Sunday, May 27, 2012

Infant temper tantrum

Hi Kay,

My 9 month old daughter recently started to throw a temper tantrum at nap times, but is still going to bed in the evening without any trouble. She used to go for her 1st nap 2 hours after she woke, like clockwork, and then would have a shorter nap in the afternoon, this time would vary, but she would go down with no problems. In the last 2 weeks she has been crying and screaming hysterically when I try to put her down for her morning nap. I have delayed it by about an hour/hour and a half thinking maybe she is just not tired yet, but I get the same reaction. It takes a lot of going in and out of her room to finally get her off to sleep. She will not sleep at all in the afternoon, which means she only gets 1 nap a day, and now that's only 1 hour long. She is crawling and standing and cruising now, so I realise she wants to be up and active, but she just won't sleep even when she is clearly exhausted, it bring me back to the days of colic, I'm worn out! She is teething at the moment, is this a factor, bedtime is still going off without a hitch, so far!

Thank you for your help,


Dear Triona:

For whatever reason she doesn't want that afternoon nap. It maybe that 2 naps a day is too much for her and then going down early is more sleep than she needs. Not all children are going to need the same amount of sleep each day and it will change as they grow older.

Have you tried giving her a massage for her afternoon nap? It really maybe that she is playing hard and her muscles are not relaxing which is causing her discomfort on top of the teething. Which brings me to teething. Teething can be quite uncomfortable especially the back teeth. She may just be noticing the pain when she is going down for her afternoon nap as her body becomes more still she focuses in on the teething. I don't know and you will have to just guess until she can tell you what is going on with her. Maybe you could just let her play until she falls asleep wherever she is playing. This usually works fine with children who don't want to go to sleep even when they are sleepy. Just throw a cover over her when she dozes off and let her sleep where she will. A nap is just a nap.

M Kay Keller

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