There are countless things that can wake your child from a peaceful slumber, whether it’s a garbage truck going by, a car starting or your older child tearing down the hall singing the alphabet at the top of his lungs. Before you know it, baby is wide awake and you have to start the bedtime routine all over again.
You can’t stop life from being noisy outside your baby’s bedroom, but you can actually do something proactive to cut back significantly on how much she will be woken up by the noise. White noise machines can be lifesavers in helping babies to fall asleep and stay asleep without interruption.
Personally, I am a big fan of the Dohmie machines (formerly called the Marpac SleepMate), which I have used for my own children. The Dohmie machine, along with other white noise machines, creates a consistent sound that mimics rushing air. This is soothing to the child and blocks out everyday noises that can startle him awake.
Some people feel that the white nose is unnatural, and that they need to create a silent room where their baby can’t hear a thing. But babies aren’t actually used to silence. Life is loud, and those nine months when he was in utero he heard everything from your gurgling stomach to the sound of your voice and other people talking in the outside world. He would just peacefully sleep through it. In fact, utter silence is not the norm for a newborn at all, and it takes some getting used to.
Dispelling the myths
There are some common misconceptions regarding the use of white noise machines, and some people don’t agree with using them. I am a firm believer that the Dohmie machine is a useful tool in helping babies fall asleep and stay asleep longer, so I’d like to address those concerns.
1. Addiction fears
I talk a lot about sleep props and how people should avoid using them. I don’t believe parents should rock or walk their kids to sleep, or let them fall asleep with a bottle. But white noise is not the same as these other props. It’s there to block out noises that you can’t control that might be waking your child. The best part about the Dohmie is that it has two settings, so you can always turn it down at night.
2. Damage to little ears
There has been some recent press about noise machines being harmful to babies, but I strongly disagree. According to Slate, these stories were based on the results of a single study published in Pediatrics that raised questions about how white-noise machines should be used. It didn’t come to the conclusion that the machines cause any hearing loss or deafness. The Dohmie machine simply doesn’t go loud enough to be of risk to your child.
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Certified Sleep Sense Consultant Tip
“Your baby can do this! All babies are capable of learning, in fact that is what their most important job is right now! They are little sponges and are ready to soak up whatever you (as a parent) teach them. This is the best part about my job! I never worry or doubt that any baby can learn healthy sleep skills.”
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