White noise tends to be a favourite among babies. It’s nothing new to them. Your baby spent their days and nights before they were born surrounded by the soothing hum of human existence.
The sound of your heart pumping, blood streaming throughout your body, and the rhythmic in and out of each breath formed a soothing sound comparable to the noise of a vacuum cleaner. To put it another way, the womb is hardly a quiet place.
When your baby is born, they come into a world of hushed tones and measured steps by adults or bigger kids, intended to keep the room quiet for the baby.
Unfortunately, this carefully controlled, quiet environment, while meant for their comfort, leaves them feeling disconnected, worried, and lonely. That’s why, even if the room is completely silent, your infant may still have difficulties sleeping.
What is white noise, exactly?
White noise is a term used to describe noises used to conceal other sounds that may occur naturally in a given area. For example, white noise can help you shut out traffic noises if you live in a city.
Regardless of ambient noises, certain sounds might be used to promote sleep. Examples include rainforest or relaxing beach sounds. There are also devices built particularly for use with babies. For example, some have instrumental lullabies or even a heartbeat noise meant to imitate the mother.
So, does white noise for babies help?
An Emphatic YES!
White-noise machines produce a soothing, womb-like atmosphere for nervous babies, allowing them to stop crying and fall asleep more quickly. White-noise devices can also help newborns sleep for extended periods. It may appear to operate like magic, but the secret is simple to understand.
Have you ever wondered why your infant only sleeps for about 20 minutes at a time? As your young one sleeps, they cycle in and out of deep and light sleep, with brief episodes of what’s known as “sleep arousal” occurring every 20 minutes or so.
During moments of light sleep, babies are easily awakened and become agitated.
White noise can help quiet your baby’s built-in 20-minute alarm clock by drowning out doorbells, rowdy siblings, and other possible disruptions during sleep’s most susceptible stages.
In addition, if your infant begins to stir naturally, the white-noise machine’s soothing sounds become a source of comfort, helping your still-sleeping baby to return to deep sleep.
What kind of white noise is best for babies?
On the market, there are a plethora of white noise devices. If you’re purchasing a new gadget, make sure it has many features that parents value, such as music selection, a timer, automatic off, and portability. We recommend talking to an ENT specialist to help you decide what’s best for your baby.
Others improvise, relying on white noise generators that work for them. For example, some people listen to air purifiers or play vacuum cleaner videos on YouTube. Apps and videos that play hair dryers, flowing water, rain, birds chirping, and rolling waves are just a few examples of “white noise” sources.
Fans are another popular source of white noise. Air conditioners, on the other hand, are not effective. Moreover, according to at least one research, they don’t appear to have a substantial favourable effect on sleep, maybe because they switch on and off often.
Babies, like adults, have their sound preferences when sleeping, so experimenting with any of these white noises may be the best way to go.
In a Nutshell
White noise is intended to be in the background, so it is safe for newborns to listen to as long as it remains there. It’s recommended to use a white noise machine with a volume no higher than 50 decibels (about the same as a quiet dishwasher).
So keep it away from the baby’s crib or use a low volume setting. Better yet, talk to an ENT specialist to recommend what’s best for your baby.
On the other hand, if you need any help to check your baby’s hearing, feel free to get in touch with Perfect Hearing for a hearing test.