13mo sometimes skips 2nd nap, leading to problems at bedtime

[deleted account] ( 1 mom has responded )

Sorry this is sooooo long, but I hope someone can help me with this problem, because it's breaking my heart to see my son cry and scream.

He's 13mo and lately his routine has been:

Wake around 6:30-7:15am
1st nap around 10:00-10:30am for 1-1.5 hours
2nd nap around 3:30-4:00pm for 1/2-1 hour.
Bed around 8:00-9:00pm

For a while now, he's been skipping one of these naps from time to time (nothing I do will make him take the nap, though I try). This leads to overtiredness and an earlier bedtime, but it has been OK up until now. In the last week, the following has happened 3 days out of 7:

His morning nap started too late or he slept too long, and he skips his afternoon nap and is up from noonish until bedtime. I try to get him to take the nap at 4pm, 4:30pm, 5pm, then I give up. I move up his bedtime to around 7pm because he's clearly tired. He has his bath/bedtime routine and goes to bed easily. Then after around 40 minutes, he wakes up. He doesn't want to nurse back to sleep -- that seems to frustrate him more than anything. He will latch and unlatch (making me VERY SORE) and SCREAM and CRY. But he doesn't want to play with his toys, either -- he will whine and cry if you put him down.

Usually his father will listen to songs with him in his lap until he calms down, but he continues to rub his eyes, yawn, and whine. Forward 30 minutes: if I try to nurse him to sleep again, he will try to go to sleep but start screaming and crying again. If he can calm down, he will play or look at his books for a while. Then he will finally let me nurse him back to sleep 1-2 hours later (around 9-10pm). He seems fine the rest of the night and in the morning.

What should I do?? I dread bedtime now if he's skipped his afternoon nap, and I feel horrible that he's so unhappy. Though he's a frequent night-nurser and a bit of a restless sleeper, he's always been a very easy-tempered, cheerful baby who rarely cries about anything, and for the most part bedtime has been a fun, relaxed time.

I don't think it's physical discomfort because he seems fine otherwise. This only happens on the days he skipped the afternoon nap. The only thing that's changed: his grandparents were here for 2 weeks visiting us and they left last week, so he's getting less interaction and stimulation now.

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[deleted account]

This is not really advice, because my daughter and I have always had our 'issues' with napping, but would you maybe consider dropping the morning nap and starting the afternoon nap much earlier? My daugher dropped her morning nap way too early (10 months) and she was a nightmare to deal with until her afternoon nap kicked in (around 1pm when I return from work, though 12.30 would probably have been a better time for her). We never got that early nap back, and at the moment (25 months) I can only get her to nap about 3 times a week, so I have no idea on how to get your son to nap twice a day again. But if he does end up dropping his morning nap already, i'd try to experiment with the time-frame. I think some babies nap for three hours, so maybe he'll make up for it by sleeping a little longer.

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