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How Calming Sounds Can Get Your Baby to Sleep

by BetterSleep
Jan 24 • 4 min read
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Any parent or caregiver knows that getting babies to sleep can be demanding. Add adult sleep deprivation into the mix, and it becomes a recipe for an emotional breakdown.

New parents often think that babies will naturally fall asleep when they’re tired. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case. However, several tools can create the right environment to allow your baby to fall asleep easily.

And one of those tools is playing gentle sleep sounds for your little one.

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What makes sleep sounds so comforting for babies

When it comes to getting your baby to sleep, it’s all about recreating the cozy environment of the womb— and sounds are no exception.

The womb is a fairly loud environment where the fetus can constantly hear the noises of the outside world muffled through amniotic fluid. Therefore, the quiet of the outside world is foreign and discomforting to the newborn baby. As counterintuitive as it may seem to adults, noises that mimic womb-like sounds are very comforting for young babies.

It’s true that parents have sworn that running the vacuum cleaner or hairdryer gets babies to sleep for decades. But recent science also confirms that sleep sounds, including white noise, can help put babies to sleep.

Science shows that white noise helps babies get to sleep

Sleep sounds, including white noise, is a constant sound hearable across all frequencies. As a result, it mutes external noises like the neighbor’s barking dog or the 6 AM garbage truck. White noise has been proven to help newborns fall asleep faster— as quick as after five minutes in this study.

But white noise isn’t just for babies; it’s for parents too. Incidentally, this study demonstrated that white noise helped young adults with sleep troubles fall asleep faster as well.

Even though white noise tends to be the catch-all phrase for constant background noise, other sounds can also help babies drift off to sleep peacefully. Whichever you decide to try out, BetterSleep has a collection of over 200 sounds to help you put your little one to sleep.

Nature sleep sounds

These include harmonious ambiance sounds from nature like rain, ocean waves, wind, thunder, crickets, and more.

Brown noise

The lesser-known brown noise is also associated with relaxation and improved sleep. In this type of sound, the higher frequencies are lower and the result is a stronger, more forceful sound like a rapid river, a gusting wind, or a waterfall.

Pink noise

Pink noise is similar to white noise but with louder lower frequencies and quieter high frequencies. This creates a softer sound than brown noise, resembling waves lapping on the shore or leaves rustling in the wind. A study has found an association with listening to pink noise and a reduction in brain activity, leading to more quality sleep.

Womb sounds

If babies were comforted by the noises of the womb, then why not get to the point? Create a womb sound with a combination of white noise, a heartbeat, and underwater sounds. Turn it on and say, “Nighty, night,” to your baby.

Should you use sleep sounds for babies?

One word of caution—after an extensive study on white noise machines on the market, the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised that volume level should be moderate and the device kept at least seven feet away from the baby. Otherwise, playing sleep sounds is a safe and practical way to help your baby relax and fall asleep more quickly.

We’re confident your little one will thank you by giving you a good night’s rest.

Looking for something to help your older kids fall asleep? Check out Make Bedtime Easier With Meditation for Kids!

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