During the first 3 months you cannot spoil your baby or create bad habits (e.g., by allowing him/her to sleep on your chest while you are awake). However, it can help them to organize their sleep and develop good habits by establishing some patterns. Babies are not automatically programmed to know night from day so it is helpful to start off by creating a “bed” time between 6- 8 pm.
Even though you are waking up multiple times a night to feed, make all feedings after your bedtime “night-time” feedings. You can do this by keeping the lights dim, avoiding tv or radio, avoiding eye contact or playing with your baby. In the middle of the night, don’t get your baby too stimulated or over excited and don’t do all the other wonderful things you are doing during the day. Try to establish a soothing routine that puts baby in an awake but drowsy state when you put them down. Babies will learn to put themselves to sleep if you let them fall asleep on their own.
Be sure he/she sleeps in the same place as often as possible. This avoids confusion and allows him/her to grow a sense of his/her own safe place. Create a peaceful space for him/her to sleep. Be respectful of his/her sleeping space. Make it a calming place that is dark and quiet.
Very young infants can sleep through almost anything but after a few months, as they become more aware of the world around them, they will not sleep as well with distractions. Think of where your baby sleeps the way you think of how you would like to sleep. You wouldn’t want to sleep with people banging and talking around you either! If you have a lot of noise in your apartment you can use white noise (which sounds like a long, loud hiss) to drown it out.