The Low-Down On White Noise Machines: 10 Pros And 10 Cons, According To Doctors

These days, a lot of moms are relying on white noise machines to help put their babies to sleep faster. The random audio noise that comes from white noise machines makes it easier for infants to drift off, this simplifying mom's life at the same time. However, there are some disadvantages and risks. Before a mom decides to invest in white noise machines, she should educate herself on all the pros and cons of using these devices.

This list is the perfect place to do it. Every fact about the benefits and drawbacks of white noise machines comes from authority sources. After moms read all entries on the list, they'll be able to make wise and informed decisions about whether or not to buy and use these machines.

White noise machines are devices that produce "random character" sounds, according to Wikipedia. Sounds produced by these machines resemble the sounds of wind moving through trees, or the sounds of waterfalls.

While white noise machines often work wonders with babies, adults use them, too. So, moms who purchase these machines may find that they come to rely on them for more than putting their babies to sleep.

Any mom who is curious about white noise machines will appreciate this list. It's loaded with facts about these machines, along with their pros and cons, according to doctors or other trusted experts.

20 It Helps Babies Fall Asleep

Via: andrademt

There is scientific evidence that white noise machines do help babies to fall asleep. According to Healthline, a study which appeared in the Archives of Disease in Childhood scientific journal showed that eighty percent of infants fell asleep after five minutes of exposure to white noise.

Meanwhile, 8 out of 10 babies fell asleep really fast due to white noise. That's good news, right?

Moms who are at their wit's end because putting their babies to sleep is very hard work may want to give white noise machines a try. When moms use these machines, they need to understand the pros and cons and they also need to know how to use white noise machines properly.

19 It Gets Them Through Restless Periods


When a baby is in the "fourth trimester", an infant is going to experience restlessness. This is the time when many moms struggle to put their babies to sleep. From day one to the start of month three, a mom will likely experience a lot of fatigue due to caring for a restless baby.

Is a white noise machine the answer? Well, it just might be.

Dr. Harvey Karp, who contributes to Happiestbaby, believes that white noise is great for soothing fussy babies in the fourth trimester, and it's also the key to boosting sleep quality in infants. This doctor feels that even the easiest babies benefit from white noise, because it promotes deeper sleep.

18 There Are Different Kinds Of Sounds


Some white noise machines feature white noise sounds that are developed by doctors, specifically to help babies fall asleep, according to Soundoasis.com. If you don't want to invest in a white noise machine, you should know that white noise from a humidifier may be enough to do the trick.

Holding your baby while making a whooshing noise, which is similar to what babies hear while in the womb, in another trick that some moms utilize during bedtime rituals with their infants. White noise comes in different forms, so moms will be able to experiment. One form of white noise may be just the ticket for your little one.

17 It's Very Soothing when it's low pitched


The general consensus among doctors is that low-pitched types of white noise provide the most sleep-boosting benefits to babies and sleep-deprived moms.

Dr. Harvey Karp is a "white noise for babies" expert, according to Cnn, and he believes that this type of white noise is a form of "teddy bear" for a baby, which comforts and soothes.

Low and rumbling white noise is often very beneficial as it assists many babies with falling asleep quickly and staying asleep for longer periods of time. If you have the choice, go for low-pitched white noise. It offers the highest odds of helping.

16 It Lowers the Risk of SIDS

Via: MadeForMums

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) strikes fear in the heart of new parents. It's scary and seems to be so random. If you want to lower the risk of SIDS for your precious baby, using white noise may be a smart move that gives you greater peace of mind.

Harvey Karp, a pediatrician, believes that white noise, plus swaddling, are the keys to improving sleep quality in babies, while keeping them safe, in the supine position, according to the Huffington Post.

When you swaddle and use white noise, you'll be taking steps that are doctor-approved and believed to reduce SIDS risk.

15 The volume can be adjusted for each baby


You won't need to blast white noise in order to soothe your baby to sleep. In fact, you shouldn't blast white noise. It may be played softly and still give amazing results, so keep the volume low.

