White noise is a new mom’s best friend. Why? It reminds your baby of his “happy place”—the womb! It’s anything but quiet in there. Remember when your OB squirted that dollop of gel on your belly and slid his microphone around, to detect your baby’s pulse? You heard noise like the low roar of a jet engine or a gush of running water (should you submerge your head in bathwater while filling the tub.) You were eavesdropping on your baby, listening to his favorite soundtrack!
Imagine what it was like for him to leave that raucous environment and enter a world of whispers, tip-toeing and silence. While adults may crave stillness, it’s shocking for babies. Think about what it might be like if you were suddenly shoved in a dark closet, and, well…you get the picture.
White noise eases your baby’s transition to our great big world. Not only does she like this familiar, loud sound, she needs it! It’s one of the most important triggers of the calming reflex. (Remember, that’s the relative “off-switch” for crying and “on-switch” for sleep all babies are born with.)
One of the easiest ways to recreate womb noise is good, old-fashioned shushing. Put your lips just a couple of inches away from your baby’s ear and making a long, loud, drawn-out “Shhhhh” sound. Do it as loud (and for as long) as your baby is wailing!
But even the most practiced baby calmers get fatigued by continuous, loud shushing. You're going to want some help to keep up with your baby's needs. All of the recommendations below are absolutely safe for your baby's ears...her own crying is much louder!
4 Fantastic Substitutes for Shushing
1. A hair dryer, vacuum cleaner or other noisy appliance
Wearing your baby while vacuuming makes you one mean multitasking-mama!
We invented the first science-based smart crib, which responds to your baby’s cries with soothing womb-like motion in addition to white noise, a close replication of what a fetus hears inside the belly. SNOO uses 3 different kinds depending on your infant’s needs at any particular moment: high-pitched, to get her attention and “snap” her out of fussing; low and rumbly, to calm and soothe her to sleep; and “rain on the rooftop,” a favorite sleep cue of…almost everyone, right?
Our CD/ MP3 perfectly mimics the rough rumble of the womb. Most noise machines, phone apps and toys are just too hissy. Their sound can be more like fingernails on a chalkboard to a baby!
You don’t want to waste water, but bring your baby into the bathroom while you shower! You'll both be calmed by the patter of the water.
When to Use White Noise
White noise is best used to calm crying, getting ready for bed and during sleep. Similar to how SNOO works, use different levels for different results. It can also be helpful to play it in the car to keep your munchkin calm—or use it during feedings, if your nosy little bub is distracted by this, that and the other thing when he’s supposed to be eating!