If your baby cries or has trouble falling asleep, you can use a vacuum cleaner. You read that right: a vacuum cleaner! It concerns the sound of a vacuum cleaner, which has many similarities with white noise.
I explain in this article why a baby finds the sound of a vacuum cleaner so soothing and what exactly this so-called white noise is!
What is White Noise?
If you have a baby (congratulations on the birth!) you have probably heard of the concept of white noise. White noise is a method of masking sounds in the environment.
White noise is a method of masking sounds in the environment.
But, why is it called white noise? This has to do with the wavelengths (amplitude) and wave vibrations (frequency) of the sound. White noise has the same wavelength for all frequencies. In normal words: the same number of high and low frequencies, so that ambient sounds are masked.
When there are different frequencies and amplitudes, we speak of a different color. Examples of other noise colors:
- Pink noise
- Brown noise
- Green noise
- Purple noise
For example, if we look at purple noise, the sound becomes louder at higher frequencies. This noise is often used in ‘tinnitus', also known as (permanent) ringing in the ears.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 430 million people worldwide with hearing loss. That is 5% of the total population.
More and more people suffer from tinnitus. It can be a symptom of (permanent) hearing damage. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 430 million people worldwide with hearing loss. That is 5% of the total population. View the WHO fact sheet here.
Why is white noise used?
White noise is applied in various situations. For example, it can help to calm a baby or white noise can contribute to a better night's sleep. White noise is commonly used in the following situations:
- Better concentration
- Calming a baby
- Masking tinnitus
- help baby sleep
White noise to help a baby sleep
White noise can help a baby sleep better. White noise masks ambient sounds, making sudden sounds less likely to be heard. In addition, it is also claimed that white noise for a baby is comparable to the sound in the womb. And yes, that was a safe and reliable place for the baby.
Masking environmental sounds can also help to relax and calm busy babies. For example if they have colic. For future moms and dads: About 15% of babies have frequent extreme crying spells.
Sound of a vacuum cleaner
But, why am I writing an article about calming babies? Because a vacuum cleaner can help with this too! The sound of a vacuum cleaner is comparable to white noise. Switching on a vacuum cleaner can immediately help to put your baby to sleep or to calm them down.
It is of course important to ensure a good balance. The vacuum cleaner does not have to be close to the baby (sometimes not even in the baby's room). In addition, a vacuum cleaner does not always have to be at full power. In fact, there are also much more sustainable ways to mimic the sound of a vacuum cleaner…
YouTube for vacuum cleaner sounds
Leaving your vacuum cleaner on all night is not good for the environment. And also not for the life of your vacuum cleaner. We have an environmentally friendly solution: our own White Noise Generator on YouTube! Listen to it below.
In addition to YouTube, you can also use apps or websites. For example, check out the free white noise player from Playingwhitenoise.com.
White noise machines
There are also special white noise machines for sale. These ‘White Noise Machines' look a bit like a small speaker. With these machines you often have a choice of different sounds and you can determine the volume.
In addition to these special white noise machines or vacuum cleaners, you can also use an air purifier, fan or television.