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 can’t 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. You can get sound machines in most department stores, drug stores, and online.  You can also use things you may already have in your home.  For example, we use a fan pointed away from our son.  We keep the fan on all year long.  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 addicted to white noise, and that’s a valid point.

My experience is that there’s absolutely no need to worry about this. 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.

Personally, I still use white noise for myself and our 3-year-old.  If I do not have white noise on, my sleep is more interrupted.

If you want to wean your child off the white noise machine, simply turn the volume down a little every night until you’re not using the sound at all.  If you want to wean your child from the fan turn the speed of the fan down then slowly move the fan out of the room.

If you have more questions about your child’s sleep feel free to call 403-652-7111 to seek your free 15-minute consult.

Happy sleeping, everyone!