When to stop using white noise for baby?
White noise devices have very quickly become a useful household item. The soothing sound pleases people of all ages and even toddlers and infants. A lot of rumors regarding the white noise are spread, especially regarding their use for the babies. It’s a great idea using white noise for the baby if followed by a correct level of usage and discontinuing it in a timely manner. Here in this article, I am going to explain and the basic understanding points regarding this issue based on facts, and how a person can handle the matter of using white noise for babies.
When to stop using the white noise device for babies?
In the bigger picture, there is nothing wrong with the white noise usage for babies at all. The new born babies and even toddlers could safely use the white noise machines. However, there could be some conditions where such therapy would not work in a desirable way and should be stopped (the Baby sleep co). The following are some of those scenarios at a glance:
Using white noise at 85 decibels or above – White noise at 85 decibels is as loud as a blender or a hair dryer. Therefore, if your baby is put against a device producing 85 decibels of sound then that could cause hearing loss in them at a later stage of their life. In such case, either the therapy should be stopped or the device should be replaced with one producing the lower or desirable level of sound. 50 decibels is reasonably a fair sound level for an all-night sleep (Today’s Parent).
Keeping a safe distance – Placing the device in close approximation or just next to the crib is not acceptable, especially when you are looking to use it all through the night. The consistent sound at a close distance could cause harm to hearing (Pediatrics Digest). The more you have the distance between your baby and the white noise machine, less likely it may cause any harm to the baby. It should be kept at a safe distance across the room and not anywhere close to the crib. To be more precise, the device ideally should be placed at a distance of 200cm from the baby.
Overdose is not desirable – One should understand that a sound that might not be harmful to listen for 10 minutes could possibly be harmful if used for a longer period of time. There are parents who play such machines casually and 24/7 which could cause trouble even when played at 60 decibels or lower. For adults, it is recommended to use the white noise for less than 8 hours at a level of 85 decibels. Research for babies on this aspect is still underway.
However, it is obvious that for babies, the dose of white noise and sounds should ideally be half if not further less as compared to the adults. Some people also believe that the noise in the womb is also loud but one should understand that womb is a different environment. Sound traveling and reaction in different environments is different. Lastly, automatic shutdown feature and/ or the built-in timer in such devices are highly desirable.
Don’t use unregulated devices – Unregulated devices for white noise should not be used. It is because the unregulated devices are not reliable in terms of producing the desired sound level and they might also not adjust according to your requirements. The regulated equipment complies with the health safety regulations and addresses issues such as phthalates, flammability, strangling and choking hazards etc.
Don’t use without the advice of your pediatrician – It should be understood that all babies are born different and they react differently to different things and/ or situations. New born babies could have some physical or health related issues. Therefore, if you are using a white noise device then you should closely observe the effects and your baby’s behavior in reaction to the sound and if the baby is becoming too much dependant on it, you need to regulate the duration and the sound level or may be alternate the types of sounds you are using to avoid dependence on one
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that white noise is not at all harmful, only when it is properly used. The usage of such devices should be stopped for babies if the device in use is not regulated, it is not set at a sound level of 50 decibels, it is placed very close to the baby and when it is operated throughout the night when the baby is sleep, it does not have an automatic shut-down feature or you have not consulted pediatrician before using it for your baby.