How White Noise can Easily Make Babies to Sleep

Dorothy Clark

White noise for babies to sleep

Parents can use white noise as a temporary remedy for babies who finds it difficult to sleep or wake up frequently during the night.

Babies’ sleep, particularly in the first months of life can be a major source of frustration for parents. White noise, on the other hand, is one of the most popular ways to help children calm down and fall asleep more easily.

Although studies have shown that white noise can have a soothing effect on babies. Therefore, helping them fall asleep much faster and stay asleep for longer periods.

What is white noise?

White noise is a sound that comprises all of the frequencies audible to humans, with the same amplitude or power, in a harmonic manner, and with no sound standing out above another.

It is called “white” because it resembles white light, which consists of all colors in the visible spectrum. Similarly, white noise is made up of all audible frequencies played at the same intensity.

That is to say, it is a type of sound that fills the silence but remains in the background so as not to attract attention. And it is for this reason that (at a low intensity) it is pleasant and relaxing for the human ear.

Examples of white noise are sounds created by electronic devices like white noise machines, fans, or humidifiers. It can also occur naturally in certain environments, such as during a rainstorm or on a windy day.

The use of white noise became popular after a study published in 1990 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood Trusted Source magazine. It was discovered that white noise could be useful in helping babies fall asleep faster: two groups of 20 newborns born between 2 and 7 days were compared. It was found that 80% of those who heard the white noise fell asleep within 5 minutes, compared to 25% of those who did not hear any sound.

Benefits of White Noise for Babies

  • Helps babies sleep. White noise can be soothing for babies and create a calm environment that helps them sleep better. It mimics the sounds that babies hear in the womb, which can help them feel more relaxed and secure.
  • Drown-out noises. White noise can help drown out other noises that may disturb a baby’s sleep or cause them to wake up prematurely. This can be especially helpful in environments with lots of background noise, like city apartments or busy households.
  • Reduces stress. White noise can help reduce stress and anxiety in babies. It can be particularly helpful for those who are colicky or have trouble settling down. It can also create a consistent and predictable environment that babies can learn to associate with relaxation and sleep.
  • Enhances focus. In some cases, white noise can help babies stay focused and attentive during activities like feeding or playtime. It can also help babies stay calm and relaxed during periods of stimulation or excitement.
  • Improves sleep quality. White noise can improve the quality of a baby’s sleep by creating a more restful and peaceful environment. This can result in better sleep patterns and a more relaxed baby during waking hours.
  • Providing a sense of security. The consistent sound of white noise can create a sense of security and stability for babies. It can be particularly helpful during times of change.

Note: Despite the positive experiences of white noise in helping to enhance sleep in babies, there are not many scientific studies on the benefits of white noise. That is why the Clinical Practice Guide on Sleep Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence in Primary Care of the Ministry of Health indicates that, “there is insufficient evidence on efficacy and safety to recommend the use of white noise for the treatment of pediatric insomnia.”

How to use white noise to make babies sleep?

In recent years, videos with white noise have increased on the internet. There are even applications for smartphones and machines specifically designed for use with babies.

There are also variety of styles of white noise machines exist. Ranging from portable units that can be clipped onto a stroller or car seat to larger units that can be placed in a baby’s room. Some machines offer a range of different sounds, including lullabies and nature sounds, in addition to white noise.

While white noise is a useful tool for parents, it should be use with caution. Specialists advise maintaining the white noise machine volume at or below 50 decibels. This is about the same as a regular conversation. It is also critical to keep the machine at least six feet away from the baby’s crib and to switch it off or remove it from the room once the baby has fallen asleep.

