How Loud Should White Noise Be for Baby?

As new parents, ensuring a good night’s sleep for your little one is at the top of your priority list. Alongside a comfy crib and a regular bedtime routine, white noise has become a popular tool to help babies drift off to dreamland. But how loud should white noise be for a baby? Let’s dive into the peaceful world of white noise and how it can be used safely and effectively to enhance your baby’s sleep quality.

What is White Noise and Its Purpose?

White noise is a steady and unvarying sound that blends all audible frequencies. It’s akin to the sound of a running fan, a rustling leaf, or hushed radio static. 

The principal purpose of using white noise is to create a consistent auditory environment that can soften the jarring effect of sudden or distinct noises. 

For babies, who are adjusting to life outside the womb, white noise can recreate the omnipresent sounds they were accustomed to before birth.

Benefits for Baby’s Sleep

White noise can work wonders for an infant’s sleep for several reasons:

  • Consistent Sound Environment: It provides a blanket of sound that soothes the baby, drowning out startling or intermittent noises that might wake them.
  • Sleep Cue: Over time, white noise becomes associated with sleep, helping the baby understand that it’s time to rest.
  • Mimics Womb Environment: The sound resembles the constant, muffled tones a baby hears in utero, providing a sense of security.

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how loud should white noise be for baby

How Loud Should White Noise Be for Baby?

While white noise can be beneficial, volume control is crucial to ensure it is not harmful to your baby’s delicate ears. 

Experts recommend that white noise should be kept at a volume of around 50 decibels (dB) to be both effective and safe. 

This level is comparable to a soft shower or a quiet conversation at home.

Use a sound meter app, if necessary, to accurately measure the sound level in your baby’s room. 

Position the white noise machine well away from the crib, preferably across the room, and never directly beside your baby’s head.

Moreover, it’s advisable not to run white noise all night long. Consider using it for a short duration to help your baby fall asleep, or invest in a machine with a timer that can gradually lower the volume once your child has nodded off.

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Tips for Using White Noise Safely

Keeping your baby safe while using white noise involves more than just monitoring the volume. Here are some tips for incorporating white noise into your baby’s sleep routine safely:

  • Duration: Use white noise for naptime and the beginning of nighttime sleep to establish a routine without over-reliance.
  • Quality: Choose a machine that emits smooth, consistent noise, without interruption or fluctuation.
  • Type of Sound: Select sounds that are steady and low-pitched, as high-pitched noises can be irritating or even harmful over time.
  • Placement: Always place the white noise machine some distance away from the baby to prevent any direct exposure to the noise.

Finding the Right White Noise Machine

Not all white noise machines are created equal, so when you’re shopping for one, keep the following in mind:

  • Volume Control: Ensure the device has adjustable volume settings so you can keep it at a safe level.
  • Sound Options: Look for machines that offer a variety of soundscapes, allowing you to find the one your baby responds to best.
  • Timers: Machines with built-in timers or machines that can be synced with smart home systems provide flexibility and peace of mind.
  • Battery vs. Plug-In: While plug-in options are great for home use, battery-operated or rechargeable machines are more portable for travel.


Incorporating white noise into your baby’s sleep routine could be the key to better sleep for both your baby and you. 

Remember to keep the white noise at a soft, steady volume and use it smartly to ensure that your baby reaps the benefits without any risks.

White noise is one facet of establishing a sleep-conducive environment for your baby. With careful consideration and adherence to safety guidelines, you can create an aural backdrop for sweet dreams and peaceful nights.

Remember to always consult with your pediatrician if you have concerns about using white noise as part of your baby’s sleep routine. Every baby is different, and what works for one may not be suitable for another.

Nurturing good sleep habits is a precious gift to your child, and white noise might just be a soothing part of that journey. So, adjust the volume, start the hum, and watch your little one drift off to dreamland, safely cradled in the gentle embrace of white noise.

3 Takeaways to Remember

  1. Safety First: Keep white noise around 50 decibels to protect your baby’s hearing.
  2. Consistency is Key: Use white noise as part of a regular bedtime routine to help your baby associate the sound with sleep.
  3. Quality over Quantity: Choose a high-quality white noise machine and use it judiciously to provide the best sleep experience for your baby.

Sleep is precious, and as parents, we do everything we can to make sure our children are resting safely and soundly. 

White noise might just be the soothing assistant you’ve been looking for to help achieve that. Happy sleeping, and sweet dreams to your little one!

Frequently Asked Questions About White Noise for Babies

What exactly is white noise and how does it help babies sleep? 

White noise is a consistent sound that masks other noises, which can create a calming environment to help babies fall asleep and stay asleep.

Is it safe to use white noise for my baby all night? 

It is generally safe, but it’s best to use it at a low volume and consider using it just for short periods or until your baby falls asleep.

How do I choose the best white noise machine for my baby?

Look for machines with adjustable volume, a variety of sound options, a timer, and decide between plug-in or battery-operated models based on your needs.

Can I use a smartphone app as a white noise machine? 

 Yes, there are apps available designed for this purpose, but ensure your phone is placed at a safe distance from your baby to avoid direct exposure to electromagnetic fields and to keep the volume controlled.

Does white noise have any negative effects on a baby’s hearing? 

  If kept at the recommended level of around 50 dB, similar to a soft shower, there should be no negative impact on a baby’s hearing.

Can white noise become a sleep crutch for my baby? 

  There’s a possibility that any sleep aid, including white noise, can become a crutch, so it’s important to use it as part of a comprehensive sleep routine.

Are there specific sounds that are more effective for a baby’s sleep? 

  Yes, generally, consistent and low-pitched sounds are more effective and soothing rather than high-pitched or varying sounds.

How far away should the white noise machine be from my baby? 

  It’s best to keep the white noise machine across the room from your baby’s crib, at least six to seven feet away, to ensure the noise is not too loud and that there’s an even distribution of sound.

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