How to Put a Baby to Sleep in 40 Seconds

5 Min Read | By Ellen Conning

Last Modified 13 June 2023   First Added 18 May 2023

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

Getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes be a challenge, but with little ones under your care, it can be even harder – especially if they’re struggling to get that rest themselves. Over the years, parents and experts have tried many different ideas and techniques to send babies to sleep. The question is, which ones have stood the test of time, and have come out on top?

While 40 seconds may be a bit optimistic, we’re going to share great methods to help your baby snooze. From viral popularity to an old classic, let’s go over the three best ways to get a baby to sleep quickly.

How can I get my baby to sleep quickly?

1. The tissue trick

The tissue trick was popularised a few years back by Youtuber Nathan Dailo. In a video, he demonstrated his tip with his little bundle of joy, Seth. In the description, he notes it’s a weird method – but it does seem to work! The technique itself is:

  1. Grab a tissue – the softer, the better.
  2. Gently stroke your baby’s cheek with the tissue – try not to startle them, and use a soft, slow movement.
  3. Keep stroking their cheek with the tissue – over time; they’ll begin to nod off and fall asleep.
  4. Don’t make a sound as they drift off to the land of dreams – now’s your time to leave the room and let them get a good night’s rest. Consider one for yourself, too!

This method became viral, breaking into the mainstream media, and parents have tested it worldwide. Results may vary, but many parents seem happy with the process, and due to its simplicity, there’s no harm in giving it a try.

2. White noise

This is a method that works well for many adults, as well as little ones. We’ve talked about how to sleep better with white noise before, so if you’re already acquainted with it, this method should make a lot of sense. Here are the steps:

  1. Find a device that makes white noise – a fan, some electronic, or even a dedicated white noise machine.
  2. Set the volume to a reasonable level – not too loud or soft.
  3. Place the device near your baby’s cot and turn it on – make sure it’s not too close but not too far from being inaudible.
  4. Wait for the soft sounds of white noise to help soothe the baby to sleep – this can take time, or it can happen quickly.
  5. Watch your baby snooze gently – then go and get some much-needed rest yourself.

White noise works wonders because the sounds distract the brain, giving something other than silence to dwell on. While babies may not be pros at thinking just yet, their brains are learning and growing, and they need a break too. Maybe that’s why it works so well.

3. Close cuddles

An old standby and a favourite for many. Instead of tissues or machines, pick up your baby and bounce, sway, and cuddle them to sleep. Perfect for getting close to them and bonding while also being a beautiful moment for you both. Here are the steps:

  1. Take your baby in your arms – make sure to support them properly.
  2. Find a cosy spot where you can gently sway back and forth.
  3. Embrace your little one with a warm, loving cuddle – include a blanket for extra snug softness.
  4. Gently rock the baby back and forth – no sudden movements, just small, soft ones.
  5. Wait for your baby to doze off in your arms – they’ll be ready to lay down in their cot in no time.

Cuddling a baby to sleep is a fantastic method for many new parents as it creates a wholesome bonding experience. Plus, the rhythmic motions of the swaying help soothe and calm a baby who may be tired and stressed from the world around them.

A father holds a baby in blankets while the both of them sleep.

Why are these methods popular?

For each method, there’s a different reason. The tissue trick is famous due to viral fame and other parents trying the technique and finding it successful. Light touching of any kind, in a similar fashion, would have a similar effect, but there’s something adorable about seeing a little soft tissue and a soft baby together.

White noise holds its popularity because it’s a game-changer for many adults. If it works for older people, it should work for the younger ones, right? It’s also a good method for busy parents to try, especially if they’ve got multiple kids running around.

As for the cuddles, that’s a time-honoured method that every parent finds themselves doing at some point. Not only does cuddling release oxytocin, a hormone that helps us bond and feel good, but it also has medical merit, especially for the tiny ones who may be prematurely born. Cuddling very preterm babies in the delivery room is a positive and everyday experience for mothers after birth – that’s not us saying it; that’s the title of a report from 2022 about the subject.

Do these tricks on how to put a baby to sleep in 40 seconds work?

The simple answer is it may vary. Every baby has unique wants and needs for their sleep routine. Understanding babies’ sleeping patterns can help us understand why their slumber can be so strange and stressful for parents. But the reality is: you won’t know until you try.

While putting a baby to sleep in 40 seconds may not happen, a faster sleep time for a newborn who struggles to get rest is an excellent step towards a healthier sleep cycle. This is important for the relation between cognition and growth and helps set them up for good habits as they grow. So, embrace the journey, try these methods, and see what happens. 40 seconds is a small time investment for a good night’s rest.

Mother and baby snuggling

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