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White noise machines for baby sleep: A new mom’s best friend?

White noise machines are being held up as the be-all, end-all of mom-friendly gadgets, but can they really deliver?

Before you kick all your other sleep support to the curb, find out what they’re really all about — the pros, the cons, and the tips you need to help bedtime succeed.

First - what is white noise?

White noise machines play a continuous stream of soothing background sounds to help mask more disruptive noises like beeping car horns, the neighbor’s television or Dad’s snoring. 

Some studies show that they echo the sounds baby heard in the womb.

White noise machines come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from simple models featuring one or two options to more complex offerings with dozens of sound samples, a timer and coordinated lighting.

According to experienced parents and experts, white noise machines:

  • May help babies settle in at bedtime versus potentially stimulating alternatives such as lullabies
  • Serve as a source of comfort and ease transitions at the 4-month mark as baby tackles nighttime separation anxiety and milestones such as sleep regression and teething

Second - how do I incorporate white noise? 

Before you run out to buy your new white noise machine, make sure you know how to use it properly, so your baby can sleep better—and you can rest easy: 

  • Note the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends to limit baby’s noise exposure to 50 decibels or less—that’s about as loud as a typical conversation in your living room and a little quieter than your air conditioning unit running outside
  • Place the white noise machine at least 7 feet away from your baby—don’t put it in or directly next to the crib
  • Avoid using white noise as your only sleep cue, or you risk baby becoming reliant on it in the long term. Instead include it as part of the sleep routine: 
  • Know that white noise isn’t a cure-all — not all babies respond to it, so if it doesn’t work for you, it’s perfectly OK to shrug and move on

Third - will this actually work for my baby?

There is no magic wand you can wave over your little one to guarantee a full night of uninterrupted sleep — and that’s exactly how it should be. 

Babies under 6 months of age wake up for some very important reasons:

  • They’re hungry
  • They need to be changed
  • They’re teething
  • They’re sick

No white noise machine can take the place of a consistent sleep routine, but for some parents, these machines help baby settle in faster—and that’s no small victory.

For the best results, make white noise part of a comprehensive bedtime strategy that also includes bath time, feeding, cuddles, and gently weighted Zen Sleepwear™ to help soothe your baby to sleep.

Used together, these crucial steps can help support healthy sleep goals for the first 24 months, letting you — and your precious little one — feel your very best day in and day out.

Aliste Williams

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