Hands up if this sounds familiar..
Your fussy baby finally falls asleep for her afternoon nap and you sit down for a much needed moment to yourself only to hear a noisy car roaring down the street. Just like that, Sleeping Beauty is wide awake and mad, NOT a good combination.
Or maybe you live in the country like me, and you’re all woken at dawn by adorable, but ridiculously loud, birds chirping outside the window.
Perhaps you are constantly shhsshhhing a noisy toddler who is stomping around the house in the day whilst your younger baby is napping…aarrgh!
Environmental and household noises are a fact of life that you can’t do much about. There IS, however, something you can do about your baby’s ability to sleep through the noise.
In my experience, white noise machines can be a lifesaver when it comes to helping babies stay asleep.
There are lots of options out there. A simple machine that gives off a noise similar to rushing air will work just fine. No bells and whistles, no flashing lights, no music. Just constant white noise will do the job. Turn it on at the beginning of a nap and bedtime, turn it off on wake up.
Although it might seem unnatural to create noise when you want your baby to go to sleep, remember, it wasn’t exactly soundproof in the womb!
Your child is actually quite used to noise. By the time he is born he has been listening to you talk. Listening to your stomach gurgle. Listening to the sound of the family, the TV, and the car radio. All whilst in utero.
Believe it or not, complete quiet can actually be more confusing to a newborn than background noise.
One of the biggest benefits of the white noise machine is that it helps babies fall back to sleep if they wake up. This means their nap times will last longer and they will be less likely to fully wake in the night.
White noise machines are also great for older children when you have a new baby in the house. They help reduce the chances of the night wake ups waking your other children.
The main concern parents have about trying this is usually about their child becoming addicted to white noise. This is a valid point.
In my experience, there is absolutely no need to worry about this. A white noise machine IS NOT being used as a sleep prop like a soother or being rocked and sung to. It is there to block out external noises that might be waking your child.
When you’re ready to wean your child off the machine, simply turn the volume down a little every night. Until you’re not using the sound at all.