My ds is 17 months old, and I parent him to sleep for naps. Dd is 4 years old, and hasn't napped regularly for at least 6 months. Sometimes I am able to get ds down for a nap just fine, and other times, like today, what should take 15 minutes takes almost an hour and a lot more misery for everyone in the house because dd wouldn't be quiet and leave us alone while I put him down. I get so angry I wind up yelling and resenting my 4yo.
If you parent a young one down for naps and have an older child, how do you deal with it?
I often use a 30 min screen time for this - my ds can play on the computer or watch a show while I help my dd get to sleep. Other times he chooses to play or read a book. He knows that if I can get his sister to sleep I will be available for 1:1 time with him. It took some training but it isn't an issue in our house anymore.
DD2 gets her screen time when I put DS down as well. I've tried to leave her out with art projects, a stack of books, etc... but it she always ends up roaming the house or coming in and waking up DS. She is 4 and he is 22 months so this has been our thing for the last year or so. The TV goes off as soon as I come downstairs and she stays glued to it because she knows the time is limited.
We don't limit screen time in our household so it's actually not enough of a treat to keep him glued. Watching TV is much less exciting than p*ssing us off. Oh well.
Queer Parenting since 2007
We also use TV as a distraction while I put DD#2 down for her naps. DD#1 used to beg me not to put her sister down, run upstairs and wake her up, it was a nightmare. Distracting DD#1 has been the best thing for getting her DD#2 her naps.
Mama to my beautiful Ana Carolina (2/07), Isabel Cristina (6/10), and #3 on the way in August 2013!
i know it's not popular but we use the tv. 4 yr old DS needs to leave us alone while i get the baby down so he gets to watch netflix.
Ak Hippie mama Yamia DSD '03 DS '07 DS2 '09 & DS3 '12
After quite a bit of trial and error, what works for us is to have the 4yo in the bedroom while his sister is taking her nap. I keep some relatively quiet toys in the bedroom for him to play with - stuffed animals, non-motorized trains, and legos (though its REALLY loud when they are all dumped out at once.) I also read a book while DD is falling asleep. And we have a few stories on tape which my son can listen to at a preselected volume (taped to prevent from turning higher.) The sound is so low that he has to put his ear almost on the speaker to hear anything - this keeps him still!
DS is almost four and he naps some of the time. He goes into his bed, lights off, while 18m DD goes to sleep. If he isn't asleep by the time I am done,, I sing him a song and then we have quiet time. i.e I read him about 50 stories and then we play together for half ofDD nap. If he does go to sleep, he is woken up after an hour and then gets his individual play time with me. He LOVES this time. Over time, he now understands that if he lets me put her to sleep in peace then it results in play time with me. Honestly, getting to play one on one with him is of my favorite times of the day too.
Yes, I would love to have her nap time for down time or housework or whatever but spending a good part of it with him is very important to his day. When I work, our nanny does it the same way. He must try to take a nap and he usually does but if he doesn't he has individual quiet time wither her.
The kids are tv-free so that isn't an option for us.
My almost 4 year old DD and I talked about it quite a bit, and she understands not to come in when it's his naptime. Usually if she gets started on some project she's okay by herself, but I'm sure this depends on the temperament of the child. After he's asleep she and I eat lunch, take a rest together, hang out, etc.