Some of the best pre-baby advice I ever got (that I actually took) was along the lines of playing white noise or static to calm a fussy baby. In the olden days of our own infancy, our parents may have run a vacuum or put us on the dryer, but living in energy-conscious Berkeley, you can’t do that stuff all night long.
As recommended by my friend Lori, we started out (even in the hospital) by playing a groovy, new agey Transitions cd that simulates womb sounds. This “music” is so powerful that it should not be used while driving because it causes grown people to zonk out immediately. Coupled with sleep deprivation and the confusion of a newborn, we had to move away from that cd after a few weeks because of our hallucinations. Seriously, if you’re having trouble with your sleep, this shite will knock you out.
Our next attempt was a very mellow, plain discovery to play “pink noise” for Holden while sleeping. At the time, we downloaded the sound from this site and play it continuously through the night on a loop. Rookie Dad, Alec, created a one-hour version of this (he did some fancy editing). Now, you can get a cheap white noise app that does the exact same thing plus a few more choices. I like the app for travel and we use it in our very small nursery on an old iPod.
In the meantime, Whitney invested in this Homedics sound machine to play the white noise for her son (and replace the need to tie up the mp3 player looping static all the time) and I watched cautiously before committing to a solution that cost money. Once I finally purchased this $20 solution, we ran it for years and years. It does not travel well but does everything else — like play a few versions of relaxing muffling sounds — perfectly.
Are you a white noise lover? What’s your device?