Here are a few things that make it work for me
- Waking Lina up early.... sounds funny, but if she wakes up late, then she takes a late morning nap and when Seth is ready for his nap, she is wide-eyed.
- Giving Seth something to do in his room, in case he can't sleep. If I plant a favorite book or puzzle chances are, he might find it if he doesn't fall right to sleep.
- Books on cd. This is the one thing (besides TV) that keeps Katelin occupied for long periods of time. Seth loves listening to them when he is going to sleep. Our library has a good collection.
- The timer. This is my best tool as a Mom because it helps little kids know there is a time limit. They don't always understand time. So sometimes I set the timer for 30 minutes or an hour even and tell them they can come out of their room, or come and wake me up when the timer is over. If they are new to the timer, start small, with a 10 minute increment followed by a little reward (a treat or a tv show).
- Projects. Katelin is a sucker for a craft project at the kitchen table. It has to be something that takes a few minutes, but isn't too hard. One time she cut out and pasted all of the numbers 1-100 in order. It took her the entire afternoon, but she was so proud when she finished.
- When all else fails, tv usually works. We fall back on playhouse disney (online -- which is free and the shows are age appropriate) and netflix. Lina doesn't watch, but at least the other two do.
And if you need more ideas check out Mommy's Nap Time 101, with more great ideas. I'm not this disciplined about napping, but a few minutes of down time is a necessity for me.