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Finally sleep for your baby!

Help program your newborn's "internal clock" by exposing your baby to strong cues about the external, 24-hour day.
Like us, babies have circadian rhythms, or biological processes that cycle about once every 24-hours.
You can think of these rhythms as an internal clock, but there's a catch: The clock doesn't arrive pre-programmed.
When babies are born, their internal clocks aren't synchronized with the external, 24-hour cycle of daylight and darkness. It takes time for babies to get in sync.
Thankfully, we don't have to wait passively for that to happen. In fact, we shouldn't be passive. Babies depend on us for help.
Studies show that babies adapt more quickly when parents provide them with the right "zeitgebers," or environmental cues about the time of day (Custodio et al 2007; Lohr et al 1999; Tsai et al 2012).
So expose your baby to natural daylight, and involve your baby in the stimulating hustle and bustle of your daytime activities. When evening falls, protect your baby from exposure to artificial lighting. As I note below (see baby sleep tip #2), light is a signal that tells the brain to delay the onset of sleepiness at night.

2. When you need artificial lighting at night, use bulbs (or filters) that block blue wavelengths.
If you eliminated all sources of electric and electronic light at night, you and your baby would probably find it easier to sleep. But for most of us, total blackouts aren't a realistic option.
What can we do when we want to engage in evening activities, like reading? What can we do when we need to change a diaper?
Happily, all light wavelengths don't have the same effect on the inner clock. Yes, white light (which is emitted by both fluorescent and incandescent bulbs) has a disruptive effect on sleep patterns, and young children are especially sensitive to the effect.
But it appears that one component of white light -- the blue part of the spectrum -- is responsible for much of the trouble. If we can block that part of the light spectrum, we might minimize the negative effects of light exposure at night.
A low watt, amber bulb can protect your baby from blue wavelengths, yet provide you with enough light to carry out nighttime infant care. Likewise, blue light filters may reduce the risk to sleep caused by viewing electronic screens at night.

3. Help your baby get settled: Make the hour leading up to bedtime a time of security, happiness, and emotional reassurance
None of us sleep well when we're anxious or irritated, and babies are no different. So before bedtime, take steps to ensure that your baby feels safe, secure, happy, and loved.
Look after your own emotional state, because stress is contagious. Babies become more distressed when their caregivers are distressed (Waters et al 2014; Waters et al 2017).
And if you detect negative emotions in your baby, counter them with soothing and reassurance.
Observational studies suggest this makes a difference. Parents who respond soothingly to their children's emotions report fewer infant sleep problems, and this is the case regardless of a family's sleep arrangements. Whether children share a bedroom with their parents, or sleep elsewhere, they sleep better when their parents are sensitive and responsive (Teti et al 2010; Jian and Teti 2016).
4. Learn the art of stress-busting -- for your baby and for yourself
It's hard to soothe a baby who is very irritable or distressed. This Parenting Science article about offers insights into what stresses out babies. It also provides evidence-based tips for keeping babies calm and emotionally healthy.
But what if you are feeling too stressed-out to project reassurance and calm? Or too depressed?
If you're emotional state is poor, screen yourself for postpartum depression, and make your psychological health a priority. Postpartum depression and postpartum stress are very common, yet many parents continue to suffer privately. Talk to your doctor about your options.

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