White Noise – The Secret Weapon to Help You and Your Baby Sleep
Babies love white noise. Why? Because they were exposed to it even before they were born.
Like many new parents, we had trouble putting our baby to sleep when he was a newborn. Every time we tried to put baby Kayden down, he would either cry immediately or would wake up after a short cat nap of about 10-20 minutes. My husband and I have spent countless hours walking back and forth in the hallway, rocking baby Kayden to sleep. We would then hold him in our arms for hours just to keep him from waking up. It wasn’t too much of a problem in the beginning; but as Kayden grows and gets heavier, I could no longer take it. Luckily, it didn’t last long.
Since Kayden turned 1 month old, Kayden has been putting himself to sleeping and sleeping through the night, without ANY rocking, patting, or singing. How did we do it? White Noise.
What is white noise?
White noise is a mix of high and low pitched noises. Normal background noise such as running water, hair dryer, and dishwasher are all examples of white noise. Before babies were even born into this world, they were exposed to all sorts of white noise such as the mother’s breathing, blood flowing, heart beating, mumbled talking, etc. White noise imitates the sounds that babies hear inside the mother’s womb; which in turn activates their calming reflex and helps to calm crying babies and makes them drowsy.
How I use white noise to help my baby sleep through the night?
When baby Kayden gives me his sleepy cues (rubbing eyes –> yawning –> crying), I would turn on some white noise to help him go to sleep. One important tip here: I usually try to catch his early cues before it reaches the crying stage, this makes putting him to sleep so much easier!
Kayden’s favourite white noise is the vacuum cleaner and the hair dryer. He would get drowsy within 5 minutes and falls into deep sleep. I have tried this method since he was 1 month old, and it works like a charm every time! Not only does it help to put Kayden to sleep, by putting it on a low volume while he is sleeping, it also helps to keep him asleep by drowning out other house noises. With the white noise on, Kayden can nap for 2-3 hours straight. And what’s better? Even if he wakes up in the middle of a nap, he could put himself back to sleep without crying for us to hold and rock him because he feels safe hearing the white noise.
Caution of using noise machines:
Many baby noise machines out in the market has a maximum volume setting that is so loud that it could damage a baby’s hearing (up to 85 decibels). While white noise is very helpful in putting and keeping a baby asleep, it is important to keep it at a low volume to prevent hearing loss. The recommended noise level used in many hospital nurseries is 50 decibels at 6.5 feet away from the baby. This is equivalent to the noise level of someone taking a shower beside you. It is also recommended to use a noise machine that has an automatic shut-off function so that your baby is not exposed to white noise all night long.
Baby Mozart recommendation:
Rather than buying expensive white noise machines, we simply use the free Baby Mozart app. It offers many types of white noise such as car ride, fan, hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, womb, etc. What’s better? You can pre-set the amount of time for how long to play the white noise for (from 1 minute to infinite). There’s also the “listen” mode where the app will turn on automatically when your baby cries. Lastly, there’s a sleep analysis function that tracks how your baby sleeps. This app is a total life saver. It is, however, only available on iOS. If you don’t have an iPhone or an apple device, I recommend going to the Baby Mozart site where you can get the same white noises for free.
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