The effort required is lying down with her while she falls asleep. Which usually involves me falling asleep as well for a few minutes. Until I hear one of the other kids coming upstairs, at which point I wake up in a panic and run as quietly as possible from the room to intercept them before they wake Kate up. Any parent knows nap time is precious and worth some crazed tiptoeing and frantic silent gesturing.
But up until a couple days ago, Kate was still sleeping in her crib-turned-toddler-bed. I am... not small. So laying down with Kate was no simple task. The bed still had rails on 3 sides. It usually involved scooting her over as far toward the wall as possible and then laying down in the fetal position with my knees tucked up over her feet. Then I would still be so close to the edge with my back end cantilevered slightly over the side that I would be in danger of falling out of the bed the second I drifted off. To balance myself and hopefully prevent this, I would reach over her and grip one of the rails along the wall to keep from rolling off the side. But it's hard to relax while gripping that rail. Then Kate would fidget and violently cuddle me as she tried to settle down. Meanwhile I used all my will power to keep from falling and/or sneezing because her hair was tickling my nose but I couldn't do anything about it because one of my hands was frantically holding on for dear life and the other one was locked in her death-grip cuddle. And if I moved the arm she was cuddling before she was all the way asleep, it would rouse her and then take forever to get her to drift back off again. Unless she was already mostly asleep, in which case if it woke her up TOO much she would decide that those 3 minutes of heavy lids was rest enough for her, and then she'd be nap-free for the rest of the day. And once she would finally fall asleep and it was time to
get up frantically jump up to intercept one of the other kids, I would have to carefully untangle my arm from her and my feet from between the slats and try to set them on the ground directly behind me with out falling backwards. Usually if I managed to do this, somehow my feet would end up inside Kate's baby doll crib. Which I would then frustratedly move FAR out of the way so that I could be sure one of the girls would move it right back in the way again the next day.
But over the weekend we did some furniture shopping, took down the crib, and put Kate in a twin bed! I never thought a twin bed would feel SO spacious! When I lay down with her now, I almost feel sad and nostalgic getting rid of our crib after using it with all three kids, but I'm usually too busy still fighting the cuddle-vice and the sneeze urge...