White Noise for Babies | What Parents Should Know

Jan 4, 2024 | 0 comments

White noise has gained popularity as a soothing tool for babies, as it mimics the familiar sounds they heard in their mother’s womb. It is a continuous, gentle sound that can help calm restless infants and promote better sleep. However, like any other tool, white noise has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using white noise for babies.

What is White Noise?

White noise for babies is a continuous and consistent sound that is often used to soothe and calm infants. It is a type of noise that contains all audible frequencies, similar to the sound of a fan, rain falling, or static on a television. White noise is called so because it includes all the different frequencies of sound, just like white light includes all the colors of light.


In the context of babies, white noise is used to create a comforting environment that mimics the sounds they heard while in the womb. When babies were inside their mother, they were surrounded by various sounds, such as the mother’s heartbeat, blood flow, and other gentle noises. These sounds were constant and provided a sense of security and familiarity to the baby. By using white noise, parents aim to recreate that familiar environment for their babies outside the womb. The gentle and continuous sound of white noise can help mask other noises in the surroundings, providing a soothing and calming effect for the baby. It can also help drown out sudden sounds that may startle the baby, allowing them to relax and potentially fall asleep more easily.

White noise machines or apps are commonly used to provide this constant sound. These devices produce a steady and consistent noise that can be adjusted in volume to suit the baby’s needs. White noise can be particularly helpful in environments where there are disruptive sounds, such as traffic noise or household activities.

It’s important to note that white noise should be used responsibly and in moderation. Parents should ensure that the volume is set at a safe level and that the white noise source is not placed too close to the baby’s ears. It’s also important to provide opportunities for babies to experience a variety of sounds during their waking hours, as it contributes to their auditory development and language acquisition.

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What is the Best White Noise to Help a Baby Sleep?

When it comes to choosing the best white noise to help a baby sleep, it can vary from one baby to another as each baby has unique preferences. However, there are a few types of white noise that are commonly found to be effective in soothing babies and promoting sleep:

  • Gentle Shushing: The rhythmic “shh” sound imitates what babies heard in the womb and can be comforting to them.
  • Womb Sounds: White noise machines or apps that offer sounds that mimic the noises in the womb, such as whooshing or pulsating sounds, can be soothing for babies.
  • Nature Sounds: Sounds like rain, ocean waves, or gentle winds can create a calming and peaceful environment for sleep.
  • Fan or Air Conditioner: The steady and consistent sound of a fan or air conditioner can help mask other noises and provide a soothing background noise.
  • Heartbeat Sounds: Recordings or devices that replicate the sound of a heartbeat can remind babies of the familiar sounds they heard in the womb.

It’s important to note that what works best for one baby may not work for another. It may require some trial and error to find the specific white noise that your baby responds to positively. Additionally, always ensure that the volume is set at a safe level and consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

What Type of White Noise is Best for Babies?

When it comes to white noise for babies, there are various options that can be effective in soothing them to sleep. Here are some popular choices:

  • White Noise Machines: These devices are specifically designed to produce a steady and consistent sound, resembling white noise. Look for machines that offer a variety of sound options, such as rain, waves, or heartbeat, as babies may have individual preferences.
White Noise Machines
  • Apps and Videos: Many smartphone apps and online videos provide white noise sounds that can be played for your baby. These can include sounds like hairdryers, running water, rain, or gentle lullabies. Make sure to use a safe volume and keep the device at a distance from your baby.
  • Household Items: Some parents find that everyday household items can create white noise. For example, a fan, air purifier, or humidifier can produce a gentle and continuous sound that helps to calm the baby.
  • Shushing: The sound of “shushing” is a natural form of white noise that parents can create themselves. Using a gentle and rhythmic “shh” sound near the baby’s ear can be soothing and remind them of the comforting sounds they heard in the womb.

When Should You Stop Using White Noise Sounds?

White Noise for Babies

White noise sounds can be really helpful when your baby is going through tough times, like struggling to sleep in the first few months or dealing with colic. But you shouldn’t rely on white noise all the time, just like you wouldn’t give your child the same food every day.

Babies aren’t naturally good at sleeping; it’s something they learn. If you constantly have a white noise machine on, it might make it harder for your baby to learn how to soothe themselves and fall asleep without help. As your baby grows, it’s important to establish sleep schedules and bedtime routines that teach them to sleep more independently.

White noise can be a great tool to help newborns and babies sleep well. It’s safe, affordable, and won’t harm your baby’s hearing unless used incorrectly. However, it’s not something you and your baby should rely on forever. Eventually, even the fussiest baby needs to learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep on their own.

When Should You Start Using White Noise for Your Baby?

You can start using white noise for your baby right from the beginning. Just remember to always follow the guidelines for safe sleep.

It’s important to use white noise in a safe way. Here are some tips to follow:

  • If your baby gets upset or uncomfortable, turn off the white noise machine or lower the volume.
  • Keep the white noise machine at least two meters away from your baby’s crib or bed.
  • Make sure the sound level is not too loud, it should be under 50 decibels, which is like a quiet conversation or a running shower. You can use the lowest setting on your machine.
  • Keep the white noise machine out of your baby’s reach and make sure any cords are safely tucked away.
  • Always read and follow the instructions and safety warnings provided by the manufacturer.
  • Turn off the white noise machine once your baby is asleep.

White Noise vs. Pink Noise 

White noise and pink noise are both types of sound commonly used for various purposes, including promoting sleep and relaxation. The main difference between white noise and pink noise lies in their frequency distribution.

White Noise vs. Pink Noise 
  • White Noise: White noise is a sound that contains equal energy across all frequencies within the audible range. It is like a “hissing” or “static” sound that covers the entire spectrum. White noise has equal intensity at every frequency, making it a flat sound. It includes all frequencies from low to high.
  • Pink Noise: Pink noise, on the other hand, is a sound that has equal energy per octave. It contains more low-frequency energy compared to high-frequency energy. Pink noise follows a power-law distribution, meaning that as the frequency increases, the energy decreases. It is often described as a deeper and fuller sound compared to white noise. Pink noise is sometimes referred to as “bassier” or “warmer” than white noise.

The preference between white noise and pink noise for children’s sleep can vary from child to child. There is no definitive answer as to which one is universally better, as individual preferences and responses to different sounds can differ.

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Some children may find white noise more soothing and effective for sleep, as it provides a consistent and steady sound that masks other noises and creates a sense of calmness. On the other hand, some children may respond better to pink noise, which is often described as having a more soothing and relaxing quality due to its emphasis on lower frequencies.

It is recommended to try both white noise and pink noise to see which one your child responds to more positively. You can experiment with different sounds and observe how your child’s sleep is affected. Ultimately, the goal is to create a peaceful and conducive sleep environment for your child, so choose the option that works best for them and promotes restful sleep.


We hope this information about White Noise for Babies has been helpful to you. If you have any funny or memorable experiences using white noise for your kids, we would love to hear about them. Your comments inspire us to create more useful content for our readers! Don’t forget to subscribe to our daily newsletter to stay updated on our latest blog posts. Thank you!

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