Experts agree that babies don't necessarily like sleeping in silence. As Dr. Harvey Karp wrote in his book, The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Sleep Longer (Bantam, 2002), "Our culture believes in the strange myth that a baby wants to be left in a quiet, dark room...Although our image of the perfect nursery is one where our angel sleeps in serene quiet, to a newborn that feels a bit like being stuck in a closet. As strange as it sounds, your baby doesn't want - or need - peace and quiet."
Newborns thrive on womb-like noises and often enjoy the constant whirring of vacuums, hair dryers, and dishwashers. Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night (Better Beginnings, 2002), encourages her readers to "use music or sound as sleep cues."
Pantley points out that "Recent research indicates that soft bedtime music causes many babies to relax and fall asleep more easily...Tapes created especially for putting babies to sleep are great choices..."
She also goes on to say that using sound isn't limited to newborns. It's also a great technique to use with older babies and toddlers, "If you put your baby to sleep in a noisy, active house full of people, keeping the tape running will help mask baby-waking noises like dishes, clanking, people talking and laughing, TV, or dogs barking."
Both Pantley and Karp also agree that playing white noise/music won't foster bad habits that are hard to break in the future. Karp wrote, "Don't hesitate to use your white noise machine all night if it helps your baby sleep longer and better."
There are many ways to achieve white noise in your home, but investing in a "sound machine" might be the easiest route to take. The HoMedics SoundSpa™ Lullaby is one excellent option to consider.
The SoundSpa™ Lullaby comes with six soothing sounds (Twinkle, Twinkle, Rock-A-Bye-Baby, Cradle Song, Rain, Ocean, and Heartbeat), a rotating picture projector, and an auto-off timer that can be set for 15, 30, 45, 0r 60 minutes.
We've been using the SoundSpa™ Lullaby every night for over a month now with our toddler and we like the fact that it helps to drown out household sounds. We don't feel like we have to whisper or tip-toe around or keep the TV volume down quite as much as we did before. Plus, the rotating picture feature has become a nice part of our bedtime routine ("Let's go look at the moon and the stars...").
The HoMedics SoundSpa™ Lullaby is available for $29.99 on the HoMedics site. You can also enter your zip code to find a retailer in your area.