The Pros And Cons Of White Noise For Babies

The Pros And Cons Of White Noise For Babies

25 Apr 2023 | 5 min Read

Sudeshna Chakravarti

Author | 705 Articles

When it comes to soothing their little ones to sleep, many parents wonder about the benefits of white noise for babies. White noise essentially refers to background noise that helps mask other sounds occurring naturally in the environment. For instance, if you live just across a busy street, white noise can help block out the noise associated with traffic.

Additionally, certain white noise machines are equipped with instrumental lullabies that mimic the sound of a mother’s heart and help babies relax and fall asleep quickly. But is white noise for babies really safe? Let’s find out in this post.

Is It Safe To Use White Noise For Babies?

White Noise For Babies

White noise can be used to relax fussy babies and soothe them to sleep / Image credit: Freepik

Yes, white noise is safe for babies, but you have to practice some caution while implementing it. The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) suggests using a white noise machine no louder than 50 decibels. 

The association also recommends placing the machine well away from your baby’s crib and putting it on low volume. It is also advisable to switch off the machine once your little one falls asleep.

How Exactly Does White Noise Help Your Baby Sleep?

White noise creates a comfortable environment for your little one to help signal that it is time to sleep. The reason why white noise is considered effective is that it mimics the sounds your munchkin heard in the womb.

White noise also covers possible distractions and other bodily discomforts, such as teething and hunger, and further encourages a good night’s sleep in your little one. 

Pros Of Using White Noise For Babies

The biggest pro of using white noise for babies is that it helps soothe them and helps them get the sleep that they need. A study by the National Institute of Health found that 80% of babies who were exposed to white noise fell asleep within five minutes, while only 20/5 of them without the background sound fell asleep as quickly.

As you know, newborns require 14-17 hours of sleep per day, and older babies need 12-16 hours of sleep, including naps. So if a white noise machine helps your little one sleep easily, then you can consider it a smart investment.

Cons Of Using White Noise For Babies

The cons of using white noise for babies is pretty straightforward. While some babies may simply not like the sound of white noise, and act fussy, others may become too dependent and are unlikely to sleep until you play some white noise in the background.

Additionally, if the white noise is too constant and loud, it increases the risk of hearing loss in your baby, and hence, you should introduce it to your baby only after determining their sleeping patterns.

What Is The Best White Noise For Babies?

White Noise For Babies

Make sure to choose monotonous and low-pitched sounds as they are ideal for soothing your baby to sleep / Image credit: Freepik

While most white noise machines feature multiple sounds, only monotonous, continuous, and low-pitch noises work the best to lull your baby to sleep. Some of the best sleep sounds that are specially designed to relax and soothe your munchkin include

  • Sound of the rain: This peaceful sound is perfect for soothing both babies and parents.
  • Strong hair dryer sound: This sound is ideal for calming fussy babies and putting them to sleep.
  • Sound of a train: This sound mimics a calming heartbeat-like rhythm and helps your baby drift to a sweet slumber.
  • Shushing sounds: This sound helps your baby feel secure and is ideal for fussy and irritated babies.
  • Fast-paced white noise: This sound is also beneficial for fussy babies who have trouble sleeping throughout the night.

When Should You Stop Using White Noise For Babies?

White noise is incredibly beneficial during the difficult stages of your little one’s life, especially in the first few months, when they struggle to sleep through the night or show symptoms of colic. But as discussed, you should try not to make your little one too dependent on white noise machines due to their long-term consequences.

While there is no set age to stop using white noise for your baby, you can reduce exposure to them as your little one’s sleeping habits develop. Once you have a consistent sleep schedule in place, you can help your little one sleep independently, without completely depending on a white noise machine.


White noise for babies is highly-beneficial and it can help them get quality sleep that is essential for their overall growth and development. While it is safe and recommended for babies, make sure to use white noise machines with caution. For instance, keep them well away from your little one’s crib, and also make sure the volume is low to avoid hearing complications in your baby.

If you are still concerned about using white noise, consult your child’s paediatrician for more guidance on its safety and usage. 

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