataion anxiety), the increased ability to get around means they can get themselves into more danger so it is really quite clever that at the same time they suddenly feel they need to be with Mummy every second of the day (and night) to check that they are okay and safe.
Mostly with any of these phases (teething and developments) you will need to put in extra time, as you have been doing, sometimes you may need a routine change as you have been trying.

As nap times have been dragging out with his refusals I'd probably just start the WD much later (avoiding an hour of that refusal) and then when you do take him to nap be willing and prepared to give him what he needs in terms of additional help, a song, or cuddle, even staying with him until he is asleep for a few days if this helps to keep him relaxed rather than running around.  Getting the sleep habit back in place, nice and relaxed, before trying to remove yourself, could well help.
In terms of routine, he might actually need a much longer first A time but possibly not a later BT, sometimes the nap just needs to be later in the day.  This means you might keep the nap an hour later than your current routine.  It could be though that once he is settling down calmly again he won't need it so late so you can be ready to bring it a bit earlier (in increments) once this phase of refusal is over.  I have done this with my DS with his BT when he was refusing for an hour, I just move BT an hour later to avoid the struggles (then helped a lot, songs etc and verbal reassurance from outside the room or stayed with him until fully asleep if needed) and then when I saw the phase was ending I moved BT 15 min earlier, then another 15 mins earlier etc until he was back to his normal BT.  This is because he still needed all that sleep even though he was refusing it.

I would probably also help him transition if he is short napping. If he falls asleep without you there go in again before he wakes and help to sooth him to keep him relaxed throughout the nap.  If he needs you there to fall asleep you might be able to pop out for a few mins before going back in to help again.
Try not to worry about how much you help him, the main thing is to maintain the trust and keep your bond strong.  Everything else can be fixed with WIWO and/or verbal reassurance or gentle weaning.  Plus, most LOs who can self settle will return to self settling just as soon as they can with little or no encouragement to do so.

One other thing I wanted to add is that you can talk about things with your LO when it is not sleep time.  Tell him how nap time will be, that you will help him, tell him he needs his rest and sleep so that he has energy to play well, tell him you will always come when he needs you.  These things are very reassuring and often LOs surprise us with how much they seem to take in which we wouldn't expect them to understand.

I hope this helps some


Offline MommaL

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Hi creations! Thank you so SO much for responding. I'm very grateful. Was about to give up hope anyone could help. BabyL is doing a lot better. Thanks for reminding me this is just a phase. He's napping this week on his own consistently, and for reasonable amounts 1 hr 15 mins to about 1 hr 30 mins. I think we've worked out a good AT for him in the morning is 6 hrs but not a minute more so I have to be sharp about starting to wind down 30 mins earlier. He still seems to be sleeping less at night (10 hr 15mins most nights with the odd 11 hr night). I'm being diligent about keeping bedtime within 5 to 5 hrs 30 mins of waking from nap. However when he wakes up at 6:15am this is challenging since the nap is so early and his naps aren't particularly long. Do you think he could benefit from set naps and set bedtime? I've been reading every entry I can find on set naps available on the forum. I'm a stay at home Mom and I don't mind calculating the awake times each day, it's not that big of a hassle, but I'm wondering if putting him on the scheduled nap will actually help him sleep a little longer at night? Right now on early days he's napping at 12pm while other days not until 1pm. Wondering if that's confusing his little body. Appreciate hearing what you think.

Offline MommaL

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I meant to include the past few days of our schedule with him going to sleep on his own look like this:

Day1
WU: 7:14am (slept 11hrs9mins) AMAZING
NAP: 1:14pm-2:49pm (slept 1hr35)
SLEEP: 8:15pm

Day2
WU: 6:13am (slept 9hrs58) BOO
NAP: 12:12-1:36pm (slept 1hr24)
SLEEP: 7:30pm

Day3
WU: 6:14am (slept 10hrs44)

Offline creations

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He's napping this week on his own consistently, and for reasonable amounts 1 hr 15 mins to about 1 hr 30 mins.
Great :)

Do you think he could benefit from set naps and set bedtime? I
Set times can work great for LOs over 12 months so yes I think this is well worth a shot.  I actually didn't think about it as I always think of LOs who have moved to one nap per day having "set" times but I think you are right that he could likely respond well to a more predictabel routine based on set times rather than A times.
To set a time use what works best and then just stick to that time each day for each nap and BT.  During the phase of "setting" you might tweak it a bit to see what works best.  Also remember that times are "set" but not "set for ever" - when sleep needs change you need to look again and re-set a slightly different routine to keep in tune with his sleep needs.

Hope that makes sense.


Offline MommaL

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Hi creations, thanks again so much for responding. BabyL woke up at 5:57am today. I usually put him back into bed, say sleepy words and leave. Heíll doze for 8 mins before crying again. Iíll try again but usually heís wide awake and cries when I leave. To avoid waking everyone else up I go and sit next to his bed in the dark. He usually lays down watching me but mostly he gets up and looks at books in the dark. I wait until 7am before doing the big good morning show. Am I being unrealistic about his night sleep times and just go with when he wakes after 10ish hours

Because he was up so early this morning I decided around after 30mins around 6:35am to carry him just to see if he would sleep. He slept in my arms for 45 mins until 7:30am! Do you think it means he needs more sleep? And canít fall back asleep because of OT or habit (itís been about a month now that 6 has become the new 7).

Iíll try set times this week for nap and bedtime. If I set nap time for 12:45pm (assuming he is going to sleep until 6:45), does it mean I still put him down for a nap at that set time if he wakes up at 6am? How much adjustment should be allowed (15 mins earlier?) for those crazy mornings? And even if he naps 1hr 15 mins, can I set the bedtime at 7:45pm?

Thanks for answering all my questions. I really appreciate it.  :) Sometimes I feel so alone!