my early months were crazy. i just sorta let them go for a while and do their own thing until there were some clearly knotted strands. once you have some real dreadlocks starting, you can trace them from the end of the strand back to the scalp and keep them from eating each other and combining into mega-dreads. I like to separate/run my fingers through my dreads every morning to make sure nothing is tangled that shouldn't be.
beads are a godsend. i highly recommend them for keeping dreads separate, promoting knots, and flattening large loops & bumps. I got packages of perfectly sized wooden beads for $.97 at Sally's Beauty supply, and craft stores usually have big packages of cheap plastic ones.