Current Issue of BDINews
I have a 9 month old who sleeps fairly well (10 hours a night usually). Not a problem until lately...
Temperament and Parenting
A Newsletter About Caring for the High Maintenance Child by Kate Andersen, M.Ed.
Issue Theme: Activity, Attention Span and Persistence.
Volume 21, Number 11, July 2019
Letter to Kate
Here is my situation. I have a 9 month old who sleeps fairly well (10 hours a night usually). Not a problem until lately, she wakes up and can't go back to sleep. I don't believe it's teething, and she's definitely not hungry. But, the serious issue is that she refuses to take naps during the day. She definitely needs them; after being awake for about 2.5 hours she becomes very fussy, rubbing her eyes, dropping things, falling (she started walking a couple weeks ago), etc. So I put her down for a nap, which she refuses to cooperate with.
She has always hated taking naps but would eventually have to give in because she wasn't strong enough to keep fighting. But as she becomes stronger, she fights longer. Before she would sleep for 30 min. on the dot, after crying for 20/25 minutes. Now she cries for an hour and sleeps for 30 min. sitting up holding on to the rails of her crib, with her forehead resting against it. Not to mention the slightest noise starts the whole process over again.
If I try to lay her down after she falls asleep sitting up, it starts all over again. I try to be as consistent as possible, but nothing seems to work. It may not seem like a serious problem, but it is. I've tried to stay in the room and comfort her, but she just keeps trying to stand up, and I'm sure it would drag on for as long as I'm in there. I've tried putting her down at the first hint of being tired; I've tried keeping her awake for hours. It all ends up the same way.
Another insight to her personality is that she never sits down! She has to play with her toys standing up with them elevated on something. She skipped crawling because she hates laying down.
There is a lot more detail I could give, but I don't want to waste anymore of your time if you are unable to consider this problem. I've taken advice from many people, but nothing works. Usually it is a mystery to anyone I talk to.
I talked to her pediatrician, and he doesn't seem to be concerned. If I let this carry on like this, she will be spending 50% of each day in a dysfunctional state of mind. Thank you for your consideration..
You sound pretty concerned so I sure hope my comments will be helpful. Your story reminds me so much of my own first daughter when a few months younger, only she had not yet learned to walk. She had just learned to pull herself to stand. She seemed to be so over-stimulated by this new learning that she literally stood up in her crib while asleep. When she did this she woke herself up and was in a frenzy. We panicked, too, because she was, as you say, "in a dysfunctional state". My guess is it is a type of over-stimulation from new learning. We tried all the things you did, but eventually had to close the door and let her cry. It stopped in a couple of days. I am pretty sure she fell asleep standing up and then eventually keeled over..
Nine months is very young to start walking. Another child I know who did this was so excited by his new mobility (which in a sense he really wasn't ready for) that he walked constantly, wearing himself and everyone else out. Of course, you need to check with a pediatrician that there is nothing else going on. My feeling is that some youngsters are very driven to achieve tasks like walking early, perhaps because they are bright and see what other children can do. I must admit that both families were rather achievement-oriented with these babies and tended to make a big fuss over new milestones. We became more laid back with our later-born children and had fewer of these problems. The two children I have described (my own daughter and the other little boy) are now 20 and 18 respectively. They are still prone to getting over-stimulated, still push themselves to achieve things beyond their year sand are wonderful, bright and well-adjusted young people. I hope you find that reassuring.
Good luck. I hope your little girl settles down soon. Then get ready for the next achievement.
I hope this helps.
to some common questions about behavioral style.
Origins, impact on parenting, risk for behavioral issues, relationship to ADHD, and other topics.
Goodness of Fit
How temperament is assessed.
Poor fit can lead to stress and possibly emotional or behavioral problems
When professional help is needed
There are qualified individuals from several disciplines who counsel parents and children.