White noise for baby : a scientific research !

- Categories : Baby Sleep , Parents Corner

The methods to facilitate putting babies to sleep are extremely numerous. Yet, one of them has been on the top of every list of methods for some time now: white noise. Between revolutionary soft toys and Youtube videos, these ambient "sounds" are attracting more and more parents looking for solutions to help their babies sleep through the night. So is this the magic formula to put your baby to sleep or just a trend? Let’s explore white noise together:

What is white noise?

Let's start with the beginning! What is white noise? It is quite simply a sound or noise offering a balanced mix between the bass and treble frequencies. The term white noise refers to white light. When white light is just the perfect addition of all the colors of the visible spectrum, white noise can be considered the harmonious mix of all the frequencies of the sound spectrum.

This may sound a bit complicated. What if we told you that you have already heard white noise without even realising it? Although it is possible to create white noise artificially, many everyday objects produce it! For example: the hum of a washing machine, or the sound of a vacuum cleaner running.

Even mother nature tends to approach white noise! Have you ever wondered why the sound of the falling rain helps to sleep? This is because it is very similar to white noise. We can also note the sound of waves or a stream, for example.

Simply put, white noise is random noise made up of all sound frequencies simultaneously.

How can babies feel soothed in the face of this strange noise?

While some will quickly understand the value of white noise, others may quickly ask themselves how their baby can fall asleep with all this noise? It is important to say this: there is no direct link between white noise and sleep. But then, how to explain that the baby falls asleep within 5 minutes when the washing machine is on? Well, using all sound frequencies, white noise saturates the inner ear. This drowns out outside and surrounding sounds, reducing the chances of waking up. White noise can also contribute to the creation of a warmer and more comfortable atmosphere.

For some, white noise would be similar to what a baby would hear in the womb. They would already be used to it and it would allow them to fall asleep more easily. Indeed babies are endowed with hearing from the 6th month of pregnancy. The amniotic fluid allows outside sounds to pass through. We can also note that your little one hears the sound of your heart beating every day as well as the blood circulating in your veins!

White noise for babies: does it really work?

As said before, there are still only a few studies on the subject. In 1990, a "White noise and sleep induction" study studied the sleep of 2 groups of 20 newborns aged 2 to 7 days. 80% of babies fell asleep in less than 5 minutes thanks to white noise while 20% were insensitive to it.

Each child is different and it is not guaranteed that it will work for your little one! To get to the bottom of it, just expose it to white noise for an hour. Rest assured, you won't need to vacuum for an hour or dry your hair all night for baby to fall asleep. On Youtube for example, many videos offer to listen to white noise for babies for several hours in a row and without interruption. Be careful to avoid advertisements that could suddenly wake up baby!

In addition to creating a soothing atmosphere, white noise camouflages outside sounds. It is therefore very useful if you have to put your baby to bed when there is noise outside, or if the neighbour upstairs tends to listen to loud music. It is also an excellent trick to prevent your baby from waking up too often when you have people at home.

White noise, the opinion of the experts

White noise certainly tends to calm baby, but it should be used sparingly. Sleep experts warn of the overuse of white noise. First, baby must get used to the surrounding world and although they are overwhelmed discovering life, reminding them of the period in utero is not necessarily the solution.

The biggest risk is that of an addiction! If listened to every night, baby may not be able to fall asleep without it. This can then become a real problem later when they will have to gain autonomy.

We advise you to use white noise from time to time when baby has trouble falling asleep or when there is a lot of noise that could disturb him. It's up to you to find the sounds that will help make your baby fall asleep.

Finally, it is important to remember that listening to white noise must be done at a suitable sound level! Prolonged and too loud listening can have serious negative consequences on baby's sleep.

White noise and pink noise

As if that wasn't hard enough already, there's also pink noise! Unlike white noise, pink noise is more suited to the human ear. Less aggressive, it is often more suitable for falling asleep at night. The effects of the two are extremely close and what is true for white noise is also true for pink noise. It's up to you to find the one that best suits your baby!

To end this article, here is a selection of some special "White Noise" playlists to try the benefits of white noise by yourself:

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