What You Can Do
Given that your infant is healthy, there are a number of steps that you can take on your own to help him or her sleep better. Sleep patterns result from both internal (such as circadian rhythms and hunger) and environmental cues. While your baby's circadian rhythms are maturing, you have some control over the external cues.
According to an article published in Behavior Therapist, your baby is gradually coming to anticipate and align himself with your behavior, through a process called "entrainment." The process includes alignment with your family's sleep-wake cycles. The authors state that using white noise and scheduled bedtimes often reduces infant and childhood sleep disturbances.
Here's how you can employ an entrainment process to help your child sleep better:
At the same time, soften the lights in the evening to imitate the natural rhythm of sunlight. (A number of lighting companies also sell lights that dim and brighten on special timers.) Be especially careful to avoid harsh artificial light in the evenings.
Tone down the activity during night feedings, too, and speak in a hushed voice. Don't turn on the television, which provides both stimulating noise and harsh light. My son came to expect lively conversation and stories during his nocturnal feedings until I realized that he was having too much fun to go back to sleep!