The child experiences severe stress after birth. He abruptly finds himself in an aggressive and unfamiliar environment after the warm cozy womb. Habitual conditions of existence disappear and there is a need to seek reassurance. Mom comes to the rescue and tries to surround the newborn with her body, caress, warmth, and protect him from unnecessary stress.
The baby will not be able to sleep well without proper rest. Parents resort to various tricks to make their baby sleep as soundly and calmly as possible. One of the most effective ways is the use of sounds. You can significantly reduce the level of excitement of the child with the help of some of them. Let’s learn more about soothing sounds for baby and how to use them correctly.
What sounds does the baby get used to in the womb?
The baby’s hearing organs begin to form from the 9th week of pregnancy. The child begins to hear muffled sounds only by the 18th week. He never remains silent while inside the mother. His inner world has always been full of noise which is a strong trigger to calm down.
Among the most pleasant and familiar sounds inside the uterus, the baby hears:
- The beating of a mother’s heart;
- Noises of the digestive tract;
- Mother’s breath
- Light noises of amniotic fluid and blood vessels.
The baby can catch and even get used to the vibrations of the mother’s voice from the 24th week. He begins to hear sounds coming from outside: loud knocking, melodious music, and parents talking. All these sounds are muffled due to the refraction of vibrations on the amniotic fluid. The child reacts to them with movement, shuddering, and fussiness.
Why some external sounds can soothe a child
The use of techniques for calming children with sounds is based on the excitation of associative links with the mother’s womb. Children do not like all vibrations. The kid will not fall asleep to dance music as well as to the rhythmic sounds of a drum set.
The sounds used must be as close as possible to his native and well-known intrauterine vibrations for the method to work. A uniform sound without sudden changes in volume is suitable. Noises of a certain frequency work great. Everything that reminds the baby of the beautiful and cozy mother’s belly soothes almost immediately.
The impact of sounds and noises on the nervous system even has a therapeutic effect. This is a help to parents and a way to unload the baby’s nervous system and meditatively calm it down.
The most soothing natural sounds for children
Sounds that can soothe babies can be divided into artificial and natural. We will consider all of the possible options that will help you quickly get your child out of hysterics, distract, or lull.
The baby hears this soothing rhythm inside the womb all the time. Attachment to the breast after birth is based on the contact at which the baby hears the beating of the heart. Slings and ergo backpacks work great. They allow the baby to closely contact the mother and hear her heartbeat well. It is believed that children who were carried in slings are calmer and more balanced.
The baby gets used to the mother’s voice while still inside her from the second trimester. Familiar vibrations can hypnotically soothe an infant when combined with smell and touch. There is nothing more harmonious for a child than the tone of voice of the dearest person. The best use of the mother’s voice is her singing. No natural sound of nature compares to a simple mother’s lullaby.
These sounds are classified as natural “white noise”. Walks in the woods, parks, or by the lake instantly lull infants to sleep. Natural sounds include the sound of the wind, the sound of foliage, the murmur of a stream, the singing of birds, the chirping of insects, and so on.
Natural sounds are not just used in medical therapy to restore the nervous system. They are favorable for our psyche and pull us out of stress and a negative environment. Toddlers will find these sounds very useful.
Artificial soothing sounds
You can use the imitation of natural sounds in the absence of the opportunity to walk in the fresh air in a forest or park. Many artificial sources of vibration will please babies. Some of them can be created at home. Here are some examples of the most popular and effective sounds:
The expectant mother can listen to classical melodies starting from the 24-25th week of pregnancy. The child will hear these vibrations in a muffled way and remember them. But even if you did not play such music during pregnancy, try it after the baby is born.
It is necessary to select only calm melodies without large differences in sound. Music should not be disturbing and depressing. It is better not to use electronic songs, but to try recordings performed by symphony orchestras.
Not all appliances that you have in your home can have a calming effect. Only those that give out “white noise” are suitable. These include a hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, extractor hood, and fan. Devices that can help should not be loud, knocking, or rattling. They can only annoy or scare the baby.
Bubbling water always has a calming effect. This sound is not as good as natural but remotely resembles it. If the baby is crying, take him in your arms and go into the bathroom by closing the door. This is necessary to create the best acoustics. Turn on the water faucet so that the jet does not hit the surface hard and does not create rattling sounds.
Sounds of the street
Try opening a window so your baby can hear the sounds of the city if you live on a higher floor. The noise of transport in the distant refraction acts hypnotically. It merges into one single composition that works effectively as “white noise”.
Everyone knows that children fall asleep much faster and more willingly in the car. They can sleep up to 3 hours straight or not wake up at all for the whole long journey. The point is not only in the special motion sickness but also in the monotonous noise that the car makes.
