My almost 3-year-old still naps once a day for about 1-2 hours. Lately, over the past week or so, she's been waking up crying and super needy. Nothing has really changed within her nap routine, she lays down on her own and wakes up on her own as per usual but I don't understand why she's waking up crying. At first, I thought it was a nightmare, but it's been persistently happening every day now for the past week (with the exception of car rides). I miss the days when she would wake up super happy with her bedhead hair and hugs.

I found a very similar question here, but that one seems to be more about a toddler who frequently wakes up cranky, rather than a recent phase as I am suggesting. Mods, feel free to close if these are too similar!

Question: Have any of you all been through this? Do you have any tips on how to help her wake up in better moods?


Poor quality sleep could be the immediate cause of this behavior. Has anything changed recently that may have affected sleep? Any recent changes in room temperature, noise, light? Any changes in the diet, such as lunch? Any changes in clothing (too itchy) or laundry detergent or fabric softener? Any new scary books or TV programs? Any recent other changes to the routine, such as nighttime sleep/wake times?

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  • The only change I can think of is potty training in the last weeks. She’s picked up on it super well, however at night she has been going to the rest room a lot more in the beginning hours of her bedtime even if we don’t give her fluids 2 hours before bed. This is causing her to fall asleep later than usual. She’s also waking up about an hour earlier to use the potty and sometimes falls back to sleep but often not – Stephy Jun 24 at 23:09
  • Maybe she is cranky because she is not getting enough sleep in total: nighttime plus daytime. – Timur Shtatland Jun 24 at 23:20

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