According to Sciencenews, a decibel level of around fifty will be ideal, but sixty-five to seventy decibels is probably safe, too. There's no need for white noise to be played at a louder volume than this.

You'll need to protect your baby's hearing while you use white noise to help your baby sleep. Look for a white noise machine with a comparatively low decibel output. If the volume is adjustable, keep it on the lower side.

14 There are Free ways of making White Noise


A humidifier is one way to access "free" white noise. If you already own one, you'll only need to pay for electricity. Another option is a hairdryer, especially since more moms own hair dryers than humidifiers.

Plug it into an outlet in the nursery, choose the low power setting (if you have a choice of settings) and then see what happens. It's possible that the white noise from the hair dryer will be enough to put your baby to sleep within just a few minutes.

CDs that play recordings of hair dryer noise are also available, at Amazon.com and other retailers.

13 It Works For Babies Up To A Year Old


White noise is perfect for the "fourth trimester', but you can keep using it for the entire first year of your baby's life. When a baby hits three months, according to Parents.com, it's time to start putting together some kind of sleep schedule and white noise may be very helpful when it comes to sleep training.

So, don't assume that you need to stop using white noise once your baby is a little older. If it's working for you, keep up with it, and also make an effort to get your baby sleeping independently, so you can have a bit more independence, unless you're all about attachment parenting.

12 It’s Extremely Calming


White noise may be good for you and your baby and not simply because this type of noise hides other sorts of noise. According to the neurologist Dr. Ralph Pascualy, who is a sleep expert and the director of a Seattle sleep center, our brains are always craving new "sensory input".

When people don't get this input, they don't do well. Picture an inmate freaking out after plenty of solitary confinement and you'll get the general idea.

When white noise is present in an environment, the brain receives a sound signal that calms down its many systems. White noise satisfies the brain's ongoing need for sensory input.

11 It May Help Kids With ADHD


Experts at the Study.com website believe that white noise has benefits for children who have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Since distractions that kids with ADHD can hear may have a negative impact on their school performance, using white noise may be the key to helping ADHD children learn.

A scientific study showed that kids with ADHD who are exposed to white noise demonstrate improved memory. It also, as a result, has the power to improve focus.

It works for kids who take medication for their ADHD and for those who don't. This type of sound treatment does offer promise beyond boosting sleep quality.

And 10 Cons To White Noise Machines

10 Some Moms Overdo It


Now, let's look at the downside of white noise. There is one and you need to know what it is before you decide to use white noise. If you're already using it and don't know the risks, it's important to learn about them.

One risk is that you can overdo it. A few hours of white noise exposure is more than enough for babies. You shouldn't be running a white noise machine all night long.

Moderation is the key to getting great results from white noise and avoiding the risks. According to Sleepjunkies, eight hours should be the maximum. Three or four hours should be more than enough, so don't overdo it.

9 Hearing Loss Is A Risk If It's Too Loud


The biggest risk with white noise machines is that they'll be used at too high of a volume, which has the capacity to cause hearing loss in a little baby. Hearing loss makes life harder and parents need to protect their babies from the risk of hearing loss at all times.

Keeping a white noise machine at fifty to sixty-five decibels is smart. Above that level, you may be risking your child's hearing, even if the white noise machine doesn't seem that loud to you.

According to Today's Parent, volume at eighty-five decibels or higher is dangerous. Keep a machine on the low side, volume-wise. Don't turn up the volume if you're not getting results.

8 It Won’t Work For Every Baby


White noise machines aren't magic. They do work well for babies and eight out of ten babies in a scientific study did fall asleep fast due to white noise exposure.

That means that two of them didn't fall asleep because of white noise. You may have a baby who isn't going to respond to white noise the way that you hoped. If so, be patient and try other methods.

According to the Motherandbaby.co.uk, most babies find the nighttime world too silent after being in the womb, where they are exposed to noise.

Give white noise machines a try, but don't expect a miracle. They don't work the same on every baby.

