All About White Noise
When I was pregnant, and victim of the Facebook advertising algorithm, I saw endless adverts for devices emitting white noise. I told my husband who recoiled in horror; white noise was a device of torture as far as he'd heard. I assured him to a baby white noise was comforting. Since then I've tried several products, a couple of which I will discuss below (not sponsored), which have been amazing.
So let's start with the basics, what is white noise? To put on my scientist hat for a moment, white noise is a range of frequencies of sound playing at the same intensity. This creates a sound which helps to block out other noise. For that reason, it can help both adults and babies sleep. For babies, white noise mimics the sounds in the womb. When born, babies have gone from a small space surrounded by the constant whoosh of mum's pulse and all the other bodily noises, to being exposed in an open space with lights and sounds that are so unfamiliar. White noise can help with that.
We can all create our own brief white noise with a shhhhh. And there's other household items that can mimic white noise - such as a hoover or a washing machine. Things that people have inadvertently found will settle their babies. For me, I tried white noise one night in the early hours out of desperation. I went to YouTube on my phone and was gobsmacked when the sound playing soothed my baby so well. The white noise doesn't bother me or my husband, but when my brother visited some time ago he couldn't bear the sound. Not even briefly. He can't be alone, so that is one major downside for a new parent if the only thing that settles their baby is a sound they find torturous! So what products work best? We've all heard of Ewan the sheep (if you haven't, I will put a link below). I've got one and he's great (yes "he" - he's a real sheep you know!). I found that he helped my baby get to sleep and in particular to then stay asleep. But the noises on Ewan were not what I expected - they are all white noise mixed with other sounds - a heartbeat, a hoover. I noticed it was pure white noise which really worked best with my baby in the moments where he was really screaming the place down.
Enter Owley! Not his official title, but what we've named him. I will put a link below for where you can buy him (again this is not sponsored!). Owly gives out pure white noise, at a range of volumes. He also has a little lullaby, and has a light. He comes in the pram, attaches to the cot and is rapidly taking the number 1 spot. Owley will send my baby to sleep when he's groggy, and keep him asleep when he's on the edge. Did white noise help your baby? Let me know in the comments below!