First of all, I don't claim to be any sort of expert or anything. Frankly, didn't mothers used to get to sleep through when the baby was a few months old or something? I'm always kind of curious about that since it sounds pretty darn nice. Anyways, I've never made that happen, but all that said, here's what I do:
I have two Pack n Plays, one in my bedroom, one in another bedroom. I like the Pack n Play because of the mesh sides and the portability.
As a newborn the baby is always in our bedroom. At some point I start putting her in the other bedroom for naps when it is convenient. Once she's comfortable with that then I start putting her down for bedtime in the other bedroom and go to her when she wakes in the night and bring her back into our room. After awhile I start going to her in the night and putting her back in her own room.
At some point I know that she is only waking up at night out of habit and not because she is genuinely hungry or really for any other reason. I also get to a point where I am so tired I can't take getting up any more and it really starts affecting my daytime mothering.
So once I hit that point I make up my mind that I'm not going to get her when she wakes up. She crys. I don't go in.
The next night she doesn't really cry anymore. After that she's sleeping through the night and so am I. I go get her when she wakes at 5:30 or 6am.
Once she is broken of the night waking habit, if she happens to wake up and cry I know it is for something real and not just because she's used to it.