Re: Nap Fiascos! ***For New Beginnings Magazine***
The double naps to single nap transition can definitely be tough! Some days your child needs two naps and only takes one, other days it's the reverse... Either way, it's a recipe for a toddler who is more cranky, more needy, and/or more hyper than usual.
At 17 months, it seems like your child is a little bit old to still be double-napping, but maybe that's because both my kids moved to a single nap at around 12 months. Anyway, because she seems old to be double-napping, I would encourage her to move to a single nap. Of course you want to read her cues and let her nap if she's exhausted, but if she's playing happily even though it's "time", I wouldn't try to wrangle her into bed.
My second child didn't nap in her crib until age 2. Up until that point, she napped in her car seat or stroller. In winter, I would bundle her up really warmly and walk her round the neighborhood. Putting her in motion usually got her to sleep in just 10-20 minutes, and there was no struggle involved in getting her into bed. She was always eager to go for her ride because she liked being outside.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"