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.
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.
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.
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.