It’s a question we all ask ourselves as parents: how do I get my baby to sleep more soundly…at night, at naptime, and throughout each of their sleep cycles?
It’s a question we’ll have to continue to ask ourselves if we don’t follow the basic commandments of good sleep practices: dark, cool, and calm environments. Establishing that consistent rhythm, no matter where your baby sleeps, will set you and baby on the right path to more sound sleeping habits.
Today, I would like to focus on how white noise, specifically, can help you drown out surrounding distractions and get your baby to sleep more soundly consistently.
Using White Noise Creates a Perfect Environment or Baby’s Sleep
Consistency is a word sleep consultants use often. With a consistent sleep environment, schedule, routine, and response, babies learn the skill of independent sleep with the least struggle.
If you’ve battled with how to get your baby to sleep more soundly in the past, a white noise machine is one way to create consistency in their sleep environment.
In fact, I would urge you not to do what I did and disallow anything above a whisper during sleep times. To this day, I can’t bring myself to wash dishes during naptime, even though my girls have proven they’ll sleep through it. This is what makes white noise such an immensely helpful tool in conditioning baby to sleep better and in teaching you to accept that you can still live your life while baby sleeps soundly from the other room.
White noise can be helpful if you live in a city or on a busy street or if you have loud neighbours or a loud pet. Because a sound machine helps to muffle noises, you may also feel more comfortable moving and working around your home during naptime and after your child goes to bed, too.
But save the nature sounds for parent and baby yoga. Pure white noise with no changes in pitch or tone is imperative. Think of a fan or humidifier if you’re considering it as a sleep aid. The reason why requires some background information on sleep cycles.
A Note About Sleep Cycles
A sleep cycle for a baby lasts about 45 to 50 minutes. A complete cycle includes light sleep, deep sleep, and REM, which is a light stage of sleep when our babies dream, consolidate memories, and can practice or act out crawling, sitting, and walking. Babies have a lot of REM sleep between 1 a.m and 5 a.m. Because REM is so light, they can easily wake during this time.
At the end of a sleep cycle, babies experience an arousal. For confident sleepers who are able to fall asleep or resettle on their own, this arousal is brief.
However, if something in the baby’s environment changes, like they fell asleep to birds chirping but woke to the sound of a waterfall, this change could be sufficiently stimulating. As a result, it can cause full wakefulness during natural arousals and light REM sleep, instead of the baby returning to another sleep cycle.
A change in your baby’s #sleep environment can cause them to wake up. Help your baby to sleep more soundly by using a #whitenoise machine.Click to Share this on Twitter!
My Personal Recommendation: The Classic Dohm Sound Condition
American company Marpac has been designing and manufacturing sound machines, or sound conditioners, since 1962. Their products are easy to use, compact, and classically designed, so they fit seamlessly into most spaces.
I have been testing and using the classic Dohm sound conditioner for the last year, and I like it a lot. Controlling the sound is simple. Just twist the top or side or both for a perfectly dialed-in volume. The sound is pure white noise, so you don’t have to worry about a change in pitch or tone causing your baby to startle awake.
This machine is compact, so it travels with you easily to Grandma’s house. I like the compact size and the clean look of it, too. Additionally, there are no lights, which many baby products have and can interfere with baby’s sleep.
Better Sleep for Your Baby by Using White Noise
Being able to recreate your child’s sleep environment when sleeping somewhere other than at home is important. Doing so increases the likelihood your child will fall asleep and stay asleep as they do in their normal environment because it’s familiar. White noise machines, like the Dohm I mentioned above, are a critical element for creating this consistently calm and comfortable environment for baby to sleep more soundly in.