My boys have always taken naps - always. I have people say to me, "You're soooo lucky your kids nap. Mine haven't napped since he/she was X months/years old." Really? Am I "lucky" my kids nap? Or have I actively promoted naps so that they actually ENJOY them?
I'll be the first to admit that getting Owen to nap - and in his own crib - was challenging. But we had NO CLUE what we were doing with him. They give classes in diapering and changing a baby, but where's the class in getting a baby to sleep without rocking him? I didn't get that mastered until he was close to a year old and I already knew Sammy was on the way. I DEFINITELY needed to get my act together!
So with Sammy, we had him on a schedule from the time he was just a few weeks old. This was not a regimented schedule, but we had a general idea of when he needed to nap during the day and he was very secure in knowing what to do. We'd put him in the crib, pull the shades and he was out.
Napping babies in a crib (cage) is one thing, though. Getting them to nap in a bed without getting up is what I think a lot of parents struggle with, which is why you hear of people who don't even nap their two year olds. I can't IMAGINE not giving a toddler a nap - please note that I said "giving" a nap, not "making" him take a nap. It's just not a forced thing in my house. My kids know that and they actually LOVE laying down each day after lunch.
I have each of the little ones select a book of their choice and meet me in my bed. We throw a blanket over us and I cuddle in the middle. This is where we do most of our reading and how I taught William to read so early. We spend a good 1/2 hour reading and then we nap together - yes, TOGETHER! I give myself permission to sleep with them in the middle of every day, even though of course I have a million other things I could be doing. I deserve a nap, too, and I take it. Sometimes it's 10 minutes, sometimes it's an hour. But I need it as much as they do, and it makes me a better mom to them for the remainder of the day.
So to those people who say their kid won't nap, I ask them if they've ever tried laying down with them. Instead of making it a part of the day that the child feels isolated and abandoned alone in their room, make it a wonderful quiet time to cuddle with and talk to your child. And if you get a little rest, too, well that's just a bonus. I have always enjoyed my naps with the boys and will be VERY sad when they come to an end.