White noise is every tired new parent’s dream come true — or is it?
Ask any experienced parent how to make bedtime less of a battle, and most will recommend a white noise machine. But, like most tech gadgets, you’ll get the best bang for your buck (and better peace of mind) if you know how to use your newest find properly.
Our panel of parents and experts lay it all out in black and white to throw the myths out with the diapers!
1. White noise will help baby sleep through the night.
The Truth: Not necessarily — and that’s how it should be.
Babies under 6 months aren’t meant to sleep through the night consistently. That’s because they still have biological, emotional, and developmental needs that require Mom and Dad’s help:
- Wet diaper
And sometimes your baby just needs you.
White noise won’t prevent wakeups for any of those reasons, nor would you want it to, but white noise at the 4-month mark may soothe babies struggling with sleep regression and other milestones.
If your little one is really fussy and wakeful, it may be time to consult your pediatrician.
2. The white noise machine should be placed as close to the crib as possible — the louder, the better!
Total Myth on this one!
The Truth: Babies have sensitive ears, and loud noises can be damaging.
The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting your baby’s exposure to noise levels over 50 decibels. That’s roughly as loud as light traffic or the hum of your refrigerator.
- Place your white noise machine across the room from your baby’s bassinet or crib—at least 7 feet away
- Use a low setting — it should be audible, not overpowering
- Know that many manufacturers make machines capable of unsafe noise levels, so you are able to monitor and regulate the volume
3. Heartbeat and nature sounds are the most soothing.
Unless your baby loves sleeping in a jungle, we are calling this one a MYTH!
Truth: It’s more about rhythm than the particular sound you choose.
Experts believe that babies respond better and are more soothed by consistent sounds, like rain on a roof, than stop-start sounds like a burst of crickets chirping. Soundtracks that reminds baby of being in the womb seem to be particularly effective.
4. White noise will help your baby sleep-train/learn to self-soothe.
Unfortunately, a machine can’t sleep train your little one so we are deeming this a MYTH!
Truth: Nothing — white noise machines included — can replace a consistent sleep routine.
Babies thrive on consistency. Part of parenting is learning when to go with the flow and when to give your child the gift of structure, and bedtime is all about routine.
- Watch for sleep cues and get baby down before she’s overtired and fussy
- Give baby a bath to start the wind-down/relaxation period
- Feed baby early on in the routine to avoid creating a sleep association between nursing and bedtime (that’ll help later on when you’re ready to wean)
- Change your baby into Zen Sleepwear™ by Nested Bean— it’s gently weighted to mimic your touch and help support healthy sleep goals for the first 24 months
- Cuddle baby; then put her down drowsy but awake
Sticking to these steps is the best way to help babies learn to fall asleep unassisted and self-soothe through wakeups, and that’s not only good for your peace of mind; it’s also an important part of giving your kiddos a happy, healthy start.