Unusual Ways to Get Babies to Sleep

Unusual Ways to Get Babies to Sleep

When your baby’s bedtime routine isn’t working — that is, when they’re keeping up the neighborhood, or at least mom, dad, siblings and the family pet — it can help to have a backup plan. You aren’t the first parent who’s had to go beyond normal means to send the baby off to sleep. Over the years, heavy-lidded parents have tried pretty much everything, including some pretty bizarre tactics. Oddly enough, some of the strangest ones have actually worked. Luckily, you get to benefit from their experimentation because some of these unusual ways might just work for you, too.

Take The Baby For A Drive

Riding in a car can have a sleep-inducing effect on adults and kids, so why not babies? In a pinch, you can try strapping your baby into their car seat and going for a cruise on some silent backstreets. When they’re snoozing soundly, try creeping back into the driveway and staying quiet as a mouse as you unstrap them, bring them inside and set them down in their crib. You wouldn’t be the first to give this a go.

Put The Baby on the Dryer

Believe it or not, plenty of parents have seen success with this one. Start by getting your baby snuggled into its car seat or baby basket. It may be best to put the dryer on a low setting. And if it seems necessary to dampen the sound or the vibration, you can try placing some towels on top of the dryer before setting the baby down.

And pull up a chair: Being sure to keep an eye on the baby to make sure the vibrations aren’t shaking the baby seat toward the dryer’s edge. You may want to consider placing a yoga mat or other padding that has plenty of friction to keep the baby seat in place. Here’s a pro-tip many parents wish they knew first: Make sure to stop or reset the dryer before it buzzes!

Add Some White Noise

This may be one of the reasons the above tricks have worked: a bit of *white noise sometimes lulls babies to sleep. You might want to try a gently running faucet, or clothes dryer. And if those don’t seem to do the trick, you can experiment with babbling brooks, bellowing whales or other selections of sleep induction music found online.

Do Some Squats

Babies occasionally like up-and-down movement, as when a parent is doing gentle squats with them in their arms or in a chest baby carrier. (As if parents aren’t working hard enough already!) Bonus: You can spend more time with your baby when your workouts take place right at home (no loud music though, that’s for the gym).

Give Them Extra Pacifiers

Sometimes all it takes is a few extra pacifiers. Sure, they’ve got one in their mouth, but try putting one in each hand, and maybe one or two extra in their crib. It’s worked in the past, and if it gets them to conk out, who knows, it could become your secret sleep weapon.

Dance The Night Away

Well, not exactly. But you can try putting on some soft music and swaying gently with your baby. As long as you’re not breakdancing, this method can give your baby the gentle movement, which might be just what they need to get snoozing.

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Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.