Related: 30 Little But Effective Ways of Bonding with Your Baby

Disadvantages of White Noise for babies

  • Overstimulation. Some babies may become overstimulated by white noise. This can make it harder for them to settle down and fall asleep. This can be especially true for babies who are already sensitive to stimuli or have trouble calming down.
  • Dependency. If a baby becomes accustomed to falling asleep with white noise, they may rely on it and have trouble sleeping without it. This can make it harder to transition to new environments or routines.
  • Hearing damage. If the volume of the white noise is too loud, it can potentially damage a baby’s sensitive hearing. It is important to keep the volume at a safe level, ideally below 50 decibels. However, some white noise devices may exceed the recommended sound limits.
  • Masking important sounds. White noise can mask important sounds, such as a baby’s cry or a smoke alarm. aking it harder for parents to respond to their baby’s needs or detect potential safety hazards.
  • Lack of human interaction. While white noise can provide a sense of security and comfort for babies, it does not replace the importance of human interaction and socialization, which are crucial for a baby’s overall development.

When should I stop using white noise to make baby sleep?

White noise can be helpful in soothing babies and helping them sleep. However, to stop using white noise, you should consider your baby’s needs and preferences, as well as any potential negative effects that your baby may experience.

The importance of sleep for babies

A baby’s physical and cognitive development heavily depends on sleep. When a baby sleeps, the body releases hormones that help in growth and development.

However, adequate sleep is essential for the growth of the brain and all of its different processes. This includes memory enlargement, cognitive development, and emotional control.

Babies need a lot of sleep, and as they get older, so do their requirements. By six months, children only need about 14 hours of sleep each day, down from the average of 16 to 17 hours for newborns. By the time they are one year old, babies require between 12 and 14 hours of sleep each day, including naps during the day.

In addition, babies who don’t get enough sleep may become agitated and fussy and have difficulty eating and digesting. Chronic sleep deprivation in babies may cause growth problems, developmental delays, and an increased chance of obesity, diabetes, and other health problems in the future.

Setting up a consistent sleep routine and developing a comfortable sleeping environment is essential for helping babies get the rest they need. Moreover, it’s important to pay attention to your baby’s sleep cues and allow them to nap or go to bed when they’re tired.

Related: How to Wean a 1 Year Old from Breastfeeding Effectively

Common White Noise Mistakes to Avoid

While using white noise for babies, be sure to avoid the following common mistakes:

White noise being played too loud

To block out other sounds, it can be tempting to pump up the white noise, but doing so could harm a baby’s developing hearing. It’s crucial to maintain a safe volume, which is normally between 50 and 60 decibels.

Using white noise too often

While white noise can be helpful in soothing a fussy baby and creating a sleep-friendly environment, it’s important not to use it too often. Overuse can make babies dependent on white noise to sleep. It can also cause hearing damage if used for extended periods.

Not using a proper white noise machine

Using a low-quality or improper white noise machine can produce a sound that is too loud, too high-pitched, or otherwise irritating to babies. It’s important to choose a machine specifically designed for babies and to use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Not varying the white noise sound

Babies can quickly become desensitized to the same white noise sound played repeatedly. It’s important to vary the type of white noise sound. Such as switching between white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds, to keep babies interested and engaged.

Placing the white noise machine too close to the baby

Placing the white noise machine too close to a baby’s ears can cause hearing damage. It’s important to place the machine at a safe distance, such as across the room or on a nearby dresser.

Using white noise to mask other issues

While white noise can be helpful in soothing a fussy baby and promoting sleep. However, it’s important not to use it as a way to mask other issues. For example, if a baby is hungry or in pain, white noise will not solve the underlying problem.

Final thought

White noise can be a helpful tool for parents seeking to create a calming and soothing environment for their babies.

However, it is important to use it in moderation and in conjunction with other soothing techniques and to prioritize human interaction and socialization for a baby’s overall development.

By being mindful and observant of their baby’s response, parents can effectively use white noise as a tool to help their baby sleep better and feel more relaxed and secure.

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By Dorothy Clark

Dorothy Clark is a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful girls. She's hoping her experience as a mother and a wife can help others in their various family dynamics.

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