Having a newborn baby in the household will limit your sleep for a couple of years. Firstly, you will have to wake up every few hours to feed your baby, and your little one may have difficulties falling asleep. Babies tend to wake up frequently and you will have to be awake whenever your newborn is too.
Pediatricians usually recommend different relaxing activities to help your baby with sleep. When warm baths and singing lullabies don’t work, parents always try to find other ways to help their newborns. White noise machines have become a popular alternative measure. However, they carry some potential consequences even though they usually help babies to fall asleep faster.
What is White Noise Exactly?
To put it in simple words, white noise is different sounds that neutralize other sounds that you can hear in your environment. For example, white noise can help you block traffic noise if you live in a city. Certain sounds are proven to help to fall asleep such as soothing beaches and rainforest sounds.
There are also specifically designed newborn white noise machines. You can find many different models with many different features, but all of them usually have instrumental lullabies installed. Some white noise machines for babies have a heartbeat noise that mimics the heart of the mother, relaxing your little one even more and providing better sleep.
A study published in 1990 found that white noise is helpful to humans. Forty babies were taken for the test and over 80% of them were able to fall asleep after only a couple of minutes of listening to white noise. Moreover, you have to take a look at both the pros and cons of white noise before deciding this method as your solution.
Good Things about White Noise
Your newborn will probably be able to fall asleep easier if there’s a baby white noise machine playing in the background. Also, white noise will help with blocking other noise in your household, for example, other siblings talking, running, and playing. There are white noise machine models with a heartbeat mimic setting which just further comforts your little one.
The one reason why you would buy a baby white noise machine is that it could potentially help your baby to get some better sleep. If you start noticing that your baby is falling asleep outside of regular bedtime, nap time, and at noisy times, that could be a good sign that a white noise machine would probably help you’re newborn to get some better sleep.
If your child is used to noise and tends to fall asleep in such an environment, consider putting your baby to sleep in such circumstances. If your newborn is used to noise, a quiet environment could potentially make it harder to fall asleep.
Masking Household Noises
Having multiple children will result in a lot of noise in any household. There will be a lot of screaming, crying, laughing, and demolishing. White noise machines are great for families like the one described since they can mask all of these noises.
Your baby will have much better sleep with a white noise machine in the room since it will be isolated from the sounds in the rest of the house. Your other children won’t have to keep quiet all the time too, so they will also be happy.
White Noise Machines Cons
One thing you want to pay attention to if you decide to buy a baby white noise machine is the levels of noise it produces. You need to make sure that the levels aren’t higher than it is recommended for babies since it can damage your baby’s hearing.
Your baby may become dependent on the white noise machine and not be able to fall asleep differently, or it may not respond to it at all. Both of these situations will create a confusing and unpleasant situation, so keep them in mind if you’re thinking about buying a white noise machine.
A study done on 14 machines done in 2014 concluded that all of them were exceeding the recommended noise limits for infants (50 decibels). The study also warns that white noise machines may have negative impacts on a baby’s hearing, as well as other problems with speech and language development.
To avoid negative consequences, consider keeping the volume setting at the recommended level and keep the machine at least 2 meters away from your baby.
Dependency on White Noise
Some babies respond well to white noise and may have better sleep, but only if the white noise machine is constantly turned on. This may cause you some problems if you don’t have the machine with yourself in a certain situation since your child probably won’t be able to fall asleep.
Always check if you’ve packed your newborn white noise machine when you’re going on a vacation, or even at grandma’s house. Don’t find yourself in a situation that would be disturbing for you and everyone around you.
White Noise is Not Suitable for All Babies
Keep in mind that a white noise machine won’t solve your baby’s sleep problem. Every child is different regarding sleep, so white noise may end up being a total failure for your situation. However, make sure that you do everything correctly and in a safe manner if you decide to try a newborn white noise machine.
Finding a Solution for Better Sleep
Using a white noise machine may be a temporary solution for your problem, but it isn’t a method that will cure your baby’s bad sleep. The machine may not always be available for use and there are a few potential health-related threats. However, if you decide to try out a white noise machine make sure that you’re setting it up correctly and in a safe way for your little one.
Keep in mind that your baby will definitely need some cuddling, a bottle, and a diaper change whether you’re using a white noise machine or not, so make sure you’re always there for your newborn.
Baby Planet Overview
White noise machines have both good and bad sides. However, the negative impact they might have on your baby is minuscule compared to how helpful they might be for both you and your child. Keep in mind to always check for the manufacturer of the machine and for the user manual to check if it is suitable for your baby.