Stop the rocking, swaying, and singing. Turn off the noise machines and fans. Kiss Ferber and Karp farewell. One Australian dad may have just discovered the Holy Grail of parenting: how to get your baby to sleep in under a minute flat. Using nothing more than...a tissue.
Related: Getting Baby to Sleep by Any Means
In a YouTube video that seems straight out of Ripley's Believe It or Not!, we see Nathan Dailo's 3-month-old son, Seth, cooing and wiggling around in his swaddle. After a second, Dailo starts gently dragging a tissue across his child's face. Nothing happens after the first four swipes, but by the fifth, you can see Seth starting to relax. He's stopped making noises, his body is calm, his eyes are beginning to close. Dailo presses on.
Soon, Seth's eyes are rolling back and his lips are slowing down -- two things that give every tired parent a jolt of excitement. You're almost there, I whisper to the screen. Just a little bit longer. Then, at second 41, baby Seth is down for the count, and Dailo does a silent victory dance offscreen. Or so I imagine.
Unlike every other magician on earth, this Aussie dad has kindly revealed his trick so the rest of us could finally get some sleep. Of course, the general strategy -- to make it really tough for your kid to keep his eyes open -- isn't new. My Aunt Annamarie used to blow on my cousins' faces at bedtime so they'd keep their eyes closed and eventually doze off. Will the tissue trick always work? Who knows. But like any good classic, this one deserves to be reintroduced to a new generation of bleary-eyed parents who are over trying CIO. Check it out for yourself:
What get-to-sleep strategies do you swear by? Tell us in the comments below!
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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up.Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
Screen shot of Seth Dailo courtesy of Nathan Dailo via YouTube