We don’t know much about sleep, but some studies suggest that nightly brain processing puts items from short term memory into longer term memory. Some studies suggest that noise, whether it is talking, white noise, (like a fan or motor), or even music, can affect the brain. And then there’s the noise level, itself, or how many decibels are produced (which affects actual hearing). This is an issue because so many babies don’t sleep when parents want them to sleep. So, the industry for Infant Sleep Machines comes to the rescue! But are all infant sleep machines equal, when it comes to the sound levels they produce?
A study on infant sleep machines in the journal Pediatrics, tested 14 devices at 3 different distances. The devices are made to attach to a crib, about 1 foot away or to be placed distantly, up to about 6 feet away. Now, recommended sound wave levels in baby intensive care units are less than 50 decibels. At maximum volume, all of the machines were over this level, when tested at 1 foot and 3 feet from the testing device. At 6 feet, only 2 of the units were in the safe range when cranked up to maximum volume.
So the take home suggestions include:
- First, place these devices several feet away from the baby.
- Second, don’t crank them clear up.
- And third, let Baby have some time to learn to calm on his/her own; remember that the brain, regardless of age, has to take some time to calm down and transition to sleep, and the older infant can take longer to transition, so plan this into your routine, rather than depending on a machine to do something to the brain… we know not what.
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed. Give that kid a hug!