In this article, we speak with Tara Mitchell, also known as The Gentle Sleep Specialist, about white noise for babies, including how to choose a white noise machine, how to use it and how to wean bubs off it.
Firstly, I love the idea of white noise. There is more research on how this white noise around encourages sleep (and a deeper sleep) than there is around other noises such as waves and lullabies for example.
White noise can work towards helping sleep by muffling eternal stimuli, signalling bedtime - a useful tool for winding down. Studies show babies fall off to sleep sooner with white noise.
So, when it comes to white noise, here are things I recommend.
Choosing a white noise machine
When it comes to selecting white noise machines, there are a few things that can be of benefit:
- A compact white noise means you can take it out and about, and you can continue to use the same noise for your little one.
- White noise machines don’t have to be extravagant in terms of their other uses. In order to resolve sleep, we don’t need to rely on diffusers, nursery rhymes and projecting night light stars onto the roof, for example. Think simple, yet effective.
- I tend to like a noise that isn’t too scratchy or too harsh.
- I also love having a dedicated white noise machine, so you don’t have to worry about using your phone. (Let’s face it, it’s not worth the risk of notifications and pesky ads mid white noise.)
Using your white noise machine
- You can use white noise for night and/or day sleep.
- I recommend using white noise on a low setting.
- You can turn the white noise on before you head into the room with your little one to pop them into bed, or you can do it once they are in their sleeping bag as a part of their goodnight sequence.
How to wean a baby off white noise
There are no set rules on weaning a baby off white noise. As your little one gets older, if they ask for it to be turned off, then of course you can. In most situations we tend to find there is less of a need for white noise from 2 years and over. When the time has come to stop the use of white noise, I would just turn it down over a few days before stopping its use completely.
The Gentle Sleep Specialist x
About the Author
Tara Mitchell, also known as The Gentle Sleep Specialist, is a former paediatric nurse of 15 years and is now a leading Sleep Consultant, helping families through the challenges of sleep. You can find more about The Gentle Sleep Specialist at https://gentlesleep.com.au