These days the internet has a hack for just about everything, from curing a cold with potatoes to using cornstarch to remove sand after a beach day. So what’s the latest viral shortcut? Desperate parents are cutting up limes and putting them in their kids’ rooms. The goal isn’t to keep diaper stink at bay but to encourage kids to sleep through the night. Yep, we are not making this up.

How it works is that a parent cuts up a lime and places it in a bowl in the room where the child is sleeping. That’s literally it. Something about having the cut limes in the room—allegedly—helps them sleep soundly. The faint citrus scent? Some hidden lime magic? No idea! Mom @allieee_smith shared her experience with the “limes in a bowl” trend in a recent TikTok and sang its praises while admitting that it could simply have been a fluke. But reading through the comments, you can see many other parents have tried it and seen success.


Will report back #newmom #baby #roadto10k #chicagomom #babygirl #momhacks #limes

♬ original sound – Allie

Is there anything to support why this might work? Any harm in trying it? 

“Unfortunately, there isn’t any evidence that a cut lime in a baby’s room effectively puts them to sleep,” shares Dr. Rebekah Diamond, a pediatric hospitalist in New York City and assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University. “While this one seems relatively harmless, it’s always worth thinking of a strategy that makes more sense to try first, before pouring needless time and energy into unproven trends. I would personally focus on working with your pediatrician and trusted guides to troubleshoot any sleep issues and to learn more about what is expected for infant and toddler sleep to see if troubleshooting is even needed.”

Related: 8 Dos and Don’ts of Baby Sleep (So Everyone Gets More Rest)

While limes in your child’s room might be zero risk for your kid, you’ll want to keep the fruit away from any four-legged family members, says certified pediatric sleep expert Sarah Bossio. After all, they could be quite harmful if ingested. But if you’re resorting to raiding your fridge for help, it’s worth it to look more into tried-and-true adjustments as well. “If the limes are not the cure-all [you’re searching for] and your child does not have medically related sleep issues, then it’s time to start working on their independent sleep habits and behaviors to improve overnight sleep.”

At the end of the day, the jury is still out on this one. Since it doesn’t seem to take much effort, we can see why exhausted parents are up for any help they can get their hands on (literally).

Your daily dose of joy and connection
Get the Tinybeans app