Naps are crucial - not only to the development of a child but for the recharging of a parent...its incredible to see an 11 month old boy hit the wall after about 4 hours of being awake.
One of the things we have learned over time is to look and listen to our son. He will give you signs of when he or she is ready for that critical nap. Our guy does the rub-of-the-eye follow by a few yawns, along with the stare - that's our signal. Believe it or not, infants communicate in their own way - stay tuned-in for those important signs.
Keep to a routine when putting down your child for a nap or nighttime sleep. By going through the nap routine, your child will understand these signals and connect sleeping the process.