White Noise For Babies

White noise for babies is very soothing and calming. Many pediatricians suggest relaxing activities to help your baby sleep better at night, such as a warm bath. But, parents are starting to realize that one of the easiest things to soothe and relax a baby is to turn to an alternative option like white noise.

Why does white noise calm babies?

From a baby’s perspective, white noise helps to recreate familiar womb sounds, such as the muffled sound of mum’s voice, blood rushing through the placenta (can sound noisier than a vacuum cleaner for a baby), and the heart beating.

Loud can be normal for a baby. Inside the womb, life is deafeningly loud, but outside the womb, the natural environment can be uncomfortably quiet, especially at nighttime. After spending months in the safe, enclosed space of the womb, a newborn can easily become over-tired and stressed as a result of unfamiliar smells, sounds and sights, which can lead to colic and crying.

White noise is an effective solution to emulate familiar intra-uterine sounds that can soothe fussy babies and help them drift off to sleep and enjoy better sleep. If you introduce a low-level, continuous sound to the nursery, such as white noise, you are essentially creating a calming sensation that lets a baby drift into slumber.

How to soothe your baby with white noise?


Shushing is a simple, yet effective way of making white noise that a parent can make by themselves. It mimics the constant whooshing sound of the blood through the arteries when the baby is in the womb. Shushing when combined with a gentle swinging motion is a well-known method to calm a distressed baby.

But the constant shushing noise can soon become a challenge, especially if it leaves you feeling dizzy. If you are looking to outsource your shushing efforts, an automatic device like a white noise machine or even a dedicated device like the Baby Shusher is certain to be worth the expense to get your baby back to sleep in the middle of the night.

White noise machine

A high-quality white noise machine is a great way to get your baby sound asleep in no time. They create the crystal-clear audio with a varied portfolio of soothing sounds, such ocean, rain, heartbeat and white noise. Also, the machines designed for use with infants can include a heartbeat noise such as the CFS White Noise Machine to mimic the sound of being in the womb, as well as instrumental lullabies.

Other options include smartphone apps, white noise CDs, and an everyday fan, which is just as effective at creating the background noise to aid your baby’s sleep.

Why it benefits to use white noise with babies?

1) Sleep through the night

All babies can benefit from listening to white noise when they sleep up to the age of at least 12 months. A baby sleeping machine that emits white noise is hands-down the most affordable, easiest to implement, and most effective sleep aid for babies.

2) Useful for reducing stress in babies

Babies can easily get stressed. This stress may relate to getting overwhelmed with excitement, faces, lights, etc. or when they are over-tired. A baby’s world can easily be more stimulating than able to handle. However, the regular use of white noise creates a safe and comfortable space, with the ability to block out things that over stimulate.

3) White noise promotes better sleep

White noise is a very effective and affordable tool to promote better sleep in babies. They are likely to have the most peaceful sleep and stay sleeping for longer. Many babies are likely to experience ‘sleep arousal’, which typically takes place every 20-45 minutes. This is a reason why a baby nap only lasts for 20 minutes or so. After reaching the point of sleep arousal – at the 20+ minute mark – it can be difficult for your baby to get back into a deep sleep. Rather than letting his nap time finish, you can use white noise to effectively soothe these breaks in sleep and hopefully restore the nap time. Also, it is very effective at masking everyday noises of life (siblings, talking, garbage trucks, doorbells, etc.) that can easily influence the quality of sleep.

4) White noise helps babies cry less

A key aspect of using white noise to soothe a baby is the need to play the audio at a volume that is louder than the baby’s crying. Whether you are using a sleeping tool like the Sound+Sleep SE Machine or simply shushing with your voice to calm your baby, any noise made must be at a volume that is loud enough to easily penetrate the sound of crying.

5) White noise makes it easier for parents to sleep

Babies are noisy creatures and parents often wake up to every gurgle or grunt, especially if they are sleeping in the same room. White noise can be effective in a situation like this to help mask the occasional noise and ensure you are able to get the restful nights sleep.

6) White noise is relatively easy to stop using

Once your baby starts to arrive at the 1 year mark, the volume of the white noise can be decreased to start the process of weaning off this particular tool. If your baby continues to get the restful sleep with the sound deceased, you will have the option to stop using the sound machine. However, if there is other background noise that needs masking or your baby starts waking more than usual, it would be worth turning it back on.

Also, it is worth remembering that it is not always reasonable to expect a baby (especially those under 6 months) to sleep though the night without waking. They may have a discomfort that needs attention, such as a diaper change, needing a bottle, or some cuddling.

I couldn’t agree more! We already had a white noise machine, my husband was addicted to it and we tried it hoping it would help us to establish a pattern and surprisingly, it worked. We don’t have a fancy one, just an older no-name model we found at our local Target and it works for everyone. Sometimes my husband stays with her until she falls asleep and when I enter the room I usually find both of them asleep – they’re so cute together :).

Awww that is the sweetest when baby and daddy fall asleep together hehe!! Yes we have a white noise machine in our house too. It works as a noise filter and helps all parties, not just baby.

I learnt a lot from post when you say that all babies can benefit quite well from listening to white noise when they sleep up to the age of at least 12 months. It’s great news to me. I am a dad of grown-ups now; my daughter and son are 24 years and 20 years respectively. I am looking forward to be a grand dad anytime. Thanks once more for the most comprehensive posts. Keep up the good work.

Wow very interesting, I used white noise for my 2 month old but just during the first week or two after he was born. I didn’t know I could use it all this time. Thank you for this great information.

You have written such a well-crafted article on White Noise. To be honest I never even heard of the term. I asked my wife about white noise and she said she did. I have been shushing my kids and cradling them to sleep when they were little and I had no idea it was white noise. I was fascinated with your explanation of the white noise machine which has a soothing effect on babies does it work for adults too?

Hi Richard! Yes indeed it works for adults. There are so many different variations of “white noise”. For example; rainfall, ocean waves, city noises, fireplace, or the classic static on television.. different sounds work for different people. But it does work for all ages!

Hi Sophia, thank you for sharing. This is fantastic. I am a dad of two toddlers and I can truly relate to the importance of white noise. I remember our first born was colic and no amount of sound or lullaby can stop her. It was her mom’s sweet “shushing” voice that calms her. I am also surprised that there are products that can mimic it. This will definitely be a game-changer. Super thanks for this!

Wow, this is such a useful and informative article about white noise and baby’s sleep. I have use one of these and it works like magic and babies do sleep well, which means mums can sleep as well. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, looking forward to more useful reads from you.

I know firsthand that shushing works. When my oldest daughter was an infant, due to illness, the only way she would go to sleep was for me to walk throughout the house making shushing sounds while swaying back and forth. Yes, it made me so tired, especially when it took a couple of hours. I wish I had a machine to do it for me back then.

Oh, that sounds dreadful 🙁 I know the feeling of pacing back & forth “shushing” in sheer desperation… especially when it has been a few hours and you are thrilled to see your babies eyes start to flutter close, then snap back open as soon as someone in the other room makes a loud noise or speaks! Yikes! That’s why white noise machines were always handy!

Nice looking site. This is great and informative. I wish I knew about this years ago with my first born. But now I can recommend such to others starting their own families.

I didn’t realise you could use white noise for 12 months! I only used it for when my kids were younger. I wish I knew I could have done it for longer. It definitely helps to use white noise for helping babies sleep. Great post.

Oh yes! My son is 1 years old and I play white noise for him to settle down and sleep. Sometimes people in the house will be too loud and white noise helps tune out the sounds of people stomping up & down the hall, drying their hair or washing dishes.


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