Here is my 'Sure-to-get-some-Zs' night time routine:
7:15-7:30pm Tummy-Time. Or whatever type of play time you do with your little one, just make sure it's interaction between the two of you.
7:30-7:45pm Bath Time! I bathe him with soap every other day and on the off days I just hold him and let him float in the water and wash his neck with a washcloth (nobody likes neck-cheese)
7:45-8:15pm Snack. I breast feed near his crib and leave only the night light on.
8:15-8:30pm Cuddle Time. I hold him until he's drowsy, if he's having trouble getting drowsy I read or sing to him. Key is leaving the lights dim. I usually play some kind of soft music as well.
8:30-I place him in the crib but stay in the room and slowly walk out so I am sure he's asleep.
On days when he's fussy but not screaming I'll let him fuss in his crib for a moment before going back and holding him. He'll usually just go to sleep since he's dressed in his sleeper and he has a full tummy.
Some babies don't like baths so try listening to soft music together. Bear really loves Native flute music-I don't know why but it makes him sleep almost instantly. Once the lights are out only whisper and keep your voice soft.
If all goes well I can leave the room and get some stuff done! Yippee! Pile of bills, here I come!