Try the modern swaddle. Safe sleeping experts at Red Nose (previously SIDS and Kids) recommend a sleeping bag with a fitted neck and armholes.
Breast-fed babies can often sleep better. "In the latter part of the day, breastmilk contains high levels of the hormone tryptophan," says Andrea Grace, a children's sleep specialist. "Tryptophan aids the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Mums who breastfeed should cluster feed in the run-up to bedtime, to fill baby up and encourage the production of sleep hormones."
Sleep consultant Tina Southwood recommends the 'tiger in the tree' hold, where you lay your baby on her tummy along your forearm (with your palm facing upward), so that her chin is resting in the crook of your arm. "I do this on my left side, so my right hand is free to stroke her back," she says. "Colicky babies really like this but all babies seem to find it soothing and many fall asleep quickly in this position."
"Try holding him close and stroking gently from his forehead down to his nose," says Lisa Clegg, author of The Blissful Baby Expert. "This generally gets him to close his eyes but if he doesn't, I'd gently cover his eyes with my fingers."
"Whisper 'I want you to go to sleep now' in baby's ear when you are about to put him down," says early childhood nurse Claire Read. "Although they won't understand it at first, it's amazing what babies do understand and they will soon associate these words with bedtime."
So, your baby is waking up more often at 12 weeks than six? Don't panic. "It may be due to teething, a cold, wanting to practise a new skill or a developmental burst," says Dr Emma Svanberg, a clinical psychologist who specialises in mums and bubs.
Yep, even if it drives you crazy. "When you take the baby into where they are going to sleep, it pays to read the same book every night," says Claire. "It becomes part of the routine and he knows what is going to happen next."
If you usually cuddle your baby or if you're in the habit of staying with him until he's fallen asleep, try these steps:
- Sit by your baby's cot, hold his hand until he falls asleep, then leave the room. Repeat this every night for one week.
- The following week, sit by his cot but don't hold his hand. Leave once he's asleep.
- The week after, sit at the end of the cot until he falls asleep, then quietly leave the room.
- Continue to gradually sit further away from the cot, a week at a time, until, finally, you're sitting at the open door of your baby's room. By this time, he will probably be able to fall asleep without you even being there.