Is White Noise REALLY Safe for Babies?
Here are the pros and cons of this amazing sleep tool.
If you’re considering a white noise machine for newborns, you’re onto a trend that’s getting some amazing results.
Certain types of steady background noise are soothing to babies, just like they are to adults.
But recent research suggests that not all white noise is healthy for newborns. This leaves parents wondering, “Is white noise bad for babies? Or is there a safe option?”
Here’s the good news: the right newborn white noise background can help your baby sleep and protect her sensitive ears. All you need is the know-how so you can make the right choice.
If you’re considering using a newborn white noise machine in the nursery, here’s everything you need to know.
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Why Parents Choose White Noise Machines
So why are more and more parents choosing this popular tool?
Through the ages, parents have used practically every device imaginable to soothe their babies to sleep. If you have a little one who is colicky, highly sensitive, or simply needs sleep training, you can probably relate!
Note that I said parents have used different methods through the ages. That means some methods simply don’t work –– or the baby simply grows up and grows out of the need to wake during the night.
The problem is that some methods (like “crying it out”) are harsh and can damage a baby’s trust, while others may actually extend how long it takes for your infant to learn to self-soothe so she can sleep on her own.
White noise for babies has a few major benefits, including:
Pros of White Noise Machines
- Studies show up to 80% of babies fall asleep within 5 minutes using a white noise machine
- White noise mimics the sounds of the womb, where Baby felt most secure
- The noise level can be adjusted to protect Baby’s sensitive ears
- It’s a gentle method
- It blocks household sounds that may be keeping your little one awake
- It has been shown to reduce crying and may even lessen the pain response in infants
So, how could white noise possibly be bad for babies? Actually, at the correct levels, it isn’t. However, white noise machines for babies need to be used correctly. Cons of using this type of device include:
Cons of White Noise Machines
- Some parents may be using the machine at too high a decibel level
- When used improperly, any noise machine may potentially damage an infant’s hearing
- A percentage of babies don’t respond to white noise (tip: having trouble getting your little one to sleep? Contact me today!)
How to Use a White Noise Machine for Your Newborn
Experts say using a white noise machine correctly can have a host of benefits.
Here’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for using a newborn white noise machine:
- Place the white noise machine at least 7 feet away from your baby.
- Keep your white noise machine BELOW 50 decibels. (That’s about the noise level of a quiet dishwasher.)
- If the white noise machine has settings that don’t show the decibel level, always choose the Low setting.
- Don’t become overly reliant on the white noise machine. Use only once or twice a day if possible. Your baby needs to gradually learn to soothe herself to sleep. She also needs to hear the cadence of speech and other sounds, rather than having these drowned out most of the time.
How to Choose a White Noise Machine
I’m a stickler when it comes to health recommendations, so make sure you check on that decibel level. Even if you have the machine on Low, that setting may exceed 50 decibels.
Call or email the manufacturer. If they’re not willing to give you the information, move on to another machine.
My recommendation is the Dohm Original White Noise Machine. I’ve tested it myself (like every other item on my storefront). However, make sure you have the most updated information at the time of purchase. Have any questions? Ask me!
With the right tools –– including knowledge –– you can find the best white noise machine that will help your newborn ease her way into self-soothing. And that means happiness for the whole family.