We started a consistent routine in our household when my little guy was 6 months. Although it took 2 months for us all to get good at it, it has definitely paid off. Our routine consists of a bath (dad does this), brush his teeth, massage him with moisturizing lotion, put him in a fresh diaper and pj's and then we rock, sing, and read while he has his "bedtime bottle". Each night we read the same books, sing the same songs, and recite the same poem (Vespers by AA. Milne). After he finishes we kiss him goodnight, tell him we'll see him in the morning, and place a very drowsy boy in his crib for the night. It does get quite repetitive for mom and dad, but if its what our son needs to get to sleep, we are ALL FOR IT!
For our family, it was not always like this. Bedtime use to be a battle time for us. There was no "us" time in the evening, no getting chores done or finishing up things started earlier in the day. Talk about exhausting.
For anyone who is looking for sleep advice, here are some tips from Baby Center: http://www.babycenter.com/0_6-major-sleep-mistakes-parents-make-8212-and-how-to-avoid-th_10303189.bc
For anyone who has a great routine that works for your child, please share it!
The most important thing to know is you are not alone. When everyone around you is telling you their baby sleeps like a dream (and has since the day they came home), just nod, smile, and know that they are probably lying! Each child is so different, and you need to learn what works for yours!