White noise can help put your newborn baby to sleep
Sleep like a baby?
As they say, anyone who says the sleep like a baby doesn't have one. Ask any parent what the most stressful part of new parenthood was for them and they will almost all say trying to get their infant to sleep. The funny thing is, new parents often notice their babies sleep when monotonous noises are going on – like the hairdryer or the washing machine or tumble dryer. These appliances basically make white noise which babies tend to find comforting because it makes them feel like they are in the womb.
When it comes to sleep time, it helps to look at it from your tot's point of view though. They've spent nine months in the womb – a comfortable, safe environment with clearly defined boundaries and suddenly, they are thrust into the world with colours and lights and strange sounds and lots and lots of space (ever notice how very young babies like to be swaddled? It makes them feel safe – like they are still in the womb). It's pretty stressful for the baby. Your daughter has to get used to a whole new environment, one which is very different to the womb. Sleeping can be tricky for a tiny baby – used to gentle motion in the womb and the comfort of steady sounds of mum's heartbeat, the outside world just doesn't seem right and since they have no other way to communicate, babies cry. It can often help to try and recreate some of the sensations of the womb for your baby – gentle rocking can drift them off to sleep, being swaddled is also a good way of making them feel like they are still safely in the womb, and then of course, creating some white noise can really help calm and soothe your baby.
Where can you find white noise CDs?
As I mentioned above,
many parents find their newborns dropping off unexpectedly when they
turn on the tumble dryer or they have a fan blowing or some other
repetitive noise. This is counter intuitive to a certain extent
because we think you need a quiet environment for a baby to fall
asleep in. In fact, you can be too quiet, creating an atmosphere that
your baby isn't used to and making it difficult for them to fall
asleep. Of course you can't just leave your appliances running all
the time....a hair dryer blowing or a vacuum cleaner switched on
consumes electricity at an alarming rate and in these energy saving
and economically troubled times, we don't want that. And of course
there are safety issues – leaving an unattended hair dryer on
constantly isn't a good idea. The next best thing is to buy a CD of
white noise or womb sounds that you can play to your baby to help
them drop off to sleep. There are tons of these sorts of CDs out
there – a quick glance through eBay or other online stores such as
Amazon for white noise cds should bring you back plenty to choose
from. Other good sources of white noise are recordings of the sea or
a rushing river or perhaps a rainstorm. You can often find these
sorts of sounds on CDs of sample sounds that musicians would buy, so
be creative when you search. White noise is so well regarded as a soothing sound for your baby that you can even buy plush toys which will play white noise so your baby can have a cuddly white noise elephant for example!
What is white noise?
But what is white noise? White noise is really just all the frequencies a human ear can hear mixed together equally and played at the same time. Think of a crowded room of people talking – you can't pick out individual words or conversations, but you get a continual background hum – that's a sort of white noise. The sound of the sea or a rushing river is also white noise.
Fall asleep baby, stay asleep baby
White noise really serves two purposes in helping soothe your baby to sleep and to keep them asleep. In the soothing stage, it mimics the continuous sounds they would have heard in the womb – blood rushing, heart beating, digestive sounds and so on...this helps the baby feel like they are in a familiar environment so they feel safe and comfortable and fall asleep. While they are asleep, white noise can help mask any other sudden sounds which might otherwise make your baby (such as you, for example dropping your knife and fork by mistake) so it helps keep your little one asleep, which as we know is really a godsend for new parents.
If your newborn is having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try running your hair dryer while you are putting them down. If you find that the noise helps soothe them then consider investing in a CD of white noise to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep. You might even find that the soothing sounds calm you down as well and pretty soon, you and your other half will be sleeping