If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in what feels like a lifetime, you’re not alone. Sleepless nights are perfectly normal for most parents with newborns – but don’t worry, it won’t last forever!
There are plenty of things midwives and paediatric doctors recommend you do to try to help your baby sleep better from giving them a warm bath before bedtime to closing all the curtains in the house, so they understand the difference between day and night. Some parents even turn to alternative methods like white noise.
What is white noise?
White noise is the name referring to an amalgamation of sounds of all frequencies of equal intensities that are audible to the human ear.
It gets its name from white light, which is a blend of all visible light wavelengths at equal intensity.
That’s the scientific part over and done with! When you break it down, white noise spans the entire sound spectrum and is most commonly compared to TV or radio static, the vacuum cleaner, or the hum of an oscillating fan.
While this constant sound can be soothing for many including babies, others find it a real nuisance!
Why does white noise work for babies?
While some adults can’t stand white noise, many babies find the consistent humming incredibly soothing. This is because they have spent the past nine months in your womb and the white noise helps to mask many unwanted outside noises, just like your womb did.
What are the benefits of white noise for my baby?
Masks environmental and household noises
Disruptive sounds such as barking dogs and noisy traffic don’t usually wake your baby up because they are loud. It’s usually because the change in frequency and consistency is strong enough to disrupt your sleep.
White noise works as a wall, helping to mask these consistency changes meaning your baby won’t notice them and wake up suddenly when they do occur.
Works as a sleep aid
White noise doesn’t just help drown out disruptive sounds, but it also works as a sleep aid, helping your baby drift off to sleep in the presence of its dulcet and soothing tones.
The great thing about white noise and white noise machines or apps is that they’re incredibly portable, so you can move rooms with them or take them with you on family vacations.
There are plenty of great, free apps out there to download for white noise so next time your baby is struggling to sleep, why not give it a try?
What are the best white noise products?
There are many different white noise machines available on the market, from smartphone and smart speaker apps to snuggly toys. Below are our top three picks for white noise, all under £30!
myNoise – free, available for iOS and Android
Apps such as myNoise offer a great, free way to try out white noise on your baby before going ahead and buying a toy for their crib.
The app features white noise as well as plenty of other noises and its distinctive calibration process measures and adapts the sounds to your baby’s hearing levels.
The great thing about this app is that you can sync it to any Bluetooth speaker or smart device and, as it features an in-app timer allows you to control how little or long you want the noise on for.
Ewan the dream sheep – Amazon – View Here
Ewan the dream sheep is one of the most top-rated white noise machines for babies. Featuring a cute and cuddly sheep design, parents far and wide swear by Ewan to help their baby drift off into a peaceful slumber. Featuring easy-to-use controls and offering four different sounds (which are all accompanied by the sound of a heartbeat), Ewan the dream sheep also features a soft pink light in the sheep’s stomach, which is designed to mimic the glow of the womb. The only negative to this product is that white noise will play for 20 minutes only, there isn’t the option to leave it on any longer. Otherwise, it’s a great product that many parents swear by!
Fisher-Price twinkle and cuddle cloud soother – Amazon – View Here
The Fisher-Price cloud soother is unlike any other white noise toy on the market as it lets parents select a playlist of soothing lullabies and gentle white noise to help soothe babies to sleep. The fantastic thing about the cloud is that it can easily attach to any crib, bed or even pram making it an ideal option for many parents on the go.
Featuring multicolour ambient lighting, this Fisher-Price cloud soother helps to create a soothing and ambient environment for your baby, allow them to fall asleep in total comfort.
Should I play white noise all night?
Most white noise cuddly toys and machines for babies will stop playing after a certain amount of time. While this is usually more than enough time to soothe your baby off to sleep, other babies may wake up when the noise is stopped.
As there is no one size fits all when it comes to babies, you will need to spend some time figuring out the right approach for you and your child.
Downloading a white noise app on your smartphone or tablet can be a great way to figure out what works for you. Most come with timers so you can put it on for as long or as little as you’d like.
White noise is a great temporary solution if you have a baby that is struggling to settle or that isn’t sleeping very well but be careful not to rely on it too much otherwise you may find that your baby can’t sleep without the need for white noise.
Instead, use it when your baby is tired but fighting sleep as the tones will help to soothe them off into a deep slumber, allowing you both some much-needed resting time.
If your baby is struggling to settle or you’re concerned about your baby’s sleeping pattern, we always recommend consulting your midwife or a doctor, who can help you with certain techniques and methods to get your baby into a routine and sleeping well.