Monday, January 21, 2008

Separation Anxiety and Naptime Refusal – Part II

The problem of my toddler's "sleep strike", as outlined in my last post, has persisted for one week now. Things have gone from bad to worse, but I am optimistic that I will find the solution in due time.

Last night, after refusing a daytime nap, she slept from 7:00 PM to midnight. I made several attempts to nurse her to sleep, which always resulted in her crying when I put her down in her crib. Finally, at 6:00 AM, I nursed her to sleep and we both got two hours of rest.

Today she would not nap and was very tired all day. Fortunately, my kids had no school and I was able to rest on the couch during the afternoon. I put her to bed at 6:00 PM and am hoping not to have a repeat of last night! (As I go to post at about 10:00 PM I hear her waking again and I am thinking about how I will handle it tonight.)

Upon a close examination of her teeth, I found that one incisor had just come in and another was on its way.

My hypothesis is that the first incisor was the cause of the first night’s crying, and that if we keep to our regular routine of at least attempting her regular naptime it will eventually be restored after the teething pain is gone.

By her regular eighteen-month checkup, which is next Monday, the teeth should both be in and I should have a feel about whether this is going to be a long-term problem or not.

In the meantime, I am fortunate to have the support of several females in the family, who offered emotional support as well as some (albeit conflicting) practical advice.

Dr. Spock has some real gems in his parenting book, which is difficult to navigate but quite resourceful. I also found some useful advice at

Painting above by Mary Cassatt,
Mother and Child against a Green Background (Maternity)
1897 (40 Kb); pastel on beige paper mounted on canvas; Musee d'Orsay, Paris

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