She sleeps ok in her bed (just recently switched from crib to toddler bed on floor due to climbing out) for the first few hours at night then when she wakes I bring her in with us and generally she sleeps solid until 6 or 7 when she nurses then dozes another hour. At night she nurses but gets in bed and falls asleep on her own with me sitting next to her and giving an occasional backrub. But naps are a totally different story, even though she falls asleep quickly she has to nurse all the way to sleep and the longest she will stay asleep in her bed is 30 minutes so I usually just let her nap in our bed and don't get up until at least 30-45 mins into the nap, obviously I don't leave the room for safety reasons. If I'm near her she can easily nap 2-3 hours sometimes nursing a bit mid nap so I know she needs the sleep. She has a consistent, regular bedtime routine (dinner, bath, read books, nurse in rocker, lie down and quiet back rub til asleep) and sleep schedule (night sleep approx 8-8, nap 1-3). The nap routine is basically lie down, nurse, sleep. She has white noise for naps and nighttime.
Any ideas for how to help her nap independently? I think I read that nap and night sleep involve different parts of the brain, seems like a different approach is needed. I feel responsible for the problem in part bc we live in a small loft apartment and my DH works overnights often so he uses the spare bed in the baby's room to sleep during the day when needed, which means I haven't consistently put her down to nap in her bed so as not to disturb him... Possibly creating the confusion and preference for mama's bed for naps! Seems like maybe if she could figure out how to fall asleep for naps on her own as she does for nighttime that might help? I'm not ok with any crying-related methods, but would love to hear how other mamas with nursing toddlers handle naps.