1. Know your baby's daytime sleep needs
One of the main things that can help with getting your baby sleeping better is knowing that when you are putting them down they are actually tired. Getting this wrong is one of the main things that will result in lots of tears and upset around nap times and bedtime.
Once you've understood your baby's daytime sleep needs and how long they can comfortably stay awake for, then you can much more easily work on them falling asleep independently.
2. Bring your bedtime feed earlier
I recommend having your baby out of the bath, dressed and ready to feed around 45 minutes before putting them down to sleep. This leaves a good amount of time for your baby to take a full feed before bed. I speak to lots of parents who are giving a feed immediately before bed, in the last 10 minutes or so. Your baby is likely to be very tired at this point and may only have energy to take a small amount before falling asleep and therefore not “tanking up” so that they are nicely full and we can reasonably expect some longer stretches of sleep.
3. Practice putting your baby down awake
Putting babies down for a nap or at bedtime awake is something that lots of parents struggle with. Something that should be natural (lying down to go to sleep) somehow feels so... unnatural! But if you’re ready to start trying with this, bedtime is the best time to give it a go.
We have found that with younger babies, staying by the crib or cot to settle works well. For older babies and toddlers, giving some space and coming in and out of the room to give regular reassurance at short intervals tends to work better.