What does white noise do?
A lot of marketing tricks make parents believe that white noise will help their baby sleep better by soothing them. It might be the case for the 4th trimester and for some babies it can work at the start (even though it has never worked for our daughter).
In reality white noise does not soothe your baby, although it can help you improve the quality if your sleep in a different way.
The primary purpose of white noise is to block out other noises that can be disrupting little one's sleep. If you live on a busy road or have any other external noises, that can be disrupting you sleep, then it is worth giving white noise a go.
What external noises you should keep an eye on?
Sometimes we can be unaware of what is keeping our baby up. It could be noisy neighbours, bin collectors in the early hours of the morning, or pets. While some might be obvious (such as the bin collectors), it is also worth noting that such small things as parents alarm clock in the other room might also be enough to wake your baby up.
If you do opt out to using a white noise, avoid making the following mistakes.
Mistake no 1: Not using it continuously
There are a lot of products on the market which play white noise for a certain period of time. Usually it is a toy which has a 20-40 min timer. In order to be effective white noise has to be played continuously overnight, and in this case such toys are not fit for purpose.
Most likely you will have to wake up in the middle of the night to switch it back on. Even though some of those toys come with a built in cry sensor, since soothing in itself is not the function of the white noise, such feature is of little practical use.
I usually suggest to my clients investing in one of the white noise machines, they have a function of running nonstop and there is a big selection of them on amazon. They have a bigger volume range and therefore are better at blocking noises.
What white noise machine is best to buy?
There is a very big selection of those machines and they pretty much are all fit for purpose. I personally use the DreamEgg for our daughter, and they have a portable version which you can use for naps on the go if needed.
Mistake no 2: Using nature sounds as white noise
A lot of parents tend to think that white noise is supposed to calm their baby. As mentioned above I think it comes through all those marketing tricks, making you believe that white noise has capability to soothe your baby.
As we’ve already established the white noise is used to block out external sounds. As a result all other nature sounds are incapable of performing such a job, so it’s not going of be of any use wen trying to improve sleep.
Mistake no 3: Wrong location
In order to be efficient and block the noise on its way in, white noise machine has to be placed at the source/entry point to the room. This is another reason, having a toy on a timer is not going to do a job properly.
If the noise is coming from the street, place the machine on the windowsill. If the source is coming from inside (pets, TV or other household noises), best to put the machine next to the bedroom door.
You can run a test while you are inside the room to find the best volume level. While it is important to keep it at a reasonable level not to damage little ears, the white noise has to be loud enough to block out the nuisance.
Have you been making any of these mistakes?
Have you made white noise adjustments, but still struggle with getting a good long sleep stretch?
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