If there is one word I could summarize all my work as a night nanny and sleep trainer it would be "Swaddling."
This has been absolutley key to my work experience and success. When baby is inside the mother's womb it is wrapped tightly in a warm cosy comfortable ball. Then baby's are born not knowing how to cordinate their limbs. They are born with the 'startle reflex' which they cannot control for many weeks and have to get use to changes in temperature, light, noise, touch, and everything else going on in the world around them. They loose the security of being in the womb and the protection it gives. So it goes without saying that babies respond well to being wrapped up. They fall into a much 'deeper' sleep if swaddled and tend to stay asleep longer because moving their limbs uncontrollable does not wake them up. If your baby cries when they are swaddled this is not an indication that they do not like it. Mums often read this wrongly but it is your baby just moving about and finding a comfortable position to settle into, just like we do when we go to bed. The best place to swaddle the baby is on a firm surface, the bed can be too soft. I find the floor works well and its safe. Another little tip is to fold a muslim up and put it under babies cheek when you put them in the basket or crib. Babies like the sensation of something next to their cheek like we do when we lie on a pillow. I always place the baby halfway between being on their back and on their side and this is helped with a rolled up towel or blanket behind babies back.
I recommend swaddling up to 3 months and beyond. When you are ready to stop the swaddle you can do this by wrapping your baby less tightly so they start to adjust gradually to being unrestricted. After a few days of this you can change to a sleep sack or bag.
There are plenty of swaddle blankets on the market but the swaddle blanket I like the most is http://www.amazon.co.uk/Miracle-Blanket-Swaddle-Wrap-Natural/dp/B00350O4PE?