The first few months of a newborn’s life are miraculous, joy-ridden, and utterly destructive to a parent’s sleep cycle. It seems only yesterday they were sleeping through the night, and now the baby has decided that fifteen minutes at lunch is more than enough and three a.m. is prime vocal exercise time.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how white noise can assist in creating helpful sleep triggers for your baby, allowing them to sleep sooner and for longer without needing constant attention. Our pick is the Lectrofan, the gold standard for digital, non-repeating white and fan noise. It includes twenty different sounds (great for even the pickiest babies) and has a sixty minute timer, allowing it to lull your child to sleep and then turn off, or stay on all night if necessary.
But how might white noise work to help your baby’s bedtime?
The LectroFan creates ‘white noise’. White noise, which sounds like hushing, is a special type of sound that is made up from the entire spectrum of noise combined. This makes it especially good at dampening out noisy neighbours, footsteps, or even conversations. It also creates a pleasant ‘flat’ sounding atmosphere, perfect for soothing you (or your baby) to sleep.
White noise, when used at a low volume, reminds the baby of a mother’s hushing, while also creating an even and flat sound atmosphere. If you’re worried that a noisy house or apartment is causing your baby sleep grief, a white noise machine is a great option for restoring peace and calm.
You’ve probably noticed babies love routine. Ask any parent and they’ll tell you the range of superstitions and rituals they need to perform before their baby will even think of falling asleep. (I used to like rides in the car.) The important thing is that a routine can be established or changed. In this case, consistently using white noise at a low volume in your baby’s room creates associations with rest and calm, helping them fall asleep sooner. (If you need a portable white noise solution for this reason, check out the Marpac Hushh).
As mentioned, white noise can also assist in daytime napping by dampening the outside world. This is particularly useful for modern urban living, as white noise ‘cancels out’ other external sounds, allowing your baby to nap for longer despite busses, trains, and unexpected visits from that weird neighbour from down the street.
It can even be an effective sleep training device. The first few weeks of sleep training are really difficult, for the parents and the child. Often, some parents like an ‘intermediary’ step before they choose to allow the baby to self soothe. If you’ve noticed you spend a long time hushing the baby before they sleep, a white noise machine can be a good intervening device: giving them sounds to help them sleep while allowing them to get comfortable without having their parent there. You can then phase out the white noise machine for the next step, as a tool of getting them to sleep through the night uninterruptedly.
While we love white noise as a baby sleep aid, it’s important to keep a few things to keep in mind:
- Baby ears are sensitive ears: the white noise machine should be set on the lowest audible setting and set on the other end of the room to where the baby is sleeping. If their room is too small for adequate distance, try playing the white noise machine from the hallway.
- Babies still need to be observed: a white noise machine at low volume can sometimes dampen a baby’s cries, it’s important to still check on the baby even during nap time as you may be less able to hear them with the white noise machine active.
- Babies love routine: a baby who has adapted to using white noise as a trigger to sleep will, of course, enjoy using white noise to sleep. This is not necessarily unhealthy (for example, other babies rely on rocking, drives in the car, or parental attention) but just something to keep aware of.
- Doesn’t work for everyone: much like a parent, white noise is some people’s best friend and other people’s worst nightmare. Not all babies will respond to white noise as a sleep trigger and that’s okay.
Conclusion: White noise machines work by using the entire field of sound to block out disruption and create calm. This is why the Lectrofan is such a versatile device, appropriate for working from home, sleeping through the night (for parents AND bubs), as well as for meditating, studying, or just making your neighbours footsteps disappear.
If you have further questions about white noise, don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.