How to Put a Toddler to Sleep in 40 Seconds (Really!)

Unlock the secret to peacefully putting your toddler to sleep in just 40 seconds! Discover quick and effective techniques for a calm bedtime routine!

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Parenting is a rewarding yet challenging journey, and getting your energetic toddler to sleep quickly can be a nightly struggle. Say goodbye to bedtime battles and hello to a serene night's sleep for both you and your toddler. 

Here's the secret to putting a toddler to sleep in 40 seconds, we've already tried it, see how we did 👀⬇️!

Let's take a detailed look at how to do it! 🚀

Does bedtime look like a wrestling match in your house? Explore our blog ⇒ toddler won't sleep

Step 1: Create a relaxing bedtime routine

Establishing a soothing bedtime routine for toddlers is the cornerstone of a swift and successful sleep transition. Consistency is key, and incorporating enjoyable activities can turn the nightly routine into a cherished experience for your toddler. Here´s an example of a perfect bedtime routine: 

  • 😋Munch on a yummy bedtime snack

Opt for something gentle on the stomach, like a banana or a small serving of yogurt. This not only satiates hunger but also adds a comforting touch to the pre-sleep routine.

  • 🛀 Bath time!

The calming effect of water can help wash away the day's activities, signaling that it's time to wind down. Add a few drops of lavender oil to the bathwater for an extra touch of relaxation.

  • 📚 Snuggle up with a fun storybook!

Engage your toddler's imagination by choosing a captivating story for bedtime from the StoryBook app. Make the experience even more memorable by incorporating funny voices and animated expressions. This not only fosters a love for reading but also adds an element of joy to the bedtime routine! Look how

  • 🎵 Put on some cool white noise for background tunes 

Create a tranquil ambiance by introducing soft, ambient white noise. In the StoryBook app, you will find the most relaxing sounds to help your baby wind down.

  • 💤 Light off! 

The gradual transition to darkness helps your toddler's body recognize the shift from wakefulness to slumber, setting the stage for a swift and peaceful sleep onset.

Step 2: Prepare a sleep-inducing environment

Dim the lights slowly to give those sleepy vibes. Choose chill colors for the room, nothing too flashy. Make the bed cozy with soft stuff, and dress your little one in snug jammies. Tidy up the sleep space, ditch the distractions, and create a calm vibe. 

Step 3: Moment to relax!  

The 40-second technique is like your secret weapon. Just gently stroke their forehead with a tissue. With light pressure and soothing motion, your toddler will begin to calm down and doze off quickly into sleep. 

  • Squeeze and then release different muscles, one at a time.
  • Apply pressure but gently.

Parents, there's nothing we can't do! We tried it, downloaded the Storybook app, and chose the story 'A Lovely Face,' and it worked. See how we did! 👀⬇️

The reassuring touch establishes a connection and adds an extra layer of comfort. Find and use the best techniques to massage your baby in the StoryBook app where massages for relieving stress are available for you.

  • Use a soothing voice and repeat a calming phrase like "shhh" or "sleep now" consistently for 40 seconds

The rhythmic repetition of these phrases acts as a lullaby, signaling to your child that it's time to relax.

  • Continue stroking and speaking softly until they drift off to sleep

Maintain the comforting touch and soft words for a duration of 40 seconds or until your little one peacefully drifts off to sleep. The combination of physical closeness, gentle strokes, and soothing words creates a powerful bedtime ritual that fosters a sense of security and ease.

Step 4: Reward positive behavior

Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool to encourage adherence to the bedtime routine. Acknowledge and reward your child when they follow the routine consistently and demonstrate positive sleep behaviors.

  • Allow the child to choose an extra bedtime story.
  • Give them their favorite snack.
  • Create reward coupons.
  • Consider a special treat or outing.
Is your toddler not getting enough sleep?
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Establish a bedtime relaxing activity that signals to your toddler that it's time to wind down.

