Positive Sleep Patterns

Introducing white noise to encourage self-soothing

This is not medical advice always consult with your doctor if in doubt.

Products like “Ewan the sheep” helps to promote reassurance to baby along with a peaceful nights sleep.

What type of white noise is best for babies? 

There are many white noise machines on the market. If you’re buying a new device, make sure it has many of the features parents find useful, including sound selection, a timer, automatic shutoff and portability, so you can show what a great sleeper your little one can be at Grandma’s house.

Others parents improvise, often using white noise sources that work for them. Some rely on the sound made by air purifiers, or vacuum cleaner videos on YouTube. There are many other sources of “white noise,” including apps and videos that play hairdryers, running water, rain, birds singing and rolling waves. (Sticklers point out that some of these don’t qualify as white noise — there’s also “pink” and “brown” noise — but most new parents are too exhausted to sweat the details.)

Another go-to source of white noise, especially in the summer: fans. Air conditioners, not so much. At least one study finds that they don’t seem to have a significant positive effect on sleep, perhaps because they turn off and on frequently.

Babies, like adults, have their own preferences for sound while they sleep, so trial and error of any of these methods may be the best approach.

When should I stop using white noise sounds?

White noise sounds can be incredibly helpful during the difficult stages of your baby’s life, especially in the first few months when he’s battling sleep, or if he shows signs of colic. But you don’t want to get into the habit of exposing your child to white noise all night, every night, for the same reason you wouldn’t feed him one food for his entire childhood.

Babies aren’t born good sleepers; it’s a learned skill. If you’ve got a white noise machine humming 24/7, that could get in the way of your baby learning to self-soothe and nod off without help. Furthermore, as his sleep habits evolve, you’ll want to build in sleep schedules and bedtime routines that teach him to sleep more independently.White noise can be a useful tool to help newborns and babies get the quality sleep they need. It’s safe, affordable and won’t hurt your baby’s hearing unless it’s misused. But it’s not something you or your baby should use as a crutch forever. Eventually, even the fussiest baby needs to learn to fall and stay asleep on his own. 

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