All was going great, Ds (6 months now) was napping in the sling while we went and did fun stuff for DD (3). Suddenly, DS is way too curious and distracted by everything to ever possibly nap for longer than, say, 12 minutes in the sling. He wakes instantly the moment he hears DD's voice. And he gets really really fussy toward afternoon from lack of sleep. The only thing that seems to get him to nap and stay asleep for longer than a few minutes is to bring him into a dark room with white noise. The problem is that it takes about 20 minutes to get him to sleep, and he still won't sleep very long, maybe 30-45 minutes. So, he's taking like 4-5 naps a day.....And DD is 3, so it's not like I can say, go play by yourself quietly in another room for 20 minutes....And I really don't want to put her in front of the tv for 20-30 minutes, 4-5 times a day. When he's asleep, we finally get some one on one time, which is great I'm working on getting him to nap longer, but in the meantime, what do I do with her? I know this has to be possible,and, since no one sleeps here, it's likely I'm missing something really simple.....help?
I guess we just stuck with it and our baby pretty much had to get used to napping with big brother around, since there wasn't any other option. No dark room, no room without sibling and noise, etc...
At 1, she usually naps in a wrap on my back while I take a walk with big brother. I find that napping in the wrap works best if we're moving around outdoors, so I do tend to use that time to take a walk with the older one. Or I can pull him in the sled. Or I put them both in the bike trailer and go somewhere.
Also, though he's far from perfect about doing it, I find that my almost-3-year-old does understand that if he plays by himself for a while, then I can nurse his sister down and come play with him sooner (and do fun non-baby friendly things). So I think you CAN say "go play quietly by yourself" to the older one at least sometimes, as long as you don't expect total compliance.
Thanks! Going for a walk is a great idea. DD and I need that, too, and I've been trying to figure out where to fit it in.
Yes, DD can play quietly by herself, but I guess the issue is more him, the moment he hears her voice, even in a low tone, his eyes pop open, he might be missing something, you know. I'd be thrilled to get him at least one decent nap a day, but most of his naps are, literally, less than 10 minutes. Definitely going to go for a long walk today and see how that plays out.