Wondering If I Should Get a White Noise Machine

Updated on March 08, 2012
O.K. asks from Burlington, NC
20 answers

Hey guys, I have a son that is 15 mos right now. We found out a few months ago that we are having our second child, and my boy will be a year and 9 mos when this new baby is born. We live in a four bedroom house, with two bedrooms upstairs and two downstairs. We are upstairs. My son sleeps across a very short hallway from our bedroom. I want to stress that everything is so close together that we sometimes don't flush the toilet at night for fear of waking him up. I was planning on having the baby in our room with us until he/she is old enough to sleep in the room with my son. What I'm wondering is if I should get my son a white noise machine for when the baby is born to help deter him from being woken up by the new baby. I used a mobil when he was really little but I've since taken it down, and it doesn't play all night. So what has your experience been, and what do you think the best kind of white noise machine would be to get? Thanks for the input.

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answers from Beaumont on

I didn't allow my kids to have white noise because I was afraid they'd get "addicted" to it and we'd have to have it on vacations, at sleepovers, everywhere so I never started it. Just my opinion...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

LOVE LOVE LOVE a floor fan... It drowns out all noises! "I" can't sleep without it.... And neither can my son. HIGHLY recommend it :)

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answers from New York on

I agree with the posters to get a fan. My son has either a fan or airconditioner going in the warm months and a cool mist humidier in the cooler months. It supplies white noise and keeps the room moist and he doesn't get sick often. I disagree with the posters that imply that you either create or do not create a good sleeper. Being a light or heavy sleeper has nothing to do with the mom stomping around a lot. My son was a light sleeper from the beginning. Any little thing woke him. Now we use the fan or humifier on really low and he is so much better. Your son will probably become a deeper sleeper over time too but having the boys share a room sounds like it might be a bit of a fantasy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Just try what you think you want to try.

But bear in mind, that every baby is different.
AND... even a sleeping SNORING parent or a noisy sleeping parent... can wake a baby. Too.

My daughter was/is noise sensitive. A flushing toilet would wake her. A phone ringing would wake her. A car driving down the road, would wake her. Any noise would wake her. So I turned off the phone, whenever she napped.
However, when I had my 2nd child, (my son), even if he was crying and I woke for nursing him at night... my daughter could sleep through that.

My son, could sleep through noise.

But I have used, since they were babies, a fan.... turned on low. It masked enough of the common normal sounds.
I still use it, though my kids are now 5 and 9.
They just like, it on, as they fall asleep.

Not all children, can sleep together in 1 room.
And the "elder" child, cannot mind or manage, the baby. Nor their wakings.
Age stages are different in babies/kids.

If a baby sleeps in the same room as the parent and the parent is woken up by a baby's usual cries/needs for feedings etc., then it would wake the sibling too.... most likely.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I think you are onto a good idea. I use white noise with my son. I always planned on weaning him off it when he was one, but didn't. I have found he can sleep with it and without it,but I feel it helps to minimize the distractions of our nighttime activity while he is trying to settle down. We used the TMSoft white noise app on an ipod touch, hooked into some powered speakers.

Personally, I feel that it is important to use white noise that it rhythmic (i.e., not just a continuous tone like white, pink, or brown noise, but something like the sound of water running or of waves crashing). I actually read in Baby 411, that using a constant tone was not good for brain wave function of infants ( I just figured, why use it at any age?).

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answers from Dallas on

I think a white noise machine would be a great idea for your older son and the new baby when it comes. I think you should also experiment and start purposefully making small noises at night so your older son can get used to you moving around during the night. With a new baby you can't help but make some noise while you move around during the night. The new baby is also going to cry and a white noise machine might not be enough noise to cover the crying. I wanted everything absolutely silent when my two were infants but I chose to make noise to get them used to things making noise in the house while they were trying to go to sleep and to stay asleep. Neither one has any problems staying asleep. Not sure which machine to purchase but I wish you the best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Okay first of all start making noise. If you don't get him used to it from the get go you will have a light sleeper for life! Trust me on this one, mine could sleep through an elephant stampede!

Having said that clearly I don't think a white noise machine is a good idea, he needs to get used to noise. Honestly you don't learn to be a good sleeper, it doesn't come with age it comes with hearing noise and it not registering to a sleeping mind because you are used to it.

Another bit is a white noise machine works both ways, he won't hear you and you won't hear him. I love our air filter because it gives off white noise, I can't hear a darn thing my kids or cat does and I sleep like a rock. I sleep pretty good without it but I have mom ears so kids getting up will wake me up and my youngest is ten there is not reason why I should care if my kids get up for water.

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answers from Detroit on

white noise machines are GREAT!! I love ours! They're pretty portable, too. We got a cheapy from homedics.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

We use fans in each of our rooms. They are multi-speed so we can make them louder or softer. We just point them away from us...unless we need them in the summer.

