There’s only so much one person (or two) can do to get a baby to go to sleep. There are things you can use other than your own shoulder to help lull your baby to sleep.
A baby swing can be a good idea and leave your hands free. Set the swing at a slow and gentle rock; you don’t want this to be an exciting or stimulating experience. You want to make it relaxing so your baby can fall asleep.
A glider or rocker is restful for both of you. And a good pillow support, like a Boppy(r) pillow is good for late-night breast feeding. It’s a nice U-shaped pillow that provides good support for your baby, as well as for your back.
If you’re on a budget, some parents swear by putting their baby in a baby seat and putting it on top of a dryer. If you do this, be sure to put the dryer on air only – you don’t want to overheat him.
A motorized cradle or bassinette can also be soothing for a baby. As a last resort, you can always bundle the baby into his car seat and drive around the neighborhood until he falls asleep. Many experts don’t recommend artificial aids like this however, as it’s impossible to sustain it and you won’t get the baby used to sleeping on his own.
There are also many ambient noise machines on the market that can also help mask household noises and provide a soothing environment for the baby (and for many adults). You can usually set them for a variety of noises, like rainfall, windchimes or ocean sounds. You can also leave the TV on quietly in another room so the baby doesn’t feel completely isolated in his room.