Do I really need to use white noise?
You obviously don’t have to do anything you don’t want to – it’s your baby and family! Just know that white noise is one of my first recommendations to exhausted parents because it’s been proven to help us fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper.
What does white noise do?
In our newborns it triggers a calming reflex and mimics the sound they heard in the womb. It’s a powerful settling tool for them and really helps to soothe, calm and prepare them for sleep. White noise also acts as a buffer from external noises, an older sibling slamming the
door, a rubbish truck at 5am, birds chirping in the early hours or dad getting up for the loo in the middle of the night! If your little one was coming out of a sleep cycle when they heard a truck driving past or door creaking, they are much more likely to wake and be unable to settle back into deep sleep quickly again.
How long do should I use white noise for?
White noise needs to be playing consistently through their naps and night time sleep. Whilst a shusher is a great tool for newborn sleep it can time out and we want it to have a run time of 11-12 hours. We need our white noise cranking for the duration of naps and the entire night.
Can I use rain noise or waves?
Yes – as long as its consistent sound. Some waves or rain noises have significant pauses and lulls and if that co-insides with your little ones sleep cycle they may wake up rather than being lulled back into another sleep cycle easily.
Can I use lullabies or classical music instead?
No. Lullabies and classical music are not the same as white noise. They have different tones, melodies and pitches which can actually stimulate your babies brain rather than the flat, static tone of white noise.
We are room sharing and struggle to sleep well with the white noise ourselves – what can we do?
Wear some ear plugs! At the end of the day our goals to make sleep as easy as possible for our little ones. White noise is especially useful when room sharing as older babies are so in tune with us turning in bed or tiptoeing off to the bathroom and they can’t help but wake up. White noise not only protects your little one from stirring when you do but helps prevent you from waking at each little noisy grunt our babies make throughout the night.
Is white noise harmful to their ears?
We definitely don’t want to use white noise right up against their ear drum and make sure it’s a good metre from their heads.
How loud should the white noise be?
We want it to be around the same volume level as a shower – we still have to raise our voice to be heard over the shower yet it doesn’t hurt our ears. You can download decibel reader apps on your phone and we are aiming for about 65-70 decibels.
When should I wean off white noise and how do I do that?
I recommend using white noise at least up till the age of 2 years. There is no hurry to wean off of it and is also really useful you’ve just had another baby who is waking as it buffers against their cries.
Weaning off white noise is really easy, just gradually turn down the volume every few days until its barely audible.
I didn’t want to rely on sleep props – isn’t white noise just another prop?
Try to think of white noise as a positive sleep association – it helps your baby sleep well without requiring you to get up in the night like their sleeping bag or cuddly and lovey. We all need particular conditions to sleep well and our little ones are no different. Your little one will associate white noise as their sleep one of their cues to sleep. It doesn’t require any direct assistance from you overnight (like rocking, patting, holding, feeding does) so it’s an awesome tool!
What machines do you recommend?
My personal favourite is the Yogasleep Hushh machine. It doesn’t need batteries, you can charge it easily, it runs for 12 hours straight and you can select different tones and sounds. Not to mention is portable!
If you have a baby or toddler struggling with sleep and feel like you need more help than just white noise to solve their sleep struggles then I’d love to work together and have everyone sleeping all night long! You can read my free download on 5 Steps to Sleep below, sign up to my DIY Sleep Course or check out my packages here.