The in utero environment is loud. Some experts say it’s as loud as a vacuum cleaner! Your baby is used to continuous background noise in the womb, yet when he enters the world we suddenly expect him to sleep in silence!
White noise is one of my baby sleep essentials. It blocks sudden noises from waking your baby (like an older sibling or barking dog.) Your 2 month-old already needs to wake and feed several times a night. You don’t want the neighbor’s dog waking baby too!
It’s considered a gentle sleep aid that helps children of all ages sleep better. (So use it in all of your kids’ bedrooms!)
White noise can be provided by a fan or sound machine. If you use a sound machine, don’t hang it on or inside baby’s crib. Instead, place it several feet from baby’s bed and play it at a normal conversation level.
You should play white noise all night long. The lightest phase of sleep is between 4-6 am. If a sudden noise wakes your baby (like the garbage collector) it’s a lot harder for baby to fall back asleep during those hours. Trust me, you don’t want to start your day before sunrise!
“Will my baby become dependent on white noise?”
White noise can be considered a sleep association because it’s something your baby associates with sleeping. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad!
Most moms would trade using white noise for having to be up 10 times a night soothing their baby, right? I recommend using white noise for your child’s first several years, because it helps him sleep so well! You can choose to wean off the white noise when your child is older (around 2-4 years.)
Weaning off white noise is pretty simple, just turn down the volume each night until it’s off. In all my years helping families, I’ve never heard of “white noise dependency” in older kids.
When you travel you can download a white noise app onto your phone, ensuring your baby’s sleep doesn’t go haywire on vacation!