Re: @Don Dumb
My 3yo Daughter goes to sleep by herself at 8pm and has been for a few months but it wasn't easy to get there.
First step was buying blackout shades for her room, especially useful when the evenings are lighter
A set bedtime routine is essential
After that it comes down to trust and training them to not be scared to be left alone. We went through these steps:
1. Letting her fall asleep whilst lying on my chest
2. Letting her fall asleep whilst lying next to me
3. Letting her fall asleep whilst I was sat on the bed
4. Letting her fall asleep whilst I sat in her doorway
5. Letting her fall asleep with her door open whilst I noisily pottered around getting stuff done close by
6. Door open + a night light - I get to go and do what ever and she falls asleep by herself
That all took about 3 months. Occasionally we had to take a step back but its something we understood would happen
She needs the night light now as she loves scary books about ghosts and dragons but also has an active imagination (as most toddlers do)
Any dissent on her part was treated as calmly as possible, an angry toddler isn't a sleepy toddler, repeated infractions result on her being left on her own for 5 minutes to cry it out and think about it.
For the record, she never slept in a cot, it was something we gave up trying to do and for the first 2 years she bed shared with us.