How does white noise help a baby

White noise helps babies sleep

Carrying around, chuckling, singing - sometimes none of the conventional tricks help the baby find its way into slumber country. However, many parents find - often by chance - that the running washing machine, vacuum cleaner or blow dryer has a miraculous soporific effect. So-called white noise works just as well. But why is that and what exactly is white noise?

Background noise like in the womb

From the womb, the baby is used to a relatively noisy environment. Quite logical, because the mother's body works and generates noises in the process: the heart beats, the blood runs through its circulation and the digestive tract is active. The baby experiences - and hears - all of this up close around the clock until it is born.

White noise and its effects

White noise is modeled on the sounds in the womb, which the baby still knows from the time in the uterus. It is a constant, monotonous noise in a certain frequency range that actually reminds of the sound of running electrical devices, such as a hairdryer or washing machine.

In this YouTube video you can find out what the white noise sounds like:

As an adult, you won't notice any particular effect due to the white noise at first, it is rather annoying. It is sometimes used to treat tinnitus, headaches or even migraines. The white noise has a very calming effect on babies from the first moment. The tones are familiar to the baby and automatically convey a feeling of security and satisfaction. An additional side effect is that the sound masks the disturbing ambient noise. The baby relaxes and has a good sleep.

How loud and how long should it rush?

Basically, white noise or similar background sounds work for babies between one week and six months of age. This is how long they remember the sounds in the womb and associate it with a feeling of security.

The sound reproduction should not be too loud: the normal volume in an apartment is around 40 to 50 decibels. The white noise should be played at a similarly loud level so that it is comfortable and not harmful to the baby. After falling asleep, you can turn down the volume and then stop playback. If the baby is very restless, you can let the white noise run as long as it sleeps.

There is white noise here

Various providers offer apps, mp3s to download or even cuddly toys with sound playback.

The baby mattress manufacturer Träumeland, for example, offers a free app with numerous background sounds: white noise, hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, the sound of the sea, car, lullaby, washing machine and heartbeat - there is something for every (not yet) tired baby. The mobile phone can be played in airplane mode so that the baby is not exposed to radiation. A timer function enables the playback time to be controlled. The Träumeland app is available in the app store or under the download link

Whisbear is - as the name suggests - a teddy bear with an integrated sound function. The cuddly toy plays what is known as pink noise. While the white noise always remains the same loud, the pink noise becomes quieter the higher the frequency rises. The pink noise causes babies to have longer periods of deep sleep. Practical: the cry sensor detects when the baby is crying and automatically switches on the soothing background noise. The Whisbear is available for around 60 euros, for example at

The Babymoov night light Sleepy combines the sound effects of white noise with the soft light effects of a sleep light. Thanks to the timer function, lights and noises are automatically switched off. Seen for around 20 euros at