My daughter is yawning and hiding her face in her little palms; she is tired and naughty and wants to sleep immensely, but bravely struggles with the necessity to close her eyes. I am yawning as well, and I am equally tired, but bravely continue to rock her and sing, praying about her finally falling asleep.
This had been a part of my daily routine until we invented the bedtime ritual. Babies are considered to love everything new and it is true, but they also like routine because it gives them the feeling of security. So, creating a special ritual which will indicate some action is quite simple, but very useful.
First, remember to open the window and letting in some fresh air into the room as the temperature must not be too high to ensure good night rest. Then, give your baby a bath at the same time every evening. The time must be chosen individually, because warm water can influence babies in a different way with some becoming very energetic and some feeling peaceful and sleepy. Then, spend some time after the bath doing some calm and soothing activity: sing your baby a song (it is better to sing one and the same song every time, as it will add up to the habitual procedure), listen together to a favorite piece of classical music or watch a cartoon (e.g. some special baby age educational program). Switch off most of the light in the room and feed your baby. Then rock her telling in a whisper something kind and pacifying or sing another song.
If you follow the ritual for about two weeks, you are sure to find soon that the process of your baby falling asleep takes you much less time and efforts.