|My husband and I can’t agree on the noise issue. He
feels that baby must be able to sleep through any normal household
noise. I, however, am so tired and desperate for the baby
to sleep that tiptoeing around does not seem a large price
to pay! How do we settle this?
In fact the womb from which your baby emerged not so long
ago was quite a noisy place. As well as the sounds of your
body working (like your heart beat and breathing), your
baby could hear music and conversations that were going
on outside the womb. If you can get hold of a recording
of the sound inside a womb, you may be surprised at how
noisy it is! So extreme quiet may actually be disturbing
to a baby, who is used to quite a large amount of background
noise. Remember that in large open plan office complexes,
white noise is used to mask the intensity of the noise made
in the office.
So background noise can be a good thing. The gentle hum
of the vacuum cleaner or washing machine, the radio turned
down to a low volume, the sound of conversation in the background,
are all things that may help your baby to feel safe and
able to sleep. Trying to create an extremely silent environment
can eventually mean that baby will struggle to sleep in
any other environment, which can be hard on all of you.
The kind of noise that can be a problem and will probably
waken the baby is often the very kind that is difficult
to control. Things like the dog next door barking or a car
hooting outside can be problematic. For this reason it may
not be a bad idea to change the things you can – turn
the phone down to a soft ring, and perhaps get a new doorbell.
Sudden and loud noises that wake baby with a fright are
not helpful in any situation.
However there are babies who are extremely sensitive to
noise. If you have a baby who seems to be easily upset by
small amounts of noise, then it is worth making attempts
to keep the baby’s environment particularly quiet.
Some babies do grow out of this phase and become less sensitive.
You may want to experiment to see how to help this situation.
Maybe a very soft recording of special soothing baby music
will be enough to calm baby and cover any annoying background
So the story is that unless your baby is one for whom noise
is a big issue, it may be wiser to follow your husband’s
thinking, and create a warm safe environment for your baby
which includes the normal sounds of household life.
Sleep - Altered sleep routine
Sleep - Appropriate
sleep routines (Jacqui Flint advises)
Sleep - Dealing
with Catnapping (Author Erica Neser advises)
Sleep - Darkened
Sleep - Night
Sleep - Reasons for waking
Sleep - Sighing
Sleep - Sleep routines for Baby (Author Erica Neser advises)
Sleep - Surviving Co-sleeping (Author Erica Neser advises)
Sleep - Toddler Sleep Problems (Author Erica Neser advises)