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Sleep Support for Babies and Toddlers

Melissa P.
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant
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Join Melissa Perry for a Q&A all about baby and toddler sleep. Melissa is here to answer questions about naps, sleep training, middle of the night wakings, and more!

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Early wake ups and crying at nap time and bed time

Hello Melissa,

Thank you for your help! My 10.5 month old daughter has recently started crying when I put her down for both naps and bed time. She was previously very good about going down awake and self soothing, at least at home. She has also started waking up even earlier in the morning than she previously did, sometimes as early as 4am, and almost always by 5am.

She attends daycare during the weekdays, and we do have to get her there pretty early (by 6:30am most days) which makes things more challenging. At daycare, they try to get her down for naps around 9am and 1pm but she often fights these naps and takes only 15-40 minute naps usually at best. We get her to bed by 5:45-6pm each night but this doesn't seem to be working. I am wondering if early wake ups are due to being overtired and if so, what you would recommend trying?

Also, is there any way for us to help her get better with going down again and not getting upset? Is this separation anxiety or overtiredness? She used to take great naps at home (1.5 hours in AM and PM) and sleep about 11.5-12 hours at night, and lately we are lucky to get 12 hours of sleep in total throughout the day. :-/

We would greatly appreciate any help or advice you can give!!


Hi Krista, Yes that can be so challenging. It sounds like your daughter is really overtired which can be why she is crying now when she is going down. It's not helping she is taking some pretty crummy naps. That being said - when you get home with her, go into her room and just have some one on one fun time. Play, laugh, sing, dance. Make her space and time with you fun! She needs some of that emotional support during this transition. I love your bedtime! Well done. Other than that, you just have to stick to it. On weekends, give her some really great naps but during the week at daycare, there just isn't much you personally can do.

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Welcome Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Melissa Perry. Melissa is here to answer all of your questions about baby and toddler sleep. She will be answering the first 20 questions, so ask early!