Whenever I am trying to get my 8 month old to sleep (or back to sleep because my 4 year old has woken him up AGAIN), my 4 year old comes in and makes annoying noises until the baby is fully awake and I am LIVID. I have tried asking him to stay and play in the playroom, asking him to stay and eat in the kitchen, sneaking off. I have tried talking to him about how his baby brother NEEEDS sleep, and I am trying to give him what he needs. He understands that it only takes a couple of minutes to get the baby back to sleep. I have tried explaining how frustrated it makes me when I can't give the baby what he needs. I have tried reasoning with him that he doesn't get the alone time with me that we both need when he wakes his brother up on purpose. I have tried giving him time-out and doing time-ins. I have yelled (not proud of this - just being honest here), and I am at my whit's end. I have taken away the privilege of an afternoon show. This cannot continue.
My four year old has access to lots of toys (blocks of various kinds, baby dolls and animals, doll house, puzzles, books, farm set, dress-up clothes) and craft things that he often does independently even when I am available.
Noise carries a lot in our house, so I keep a fan and a white noise machine on in our room when the baby is sleeping to minimize noise disturbances during naps, but he still needs to be nursed back to sleep at least once or twice a day for 3-5 minutes as he is a fairly light sleeper.
Any thoughts on some gentle and effective strategies for getting my big boy to leave us alone for those few critical minutes?