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How Loud Should a White Noise Machine for Babies Be?

Mar 9, 2024

Ensuring a good night's sleep for your baby can often involve the use of white noise machines, which have become a popular tool for masking environmental noises that might otherwise disturb a sleeping infant. However, it's vital to use these devices at a safe volume to protect your baby's delicate ears and ensure their wellbeing. So, how loud should a white noise machine for babies be?

Optimal Noise Levels

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that any white noise machines used for infants should be kept at a volume of 50 decibels or less, which is roughly equivalent to the sound level of a soft shower or quiet conversation at home. This guideline is crucial, given that newborns and babies have more sensitive hearing compared to adults.

Positioning Matters

The placement of the white noise machine also plays a significant role in ensuring the sound isn't too loud for the baby. It should be located at least seven feet away from the infant's crib or bed, which allows the noise to diffuse before reaching their ears.

Consistency Over Volume

Instead of increasing the volume, aim for a consistent sound that's loud enough to mask disruptions but still well within the safe decibel range. The sound from the machine should be a gentle, steady hum, creating a calm and conducive atmosphere for sleep without overwhelming the baby's auditory senses.

Usability and Control

Opt for white noise machines that have adjustable volume settings. This feature allows you to fine-tune the noise level to ensure it's at a safe volume for your baby's ears. Some advanced models may come with a decibel meter which helps you monitor the exact noise level being emitted.

Regularly Check the Volume

Make it a routine to check the volume of the white noise machine regularly. Changes in the room, like furniture rearrangement or the addition of soft furnishings, can affect the acoustics, potentially altering the perceived volume of the noise.


White noise can be a powerful ally in your baby's sleep routine, but it's essential to maintain the volume at a safe level. By adhering to the guidelines mentioned above, white noise can indeed be a safe and effective way to help your baby sleep better without risking any harm to their hearing. Remember to always prioritize your baby's safety and comfort when using a white noise machine or any sleep aids.

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