How do I get my 2 year old to nap when staying at my parents' house?
Q: My parents watch my son while I am work. At home he sleeps amazingly with no fuss. At my parents' it's all out fear, screaming, yelling, snot, hyperventilating, banging his head against the wall when it comes for nap time. We have gone out of our way to make nap time at the grandparents' house comfortable. We even have purchased a crib and bring familiar crib toys from home. We tried different rooms in the house. Nothing works. What can we do to get him to nap at my parents'?
A: Wow, that must be hard on your parents. First of all, it sounds like you have done all the right things such as having a crib for him and familiar items at your parents’ home. Ensure that he is going down for his nap at the same time that he does at home. Otherwise, I suggest looking at what happens when your son gets so upset when he is with his grandparents. I suspect that they immediately go to him and try to calm him time, thus subtly reinforcing his behavior. The best first step is to see if they can calm the situation down, such as doing a mini naptime routine and then taking him for a ride in his stroller or in the car for naptime. Once his naps are back on track, then they can start putting him in his crib and sitting with him. Calming things down and then making small changes is the best way to handle this kind of situation.
Answered by Dr. Jodi Mindell