Do you sleep better when you can hear rain gently falling onto the roof?
Many of us do, including babies!
In fact, white noise in general can be deeply effective in helping babies settle quickly and sleep more deeply. Many parents see amazing results when they use it.
Want to know what all the fuss is and why white noise for babies can be so helpful?
White Noise For Babies – What’s The Fuss About?
It’s Noisy In The Womb!
Contrary to what we might imagine, it’s not all peace, quiet and muffled sounds inside the womb. In fact, fetuses are used to hearing noises ranging from 72 decibels to 111 decibels. That’s somewhere between the sound of a noisy vacuum cleaner nearby or hanging in a club listening to a live band!
Imagine being used to feeling safe, sleepy, and happy surrounded by this noise-filled environment, then emerging to the real world where people tiptoe around you and try to provide silence. It must be very unsettling!
That’s why providing the right kind of white noise for babies can actually mimic the sound environment of the womb and help babies to feel safe, secure, and calm.
Why White Noise For Babies Work
While every baby is different, white noise has been proven to help newborns fall asleep. A study published in 1990 found that 80 percent of babies fell asleep within five minutes of the white noise being activated.
Here are some of the reasons why it is an effective tool:
It acts as a sleep cue
Babies can get stressed and overtired easily, especially when their world is overstimulated with too much excitement, noise and bright lights. Using white noise will help create a safe space for your baby to sleep and unwind and help them to interpret the sound as a sleep cue. After a few days of using white noise some babies may even yawn or rub their eyes the moment it's switched on in anticipation of sleep coming.
It blocks out other noises
During sleep, babies have what are known as sleep arousals, where they stir briefly every 20 – 45 minutes as they shift between sleep cycles.
White noise helps babies gently navigate through these arousals to get longer, more restorative sleep. It also helps block out the noises of life, especially if you live near traffic, have noisy neighbours, or older siblings in the house.
Worries About White Noise For Babies
You might have some hesitations about using white noise with your baby. That is completely natural. So, let’s look at a couple of the questions you might have and make you feel more comfortable.
Will my child become overly reliant on white noise?
The answer is simply.....NO
You can use white noise as a tool for as long as it works for your family. Most children can successfully be weaned off white noise around 2-2.5 years especially when they drop the day nap altogether. You can gradually do this by turning it down further and further each night.
How should I use white noise?
The beauty of white noise for babies is that it can be used almost anywhere. Pop your white noise machine in the pram if you are trying to encourage day naps on the go, or use it on long car journeys if your baby is getting overtired.
You can even use it as a sound barrier if you are sharing a room with your baby (in a hotel on vacation, for example) and want to avoid waking your baby up as you move around the room.
*For best results position the white noise device one metre away from your baby's cot.
How loud should it be?
Your baby should be able to hear the white noise over the sound of their own crying, but not so loud that you can hear it behind a closed door. It's best to only use a device that's intended for this purpose. Where possible avoid using a phone or iPad in your baby's cot or room as little is yet known about any potential harm caused by radiation.
Our amazing Yoga sleep travel white noise machine is the perfect safe option for any parent and comes highly recommended by us here at Serene Sleep. It's compact, has 6 robust sound options and comes with a soft amber night light too.
If you are wondering if white noise could work for your family or you want to discuss the concept in greater detail, then feel free to contact us here at Serene Sleep!