7 Some Parents Put The Machines Too Close To Their Babies


Suffice it to say that these machines shouldn't be placed right near the heads of babies! That's way too close! They should be a safe distance from the crib or other sleep surfaces. According to Healthline, baby doctors recommend placing white noise machines seven feet from cribs, which equates to two hundred centimeters away.

Keeping volume low is also really important. When you follow these rules, you'll boost the odds of putting your baby to sleep without triggering any detrimental side effects.

You'll be doing what is best for your baby. The machine will work just fine from that distance. It doesn't need to be any closer to do what it's supposed to do.

6 It May Put Parents To Sleep, Too


White noise works on most adults, too. If you're lying with your baby, listening to white noise along with your baby, you may find that you drift off, even when you didn't plan on falling asleep.

Getting rest is important, but there may be times when you need to stay awake. For example, you may have other kids who are older, but still need your parental supervision once your youngest baby is asleep.

So, be aware that a white noise machine may affect you, just like it affects your infant. According to Prevention.com, five percent of USA adults use these machines to help them sleep. They are sleep aids.

5 Babies May Become Dependent On It

Via: Rachel Rambach

If you're in the habit of putting your baby to sleep with the help of a white noise machine, be aware that your infant may become dependent on white noise. This means that it may be very difficult to put your baby to sleep if you don't have any white noise handy!

According to Healthline, parents who are planning to take their babies away on holiday or to other places for some other reason should realize that their infants may be reliant on white noise, and pack accordingly.

Maybe they could use hotel hair dryers to create white noise, but they need to watch the decibel levels, as some hair dryers are too loud for babies.

4 It May Delay Infant Development

Via: Jodie K. Schuller & Associates

Do white noise machines have the capacity to slow down infant development? According to Neuroplan.ca, it is possible.

Every signal that your baby's brain receives is vital. During year one, an infant's brain is busy organizing signals and making sense of them. The baby needs to analyze input and then classify it.

This is part of typical brain development. White noise machines may make it harder for babies to make sense of the signals that they receive. White noise may cause babies to stop paying attention to signals because it's too hard for infants to make sense of white noise.

3 It May Cause Auditory Processing Problems Later


Aside from the risk of slower infant development, white noise machines may also cause auditory processing problems. According to Webmd, infants who receive continuous exposure to white noise in order to soothe them to sleep may experience impaired development in the hearing centers of their brains.

This can happen even when white noise is played at a lower volume.

There is also the risk of slowed language development. The study that this information is based on was performed on rats, but it's worth paying attention to. if you're going to use white noise, be sure to use it moderately. Your baby shouldn't be exposed to it all of the time, or even most of the time.

2 Volume May Have to be Adjusted During their Sleep Cycle


According to Sleeptrainingsolutions, white noise machines typically have low and high settings. Parents may need to start out with high settings until their babies fall asleep, and then change to low settings, to help protect their babies from the risks of too much exposure to white noise.

Machines have different volume settings. In general, lower settings are safety, but adjustments may be necessary, so prepare yourself to shift the volume sometimes in order to get good results. This will mean a little more work for you. A smart tip is to start with a low setting and see if it works. If it doesn't, go higher and see what happens.

1 Some White Noise Machines Are Costly


Lots of new parents are on tight budgets. In the real world, Moms can't always buy every gadget for their babies, even if they want to. As per Amazon, most full-size white noise machines cost thirty bucks or more.

This isn't a big investment, but it's money that some parents might not have. Parents who want to save money may wish to use machines that they already own to generate white noise, such as washing machines or hair dryers.

A parent might also buy a white noise CD for a low price and play it at bedtime. There are cheap ways to generate white noise.

References: En.wikipedia.org, Healthline.com, Soundoasis.com, Cnn.com, Huffingtonpost.com, Sciencenews.com, Amazon.com, Parents.com, Apartmentherapy.com, Sleepjunkies.com, Prevention.com, Sleeptrainingsolutions.com, Neuroplan.ca, Webmd.com, Amazon.com

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