Hands up if this sounds familiar
Your fussy baby finally falls asleep for her afternoon nap and you sit down for a much needed moment to yourself only to hear a car with a broken muffler roaring down the street. Just like that, Sleeping Beauty is wide awake and mad NOT a good combination.
Or maybe you live in the country and you’re awoken at dawn by a wailing infant who has adorable (but ridiculously loud) birds chirping outside her window.
Environmental noises are a fact of life that you canít do much about but there IS something you can do about your baby’s ability to sleep through the noise. In my experience, white noise machines can be a lifesaver when it comes to helping babies fall asleep and stay asleep.
There are lots of options out there, but I like to use the Dohm machines (formerly called the Marpac SleepMate). This is a small, simple-to-use device that creates a sound that blocks out a lot of these day-to-day noises that can startle and wake a child. The sound it makes is similar to rushing air, which can be soothing to a baby.
And although it might seem unnatural to create noise when you want your baby to go to sleep, remember: it wasn’t exactly soundproof in the womb!
Your child is actually quite used to noise by the time he’s born because he’s been listening to you talk, your stomach gurgling, and the sound of the family and the TV and the car radio while in utero.
Believe it or not, complete quiet can actually be more confusing to a newborn than background noise.
One of the biggest benefits of the white noise machine is that it helps babies fall back to sleep if they wake up. This means their nap times will last longer and they will be less likely to fully wake in the night.
The main concern parents have about trying this is usually about their child becoming ìaddictedî to white noise, and thatís a valid point.
My experience is that there’s absolutely no need to worry about this. A white noise machine IS NOT being used as a sleep prop like a soother or being rocked and sung to. It’s there to block out noises that you can’t control that might be waking your child.
When you’re ready to wean your child off the machine, simply turn the volume down a little every night until you’re not using the sound at all.
Sleep can be a challenge and we are always here to help with great free training, downloads, and resources. Join my free Slumber Made Simple Facebook Group, I host monthly free training on Newborn Sleep and for children from 4 months through 5 years in my Save Your Sanity Sleep Bootcamp, and share my secrets to sleep in my 7 Tips for Restful Sleep Guide, which you can access here and start changing your sleep today! Also, check out my Instagram where you can get even more tips and tricks for successful sleep!
My name is Courtney Zentz, a Pediatric Sleep Consultant from Philadelphia, PA, Postpartum Doula, Lactation Counselor and founder of Tiny Transitions. As an award-winning sleep consultant, I help exhausted parents teach their infants & toddlers to sleep well every night with gentle, customized solutions and both group and private coaching options, so your family can all be at their best. Based in Philadelphia, I work in-home and virtually to provide the support families around the globe that need to all be at their best. Join me in my Slumber Made Simple Facebook group, where you can ‘meet’ me in my live weekly Q&As, get valuable free content and build a healthy sleeper for life!