I would really appreciate your advice on my current situation:
I work for a 2 kids (2yrs and almost 7mos). The baby is having a hard time with naps, well, I guess they both are. The baby will sleep her morning naps just fine in her crib but her afternoon nap is a struggle. She wakes up after 20 minutes crying and clearly still tired. Sometimes I can rock her back to sleep and she sleeps for another hour or two, but most of the time she won't fall back asleep but is still tired, and will then only sleep if I'm holding her. I have tried everything I can think of to get her to sleep in her crib for a full nap: rocking her back to sleep multiple times, keeping her up longer before the afternoon nap, getting her up after the 30 minutes. Nothing seems to work except holding her. Now, her afternoon naps have always line up with the older one's naps. She has always taken small morning naps and a long afternoon nap. I'm fine holding her, and MB actually seems to encourage it (she says the older one did the same thing around this age and phased through it).
Here's my problem: the 2YO seems to be phasing out of naps altogether. They are so inconsistent timewise and sometimes she will just sit in her crib and not even take a nap. But I've come across the following situation twice recently: I'm holding the baby and he toddler wakes up crying and screaming. The first time I went in and picked her up, brought her into the baby's room with me and told her she had to be super quiet while the baby slept. It kind of worked because she's a good listener but inevitably she woke up the baby. Then the baby was cranky. I talked to MB about how long to let the toddler do independent play in situations like this and she said it's my call because we both agree that the baby needs her sleep. So the second time (today), the toddler was so upset so I had to put the baby down and go comfort her. I explained to her as much as I could that the baby needs to sleep so she would need to play or read books (she's VERY smart for her age, but she's still young, so she doesn't totally understand). She was hysterical (but so was the baby at this point), but calmed down after like 5-10 minutes and is now playing like I asked. I had to walk away from her crying because nothing I said or did calmed her doen except just removing myself. I don't know what to do, I definitely don't ever want the toddler to be that upset but it's also so important for the baby to get sleep. Is it bad to just let the toddler cry for that amount of time? What would you do in this situation?
Like I said, she eventually calms down but it's brutal when she's upset like that. I don't know if it's relevant, but MB and I both agree that when she stops napping, she will have to do quiet time in her room during nap time. She needs that time to decompress, but I don't know how to transition her to that mindset when she still does take occasional naps.
Thank you all for reading, I love hearing from experienced nannies!