Kris - posted on 05/12/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )
How do you decide whether to "force" a nap or just let it go as resting/quiet time?
My almost 4 1/2 yr old DS has fought going to sleep since infancy. Was diagnosed with unspecified insomnia at a year old. I've learned over the years that the more he resists sleep, the more he really needs it. He gets really wired & rough to himself & others. For resting time he'll read books or do puzzles. On days that he really needs to sleep, he self-distracts even though he's obviously in need of sleep.
I've had people tell me to just let him go until he crashes. He sleep when he's tired. NOT true. That doesn't work & actually makes things worse.
To compound matters, I'm due to deliver child #2 in about a month. We've been trying to slowly adjust his dependency on me to go to sleep, so that the addition of baby won't be such a big impact on his routine. And there are days I just do not have the energy to battle him to sleep. Yesterday I had to physically hold him because he was not being safe. I have battle wounds. He never went to sleep & the rest of the afternoon was awful. He was up 5 times overnight, which happens when he's overtired. He sleeps worse. Today he resisted nap with the self-distracting until I laid down with him again. This time he fought verbally and mildly physical (half-hearted). Laying with an arm resting over him for pressure and ignoring his verbal attack, he went to sleep eventually.
I do not like needing to hold him to get him to sleep, but there are times it's necessary. I do not want him to hurt the baby & guard my belly while trying to keep him safe. Challenging to say the least. I don't want to not do what he needs for help, but I also can't put the baby in jeopardy.
We've considered just dropping his nap, but he still really needs them. How do you decide when to enforce sleep & when to just say it takes too much energy/effort?