If your baby squeals during naps, you likely have a healthy rambunctious infant on your hands. There are a few tips circulating the parenting world regarding how to achieve a more tranquil naptime experience for your baby, but on the whole, squealing is considered to be normal.
When Your Baby Squeals During Naps
There are various reasons why your baby squeals during naps. Placing an active infant in his crib or cradle and anticipating an instant REM cycle is more than idealistic: it's a downright unrealistic expectation.
A large contributing factor in baby's naptime behavior will be his age. Newborns often require supplementary sleep measures such as external stimulation in order to fall asleep. Many nursing infants will fall asleep while breastfeeding. Formula fed babies may tire while taking a bottle. Occasionally, just a pacifier will do the trick as the very act of sucking can exhaust a newborn. As your baby grows older, he can stimulate himself more easily. He will take an interest in his surroundings. If his crib supplies ample toys and activity centers, he may exhaust himself during playtime.
So, why exactly is your baby squealing when he should be napping?
Maybe He's Just Not That Tired
The simplest explanation for baby's naptime distress is that he's genuinely not tired. An infant's nap schedule will change as he develops. Many parents find themselves happily adjusting to a routine that their baby soon outgrows. Suddenly junior doesn't want to go down at 11 AM anymore. Moreover, around 10 months, your infant may no longer desire two naps a day, which can drastically throw off the scheduled hour of his first nap.
Parents can often be too liberal with naps, believing that their baby requires more rest than is actually needed. The nuances of an infant's behavior can be difficult to interpret because sometimes a baby will fight naps because he's too tired as well.
Maybe He's Just Too Tired
Infants that are exhausted will often fight their naptime with even more vociferation than if they not tired at all. A baby who is not tired may attempt to entertain himself for a few brief minutes before determining that a nap is unacceptable. In contrast, an exhausted infant may do more than squeal. He may outright rage against the idea. You'll know clearly that this is the case when baby yawns in the middle of his furious screams.
An exhausted baby can pose a real challenge for parents. Some mothers ignore this situation by opting for the cry-out method. Others adopt a series of simple lulling techniques that may be helpful.
Lulling a Screaming Baby
There is something to be said for lulling a child to sleep. Although this is not the preferred method for busy parents, everything from a rocking chair and a song to walking your baby around the house in a sling can be considered a lulling technique. Such methods distract a child from the focus point: his nap. While your infant remains distracted by a rocking or walking motion, he will often doze off.
An infant swing can be an extremely handy appliance for lulling your child to sleep. The rhythmic rocking motion of the swing is usually accompanied by a sound and song machine. The repetition of certain songs or noises combined with the rocking is a perfect routine for coaxing baby into a slumber. Swings are also an excellent choice for mothers of multiple children. In such cases a mother may not have time to always rock her infant to sleep, so a swing acts as a "naptime nanny."
Meeting Baby's Needs
If your child is hungry, wet, or soiled, you may experience some sleepy-time squeals. It's important to ensure that all your baby's needs have been met before he goes down for a nap. Wet diapers are uncomfortable, as is an empty stomach, so it's hard to expect your child to nap congenially when his environment and personal needs are lacking.