I've wanted to put mine down many times, but could never actually bring myself to do it
On a more serious note, we were pretty liberal with bed times as they got a little older, but at around 3 years of age they used to fall asleep by themselves at around 9 while listening to me reading them Dr. Seuss and laughing myself silly.
We were pretty liberal, but we tried to make sure they got at least 8 hours of good sleep, so I guess I'd have to say it depends a little on what time they have to get up at.
Does she wake back up or just not got to sleep? . . . put her down at the exact same time every single night. Rather it's 7:00 pm or 1:00 am doesn't matter, (until school starts), it depends on your (& wife's) schedule, but be consistant if you can. Next if she's waking back up, ignore her, let her fuss in bed til she goes back to sleep. If she's getting up, make it so she can't. I want to tell you, it was much easier sitting here on my couch writing it on my laptop than it was actually doing it. ha ha , we did get past three to adulthood and no druggies, or crims. Good luck.
BTW, if you think this is bad, HA HA, wait til she's a teen.
Our 18 month old goes to bed around 7:00PM, and our 4 1/2 year old goes to bed about 7:30PM. We do dinner about 6PM, and no dessert during the week.
Granted we haven't had much resistance, but when we needed to, we have done the "cry it out" method with great results. The trick for us was to start early and be consistent, not give them the idea that crying for longer will get any different results.
We eat dinner at around 4:30-5:00 and our 2 year old is asleep around 7:00 and we put the 4 year old to bed just after that... 10 after or so with a couple of books to look at. She always gets up to "go to the bathroom" around 7:45 and I will go up there and tell her not to get back out of bed again and stay quiet. Then they sleep until around 7:00 in the morning. Have always done really well I think....
My wife read these "Babywise" books and they worked WONDERS...
It makes my wife CRAZY when she or we are at the store late at night like 10:00 or something and there are parents there with their 3-5 year olds. The parents are actually getting upset that the kids are fussy...sheesh! THEY NEED TO BE IN BED!
The biggest key it seems is ROUTINE and STICK BY IT!