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Good afternoon, I would like to assist you today.
I see that you have already attempted one of the most recommended options; which I have tried and has proven to work for my twins. I do question whether you followed these steps: Sleep on a mat in her room with her for a few nights (for the whole night); next few nights, sit in a chair close to her bed; next few nights, move the chair farther away, closer to the door; after this, move to the hallway, follow this process until you are eventually back in your room and she is sleeping in her own. This does not have to be looked at as a bribe; in fact, I recommend letting her know what you are going to do each night, letting her know that this is to help her adjust to sleeping in her own bed like big girls do. Read books to her that encourage her to sleep on her own, here's a good one: http://www.amazon.com/Time-Sleep-Transition-Times-Series/dp/1572245867 and there are plenty more available through an Amazon search: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=bedtime
Overall, be patient and consistent. Encourage your daughter to be a big girl, and continue to offer rewards for her progress. I certainly agree that punishment is far from necessary. Di your best to make bedtime fun; allow her to set up a tent, or a picnic with her animals at bedtime. Be creative in your methods for encouraging her to sleep on her own. If you do need any other ideas, please message for "earthsister." My goal is to provide you with useful service.
Appreciate your answers. Those are all things that we have tried. we have let her bring toys to her bed, make it a fort, even let her the dog sleep in her room. she is not having any of it. she throws the biggest fits. once she falls asleep we leave. the chair is right by the door. but she wakes up several times a night and freaks out. she is almost 4 and I think she if a big enough girl to sleep by herself but she says she is not ready.