No nap.

January 26th, 2010 by: cheyenne

[Nigel and Batbear go joyriding in the shopping cart.]

If Ronin disliked sleeping before, it is nothing compared to how she feels about sleep now. She ignores, fears, hates, and tries her damnedest to avoid sleep and her loathsome bed. In the past week she has napped twice out of sheer exhaustion and she has been taking upwards of 3+ hours per night to get down. The last hour or so is always a total screaming hysterical meltdown. It’s totally awful and I’ve been meaning to post something more interesting than the horror that is her sleep habits lately, but the scattered handful of brain cells that have managed to survive this beastly past week are too depressed to write blog posts.

The sad part is that we brought it on ourselves. We ‘broke’ the nap (her pacifier). We had hoped that she would slowly let go of her need for the nap but it seems that she has been getting more and more dependent upon it. The entire household would come to a standstill if we couldn’t find it when it was bedtime, she’d get all agitated and amped up trying to find it and it would take a million years to get her down, etc. Plus, she developed this nasty rash around her mouth where the nap touches.

We felt just taking it away from her was too harsh so we cut a hole in the end of it. We went to bed as usual and she popped her nap in her mouth, gave it a couple of sucks, and then pulled it out to inspect. She was utterly perplexed and we had a hard time trying not to laugh at her obvious confusion. We told her that it seemed to have broken and she told us to fix it. Then she wanted to get some tape to fix it. We taped it up and she held it for a while and we told the story of the little Ronin-fish who had a nap once when she was a little baby but then she got older and turned two and the nap broke and it was time to try to sleep without the nap but it was okay because she didn’t need it anymore, etc. And she seemed okay with it really. She was a little upset right at first when we said we couldn’t fix it (though we tried with tape) but she didn’t cry specifically for the nap after that. We put it under her pillow; she takes it out every once and a while and adjusts the tape, then puts it back.

The problem is that she doesn’t know how to sleep without it. Now that the nap is no more, what little interest she had in sleeping vanished. She just can’t figure out how to go to sleep without passing out from exhaustion, usually after screaming herself hoarse. It’s awful and I can’t figure out if we should get her another pacifier or if at this point, she’ll never revert to the far better sleep situation we had previously. It’s funny too because if you had told me then that our sleep situation was ‘far better’ than some other possible sleep situation, I would have laughed incredulously. Or killed myself.

[Toddler whose life is ruined because her cruel cruel parents broke her nap.]

13 Comments on “No nap.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Um, yes, very difficult the paci/nap thing… not that this helps (at all), but our sleeping lives got better when the kids turned 3ish… yeah, so, um, maybe just one more year of, um, misery?

  2. Jill Douglass says:

    Oh, I was ‘anonymous’ at 6:21 am (above?).

  3. Peg Bowden says:

    I say give her the “nap”. She needs it now. She’ll toss it when she is ready to toss it. For the record, you liked your “nap” too, Mama—and we kept 3 or 4 in stock in order to avoid a meltdown. Can’t remember when you finally tossed it. —Oma Peggy

  4. Anonymous says:

    So, if you were giving advice to the parent of 4month old, would you have done anything differently in terms of weaning from the pacifier earlier? Just wondering…

  5. joshua says:

    We started with the pacifier because we were desperate to help her sleep and it did help a lot. For the most part we only allowed her to have it for sleeping; to the point where her word for it became synonymous with sleep. In hind site this was dumb and we should have had a unique name for it, because we had to scramble to invent new words for sleeping that didn’t remind her of the nap.

    Also it’s easy to forget that part of the reason we decided to go ahead and get rid of it was that it didn’t seem to be helping that much anymore and it was also giving her a persistent rash. I don’t think we’ll be giving it back. She doesn’t cry for it or anything, she just doesn’t know how to sleep without it. Maybe would have been better not to associated it so strongly with sleep? I’m not sure.

    The ‘broken’ bit is brilliant though because she doesn’t blame us for taking it away.

  6. Ginger says:

    My friend weened her 2 year old of the pacifier by cutting off the nipple (kind of like your broken method) and that worked. And then told her to pick something (toy) out at the store that would “replace” the nap and comfort her. My dad also said that when he weened us, it was a few weeks of hell, but got better. My nephews were still taking it at 4 years old and parents finally gave the pacifier to Santa Claus. Thinking 2 years old is much better. I am REALLY not looking forward to Celine’s turn at all.

  7. Kresling says:

    My mother never took away my pacifier and now I’m a 35-year-old man who can’t sleep without a pacifier. So what?

  8. Peg Bowden says:

    Interesting notion about associating the “nap” with sleep—and having the same word for it. You may be right. I like the idea of replacing the “nap” with a special new doll or toy or some other sleep-mate. Maybe a special song to sing when she goes to sleep. Ronin is a passionate child with passionate feelings—you never have to guess how she feels. It is right there in front of you. I love that about her. Oma Peggy

  9. g says:

    Hi C, my mom did this for many little cousins and babies in our family, worked every time: create a place, not near her bed, that’s a sleeping place. Help her choose some fabric for sheet, pillowcase, take her to the store and buy a blanket with her, put nigel (or anyone) to bed in her “bad bed” or original bed, in essence give that bed away to her animals, then replace said “nap/pacifier” with reading Websters dictionary to her as if this is normal. Don’t mention sleep, nap, or any trigger near the new bed. Instead, it’s all about Websters. The key is to associate nap and pacifier with the old bed. The new bed has new rituals, that can be comforting and repetitive: the dictionary. And don’t mention sleep. Don’t trigger old cycle, old routine. Within a few weeks, with a few relapses, this can work. Good luck, I am sorry to hear about little r’s situation. Love, g

  10. Antonia says:

    Um. We just threw Silas’ dummy away when we got sick of the meltdowns. We didn’t even tell him a nice story about a fish or anything. Just disappeared the f—ing thing. Now Mama has become the ‘nap,’ meaning that I have to read 5 stories, sing 8 songs, and lie down with him for at least half an hour while he beats me on the head before he goes to sleep.

    The way I figure it, our lives are just ruined anyway for the next three years, so a little more torture makes very little difference, really. Besides, once no. 2 is born, I’ll be able to sip martinis while he’s beating me on the head, and that should take the edge off.

    Bon courage.

  11. cheyenne says:

    Careful Matt! You’re scaring my mother.

    She’s possibly getting better or else we’re getting wiser. We whip out the Baby Beluga like a can of Whoop Ass, and she screams “No no no!” when she hears it, but of course she’s powerless under its magic. She went down after an hour and a half tonight! Hooray!

  12. Meg says:

    Rosalind never took a pacifier, but her sleep degenerated into complete chaos shortly after she turned two, also. We never figured out why but bedtime went from a half hour ritual with a peaceful ending, to a regular two hour marathon of screaming and heartache. And then after two months of frustration and rage (from all three of us), she was suddenly back to “normal”.

    I just can’t wait to find out how she’ll sleep in a few weeks when there’s a new baby in the house…

  13. vids says:

    Big hugs! Maddox never used a pacifier, but sleep over here has degenerated. He starts off in his crib then ends up spending the majority of the night in our bed. We are on the brink of introducing drastic change. I am just dragging my feet because aside from getting kicked in the head at 2am, it’s relativly peaceful. But the problem is he can’t seem to sleep at all with out me. Not even naps. I totally freak out and loose it just thinking about him up screaming in his crib.
    Anyway that’s my ramble. Good luck. It can only get better.

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Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell