How does white noise work in calming a baby?

If you so happened to be the very blessed parents of a baby who is having a hard time getting to grips with the whole sleeping thing, you might want to give ‘white noise’ a try.

My little nice has been pretty difficult in general (more so than the average baby) and at three months is struggling to make the transition from ‘light sleep’ into a deeper, more restful, sleep. So she naps 20 minutes at a time.

But ‘white noise’ is helping! She is sleeping much easier than she used to and the hope is that she’ll be doing more than 20 minute stretches in no time.

What I want to know is how does white noise work in calming a baby? For an adult radio static is a pretty annoying sound but babies really seem to respond to it.

Mummy blog Troublesome Tots explains in an article “Why Babies Love White Noise” that the womb is deafeningly loud (just slightly less loud than a lawnmower) – and a baby has just spent nine months in there, making our world comparatively quiet.

It therefore makes logical sense that a baby would find comfort in the persistent familiarity of white noise.

White noise eliminates all the sounds of life, preventing baby from becoming overstimulated and blocking out disturbing noises. It is even supposed to help settle a crying baby, but for this to work the white noise must be louder than the crying.

The only think I’d be worried about in connection with using white noise as a sleeping aid is that it might become a crutch that is difficult to get rid of?

Apparently weaning babies off the white noise is the best way to remove it from the sleep routine, usually at around baby’s first birthday.

And if you’re worried about the effect of white noise on baby’s hearing; the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Campaign for Hearing Health states 85 dB is the threshold for dangerous levels of noise. Most white noise gadgets operate at 60 dB.

Tell us about your experience of using white noise as a sleeping aid. Did it work?

Sources: Troublesometots.com – “Why Babies Love White Noise” and Secretsofbabybehaviour.com – “White Noise and Infant Hearing”