White noise. There is a good chance that you use it in your daily life. Whether to focus on a task, sleep, or calm you down, white noise is useful, and there are many ways to have white noise thanks to today’s technology. Some parents may use white noise for their kids. Is that a good move? If you’re unsure, we have all the answers.
What Is White Noise?
In sound terms, white noise is a signal that has the same intensity at different frequencies. However, colloquially, white noise refers to sounds that are unobtrusive and help one focus or relax. Some white noises occur in nature, while others can be played using objects in your house or played through a device.
Examples of white noise include:
The fan. Running a loud fan can create some ambience for your room. Many people use a fan to help them sleep.
A storm. The sound of rain, both naturally and played through a device, can relax a person or allow them to sleep.
Any nature sounds such as crickets, frogs, or wind.
Static from a TV.
Some unobtrusive music such as elevator music or lo-fi beats to relax to.
These are just a few examples. Many people like playing some white noise, as it helps them focus on their projects or helps them unwind. Then, there’s sleep. Many people have a hard time sleeping because of sounds outside, such as cars passing by, or thumps in the night. White noise helps mask those sounds with an unobtrusive sound.
For a parent of a baby, white noise may help the baby relax and sleep. However, is it good for a baby?
Making A Baby Sleep
Many parents will have sleep rituals to help their baby or toddler fall asleep at night. They will give the baby a bath, read the baby a story, and do other activities to make sure the baby is well-rested. Another technique a parent may try is white noise. Any bump in the night may wake your precious little one up, and white noise may help to mask it.
How One Uses White Noise For Baby
A parent may use a fan that makes white noise or rely on devices. There are many 10+ hour videos on YouTube consisting of white noise, making them perfect to play in the background with the device’s screen turned off so it’s not distracting. In addition, there are many toys centered around white noise and lullabies. Some have heartbeat noises, making the baby feel like mom or dad is nearby.
Does It Work?
Yes! You can find many adults who swear by white noise, and it helps the baby sleep. This is especially the case for babies or toddlers who are napping during the daytime, and may have to hear their parents walking around or their siblings making a ruckus. White noise helps drown that all out. If you have a baby who can’t sleep, it may be worth it to play some.
Concerns About White Noise
- Too Loud
While nothing is wrong with an adult playing white noise, there may be some developmental concerns for a baby. Many white noise machines are loud and could damage a baby’s hearing. A baby has sensitive ears, and blasting fan at full power may not be the wisest move.
If you’re going to use a white noise machine, it’s important you don’t put it too close to the crib and don’t use full power. Put it 7 feet or more from the crib and don’t exceed 50 decibels.
- They May Rely On It Too Much
You’ve known so people, or maybe you’re one yourself, who have a hard time falling asleep without a fan. The same can happen to a baby. A baby may not be able to fall asleep unless there is sound playing. This may be okay at home, but what about when traveling? Always having a device on you that plays white noise can be a hassle, and the batteries don’t last forever.
This may not happen if you use white noise occasionally when it’s noisy outside but doing it every night can make a baby dependent on it. Proceed with caution. You want to have a baby who can fall asleep anywhere, not a picky baby!
- Some Don’t Like It
Another problem is that not all babies like it. Some babies don’t respond to any noise at all, even white noise. If your baby doesn’t like it, don’t try it. Instead, find another method to make your baby sleep faster.
What Should You Do?
Unless your baby is in a noisy place, or isn’t falling asleep the normal way, there isn’t a reason for you to try white noise unless your baby isn’t sleeping, and you want to try it out. Don’t force white noise on your baby just because you sleep better with the fan. Instead, you should try to let your baby fall asleep naturally. At night, you should still strive for a quiet place, but by relying on white noise too much, it can lead to your baby not being able to fall asleep during a vacation, at another house, or another place where white noise isn’t readily available.
White noise can help a baby sleep, and it may be an occasional tool you can use, but it’s not good all the time. It can damage a baby’s hearing and make them too reliable on it. Instead, give your child the choice to try white noise when they’re old enough to do so.
If your baby can’t fall asleep, make sure the room is cool and the conditions are right. Make them unwind. Don’t put them too close to the TV at night.
Sleep is important for your baby, and if they aren’t getting enough, the entire house isn’t getting any either. Experiment with a few things and see which is the best for your baby.
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