Does White Noise Really Help Babies Sleep?
As a new parent of a baby who does not yet favor the night time hours for sleeping you might be willing to try anything. But is there any evidence that white noise does really help babies sleep?
In short: yes white noise does work Download a white noise sounds recording; load an app onto your phone; turn on the washing machine — give white noise a chance.
A study by J.A. Spencer and team studied two groups of infants, all between two and seven days old. With the help of white noise, 80% fell asleep within five minutes. Without white noise, only 25% fell asleep within five minutes. That’s quite a difference, isn’t it?
What is White Noise?
The defines white noise as a “mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range”. It’s a continuous sound, lacking melody, which is made up of various pitches and spans different frequencies. It’s exactly this — its varied nature — that makes it effective for drowning out other sounds; it’s hard for the human brain to identify specific frequencies within the fray.
Typically, when it comes to sleeping babies, when white noise is mentioned it refers to household sounds like fans, vacuum cleaners, and hair dryers. Rain sounds, ocean sounds, waves and sea sounds can work just as well.
How Can White Noise Sounds Help My Baby Sleep?
When babies are in the womb they never experience silence. Ever. The level of perpetual noise of womb sounds would, to an adult, be overwhelmingly loud.
The sound of the mother’s heartbeat, and the constant rush of blood to the placenta, mingle with other pops and gurgles that accompany the function of a body’s internal organs.
This means that while you might assume that peace and quiet is what your newborn baby needs in order to fall asleep easily and stay asleep for long stretches of time, noise is, in fact, more comforting to them.
If you’ve ever wondered why the sound of ‘shushing’ seems to make babies relax, it’s because it imitate that noise of blood whooshing to the placenta in utero.
So, white noise creates a sense of familiarity. It makes infants feel safe and reduces stress. It’s a simple, cheap and truly effective way to help your baby get to sleep and stay asleep — and it’s even been suggested that white noise makes babies cry less often!
You don’t have to buy an expensive machine; try our downloadable womb sounds and white noise if you’re not sure where to start.
Arm yourself with white noise and enjoy a peaceful nights sleep. If you’re sharing a room with your baby , the sound of white noise might even ease you into a wonderfully deep sleep, too!
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