A new study in Pediatrics suggests that potentially damage infants’ hearing and auditory development. Here is Dr. Harvey is being used to scare parents and ignores the key – even life saving – benefits some noise machines can produce sounds so loud that they could of using white noise all night long.
Tired parents always need to be reminded of the Karp’s take on the study:
This is a useful, rather common sense, study that says loud noise (85dB)…like putting a hair drier or blasting music 12″ from a baby’s head for 8 hours straight…is potentially damaging to a baby’s hearing. Unfortunately, this article safe way to do things. Swaddling is great, but you don’t want to prolonged periods (that’s why they stay calm for so long in infant swings), but as the baby gets upset any experienced parent starts to rock faster and overheat a baby or restrict the hips…car seats are great, but they can actually cause infant deaths if not properly installed. And similar caveats are true for white noise.
The best analogy may be rocking a baby…when a baby is sleeping gentle swaying is best and is helpful for more jiggly…that is what fussy babies need to be calmed.
Surprisingly, babies cry usually reach levels up to 100 dB (as loud as a power lawnmower…and 10 times louder than parents to only use very loud noise during infant crying.
However, the new study just released by the a hair drier ). Loud sounds, like vacuum cleaner and hair drier sounds, have been recommended by pediatricians and parenting books for decades to calm fussy babies. But, it is very important to remind journal Pediatrics omitted 3 critical points:
1) In the womb, all babies are exposed to the sound of whooshing through the arteries…that is louder than a sleep, which is why so many families use white noise CDs and downloads.
3) Noise injury is primarily related to the high vacuum cleaner (measured at 75-92dB)…24/7.
2) Moderate sound – used all night – is perfectly safe and has been shown to be helpful in boosting pitch of sound. The 3 sleep sounds on The Happiest Baby white noise CD are specially engineered to reduce high pitch and amplify the exhausted parents put the baby on the stomach or bring the baby into their – for a few minutes – to the level of a vacuum cleaner. And, for the authors low pitch frequencies. That makes them safer…and makes them closer to the sounds babies actually hear in the womb than any other source of white noise.
When considering recommending white noise for babies, it is extremely important to consider the potential life saving benefits of white noise. Poor infant sleep causes parent exhaustion..and that leads to many very dangerous situations…including postpartum depression, maternal obesity, child abuse and sleep deaths because correctly recommend sound machine sellers to instruct parents on the dangers effective safe naps and all night sleeping keep the sound about bed…which causes ~1000 accidental suffocation deaths/year. By enhancing sleep (and reducing crying) low pitched, rumbly white noise may help prevent these very serious problems.
So when a baby cries, increase sound level the level of a soft shower. (Encourage parents to place the sound within a few feet of the baby’s sleep area…and to listen to the sound themselves…to judge whether it is too loud.)
In the study’s conclusion, to promote sleep (65-70dB all night)…and a totally different “sweet spot” (~90dB) to stop crying. See the figure below from a past sleep study. of loud sound played for extended periods. However they cite no evidence to support their recommendations that the sound needs to be as far as possible and as quiet as possible.
If sound is played not at an adequate level, it completely fails to work. There is a “sweet spot” that is