White noise volume for babies: how loud should it be?

You’re trying to put your infant to sleep for the entire night. For them to relax and go to 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 wonderful technique to calm a newborn and assist them in falling asleep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the white noise machine you use for your infant be set at least one foot (30 cm) away from the crib and create noise no louder than 50 dB. A white noise generator that produces a pulsing or vibrating sound may also be something you want to avoid using.

You may want to try with several white noise levels if your infant is especially fussy in order to locate the one that suits them the most. While some babies prefer louder sounds, others are more responsive to softer ones.

And if your child appears to be sleeping through the night despite the noise, don’t worry. White noise can actually promote greater sleep in babies by obstructing other sounds that might awaken them.

Until I read a study that looked at the impact of white noise on lulling babies to sleep and that study was published in BMJ journals, I was not entirely convinced of the efficacy of white noise. According to this study, only 25% of the babies who were not exposed to white noise experienced the same rapid sleep onset as the 80% of babies who were.

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. Babies that are hungry will always let you know!

White noise may therefore be worth a try if you’re looking for a way to calm your baby and aid in their sleep. Just be sure to use it after you have fed your infant and to keep the volume at a safe level.

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.

Make Use of a Decibel Meter

A decibel metre is the first and most precise technique to measure the decibels emitted by your white noise machine. There are inexpensive choices on Amazon, such as this one, which is easy to use and ideal for general measures.

Using a decibel metre will give you a sense of the quantity of heard sound in decibels and will tell you if the white noise is at the right distance and noise level for your baby’s comfort.

Aside from evaluating the amount of white noise, 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 ears.
Make Use Of An App (With Caution)

The other option is to use a phone app to assess sound levels. There are several free apps accessible on the ITunes Store and Google Play. Conduct a fast Google search for «decibel metre» or «sound metre.»

Two factors should be kept in mind when employing this strategy. Initially, your phone may not be accurately calibrated, resulting in erroneous readings. Second, most phone applications do not provide the same level of precision as a specialised decibel metre. Yet, if you’re in a panic and don’t have a decibel metre, an app can give you a rough estimate of the volume.

To utilise a decibel metre app, launch it and place your phone close to the source of the noise (in this case, the white noise machine). Maintain an unobstructed view of the microphone and a constant distance from the noise. Take a few seconds to record the sound level and then compare it to the safe sound levels table. You’re good to go if it’s within the safe range!

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

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

How Does 50dB Sound?

The current recommended noise limit for newborns in hospital nurseries is 50 decibels (dB). That sounds like a peaceful suburb or a private talk.

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 Your Baby’s White Noise Machine? The white noise should be kept at least 7 feet away from your baby’s ears.

This will assist to guarantee that the noise does not bother them and that they can sleep well. If you can’t get the machine 7 feet away, get it as far away from your baby’s cot as possible. You may also try putting the machine in a drawer or covering it with a receiving blanket to muffle the sound.

How Can You Position A White Noise Generator Strategically To Mask Out Outside Sounds?

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

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

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

The idea 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.

After you’ve chosen the ideal location for your white noise machine, plug it in and turn it on! You should start seeing (and hearing) effects quite soon.

Is it possible for white noise to harm a baby’s hearing?

According to most authorities, continuous exposure (8 hours) to continual noise at 80dB is likely to induce hearing impairment in a neonate. The sound of a white noise machine, on the other hand, is typically 50-60dB, which is substantially below the threshold for hearing loss.

Thus, unless you’re blasting the white noise generator at maximum power and placing it very next to your baby’s head, it’s unlikely to cause your kid any hearing harm.

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

That being said, according to a research published in the Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey journal, newborns spend roughly 9 months in the womb where there is literally non-stop background noise of about 85dB with peaks of 95dB noted with each beating of the mother’s heart.

Should You Leave White Noise on for Your Newborn All Night?

You may have heard that white noise should only be used for brief periods of time and not entire night. Yet, there is no study to back up this assertion.

The answer to whether you should leave white noise on all night is ultimately dependent on your sleep demands and those of your infant. When the white noise generator is switched off, some newborns continue to sleep quietly, while others wake up frightened.

To summarise

White noise is the finest sleep aid since it can be used anywhere and at any age. Many parents who begin with a phone app eventually upgrade to a real unit since it is far more handy.

That’s it! When you’re wondering how loud white noise should be for a newborn, remember that the AAP recommends a maximum sound level of 50dB.

Do you use white noise when your infant is sleeping? Please share your thoughts in the comments!


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