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How Loud Should White Noise Be for Newborns?

Jan 23, 2024


Welcoming a newborn into the world is an exciting and wonderful experience for any parent. However, it can also bring about many questions and concerns, especially when it comes to providing a safe and comfortable environment for your little one. One common concern among new parents is the use of white noise machines and the appropriate volume level for newborns. In this article, we will discuss how loud white noise can safely be for newborns and provide some helpful guidelines for creating the optimal sleep environment for your baby.

Safe Volume Levels for White Noise

There are a few different opinions on the appropriate volume level for white noise machines, but most experts agree that the sound should be no louder than 50 decibels – about the noise level of a quiet conversation. Some studies have even suggested that levels as low as 45 decibels can be helpful for promoting sleep in infants.

One reason for concern with high volume white noise is the potential for damage to your baby's delicate developing ears. Prolonged exposure to loud noises can lead to hearing loss, and newborns are particularly susceptible. It's important to keep white noise at a safe level in order to avoid any risk of damaging your baby's hearing.

How to Measure Decibels

To ensure that your white noise machine is set to the appropriate volume level, you can use a decibel level meter. These are readily available for purchase or download as smartphone apps. Simply place the meter near your baby's sleep area and turn on the white noise machine to assess the volume level.

Keep in mind that other factors, such as the distance between the white noise machine and your baby's crib, can also impact the overall volume levels. Always use your best judgment when setting up the sleep environment and be sure to follow all safety guidelines for your white noise device.

Other Considerations for White Noise Use

While white noise can be helpful in soothing your newborn and promoting sleep, there are a few other aspects of their sleep environment to consider. Make sure your baby's room is at a comfortable temperature, typically around 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also use soft, breathable bedding and be sure that your child is dressed appropriately for sleep.

It's also important to remember that white noise machines should not be a substitute for proper sleep hygiene and routine. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is essential for helping your baby develop healthy sleep habits.


The use of white noise for newborns is generally considered safe and beneficial, as long as it is kept within a reasonable volume range of 45-50 decibels. By following these guidelines and maintaining a healthy sleep environment, you can help ensure a peaceful and restful night for both you and your little one.

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