Did you know that sleep deprivation is a form of torture that has been used countless times throughout history? So if you ever think that parents are being dramatic when they go crazy when you ring the doorbell, give them a little bit of grace and know that they may be undergoing months of unceasing torture. But life doesn’t have to be this way! A white noise machine like the HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine can actually help you sleep and here’s how.
How Does White Noise Aid Sleep?
New parents are constantly shushing visitors during naptimes, so it makes sense that many of us grow up thinking that babies love complete quiet. However, this simply isn’t the truth. Most babies actually quite enjoy a steady background sound. In fact, this is what they lived with for the nine months of their lives in the womb.
Babies Actually Like Noise
The womb is a very noisy place. They can hear a constant rushing of blood pumping from their mother’s heart throughout her body. Babies can also hear all the noises that you hear only muffled. So if you are rocking out to your favorite song on the radio, your baby can hear it too at a slightly lower tone.
So babies actually find noise to be very soothing and can comfortably fall asleep with it. In fact, my second baby hated to be put in a quiet nursery to nap. He much preferred to nap out in the living room listening to his older brother play with cars and trains.
Startling Noises Are Disruptive
So if you’re wondering why parents shush people constantly, it’s because babies don’t like startling noises, just like adults. The whirring of a computer, fan, or vacuum can be soothing to listen to, but an individual noise like a doorbell or a buzzer can startle a baby awake.
One of the reasons parents like to use a noise machine is that it masks the small disruptive noises that can startle a baby awake while your baby is trying to drift off to sleep. Many times babies only need this as they are falling asleep, but depending on your living situation, like if you live in a noisy apartment or have other kids in the home, you may want to use the HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine throughout the nap.
What Is The Best Way To Use A Sound Machine?
Some parents struggle through the tough sleeping baby years because they are worried that their baby will become dependent on a sound machine if they use it. There could be some truth to this depending on how you use it, so follow these tips to make sure your baby has good sleep habits throughout his or her life.
Keep It At A Low Volume
Some desperate parents will use their white noise sound machine much louder than they should. They are grasping onto their faith that the machine will work and if a little noise is good, a lot of noise is better, right? Wrong!
Babies actually don’t need a LOT of noise to be soothed to sleep. The key is really a constant sound and for it to stay in the background where it belongs. So if you’re wondering how loud it should be, just consider how loud a dishwasher is, and keep it about that loud. In more technical terms, it should never be louder than about 50 decibels.
It might be a bit confusing why white noise machines can get quite a bit louder than that, but those settings are typically meant to be used by adults who have trouble sleeping.
Don’t Use It 24/7
Some parents are thrilled at how effective the white noise machine was at soothing their baby and are tempted to use it all the time; In the car, throughout naptimes, in the store. However, this can quickly get your baby either dependent on the noise machine, or it can make it so the effects are less noticeable. If it is constantly running they may start to block out the sound.
Change It Up
If conditions for naps were always perfect, it wouldn’t matter so much if your baby was dependent on your sound machine. However, what about the times that you’re on the go and your baby can’t fall asleep? Vacation is the absolute worst time to sleep train your baby, and you don’t want to be stuck doing that.
I tried to change things up a bit when I had my babies. During naptimes, I wouldn’t use the white noise machine because there was a good amount of ambient noise where we lived from the road below. However, at night time, I relied on it a bit more because the world was a little quieter and startling noises would stick out a bit more. I tried weaning my babies off of it a little at a time, and it really was a smooth process!
Do whatever works for you and your family, but weaning your baby off white noise goes much better when you don’t include it as a completely permanent part of going to bed.
It’s important to know how easy the HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine is to use, and the best way to determine this is how easily navigatable the buttons are.
The HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine has a simple array of buttons that anyone could figure out easily. HoMedics labeled all the sound buttons clearly and each sound has its own button making it easy to navigate. You don’t have to skip through the tracks to find the right one, you just need to pick the one you’re looking for and select it. The downside to this, of course, is that there are fewer sound options than the other sound machines like the Letsfit White Noise Machine that I reviewed here and the Magicteam Sound Machine reviewed here.
The timer button also has fewer options than the Letsfit and Magicteam sound machines, but if you are using it for a baby, this can be perfect. What To Expect suggests that you, “stop playing it once baby falls asleep, if possible.” While it does offer a continuous sound option, it also has shorter automatic timer options of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes. These are the perfect length of time to allow your baby to fall asleep and not have it running throughout the nap or nighttime sleep.
The volume is in a dial, which makes it very easy to determine how loud you’re setting as you turn it on.
In terms of sound quality, this sound machine has some good options. It comes with:
- White Noise
- Summer’s Night
Of these sounds, the ones I found most soothing were the ocean and the rain. The white noise was the classic white noise sound you would find on most sound machines, but it doesn’t have the option of brown or pink noise like some other sound machines have. Many parents swear by this machine, so the white noise option could be a great sound for babies. My personal preference is the lower-toned pink and brown noise though.
All the sound quality was good and the volume had a good spectrum.
The HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine is one of the more affordable options on the market currently, and as such, there are some things that might not be as nice as other machines. It doesn’t have an aesthetically pleasing design like the Letsfit and it doesn’t have the compactness of the Magicteam. It is slightly bigger and it isn’t a beautiful piece in your home. But if you’re looking for a basic design that does the job right and is the absolute easiest model to use, then this machine is the one for you.
It does come in three different subtle colors, silver, blue, and gold.
One thing I truly appreciate about the HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine is that it is portable. It has an adapter option that you can plug in or it can also use 4 AA batteries.
If I had one complaint about the portability function of the machine, it is that there are some white noise machines on the market that have a charging function that removes the need for batteries. Since you never know how long machines can work running on battery before they need to be changed, I prefer the charging option.
Overall, the HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine has all the basic options that you would want in a sound machine. It has buttons that are easy enough for anyone to figure out who is watching your child. It has a good amount of sound options and it is portable. You can easily control the volume and visually see how loud it is. This is a perfect sound machine for the parent who wants convenience.