Hissing and whispering
Hissing sounds for the baby are akin to intrauterine. If he’s restless, unable to sleep, or crying, lean in and whisper something soothing in his ear. It is important to do this quietly, making noise and not sounds. Simple hissing is often used to soothe babies. It has been working like an instinct for a long time.
You can imitate the sounds of nature, or you can simply record them. There are many collections of sounds on the net that can lull any baby to sleep. It can be a recording of a thunderstorm or the sound of rain, the sound of autumn leaves, the sound of a waterfall, or the singing of tropical birds.
Sounds will not be natural because they are reproduced by the carrier and not by the direct source. It works just as effectively.
Are there any contraindications to the use of soothing sounds?
There are no direct prohibitions on the use of soothing sounds. You need to take into account the health of your child. Be sure to consult a doctor if he has a hearing impairment. The perception of some vibrations can completely impair hearing in such children.
Be careful if the child suffers from pressure and headaches. Background noise in this case does not always have a positive effect. The same applies to serious disorders of the nervous system. Sound therapy in this case can only be selected by a specialist.
There will be no harm from the use of soothing sounds with the right approach and observance of elementary safety measures. Sounds will not cause painful addiction or negative associative connections.
How do noises and sounds affect the child?
Background calm sounds have a persistent therapeutic effect. The result of this effect helps mothers a lot in laying down the baby, getting him out of tantrums and crying, and having a preventive effect on the nervous system.
“White noise” quickly calms in any situation when almost nothing helps. A small crying child easily becomes hysterical. Even if there is a good reason for the excitement, whether it be discomfort, pain, or hunger, it is possible to stop it. Noises or sounds of nature will dramatically distract the baby and stop his nervousness. You can calmly understand what exactly worries the baby after eliminating the tantrum.
Block of external stimuli
The sounds of nature, the noise of the street, and the sound of a household appliance can mask external stimuli. For example, if the family is large, many children cannot be silenced, and the baby needs to sleep. Background music or sounds of nature isolate the outside world and immerse the baby in a light trance.
Melodies, a mother’s lullaby, the sound of rain, or the singing of birds can serve as excellent sleep aid. Enter the rituals of such therapy at bedtime. The kid will very quickly get used to regularly repetitive actions. He will start to fall asleep as soon as he hears these sounds.
This method allows you to quickly fall asleep and make your baby sleep better. The problem of fragmentation is eliminated. Children begin to sleep soundly and continuously.
Relief of colic
“White noise” can be used as a non-pharmacological way to relieve abdominal pain. Babies are extremely irritable, restless, and whiny with colic. Slight swaying, accompanied by a calm melody or noise, switches the baby’s attention away from physical pain.
The regular use of “white noise” and soothing sounds has a positive effect on the mental development of the baby. The risk of developing anxiety is reduced. The level of stress resistance increases. Babies feel more secure. Comfortable environmental conditions help to develop.
The permissible duration of exposure to soothing sounds
The duration of the use of soothing sounds is not limited if all conditions are correctly met. If you use “white noise” to put your baby to bed, then remove it after the baby has fallen asleep. Do not abuse the background sound during the rest period.
The duration of exposure to soothing sounds depends on the degree of irritation and excitability of the child. To painlessly stop sound therapy, try to turn off the source of the artificial sound, gradually muffling it. A sudden shutdown will have the opposite effect.
Natural sources of soothing sounds can be used indefinitely, but with artificial ones, you need to be careful. You should not listen to the included hair dryer or other household appliances for hours. Use them exclusively situationally.
Suggestions for using soothing sounds
Don’t mindlessly use white noise. You need to always be vigilant about everything that is used for the child. Check out our top tips:
Noise level – Noise that does not harm hearing and is permissible even with prolonged exposure does not exceed 50 dB. It should be no more than 40 dB at night.
Distance from the sound source – This rule applies to artificial sources of noise and sounds. The record player, white noise generator, household appliance, or any other source of noise must be at least 1 meter away from the child.
Sound source – There are permissible and forbidden sources of sound. Often used applications on the phone, special noise generators, household appliances, etc. for artificial noises and sounds. Parents often buy special toys with sounds for sleep. They put them right in the stroller or baby’s crib. You can’t do this. Its volume is rarely adjusted and there are accompanying noises: squeaks, whistles, and so on. This negatively affects the child.
Age of the child – The use of soothing sounds is most effective in infancy. The older the baby becomes, the more difficult it is for him to cope with curiosity, a tendency to be distracted and overexcited. Use white noise and sound therapy from birth until it works. The most effective soothing of children with sounds is up to 12 months.