White Noise For Your Newborn: Tips For A Peaceful Night Of Sleep

Your baby needs a soothing environment while they fall asleep. As a parent moderation and safety precautions must be taken to prevent dependency and potential hearing damage.

All newborn babies experience struggle while falling asleep and this can be a nightmare for parents.

A baby tends to fluctuate between two cycles of deep sleep and light sleep, experiencing brief periods of sleep arousal about every 20 minutes or so. Here, babies wake up between these periods and become anxious leading to a premature end to nap time.

To help babies sleep better at night, parents turn to alternative measures like white noise which ensures a comfortable, womb-like environment to calm infants, encouraging them to stop crying and fall asleep faster. 

Why is sleep important for babies- Sufficient quality sleep is extremely important for babies as it is crucial for a child’s development. Good sleep aids in physical and cognitive growth ranging from brain maturity to memory, and language function. Lack of sufficient sleep among babies may include fuzziness along with extreme behaviour fluctuations and hyperactivity. 

What Is White Noise? 

baby sleeping

White noise refers to sounds that are specifically designed to encourage sleep among infants. These white noises are equipped with certain sounds such as instrumental lullabies, rainforest, or soothing beach sounds as well as a heartbeat noise to mimic the presence of a mother.

White noise even helps block or mask other sounds which may disturb a baby’s sleep cycle like noises associated with traffic, barking dogs, construction works, or sirens.

How Does White Noise Help A Newborn Sleep Better?

White noise turns on a baby’s calming reflex which helps them to calm down and fall asleep.

Studies indicate that life inside the uterus is loud and consists of noise levels at approximately 90 decibels.

Due to this, fuzzy babies find comfort in white noise which mimics womb sounds like a heartbeat, and digestive noises which create a comfortable and familiar environment where babies feel protected and calm.

The continuous sounds emitted help drown loud or unexpected noises which may stimulate babies or wake them up from their sleep. White noise can even be a part of a pre-sleep routine acting as a cue for sleep by creating soothing sounds which help a baby fall asleep faster and longer. 

Benefits O White Noise For Babies- 

  • White noise in the background helps babies fall asleep faster.
  • It blocks out excess stimulation which reduces stress levels in babies.
  • It helps mask household noises to help the baby sleep better.
  • White noise machines are capable of mimicking certain familiar sounds like the heartbeat of a mother to comfort newborns. 

Disadvantages Of White Noise For Sleeping Babies

  • White noise machines may exceed the recommended noise limits for babies which may result in hearing issues in the future.
  • Babies may grow dependent on white noise machines in order to fall asleep.
  • Not all babies may respond well to white noise.

Is White Noise Safe For Babies?

sleeping baby

Looking from a health perspective, white noise is meant to be in the background so as long as safety measures are practised, white noise is relatively safe. 

Listed below are a few tips to include while using white noise-

  • Place the white noise machines at least 7 feet or 200 cm away from the baby’s sleep space.
  • Set the volume lower than the maximum. 
  • Use the white noise only to calm the baby down or while sleeping
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions and safety warnings.

If these tips are not followed, white noise has the potential to damage a baby’s ears especially if it is too close to the child’s sleep space or exceeds the maximum recommended decibel limits for extended periods of time.

Babies develop the skill of falling asleep peacefully over the passage of time since they aren’t born to be good sleepers. 

White noise is incredibly helpful during the difficult stages when the baby is struggling to fall asleep or if the baby exhibits signs of colic, a condition where a baby undergoes distress and cries for a very long time, for no obvious reason.

However, as parents, it is equally important to avoid the baby from growing dependent on white noise because it is a temporary solution for sleep time, not a cure to help babies sleep.

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