Baby Serenity UK

12/11/2019

White Noise and your Baby

White noise are sounds that mask other noises that are happening in the environment. This can be either siblings playing, Television, dogs barking or outside traffic for example. White noise can help block out these other sounds and in turn removes the arousal stimuli and calms the baby. Sounds such as rain, waves lapping and other soothing sounds can be useful in helping a baby get to sleep.

There have been studies which have concluded that white noise is useful in helping babies go to sleep and staying asleep. However, there are some down sides to using white noise too.

The pros of white noise for babies

  • Babies may fall asleep faster with white noise in the background. It is recommended that you develop a routine for baby which includes a nice warm bath, cuddle and feed, prior to settling baby in his or her cot. This can become predictable for baby as well as when you turn the white noise on.
  • Babies may stay asleep for longer periods, as the white noise can block out the external sounds as mentioned above. For parents with other children in the household, they may find siblings disturb each other. Traffic outside can also bring a baby out of a light sleep phase

 

  • Some infant white noise machines have heartbeat settlings that mimic the mother which is comforting for newborns.

 

The Cons of White Noise

  • Some babies may be comfortable and used to settling in a busy and noisy environment. If this is masked by white noise, you may find that baby does not settle as well. White noise does not suit all babies.
  • One thing that parents need to be mindful of is the level that the white noise is set at. It is important not to exceed recommendations suggested by professionals. Currently this is set at 50 decibels and the machine should be placed at least 7 feet away from the cot.
  •  It may be difficult to stop using the white machine if baby has become used to having it on to settle. If baby stays somewhere different, it is important to remember to take the machine with you. The noise also needs to be played throughout the period of sleep.

 

There are many machines available to purchase which advertise the benefits of having a settled and helping baby sleep. These can play lullabies, nature sounds, heartbeat sounds and shushing. There are also app’s available. Noises such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines, hair dryers and fans can also have a similar effect.

I am a fan of ‘’shush’’. Used correctly, this can be a soothing, calming noise for baby, while you are helping them to fall asleep or get back to sleep.

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