Many parents have been there, listening to a screaming baby and not knowing what to do. Some parents find by accident that white noise calms babies. Other people, like Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, realized that the womb is not a silent environment. When babies are born, they are used to constant noise. Unborn babies hear their mother's heart beat and hear the blood pumping through her veins and arteries. In fact, the sound of the blood movement is similar to the white noise that babies like so much.
The following are some tips to create sounds to calm a baby.
- Shushing. Shushing is actually one of the five S's outlined in The Happiest Baby in the Block. You literally shush your baby, drawing out the sound. You will want to make the sound close to your baby's ear and as loud as they are crying.
- Vacuuming. Many babies respond to vacuuming to help them stop crying. If this works, you may consider taping the sound and playing it over and over again. Some babies do not respond well to the sound of the vacuum, so you shouldn't force it on your baby if your baby doesn't like it.
- Hair dryer. A hair dryer is the same concept as a vacuum. However, hair dryers are very loud, so if you use this technique, move it away from your baby as soon as your baby stops crying.
- Water. Many people have found that the sound of water works to calm a baby. You can get a cheap fountain at most home decorating places for your baby's room or your living room. However, if you have older children, or your baby is toddling you should be careful that they can't drown in the fountain water. You can also turn on a faucet, though this is wasteful and potentially expensive.
- Static. In a pinch, you can try static between radio stations to calm a crying baby in a car. A crying baby can be very distracting and stressful for a driving parent, so this is a very handy way to calm them down if you're sitting in traffic or unable to stop to calm your baby.
- Singing. Many babies respond to their parent's voice, especially if singing. Don't worry if you think your voice sounds awful, your baby won't care. If you don't know the words to songs or run out of songs, make some up. Your baby won't know what you're saying, only that you're taking the time to sing to them.
- Sound Machine. A sound machine is a wonderful way to make the sounds your baby may like. Most sound machines have ocean or water dripping recordings. The majority also have white noise recordings as well. This can work well for naps or days that you need a break.