White noise or soft music is fine – provided it plays all night.
And whatever bedtime routine you follow, it's imperative that you leave the room before your child falls asleep so she doesn't wake up wondering why you're no longer there. At 3am it's easy to get worn down by your child's pleas – no matter how dead-set you may be against "co-sleeping".
It's a question many bleary-eyed parents have pondered.
You may be surprised to learn, however, that no child – or adult for that matter – truly sleeps "through the night." Night wakings are a normal part of our sleep cycle, but good sleepers know how to fall back to sleep without help.
But if this arrangement is something you're trying to steer clear of, consider these strategies for coping with a child who won't stay put.
Lose the crutch Come bedtime, many three and four year olds still have trouble falling asleep without the comfort of a dummy, a stuffed animal, a special lullaby tape, or you.
When you put your child to sleep, leave her bedroom exactly as it will be in the middle of the night.