Sound machines offer a temporary way to soothe babies and help them get the sleep they need - and their parents too. Sound machines produce a constant soothing noise that lulls your baby to sleep. It also masks household noises to help your baby stay asleep. The lulls can remind the baby of familiar noises from the womb.
While sound machines are commonly used, there are some things to be aware of - such as when to start and stop using a sound machine. Keep reading for valuable information about sound machines and when to use them to keep your precious baby safe.
When can a baby start using a sound machine?
It’s never too early to introduce a sound machine to your baby. Sound machines can be brought in for babies as young as newborn. Remember, your baby is still getting acclimated to this great big world so creating a calming environment that reminds them of where they came from can help them sleep. This can include a sound machine along with other things such as a gently weighted swaddle.
How do you introduce a sound machine for baby sleep?
There is no ritual involved when introducing a sound machine to a baby. However, there are some guidelines to follow.
The sound machine should be placed far away from the baby (at least 6 feet away) so they will not notice it as an unusual or scary object. Note, it’s best to maintain this distance between the machine and the baby to ensure the baby does not get into any of its electrical components. You should also never place the sound machine in the baby’s crib or in any location where it may fall on your baby.
The baby should not have an adverse reaction to the noise of the sound machine as long as it’s kept at a reasonable decibel level that will not hurt the baby’s ears. 60 to 70 decibels is recommended. If the baby is crying, you may want to turn the machine up 100 decibels, so they hear it over their wails. Turn it back down once they stop crying.
In the rare case that your child does not react well to the sound machine, you may want to try different settings. For example, most sound machines will produce a variety of noises such as:
- White noise
- Fan noises
- A simulation of the mother’s heartbeat in the womb
- Classic lullabies and other soothing music
- Nature sounds
- Wind blowing
… and so on. If your baby is becoming upset regardless of the setting, the sound machine may not be the best tool to use.
Should you leave a sound machine on all night for a baby?
Experts advise parents not to leave a sound machine on all night for a baby.
This is why you may want to invest in one with a timer. The machine will shut off automatically, so you don’t have to come in the room and turn it off, running the risk of waking up your little one.
Can babies become dependent on sound machines?
Yes, babies can become dependent on sound machines. If you stop using sound machines, they may be unable to fall asleep, especially at first.
Parents who want to get their baby to fall asleep easily under any circumstances may want to stop using sound machines when the baby grows up. However, experts point out that continuing to use sound machines shouldn’t do any damage to a baby’s health.
When should you stop using a sound machine?
If you want to stop using a sound machine for your baby, it’s best to wean them off it at the 6 month to one year mark.
The reason babies like sound machines is because they mimic the aural atmosphere of the womb. By the time babies are 6 months to a year, they should become mature enough to self-soothe and won’t miss the womb as much. Therefore, it’s likely they will be in good shape to move on from a sound machine.
How do you wean my baby off the sound machine?
There are a variety of methods you can use to wean your baby off a sound machine. One is to go cold turkey and abruptly stop using it. However, this method is usually only effective with white noise machines and in some cases, it may not work at all.
It’s advisable to take a more gradual approach. Here’s what’s involved in the process.
- Choose a nap or bedtime to start the process. Stick with your usual routine for getting the baby to sleep. Once the baby is in deep sleep (usually after about 20 minutes) turn the machine down. After an hour, turn it off completely. Repeat this routine for every sleep and nap time for the next 2 -3 days.
- For the following 2 -3 days, keep up the routine, but instead of lowering the machine, start with it at a lower volume. Then after 20 minutes turn it off completely.
After these 4-6 days are over, your baby should be able to get to sleep without the aid of the machine.
Combine a Sound Machine with a Weighted Swaddle for the Perfect Nighttime Routine
When your baby was in the womb, they were in a tight space with familiar noises. Now that they are adapting to life outside the womb - they will need help transitioning. A sound machine can produce the auditory elements of the womb while the swaddle will provide them with that warm, protected feeling they crave. The combination can soothe them so they can fall asleep and stay asleep.
Dreamland Weighted Sleep Sacks and Swaddles feature CoverCalm® technology that evenly distributes weight from the baby’s shoulders to toes to naturally reduce stress and increase relaxation - Dreamland swaddles are proven to help babies sleep. Plus, they’re user-friendly design makes them a breeze for exhausted parents desperate for some sleep.