They are easy to use, and are much cheaper than a sound machine. Get one that is on a stand or put up high on a dresser if worried about fingers. We have an almost 22 month old and she had never gone near the fans.....and the ones we have have very small openings.

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answers from Raleigh on

I have read some of the responses, but not all of them so forgive me if my answer is redundant. I have 3 children. They are very used to "white noise" at bedtime. However, I didn't purchase a white noise maker I just plug up a floor fan and set it to the sedentary setting and turn it away from their bed. We use it all year, every night. I would definitely recommend it.

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answers from New York on

As an adult, I am such a light sleeper it's a shame. I can't stand it. If my husband rolls over in bed, I wake up. My aunt told me it was because everyone made such a fuss about making sure everything was quiet when I was sleeping as a baby.

So when I had my kids I knew that I didn't want them to be such light sleepers. When I would put them down for their naps I would go on as usual, vacuuming, talking on the phone, just the normal things I did as when they were awake. At night the house was quiet of course. Now they are three and six and can sleep through a parade.

I would start conditioning him now during the day.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I found that the older may babies got, the more like logs they slept. I think you'll find he sleeps soundly as a toddler, but its not a bad idea. We just use fans.


answers from Chicago on

We all have them in our house, and can't sleep without them. They have been lifesavers when the kiddos were babies. Drowned out all other noise in the room.
This has actually become my standard baby shower gift - registry or not! Everyone I've given one to has thanked me for it 3 months down the road! :)

We have the Marpac 980A/B (dual or single speed, we have both). You can get them on Amazon for $50.



answers from Chicago on

Yes love them, take them on vacation!
It helps at the waterpark hotel where kids are running down the hall all hours of the night , and as my son will tell you sleepovers are not about sleeping, so not worried there.

Anything not over $20 at Walmart we have replaced 1 or 2 on 6 years or so.
I love them too



answers from Seattle on

This is the one we have used for my daughter since she was a month old.
We use the rain setting there are other options but this is what she prefers.
Another idea is if you have a I touch or I phone/droid you can download a free app called WhiteNoise. This is what we use while on vacation or camping.
I will say after using it for a while she has been unable to fall asleep without it. Even for nap time during the day she has to have it. We live in a condo and her bedroom wall connects with our bathroom in the master bedroom. So we don't use that bathroom after she goes down for nap time or bedtime. I completely understand the not flushing. Plus my husband likes to play video games and isn't always the quietest at times. Plus football season I doubt she would ever get the chance to nap if she didn't have it.
My famliy and friends think we are nuts having her use a white noise machine but it has worked for us and we will keep doing it.
Hope this helps. It might also be a good idea to start the little one on one as well once the baby arrives. It helps with SIDS and sleeping better. Especially if they are going to be sleeping in the same room as you. More likely not to wake up due to you moving around in the bed or getting up to use the rest room.
Shop around you can find some great deals!



answers from Chicago on

My son has slept with a noise machine since he was very young. I truly bought it so that I could relax. I could not keep myself from stressing that he would wake up if he heard me in the kitchen or heard a toilet flush. In hindsight, I don't think he would have stirred, but it really helped me go on with life while he was asleep!!

I say you should give one a try!!!



answers from Raleigh on

I have two of the Marpac Sleepmate 980s. One for each of their rooms. My son has outgrown his- he just has an air purifier that hums now. But it's a must for my 18 month old's room.
They are about $50 each. But it's so worth it. Look into the ones with two settings so you can adjust as needed.
Hope this helps!



answers from Austin on

Most kids will get used to noise.... don't try to keep it quiet for a baby... they will soon get used to the noises and commotion around them... One of my children was asleep in the playpen downstairs, and I was vacuuming 6 feet away, and they didn't even twitch!

I also had two children 20 months apart... I kept the baby in a bassinet for a month or so, but then put her in the same room as the older sister..... it never was a problem with the baby's cries waking up the other one at that point.

A few years later, I had 3 kids...... (the first 3 were born within 4 years.... August '82, April '84, August '86). Again, I used the bassinet for a couple of months, then moved the baby in with the older two. However, I tended to wake pretty quickly when the baby started crying...... I didn't let them get to the screaming stage. I felt that if I nursed them while they were still drowsy, they would go back to sleep more quickly.


answers from San Antonio on

Sounds like a great plan. I liked this one http://www.amazon.com/Graco-Sweet-Slumber-Sound-Machine/d... and bought it to help drown out my husband at 6 am and prevent my 3 yr old from waking up. This one in particular has creek sound, frogs chirping, ocean waves, heartbeat, plain ol white noise, music, another type of music, another music, plus you can plug in an ipod. Volume control plus a blue light as well. My husband swore that the white noise was 'whispering' things.... like it had a background brainwashing prhase in it. I never heard it, but husband got rid of it b/c he couldn't stand it anymore.

But anyway - yes get one. I even used mine as white noise during naptime, as it got too quiet in the house so if I watched tv or washed dishes, it would drown out some of that noise.

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