We're trying to get 2 1/2 year old DD to fall asleep on her own without us in her room.
1. Lately it has been taking her a really long time to fall asleep and she tried to play with me while I'm in there with her.
2. I am due in Dec. with baby #2 and once the new baby is here, I really can't be sitting in her room with her for an hour or more waiting for her to go to sleep.
Anyway, we started over the weekend just leaving the room for short periods of time and then coming back in to check on her. We kept our bedtime routine the same of pjs, cuddling with milk in her sippy cup, using the potty and brushing her teeth, saying goodnight to the dog and daddy, books, songs, then lights out. We only left the room for a minute at first and then we did 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, etc. She did pretty well with it. She would say to us "I want you to stay here" but she did stay in her bed and it didn't take her long to fall asleep. I think she'd be asleep in 20 minutes total.
Last night was a whole different story. She can open the door herself and kept coming out of her room immediately after I left. I just calmly, without saying a word, led her back to her bed. She must have done it like 50 times. After that she started making a game out of it. She would hold the door open for me as I was bringing her back to bed and say "This is a bus. Come on in." That game lasted like 15 minutes. Then she made a new game and would say "This is my classroom. Come on in. I'm the teacher." Thinking back it really was quite funny. I don't know where she comes up with this stuff. Anyway, I never once acknowledged her through all this and would just silently lead her back to her bed. Every once in awhile I would tell her "It's bedtime." After an hour, she finally stayed in her bed and when I went back to check on her 2 minutes later, she was asleep. She hadn't napped and was practically falling asleep during dinner so I know that she was tired.
I told DH we need to put a gate in her doorway so she can't get out. He doesn't want to do that. He thinks it will make her scared of being in her room and that it will make this entire process more difficult. He thinks that she may do this game for a few more nights and then tire of it. I don't know. I usually put her to bed but the times he puts her to bed, she does not behave like this for him.