Hands up if this sounds familiar!!
Your fussy baby finally falls asleep for her afternoon nap and you sit down for a much needed moment to yourself only to hear
a car with a broken muffler roaring down the street. Just like that, Sleeping Beauty is wide awake and mad; NOT a good combination.
Or maybe you live in the country and you’re awoken at dawn by a wailing infant who has adorable (but ridiculously loud)
birds chirping outside her window. Environmental noises are a fact of life that you can’t do much about! But there IS something you can do about your baby’s ability to sleep through the noise.
In my experience, white noise machines can be a lifesaver when it comes to helping babies
fall asleep and stay asleep.
Why and which one do I recommend?
Although it might seem unnatural to create noise when you want your baby to go to sleep,
remember: it wasn’t exactly sound proof in the womb!
Your child is actually quite used to noise by the time he’s born because he’s been listening to you talk, your stomach gurgling, and the sound of the family and the TV and the car radio while in utero.
Believe it or not, complete quiet can actually be more confusing to a newborn than background noise.
One of the biggest benefits of the white noise machine is that it helps babies fall back to sleep if they wake up.
This means their nap times will last longer and they will be less likely to fully wake in the night.
There are lots of options out there, so here are a few
things to consider when you are choosing your sound machine.
You want to choose a simple-to-use device that creates sound that blocks out a lot of these day-to-day noises that can startle and wake a child.
You do not need one with a ton of fancy features.
Having different options of sounds and music is a nice feature. BUT not necessary.
You only want to use the white noise, or ocean/water sound options;
nothing with birds chirping, frogs croaking, or thunder, and no lullaby’s.
You also need to choose one that does not time out; the white noise needs to be
consistent all night long, so make sure you are able to leave it play until morning.
I am often asked how loud the white noise should be in little ones rooms.
That is a hard question to answer becasue there are so many on the market.
In a recent blog post Marpac describes how to choose the Best White sound. They explain that
"It doesn’t have to be loud enough to actually cover the noises. This is the really cool thing about white noise. The actual decibel level of the sound machine does not need to exceed the decibel level of the noises you are masking. Disruptive noises are made less impactful by the presence of a background sound, and because the brain has something constant to focus on, it’s less likely to be bothered by noises which might have been problematic if the room were completely quiet."
What do I recommend to my cleints?
Hands down my favorite white noise machine is the Marpac Dohum for Baby.
I have them in my home and love them!! Here's a little bit of why I love them and the company...
"Developed over 50 years ago, Dohm is the original, most popular, all natural, white noise sound machine you've probably heard about. Its circular shape is easy to recognize, and its uniquely adjustable fan sound is what makes it the best; in fact, Dohm was chosen to be the Official Sound Conditioner of the National Sleep Foundation. Turn it on, and tune out the rest of the world with soothing, all natural white noise. Whether for sleep, privacy, concentration, relaxation, or tinnitus relief, Marpac has your sound-masking needs covered. We are the highly recommended sleep & privacy solution for restless babies, snoring partners, loud roommates, noisy offices, anxious pets, and more. At Marpac, our ultimate promise to you is that we do our best to make serious, high quality, sound machines. With our sound machines, you'll love how you sleep; you'll love how you feel; and you'll love how you live!" Marpca.com
You can order yours online (I have a 15% off code that I can provide to my cleitns)
or purchase in stores like Bed Bath and Beyond or Toys R Us.
The main concern parents have about trying this is usually about their child becoming addicted to white noise, and that’s a valid point.
My experience is that there’s absolutely no need to worry about this. A white noise machine IS NOT being used as a sleep prop like a soother or being rocked and sung to. It’s there to block out noises that you can’t control that might be waking your child. When you’re ready to wean your child off the machine, simply turn the volume down a little every night until you’re not using the sound at all.
But we know that even adults can benefit from white noise, so in my opinion why not just leave it,
it's not like your house is going to get quiter as your little people grown!! :)
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About the Author
I am the mother of two amazing little boys who did not come pre-programmed with the skills to sleep well independently. I knows how hard it is to function on little to no sleep, I understands how this impacts your ability to be the best version of the mom that you want to be. This is what led me to become a Certified Sleep Consultant and the founder of To The Moon and Back Sleep Consulting. I am also a member of the International Association of Professional Sleep Consultants. I have a background in Psychology and have worked with families and young children in many different settings for over 19 years. One of the best parts of my job is seeing the impact that TEACHING their little moon bugs healthy/independent sleep skills has on the momma's!!
To The Moon and Back Sleep Consulting
Providing families the tools & support they need to get their little ones sleeping through the night and napping like champs! Everyone has more fun when they are well rested!