There are any number of tips and “tricks of the trade” to help your baby get to sleep. If you ask around, other mothers will doubtless share all kinds of things that they tried to help their babies fall asleep. Some of them are useful, others might be silly, but it never hurts to ask. One method that helps most babies fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer is using white noise.
White noise is noise that is made that has a fairly monotonous tone. Some examples of things that produce white noise in our day to day lives are vacuum cleaners, laundry machines (especially dryers), a car’s motor, and electric fans.
Chances are at some point during your pregnancy, you were able to hear inside your womb during an ultrasound. The sounds inside of you, where baby was snug and safely encapsulated in embryonic fluid, essentially are white noise. While baby is able to recognize your voice, and likely dad’s voice too, by the time she is born, most of the noise she hears inside the womb is white noise, or is at least muffled by white noise.
So, how can you use white noise to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep? There are a number of ways. Perhaps the simplest way is to simply put a fan in the room where baby is sleeping. Don’t point the fan directly at baby, but place it in the same room. Set the fan on low or medium. Not only does this create plenty of white noise, but it has the added benefit of creating air circulation in the room, which has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
There are number of other ways you can create white noise to help baby fall asleep. Since the vacuum cleaner and clothes dryers create white noise anyway, you might consider getting some of the household chores out of the way while you lay baby down. On the other hand, once baby is asleep, you’ll likely be ready for a nap yourself.
In addition to common household implements, CDs and MP3 downloads are commercially available with white noise sounds, ranging from simulated womb sounds to crashing waves and any number of other creative white noise sounds, some of which you may find more tolerable than running your vacuum cleaner for three hours while baby sleeps.
Experiment with different white noise sounds and methods. You’ll find something that helps baby sleep in no time. And then, maybe you can catch a quick nap for yourself.