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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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my 17 months old daughter has always had her good nap between

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my 17 months old daughter has always had her good nap between 12 and 2 pm, and always been a good sleeper since the age of 4 months. On Monday I put her for a nap as I usually do after her lunch and she started yelling, she never slept up to 7 pm that evening although she cried before falling asleep. On Tuesday, I left her at nursery she woke up at 6.30 am and yelled and refuse to go for a nap which is unusual and she fell asleep on her way home in the buggy. Today she woke up at 6.30 am and refused a nap and although she was exhausted I put her in her cot and she stand up for a while before falling asleep. She has been crying and becomes very distressed every evening from 5 pm since Monday. She also has a dummy that she would usually suck during the day but she refuses it. She has been drinking milk ok and eating is not too bad.
Hello and thanks for using!

Has your daughter accomplished any new developmental tasks?? Sometimes when kids have learned a new developmental skill (or are on the verge of doing so) they regress in their sleep patterns. It's usually just a phase and thing return to normal. It's a little early for your daughter to be dropping her afternoon nap altogether, but not unheard of. It sounds like she still needs that nap, though, based upon how tired she sounds in the early evening.

You're doing the right thing by continuing to put her down for her nap. Try to think of it as "quiet time" instead of naptime to make it less stressful for you. She might not sleep, but she'll still benefit from the downtime. Establish a consistent "getting ready for naptime" routine (if you haven't already) and be sure to do calm activities just beforehand. A playdate earlier in the day may help to get some energy out before naptime rolls around. Some time outdoors (fresh air) tends to help as well. She may be so overtired by 5 that she could actually fall asleep earlier. Try moving her bedtime around (20 min earlier the first night, another 20 the second) to see what time works best. You'll want to find that window where she's tired, but not yet overtired. Again, the consistent bedtime routine is important. Perhaps a bath, books, dimmed lights, lullaby, then lights out with a favorite toy and her dummy.

If this continues, I'd recommend you look into checking out a book from your local library called Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child (Weissbluth). It has a lot of great recommendations for how to foster healthy sleeping patterns in young children. I wish you the best of luck!
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