Sound machines are designed to provide a gentle and relaxing background noise that helps block out distractions. They also help create a consistent sleep environment as the same sound is played throughout the night, providing babies with familiarity and comfort. The low-level noise from the machine can create a cocoon-like effect, calming them down and allowing them to find restful sleep.
However, as with any product that we use for our children, there are also potential risks involved. The team at Baby Shusher have provided the following guide for parents. With these safety measures in place, you should be able to successfully use a sound machine to help your baby relax and get a peaceful night’s sleep.
Benefits Of Sound Machines For Babies
Sound machines come with a range of benefits for babies:
1. Helping Babies Sleep
By providing a consistent soundscape and masking out distractions, sound machines are great tools for helping babies sleep better at night.
2. Blocking Out Distractions
The gentle noise emitted by sound machines helps block out external noise and provides a peaceful atmosphere where babies can relax and sleep.
3. Calming Fussy Babies
The low-level white noise from the sound machine is soothing for fussy infants, helping them to calm down and fall asleep.
4. Creating A Consistent Sleep Environment
The low-level noise from the sound machine helps create a consistent sleep environment, allowing babies to become familiar and comfortable with their sleeping arrangements.
5. Supporting The Development Of Auditory Skills
The continuous sound from the sound machine helps stimulate auditory development in infants, supporting the healthy growth of their auditory skills.
Concerns About Sound Machines For Babies
Are sound machines bad for babies? No, it is beneficial. However, here are a few possible risks that are possible if it is misused. These include:
1. Loud Volume
If the volume on the sound machine is too high, it can cause hearing damage and might even lead to hearing loss in babies.
2. Risk Of Sleep Disruption
If the sound machine is too loud or playing music, it can disrupt sleep patterns and negatively affect your baby’s sleep quality.
3. Risk Of Masking Important Sounds
The low-level noise from the sound machine could potentially mask out important household or outside noises that are necessary for your baby’s safety.
4. Dependance On The Machine
Babies can become dependent on the sound machine and might find it hard to sleep without it over time.
How To Use Sound Machines Safely
When using a sound machine, be sure to:
1. Choose A Machine With Appropriate Volume And Sound Options
Choose a sound machine that has adjustable volume and sound options so you can control the level of noise it emits. Check that the volume is not too loud for your baby’s ears as even low-level sounds can cause hearing damage when used for an extended time.
2. Place The Sound Machine At A Safe Distance From The Baby
Place the sound machine at a safe distance from your baby to ensure that it will not be too loud. You can check this by placing your hand near the machine when it’s turned on and testing the sound levels.
3. Use The Machine Only When Needed
It is important to use the sound machine only when needed as overuse can lead to an over reliance on noise for sleeping. This could potentially disrupt sleep patterns in the future, so be sure to use the machine only when necessary.
4. Monitor The Baby While They're Sleeping
Be sure to monitor your baby while they are sleeping with the sound machine to ensure that it is playing at an appropriate level and not causing any discomfort or disruption.
*this post has been adapted from the Baby Shusher website, you can read the original post HERE.