There’s something about white noise that helps soothe little babies to sleep. And by white noise, I mean whether regular old white noise or similar sounds like ocean waves and whale noises.
Perhaps the sounds remind newborns of being in the womb, or they just help drown out background noise. But regardless of why the sounds work, it’s a good idea to have some white noise around when you bring your new bundle of joy home. But before you go out and spend money on a special baby white noise machine, consider these three more frugal ways to generate the sounds.
1.) There’s an app for that. If you have an iTunes friendly product (think an iPhone or iPad) or another similar smart device, you can simply download a white noise app, of which there are many. To help you sort through the numerous options, The Baby Sleep Site has highlighted the apps White Noise Ambience; its free counterpart, White Noise Ambient Lite; the Sound Sleeper; the White Noise App and its free counterpart. Meanwhile, Mashable featured this White Noise Baby app in a roundup of the best apps for new parents. (If you don’t want to leave your phone or iPad in your baby’s room, you could try an idea my friend Lindsay shared with me: Download white noise to an old iPod).
2.) Check out YouTube. My husband and I loved the Sleep Sheep baby sound machine-stuffed animal hybrid we received as a gift. The sheep, however, stopped making noise (ocean waves were my daughter’s preference) after 23 minutes. As a result, when our daughter slept in her stroller bassinet in our room during her early months, my husband and I had to constantly restart the sheep for much of the night. Then we discovered that there are videos on YouTube of ocean waves that run for hours. We would simply turn the videos, like this one (12 hours of ocean waves crashing), on our iPad and then all go to sleep for longer stretches than before. And a bonus of this trick: YouTube videos make great travel white noise machines, since we generally bring our iPad with us on trips anyway. If you don’t like ocean waves, Babble.com featured a YouTube video with 12 hours of white noise in a roundup of the “9 Best White Noise Baby Products.”
3.) Combine White Noise With Another Practical Product. Instead of opting for a special white noise machine designed just for that purpose, you could instead go for a product that also has another practical purpose, making the purchase more worth the money. For instance, my daughter’s white noise machine now is her cool mist humidifier. Meanwhile, the Babble.com piece I mention above suggests some fan models that can double well as white noise machines. Finally, when I lived in a noisy college dorm, I bought a Sharper Image alarm clock with a white noise feature (similar to this one). I still have it, and it works like a charm as a white noise machine.
What kind of white noise, if any, worked for your little one? What are your tips for cutting down the costs of these sorts of sounds?