Friday, June 3, 2011

White Noise

The secret to my child's sleep success at home and on our recent vacation trip? My white noise machine.  Ever since I can remember, I have needed some sort of quiet hum to get me to sleep and this machine has been a lifesaver for me and now my child.

As a young child, I remember that I used to love when the air conditioner came on or when the dish washer started running- I would close my eyes and fall right to sleep.

Then as I got older, I needed something stronger and something that lasted longer.  I found something better, one of those little desk fan things.  It worked for me all through high school and college.

There were times when I didn't have it, such as a hotel stay or spending the night at a friend's house and the 'so quiet I could hear a pin drop' deathly quietness was pure torture for me.  It would take me hours to fall asleep.

I realized that fans are not the best to carry around and travel with so I began trying many sound machines and most of them had these little annoying background noises or little 'clicking' sounds.  And they were worse than having silence.  I know, I am really picky. I am one of those that gets annoyed when a faucet is leaking and I swear I really can hear a pin drop a mile away.

But then, I found the granddaddy of them all: the Marpac sound machine!

(For ordering info, click here: Marpac SleepMate 980A Electro-Mechanical Sound Conditioner)

These are the machines us therapists use outside a therapy room so that people can't hear what is being said behind closed doors. I bought one for myself about 12 years ago and although they are a little pricey (50$)- they are the best white noise machines out there!  No little annoying sounds in the background and no clicking.  Just constant white noise.

(Oh, and by the way, I am not getting ANY payment whatsoever for talking about this lifesaver brand, Marpac.  I wish they knew I was advocating them, maybe they would send me a free one :)

I highly recommend them for your child's room too.  Right now, in addition to this sleep machine, we also are using a floor fan by the door to block out the creaking of our hardwood floors. Hopefully she will not get too used to it and we can take it out soon.  That's all we need is our baby needing 2 sleep machines to get her through life.

And I know- sooo many sleep books tell you to NOT have your child have a sleep association such as a noise machine or a paci, or a bottle at night. Well, I am here to say that yes, I have a sleep association as a grown adult and it's not so bad. Hey, if it helps your child get better sleep then the parents get better sleep, and everyone is happy!

Has anyone had any issues with sleep and sleep machines saved the day??  What do you need to get to sleep?


  1. We love white noise! We have a mini homedics sound spa that we tote around with us (got it on clearance for $5) but it only runs on batteries which means it only has a life of a few days and you have to have a mini screwdriver to change the batteries. Luckily our friends introduced us to a FREE app for our iPhone. I think it's called "white noise" and you have several sounds that you can choose from. It's a good option if you don't mind being without your phone while your baby sleeps!

  2. Your travel one sounds great! I found one at Brookstone a few years ago that I take with me sometimes if I need batteries and don't have a plug, still not as loud as the real thing but it does help me sleep. And I LOVE that app on my iPhone too. I found it last year and have used it once and it worked pretty well for Luna but for some reason it just doesn't seem loud or powerful enough to block out noise but is perfect if you don't have a machine with you. I used it last week at my mother's house since we had to put her down for an unplanned nap and was without a noise machine! Thankgoodness for iPhones :)

  3. I have slept with a fan or sound machine my whole life! I have a great fan here in my bedroom and a fancy sound machine from Sharper Image that I take on trips with me. When I backpacked across Europe after college, I packed my sound machine and used it every night with headphones. I cannot sleep without some noise. I don't think it is a bad thing.

  4. I've seen posts on white noise on other new mom sites. It must really work for several babies!

  5. It is really amazing! I think it mimics the womb and they just feel more relaxed :)