How loud should baby-safe white noise be?

Want to put your infant to sleep for the entire night? To aid in their relaxation and inducing sleep,

white noise should be as loud as this.

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably asked yourself this question at some point. How loud should white noise be for a baby? White noise is a great way to calm a baby and aid in their ability to fall asleep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that the white noise machine you use for your infant should create a sound level no higher than 50dB and be positioned at least one foot (30 cm) away from the crib. A white noise machine that produces pulsing or vibrating noises may also be something you want to stay away from.

If your infant is especially fussy, you might want to try out several white noise settings to see which one works best for them. While some newborns respond better to louder stimuli, others do better with gentler ones. However, don’t be alarmed if your child appears to be sleeping through the night despite the noise; white noise can actually promote greater sleep in babies by drowning out other sounds that might otherwise awaken them.

Until I came across a BMJ journal article that examined the impact of white noise on the induction of sleep in babies, I was not entirely convinced of the efficacy of white noise. According to this study, only 25% of the babies without white noise fell asleep as quickly as the 80% of babies who were exposed to it.

This is very important to know since you can rest certain that despite employing white noise your kid will not be deprived of their feeding. Whatever the situation, hungry babies will let you know!

Consequently, white noise may be worth a try if you’re looking for a way to calm down and put to sleep your baby. Use it just be sure to keep the volume at a safe level and after you have fed your baby.

How Loud Is Your White Noise Machine?

If you’re anxious about your baby’s white noise machine being too loud after learning what the safe sound levels truly are, knowing precisely how loud your white noise machine is may take you from “Have I been damaging everything oh no” to “okay good we’re fine.” There are two major approaches to figure out how loud your noise machine truly is.

Employ A Decibel Meter

The first and most accurate approach to measure the decibels produced by your white noise machine is to use a decibel metre. There are inexpensive choices on Amazon, such as this one, which is simple to use and ideal for general measures.
Using a decibel metre will give you a sense of the heard sound quantity in decibels and help you know if the white noise is at an appropriate distance and noise level for your baby’s comfort.

Aside from evaluating the white noise level, you may use this device in the long run to test other items in the house, such as sound-making toys and music, to ensure they do not harm your baby’s hearing.
Use an App (With Caution)

Another method is to use a phone app to measure sound levels. Several applications are accessible for free on the ITunes Store or Google Play. Conduct a fast search for «sound metre» or «decibel metre.»

Two factors should be kept in mind when employing this strategy. For starters, your phone may not be properly calibrated, resulting in erroneous readings. Second, most phone applications are not as accurate as a specialised decibel metre. Yet, if you’re in a panic and don’t have a decibel metre on hand, an app can provide a rough estimate of the volume.

To utilise a decibel metre app, launch it and place your phone near the source of the noise (in this case, the white noise machine). Maintain a constant distance between the microphone and the noise. Record the sound level for a few seconds and then compare it to the safe sound levels table. If it falls within the safe range, you’re set to go!

Because the Decibel scale is logarithmic, the difference between 70dB and 80dB is substantially greater than the difference between 50 and 60.

You may use this noise level comparison chart to obtain a basic sense of what different decibels sound like without having to precisely measure the noises. It offers you an idea of what different noises (from breathing to a jet take-off) sound like in terms of decibels, so you can have a better feel of what noise levels are safe for your infant.

What Does 50dB Sound Like?

The current recommended noise level for newborns in hospital nurseries is 50 decibels. It sounds like a peaceful suburb or a talk at home.

What Does 80 decibels Sound Like?

80dB is considered loud. It is twice as loud as 70dB and sounds like the inside of a typical factory or a food mixer.
Where Should You Put the White Noise Machine in Your Baby’s Room? The white noise should be at least 7 feet away from your baby’s ears.

This will assist to guarantee that they are not bothered by the noise and can sleep well. If you can’t put the machine 7 feet away, try to put it as far away from your baby’s cot as possible. You can also try to muffle the machine’s noise by storing it in a drawer or covering it with a receiving blanket. How Should a White Noise Machine Be Positioned to Mask Out Outside Sounds?

While the purpose of a white noise machine is not to drown out noises from outside, but rather to help newborns sleep better by anchoring them, many parents discover that their machine also performs an excellent job of shutting out outer noise.

If you live in the city and want to use your white noise machine to block out road noise or sirens, the ideal spot to put it is near a window. This will assist to reflect sound waves and effectively filter out noise.

If you’re concerned about noise coming in via the door, try positioning the machine near the entrance or in a corridor. This will assist to deflect the noise away from your baby’s room.

The aim is to place the white noise machine near the source of the noise you wish to drown out rather than adjacent to your baby’s ears.

Once you’ve chosen the ideal location for your white noise machine, make sure you plug it in and turn it on! You should begin to see (and hear) effects quite shortly.

Does White Noise Harm a Baby’s Hearing?

According to most authorities, prolonged (8-hour) exposure to steady noise at 80dB is likely to harm a baby’s hearing. Nevertheless, the loudness of a white noise machine is normally approximately 50-60dB, which is much below the threshold for hearing impairment.

Thus, unless you’re blasting the white noise generator at maximum intensity and placing it directly next to your baby’s head, it’s unlikely to cause any hearing impairment.

If you have been doing this on a regular basis and are concerned about the effects on your baby’s hearing, making an appointment with a specialist for a hearing test may be the best thing to do and may provide some reassurance.

That being said, kids spend around 9 months in the womb, where there is essentially nonstop background noise of roughly 85dB, with peaks of 95dB observed with each beating of the mother’s heart, according to a research published in the Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey journal.

Should You Keep White Noise On All Night For Your Baby?

You may have heard that you should only utilise white noise for brief periods of time and not whole night. Yet, no genuine study exists to back up this assertion.

The answer to whether you should leave white noise on all night relies entirely on you and your baby’s sleep requirements. When the white noise generator is switched off, some newborns continue to sleep quietly, while others awaken disturbed.

Bottom Line

White noise is the single best sleep aid since it may be used anywhere and at any age. Many parents who start with a phone app eventually upgrade to a real unit because it is more convenient.

So there you have it! If you’re wondering how loud white noise should be for a newborn, keep in mind that the AAP recommends a maximum sound level of 50dB.

Do you use white noise with your baby? Let us know in the comments!


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