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Cry It Out at Nap Time

crying it out

I have mastered bedtime with my son and now trying to master nap time.  He is 16 months old and we use to co-sleep only at nap time.  For the past 3 days I have tried to rock him; sing him a few songs; put him in crib; put sound machine on; close the door and for the past few days has been crying for at least an hour.  Needless to say after an hour I've picked him up and he has not napped because of this.  My question is how long should he be crying it out before I throw in the towel?  Typically when he naps with me we would nap for 2.5 - 3 hours.

Congratulations on mastering bedtime! Nighttime sleep is essential to raising a healthy child and family. Most of the time a nap schedule falls in place after a regular nighttime schedule is established. I do not recommend co-sleeping as I consistently see sleep problems with co-sleeping roots. Eventually co-sleeping must end and children need to learn independent sleep habits. Unfortunately, the longer the history of co-sleeping the more difficult the transition.

Most 16 month olds take one nap a day. Our children (at this age) typically slept in the early afternoon for 2 to 3 hours. Develop a pre-nap routine. Get him outside for a few hours in the morning. After lunch, read a couple of books and then place him in his crib. He can have books or simple toys and you can even leave the light on. The goal is a quiet time of either independent play or a nap. He should stay in his crib for at least one hour. Given time consistency he will adjust, but it will be tough in the beginning.

Written September 2012 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician


Crying it out not working

Our almost 8-month-old daughter wants me to hold her all the time and cannot self soothe - I can't walk out of the room for one minute even when I'm in eyesite; she wants me within arm's reach constantly. I've tried the cry-it-out method during playtimes throughout the day and at night in her crib, but she (... more on Crying it out not working)



 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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