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Is White Noise Dangerous?

Is white noise really dangerous? Should you get rid of your white noise machine? Actually, quite the contrary! White noise is a very helpful and useful tool to aid in helping your child sleep and mask surrounding noises. Click through to learn why! baby sleep tips | how to get your baby to sleep | newborn sleep | sleep chart | parenting #sleepbabylove #sleeptips #sleep #parenting #sleepthroughthenight #newmom #babysleep #newborn

Have you seen yesterday’s article talking about how white noise machines may be causing a potential threat if they are too loud and too close? Is white noise really dangerous?

Should you get rid of your white noise machine?  Not in my opinion!  (White noise is a very helpful and useful tool to aid in helping your child sleep and mask surrounding noises.)  But, should you do it safely?  You bet!

Researchers from the University of Toronto claimed that at 100 centimeters, many white noise machines were over the 50 decibels that is used in many hospital nurseries, which may be loud enough for potential harm.  It should be noted that the white noise machines were being used at maximum level at a location where the machine would either be in the crib or very close to the baby’s head.

Let’s test it out!

So I decided to test my daughter’s white noise machine using a free app called Decibel-O-Meter (awesome name!).

  • At 30 centimeters, it scored 58 decibels (which is super close)
  • At 100 centimeters, it scored 48 decibels.
  • Depicting where my baby sleeps in the crib, over 6 feet away, it scored 38 decibels (well lower than the 50 decibel nursery average)

The study’s author, Dr. Papsin said “Farther away is less dangerous, a lower volume is better and shorter durations of time, all things that deliver less sound pressure to the baby,”

So how can use white noise safe and effectively:

  • Do not put a white noise machine or stuffed animal in your baby’s crib (or anything for that fact according the safe crib practices by the AAP).
  • As a best practice, place the white noise machine on a wall that gets the most noise as far away from the crib as possible .
  • Limit your use of white noise outside of sleeping hours.
  • Promote many healthy sleep habits for your child not just using white noise!

What was your take on the article?  Do you think white noise is dangerous?  Do you use white noise in your child’s room?  My 3 year old does not want her machine on anymore, but it was going strong for 3 years!  My 14 month is going strong with it!

Susie Parker

Susie Parker is founder of Sleep Baby Love and a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute. When Susie's not ridding the world of sleepless families, she loves spending time with her two girls that have given her a ton of real world sleep experience head on.

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