So you’re either sharing a room with your infant or have him/her right down the hall in the nursery, but are still tip-toeing around the house? I don’t think there are too many parents that can’t relate to that. We certainly can. Dilan has been a light sleeper since he was born and hasn’t been a stranger to waking up every 2 to 3 hours until he was about 5 months. In addition to the various sleep training techniques and methods that we used (more about this later) to get him to sleep better, we decided to introduce white noise fairly early on.
The first time we tried this, it was absolute magic. White noise completely calmed Dilan down and put him in a state of sleepiness that every parent dreams of. We used a free iPhone app called Noise Box in the beginning. If all else fails, I highly encourage you to try the waterfall sound in this app. It even oscillates if you want it to. Pure magic….but then: We made rookie parent mistake #237: we turned the white noise off. We got Dilan to a sleepy state through white noise and rocking and although we love him more than the best chocolate fudge brownie you’ve ever had, we weren’t going to keep either of our iPhones just sitting next to the crib! Maybe for 30 or 45 mins max, but certainly not the whole night. BIG MISTAKE. Through trial & error, we learned the following about using white noise:
- Keep it on the whole night. It not only draws out your everyday household noises, but it also helps when babies wake up (and they wake up briefly many, many times throughout the night, way more than you realize) and realize that they’re in the same, comfortable, and safe environment.
- Keep it LOUD. Either turn it up all the way, or at least 3/4 of the way. We learned this lesson when we tried turning down the volume of the white noise two weeks ago. Dilan woke up 1 to 3 times almost every night until daddy finally decided to turn it up a bit louder again yesterday. BOOM! Eleven hours of glorious sleep for Dilan (and about 6 or 7 for us).
- Get a reliable and portable white noise machine. We love this one. Its portable and small enough to take on trips and loud enough for the nursery. The sound is pleasant and not too harsh. Available via Prime shipping on Amazon. NO BRAINER.
If you’re concerned about any adverse effects of white noise on your baby, rest assured that it is very unlikely that it will affect his / her hearing. Check with your pediatrician to be sure, of course, but we sure haven’t experienced anything unfavorable. We’re planning to wean Dilan from white noise when he seems to be ready for it. Right now, we’re going to enjoy our glorious 6 or 7 hours of sleep.