White Noise: The Wonders and The Worries


Kirsty Cheyne from MyHummy is telling us all about the wonders and the worries of White Noise. 80% of newborns fall asleep in 5 minutes with the presence of white noise.

White noise is a never-ending, patternless jumble of sound frequencies that seems to “magically” help babies and toddlers across the globe get to sleep. It’s completely safe to use from birth and is recommended by pediatricians as part of the “fourth trimester”. So I’m here to get rid of the magic – boo, I know! – and tell you exactly why white noise is helping your little ones sleep and help put any worries you may have to bed.

White noise reduces stress

In the womb babies have a calming reflex that, when triggered, minimises stress. The reflex is triggered by noise and, lucky for us, it stays active until 3-4 months after birth. White noise triggers this reflex once a baby is born by mimicking “womb noises”. This helps our babies adjust to their new world while feeling as safe and stress free as they did in your tum!
Did you know that inside the womb the rush of blood around the placenta can reach a whopping 111db? This is as loud as a lawnmower!

White noise promotes longer, deeper and therefore better sleep.

A study found that 80% of newborns would fall asleep within 5 minutes in the presence of white noise, as opposed to 25% in the white noise-less control group. Along with triggering the calming reflex, the mass of frequencies present in white noise causes background noise to become lost within the sound waves. Little ears simply cannot pick the unwanted noise out from the rest of the noise. Ergo, your baby will continue dreaming peacefully when you accidentally step on that creaky floorboard. Without being awoken by external factors your little one is able to spend longer in the deep, restorative stage of sleep which is highly beneficial to them – for the same reasons as it is for us!

White noise curbs sleep regressions!?

Usually around 4 months of age our little ones’ sleeping patterns seem to just fall to bits – just as we’d settled on a good routine! This is because your little one is waving goodbye to their “fourth trimester” and their brain has developed to the point where they can begin to fully comprehend the exciting new world around them. Using white noise when your baby sleeps creates an association between the sound and sleeping. So, upon hearing white noise they will immediately recognise that it’s time to sleep. They will be flooded with feelings of comfort and security and will doze off peacefully.
Note: It isn’t recommended to use white noise every hour of the day as your little one still needs to hear normal voices and music so they can experience all the elements of our wonderful world – so just stick to using it for bed and nap times.
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White noise helps keep your baby safe

When we are sleep deprived we can make illogical and irrational decisions simply because our brains begin to shut down. Being heavily sleep deprived causes a sensation very similar to that of being drunk. This is where the phrase “drunk parenting” stems from. In the UK, 50% of all SIDS cases arise from co-sleeping. However, 90% of these deaths are largely preventable as they arise from co-sleeping in hazardous situations. But unfortunately, when we are extremely sleep deprived we make decisions based solely on “what can I do that will get me to sleep fastest” and sometimes the decisions we make when in this state are life changing. Getting more sleep as a parent stops your brain making decisions it never normally would simply because it is shutting down.

White noise addiction

Lots of people ask, “Will my baby become addicted to white noise?”, the answer: no. White noise is simply sound, nothing nasty or untoward, just sound. Glorious simplicity. White noise can be easily phased out when you and your little one are ready by lowering the volume night after night.

Older babies and toddlers

Are you reading this with a heavy heart as your baby isn’t so much of a baby anymore but they still don’t sleep well? Don’t despair! Although it’s great to use white noise from birth, it can be introduced at any time. Type “white noise” into YouTube tonight when putting your little one to sleep, crank the volume and watch in disbelief as their little eyes close in record time.
Note: You may need to experiment with different sounds and volumes until you find the ones your little one likes most.
So when using white noise your baby is sleeping better and feeling better – and so are you!

Happy snoozing…

Kirsty x

With myHummy being the nation’s favourite white noise specialists you can rest even easier knowing that our Sleep Sensor is constantly listening and reacting to your little one. And with our new app you can even be notified on your mobile when your little one is stirring!
Got questions?
Chat to us on Facebook or Instagram (@myhummyuk) or via myHummy customer service at hello@myhummy.co.uk.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]