White Noise and Its Pleasant Benefits for Your Baby
Your little bundle of joy can get a little fussy sometimes. Sometimes, as new parents, you just don’t know what to do to alleviate the situation.
Other than the helplessness, it’s difficult to get a good night's sleep as well. This is because babies sleep intermittently throughout the day and night, and it’s pretty hard to be asleep while your baby is awake. Eventually, your sleep gets interrupted.
White noise is a simple fix for this. Babies love white noise. Somehow, it manages to soothe them and get them to sleep. We'll get to the "how" later in this article.
Dear new parents, here's everything you need to know about white noise and how it can make the first few months (to years) of your baby’s life a smoother ride for you and your baby.
What Is White Noise?
White noise is a sound (or noise) that contains all frequencies audible to the human ear when they are all blended at equal intensity. It derives its name from "white light," which includes all visible light wavelengths at an equal intensity as well.
The mixture of sounds creates a “shhh” sound similar to a whirring fan, a hair dryer, the humming of an air conditioner, or TV/radio static.
White noise can mask other noise, such as background noise from older children playing, or adult chatter, allowing your baby to sleep easier.
Some studies have proven the effectiveness of white noise in helping babies fall asleep. In a 40-baby study, 80% of the infants fell asleep to white noise in just five minutes. A different study showed that white noise helps colicky babies fall asleep faster and reduces their daily crying duration. The American Academy of Pediatrics also acknowledges the effectiveness of white noise in helping babies sleep better.
How Does White Noise Soothe Your Baby?
Fun fact: Your baby was constantly listening to white noise before they were born.
Before coming into this world, your baby was already accustomed to the comforting hum of human life. During their 9-month stay in your uterus, they got used to sounds like your heartbeat, the sound of blood flowing through your body, and your rhythmic breathing. The noise falls in the range of a vacuum cleaner—70 to 80 decibels for vacuum cleaners against 70 to 91 decibels for the shushing sound in the womb. This noise in the womb is constant. This implies that the womb is in no way a quiet place.
Once born, your newborn finds themselves in an unsettling world different from what they knew and this upsets them.
How does this relate to white noise?
For babies, white noise is like a simulation of the sound of a cosy womb-like environment. This soothes them and helps them fall asleep.
Not only does white noise encourage your baby to fall asleep, but it also increases their sleep duration. The way it works to achieve this is quite simple.
You must have noticed that your baby can’t sleep for long stretches at a time. This is because when babies sleep, they fall in and out of deep sleep and light sleep. Your baby can easily wake up during that period of light sleep.
White noise helps prevent premature wake time by drowning out all household noise that can interrupt your baby’s sleep. The soothing sound of the white noise offers comfort and lulls them back to deep sleep.
What Type of White Noise Is Best for Babies?
Before using white noise for your baby, note that not all sounds induce sleep. There are many white noise machines and apps with several sounds. However, only low-pitch, monotonous, and continuous sounds work best to get your baby to sleep. Avoid inconsistent and high-pitched sounds, such as birds chirping or waves.
Before sound gets to your baby in your womb, it passes through the amniotic fluid, which filters any high-pitched sound and leaves a deep rumble that pacifies your baby.
Hence, the best white sounds for your baby are those similar to the thunderous rumble your baby became familiar with in your womb. Examples include:
- The humming of an air conditioner
- Strong hair dryer
- Steady running water
- Whirring fan
- Radio/TV static
Our specially designed sleep toy—Clover The Bunny—comes with a white noise sound that has helped many parents boost their baby’s sleep. It’s super-cute and baby-safe, designed to bring your little one maximum comfort and uninterrupted sleeping hours.
Is It Safe to Use White Noise All Day for Your Baby?
No, you shouldn’t use white noise all day because you also want your baby to adapt to the new environment they find themselves in. You want them to get used to your voice and the regular noise in your home.
Use white noise only when your baby gets fussy or to improve nighttime sleep and naps. And when you use white noise machines, paediatricians advise that you keep them at a minimum of 7ft away from your baby’s crib to avoid damaging their hearing and auditory development.
When Should You Stop Using White Noise for Your Baby?
There’s no definite answer to when you should stop using white noise for your baby. Some parents stop using white noise for their kids when they turn 2. Some others wait until their children are 3 or 4 years old and are old enough to decide if they want to keep playing it to sleep.
Older kids and adults (including parents) also use white noise to sleep, and there’s no harm in that. It’s all a matter of choice.
If you ever feel the need to stop using white noise for your baby, don’t stop abruptly. Instead, reduce the volume gradually over a week or two until it's completely gone. This way, you don’t upset your child.
Help Your Baby Sleep Better with Clover
We know how important sleep is to us grown-ups. It’s just as important for babies. It builds their brain and aids their overall development. But babies find it difficult to get quality sleep most of the time because they are not used to their new environment.
Parents turn to white noise to pacify their infants and help them sleep better. This is effective because white noise mimics the rumbly sound babies got used to in the womb. If you haven’t started using white noise for your baby, now is the best time to begin.
Try Riff Raff’s Sleep Toy that’s designed to provide comfort for your baby and improve their sleep. Your baby will thank you!