When you prepare your baby for his night's sleep, try to eliminate distracting factors: street lights, rays of the rising sun, car headlights. Tight curtains or blinds should be installed in every nursery. If you live in a busy street, put the cot in a quiet corner, instead of by the window.
Don't teach him to sleep with the lights on - he won't be able to tell night from day. The sooner you get your baby used to dark rooms, the smaller is the risk of him becoming afraid of darkness. Lack of visual stimuli will help your baby soothe in the dark.
If you need some source of light in order to be able to change your child's nappy, feed him and control his sleeping, install a gentle nightlight plugged into the socket, and let your child's eyes get used to it before falling asleep.Don't talk to your baby or try to wake him during feeding and nappy changing. When you're done, put him back to the cot.
Establishing sleep habits is extremely important for the baby to sleep well. If the child is used to certain habits during day and night, he will feel more safe and fall asleep easier. Therefore, try to maintain the same functions in a certain order during day and night, and always put your baby to sleep at the same time. Let him know that night is for sleeping, not playing. During the day, try to spend time actively with your child so that he learns that fun and activities happen during daytime whereas night is meant for sleeping.
If the toddler is excited before sleeping, you can try to calm him down by humming a lullaby or switching on a melody from his favourite musical toy. However, avoid using colourful mobiles as they could stimulate the baby's sight and encourage him to play instead of sleeping.
If you put your baby to bed during daytime, don't pretend that it's night - don't close the curtains or put the toddler's pyjamas on. Don't tiptoe around the baby, let him tell the shorter day nap from a long night's sleep.