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Step 5: Talk with your children about sleep worries

Even with a well-crafted bedtime routine and a soothing sleep environment, parents often encounter common sleep challenges with their toddlers. However, fear not – understanding and addressing these issues can bring peace to both parent and child during the night.

According to Dra. Lorena Koppel it is true that the safety and calm of parents have a great impact on the emotional well-being of their children.

Children tend to look at their parents as models and sources of security. If parents show calm and control in stressful situations, the child is more likely to also feel safe and be able to regain calm.

This phenomenon is known as "emotional regulation" and emphasizes the importance of parents working on their own emotional stability in order to adequately support their children.

If you need more detailed information about toddler sleeping issues, please refer to our article. Toddlers sleeping issues


  • Night terrors

These episodes often occur during non-REM sleep, leaving children disoriented and distressed. If your toddler experiences night terrors, it's crucial to remain calm. Comfort your child without waking them fully, as they may not recall the episode the next morning. 

  • Bedtime anxieties

Address these concerns by gradually introducing a security object, like a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, and reassuring your toddler with your presence. Consider a nightlight to dispel fears of darkness. Consistency is key, so maintain the bedtime routine and create a supportive environment that fosters a sense of safety.

  • Frequent awakenings

If your toddler frequently wakes during the night, evaluate their sleep environment. Ensure the room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Rule out hunger or discomfort by adjusting bedtime snacks or clothing. Addressing these factors can contribute to a more peaceful sleep routine and help your toddler sleep through the night.

Revisit the bedtime routine to make it more soothing and consistent. If issues persist, consult with a pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical concerns.

How to Put a Baby to Sleep In 40 Seconds?

If you have a smaller baby, there are various alternatives you can use to help them fall asleep quickly. Here, we show you the ways to achieve it:

1. The tissue paper method
To put a baby to sleep, you can gently stroke their forehead with tissue paper over their face several times until their eyes close.  

2. Sound of running water
The sound of running water can have a calming effect on babies, helping them to relax and fall asleep more easily.

3. White noise
Try out white noise which provides a blanket of sound or baby sleep music. You can also try swaddling or weighted sleep sacks to help your baby get the Zzzzs they need.

4. Swaddle the baby
Swaddling mimics the cozy womb for newborns, encouraging security and deeper sleep.

5. Stroke them gently
Rocking your baby gently in your arms or in a rocking chair can create a rhythmic motion that often lulls them to sleep.

6. Make the bed cozy
A dark, quiet, cool room with a comfortable bed and familiar objects creates a haven for sleep.

7. Combine stories with massages
Engage your child by playing stories while gently massaging, creating a comforting and enjoyable experience.

Vary the massage all over the body according to your little one's needs.

How to Put a Toddler to Sleep in 40 Seconds

And that's it! You now have the secret to putting your toddler to sleep! 

  • Establishing a consistent bedtime routine
  •  Create a comfortable environment
  •  The 40-second technique is a simple way to put a toddler to sleep with a massage and audio stories
  • Reward them  
  • Have a conversation with your children about sleep worries

Remember, parent, you can do it! 🌟🎉

Written By

Francisco Cornejo
CEO Storybook

Francisco Cornejo, a dynamic entrepreneur with a Masters in Communication from RMIT University in Australia, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Storybook. As a serial entrepreneur, he notably served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Honda Motors in Latin America, shaping the brand's regional presence. ‍ Passionate about family well-being and communication, Francisco leads Storybook in its mission to improve children's health globally, aiming to create positive impacts in both corporate and societal spheres.

Medically Reviewed by:

Lorena Koppel
Child Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Lorena Koppel is a distinguished Child Clinical Psychologist based in Azuay, Ecuador, with over 26 years of experience at Monte Sinaí Hospital. She specializes in treating emotional disorders in children and adolescents, providing family counseling, and integrating theoretical and practical approaches in clinical psychology.


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