Shyla has been in her big-girl-bed for a number of months now. Since moving her out of her crib, we've never really had the problem of her refusing to lay down. But she does tend to wander and fall asleep elsewhere.
Our current bedtime routine is this:
7:00 Stevie takes Harper to bed and rocks with her
7:00 Shyla kisses Harper and Stevie goodnight, then picks out 2 books for me to read to her in her rocking chair (she also gets her binky at this point)
7:15 - ish When we are done reading she gets into bed and asks me to pet her back for a few minutes, which I do
7:20 - ish She asks to rock for a few minutes, we do (this is when some of our best conversations occur)
7:30 - ish She gets back into bed but we look at the pictures to a nearby book and tell our own story with the pictures
7:35 - ish I leave, with her light on. She tells me how many minutes until I can come back and turn the light off. It's usually between 5 and 15 minutes.
Sometime during the night - I remember to turn off her light.
Sometime during the night - she gets up with her blankies, binkies, an whatever else she can carry, and goes back to sleep either in the hallway or in our room.
Sometimes I think we should talk about her trying to stay in her room all-night. Sometimes I think we should come up with some reward system when she does stay in her room all-night. But, most frequently, I remind myself that she is only 3 and she will only be doing this for a short while. I am most certain that when she is 18, she won't want to sleep next to Mommy's bed.
So, for now, this is how we sleep. And I'm okay with it.