When my first was a baby, he slept in his crib, and liked having a noise machine on. We started off with a radio with static, however it would pick up taxi calls at 3am, so we switched that to a sound machine. He slept swaddled. We did the same routine every single night..bath, massage, same book( for him hungry caterpillar), and breastfeed. I would swaddle him, breastfeed him, and place him into bed. Presto he would wake up again..the movement of lowering into the crib would wake him. So I would rock walk, and lower slowly...after 6 times this worked.Though I never climbed into the crib (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLErNXIYjMg) He was never a child to sleep in a carseat. If he did and you carefully brought carseat into the house and carefully lowered it to the floor..whammo he would wake up.
My daughter was a whole other story. From day 1- she would sleep on me. I would nurse downstairs so not to wake the sleeping child(her brother) upstairs. I would sit on the easy chair, with nursing pillow stuffed under my armpits, and she would sleep smack dab on my chest. When she was hungry..she would make snuffling noises and inch her way down to food. I had all her diapers and makeshift change table on the table close by. As cute and lovely this all sounds..I was aching for my bed..aching to lay horizontal. At 5.5 months..I brought her to the doctor. Something is wrong. She sleeps for 2 hrs(sometimes less) and then wakes. His suggestion was 'stop the all you can eat buffet". Kind of hard to do when you are the only source of food, and baby knows it. His other suggestion..go away for the weekend, and leave bottles. So back to the drawing board I went as both of those suggestions didn't fly with me. It slowly got better. She slowly started to sleep in her crib. Slowly I got rid of the raccoon eyes, and stumbling into walls. She slept swaddled as well. I also dream fed her. For those who don't know what dream feeding is: When you put baby down to sleep at 7pm, and their longest sleep is to 11, however you go to bed at 10pm. Therefore you are getting 1 hour of sleep before getting woken up again. So I would go into her room, lights off, not making any noise..pick her up and nurse her. She wouldn't wake up again till 2-3. Therefore when I went to bed I was getting a longer stretch of sleep in. I also used to do this in the morning. I was training for dragonboating when she was 6 months old, and I would go in at 5:00am, nurse her in the dark and quiet, and then sneak off to practice (which some inhuman person made for 6am). When I returned she was usually just starting to get hungry. Fast forward to now...She is 4years old. She still prefers to sleep with me (as she states her bed is too cold). If you ask her what her favorite part of camping was..of course sleeping with mommy. When she is sick, or having nightmares, it is much easier to pick her up out of her bed, and bring her downstairs to sleep in spare room. Having said this..each and every child is different. My son can't stand this. He doesn't like noise (don't snore, don't touch me..). Every parent is going to find what works for them. It might be taking a child for a ride in car to get them to sleep, maybe they sleep better unswaddled, maybe they need the same book read every single night, (maybe they watch that decrepit show "in the night garden" which I am pretty sure was written by someone taking some good drugs)...but really what I have learned in all my wisdom..is do what works. Everything looks better after sleep. and I love naps. I am not ashamed to say this at all.
* swaddling- love it. Still do it, both my children love to be wrapped like a fajitas, and it isn't causing any harm
* same routine every single night
* ignore those who say come over, have dinner, baby can sleep upstairs etc etc. If you baby is super portable great, but many love routine
* nap whenever you can. I personally suggest turn off phone ringers, read a book you have already read before, get warm and cosy (even if it is with baby on top of you)
* this won't last forever..I promise that you won't be taking your 16 year old for a drive in the jeep to get her to sleep, and breastfeeding them to nap too.
* ask for help...something I am horrible at, but still suggest it. Get someone else to make a meal/ get wood/ do errands..you nap.
* white noise- we had slumber bear that had a heart beat that activated when there was noise, we also had a sound machine that had 10 sounds (wonderful except for when older one would play with it and set off BIG BEN to go off at 1am) BONG BONG
* invest in a good wrap. Moby wrap, Boba wrap. Walk laps around house till baby falls asleep on you. You can also go outside and wear jacket overtop. When doing this make sure you can clearly see baby, and they are breathing fine. Tying wrap at your front will also help as you can sit down and sleep without knot being at your back.
* when all else fails get this bedtime story to read http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIBqd1kxoQk read by Samuel L Jackson