To make a baby sleep

SwissJeremy

Senior Member
German-Swiss
Hi guys,

In the evening when my wife and I are deciding who's turn it is to put our son to bed(helping him to fall asleep) We often say:

"can you make him sleep tonight?" Does it sounds like we are forcing him to sleep? Would you use the expression "put him to bed"?
 
  • Michel09

    Senior Member
    français - France
    I would probably say "put him to sleep" or "put him to bed" over "make him sleep." To my ear, it sounds a bit better.

    Although, "make him sleep" is not unheard of in English.
     

    HalloweenHJB

    Senior Member
    American English, Midwest USA
    I would probably say "put him to sleep" or "put him to bed" over "make him sleep." To my ear, it sounds a bit better.

    Although, "make him sleep" is not unheard of in English.

    Concurring with Michel09, "make him sleep" sounds too strong to my ear. I agree completely with his first two options.
     

    lablady

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I would probably say "put him to sleep" or "put him to bed" over "make him sleep." To my ear, it sounds a bit better.

    Although, "make him sleep" is not unheard of in English.

    I would choose to say "put him to bed" rather than "put him to sleep". Unfortunately, "put xx to sleep" is often used as a euphemism for euthanizing an animal, and I have way too many smart-alecky friends who would tease me mercilessly if I were to say that I was going to "put the baby to sleep". :p

    I agree that "make him sleep" sounds like you are forcing him and I probably would not say it. I would stick with "put him to bed", or possibly "help him go to sleep".
     

    balletneatfreak

    New Member
    American English
    For small children, I've often heard people say that they're going to "put the baby down" to mean the same thing as "put the baby to bed." I've only heard this for children younger than about 5 years old, though. I agree that "put the baby to sleep" can have negative connotations, and "put him to bed" sounds good to me while "make him sleep" sounds harsh, like it's a punishment.
     
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