Re: sleeping schedule
We had a lot of catnap problems with my DS, the biggest problem that I had with it was that he was still grouchy even right after a nap, so I knew he wasn't sleeping long enough. I really liked this book THE 90 MINUTE BABY SLEEP PROGRAM, by Polly Moore, it helped us immensely! basically it says that most kids have a 90 minute awake cycle, and that if you catch them at the right time they are more likely to sleep better. One of the best things that I learned was that it seems to hold true no matter how long the nap was, even if he had slept for an hour, he was still ready to go back to sleep after 90 minutes, same thing if the nap had been 20 minutes. He became a much happier baby and toddler after that because he was sleeping more and I was less stressed about it.
That said, it also seemed to make a big difference if he fell asleep in the same place he would be sleeping. He was already like 8-9 months at this point... For example, when I let him fall asleep while I was holding him and then I layed him down, when he woke up briefly he would startle and stay awake, where as if he fell asleep in his crib and woke up briefly he was relaxed from being in the same place and would go back to sleep.