Every new parent discovers that it can be a real challenge to get baby to sleep at times. Babies end up sleeping up to eighteen hours per day, but sometimes falling asleep is a tough process for baby and parents alike. Part of this is because the entire world is new and different for newborns.
Many parents try to keep things very quiet so that the baby can fall asleep, but studies show that this might not be the best thing to do. After all, when baby was in the womb, she was surrounded by constant sound. In addition to your talking and the activity going on around you (much of which baby was able to hear), your baby was exposed to the constant sounds of your breathing, your heartbeat, and other bodily noises. Of course, all of these noises are muffled somewhat by the amniotic fluid.
By the time your baby is born, she has become very accustomed to being nice and warm and surrounded by muffled noise. So, when things are too quiet, it can be somewhat disconcerting to your baby.
Many parents find that introducing white noise can help a fussy baby fall asleep. Researchers believe this is because most forms of white noise replicate (more or less) the sounds baby heard while she was in your womb.
There are several ways you can use white noise to help your baby sleep. Perhaps the easiest way is to purchase a CD or mp3 file specially made to replicate the sounds inside mom’s womb.
In a pinch, you can simply run a vacuum cleaner in the area where baby is trying to sleep, or lay baby down near the washer or dryer. Some parents even put baby in a car seat and place her on top of the clothes dryer while it is running, In addition to creating plenty of white noise, the vibrations help soothe babies. Of course, you should stay with your baby if you do so. Never leave baby unattended on top of the dryer.
Another good way to introduce white noise into your baby’s sleeping area is by running a fan in baby’s room. This has the added benefit of adding some circulation to baby’s room, which reduces the risk of SIDS.
Whichever method you choose, using white noise can help your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep a while longer. Using white noise also has the benefit of allowing you to hold a conversation without disturbing baby’s sleep.