In case you DID just give birth yesterday, let me give you the Coles Notes version:
When your baby was in the womb, he was in a constant state of movement. He was snug and warm, knees folded up to his chest, constantly swaying back and forth, up and down. And despite how we might imagine the womb, it was loud. VERY loud. Think vacuum cleaner loud.
Then baby is born, and we plop him in his crib in his dark, quiet room, and wonder why he won’t sleep!
Harvey Karp refers to white noise as an ‘auditory teddy bear’. Not only does white noise help with calming and relaxing, but it also can help your baby sleep *longer*. And who doesn’t want that? According to Karp, sometimes having white noise on in your child’s room (from birth right into childhood) is enough to soothe your child back to sleep before he or she fully awakens.
We found white noise was absolutely crucial with both our kids until around 1 year of age. And looking back, I think both could have benefited from the continuing use of white noise, even after the age of 1.
Below I’ve compiled a list of some of the baby white noise options available to you: Free white noise, free white noise apps, white noise machines, and white noise CD’s.
Please let me know in the comments below if I’ve missed your favourite white noise solution!
Free White Noise
If you’re tight on money, you may want to start out by generating some white noise with products you already have at home:
- Setting up the vacuum cleaner next to the crib
- A loud fan (this is often not loud enough, but it doesn’t hurt to try)
- Putting the bassinet next to the clothes dryer or dishwasher (not ON it!)
- Setting a radio to static
Free White Noise Apps for IPad or IPhone
White Noise Machines
- 12 soothing sounds to choose from white noise, nature sounds and lullabies
- Share your own sounds by using the MP3 player plug-in port
- Soft glow night light
- Compact size easy for travel
- Easy to use auto-off timer
- 24 different sound combinations
- Calms baby to sleep with a wide variety of nature’s sounds
- Headphone jack included (headphones not included)
- Formerly known as the Sleepmate/Sound Screen 980A
- Creates the soothing sound of rushing air known as white noise – with two speed operation for a greater range of sound
- Provides excellent noise-masking capabilities and a soft comfortable background sound where it might otherwise be too quiet
- Soothing womb sounds lull baby to sleep in minutes
- Sound box has 5-minute auto shutoff timer
- Sound box comes with four lullabies, plus white noise, ocean waves and womb sound
- Recordable function allows parents to create their own soothing message or baby’s favorite sound
- Sound box comes with Velcro strap to attach to anywhere at home or on the go
- Motion activated so it comes back on when baby wakes in the night
White Noise CD’s
Based on the bestselling book and video, The Happiest Baby on the Block, this “Super-Soother” CD blends the ancient rhythms of the womb with a newly desinged pulsation that can help your sweet baby…even during the “fussies”.
In this CD, Dr. Karp reveals a soothing sound that is particularly effective at turning on the “calming reflex”–the automatic “off-switch” for a baby’s crying. Tracks can be played individually or repeated for hours to keep your baby settled into a deep level of relaxation.
74 minutes of white noise formulated to calm and soothe baby to sleep. Designed especially for children birth to 5 years of age, this white noise sound is specially formulated for the little ones with colic. Helps babies relax and fall asleep safely, naturally, without medication.
New: Includes one long 74 minute continuous track.
White Noise Machine vs. CD vs. mp3
When you’re deciding what kind of white noise solution to use for your baby, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind:
- Is it loud enough? (iPhone or IPad apps or mp3′s may not be loud enough to soothe fussy babies)
- Is the track long enough, or at least repeatable? (It’s important to leave the white noise running all night long)
- Can I bring it along when we travel?
- Does it have an actual ‘white noise’ sound, as opposed to just nature sounds? (some don’t! Be sure to check before you buy)
- Is it sustainable in the long-term? (for instance if you’re using a vacuum cleaner, be prepared to run it into the ground!)
- Is it worth the cost?
- Is it specifically designed for babies?
Do you use white noise? If so, what’s worked best for your little one? Leave a comment below!