Monday, August 19, 2013

What Worked for Me: Noise maker (or that time I realized I had been wrong all along)

Before we had kids, Ryan and I thought that noise makers were a little bit weird and a lot annoying. So with Reed, we didn't buy a noise maker. When Reed was about eight months old, I happened to mention that I thought Reed would like one of those light-up things that plays music for 15 minutes or so, then turned off. Ryan's mom was on her way to the store and happened to pick one up for me. She's awesome like that (Seriously, I wasn't looking for her to buy it for me--she just knew I wanted one and got one for us!) Reed's "fishie songs," as they were lovingly referred to, were our only form of noise maker.

When Asher came along, we didn't pull out the "fishie songs" right away. We did around 7-8 months, and he liked them well enough. We do happen to live in the desert, so once summer hit, we put a box fan in his upstairs room so he wouldn't melt during nap time. Fast forward a few months to late fall, when we took the box fan out. Asher suddenly started napping poorly. And I realized that I had inadvertently turned his box fan into a noise maker. I didn't want a fan blowing air around his room in winter, so we weaned him off the noise--by first putting the fan in the doorway, with the door ajar, then in the hall right outside the door, with the door shut, to finally a little down the hall from his room, and then turned it off all together.

When Lila was born, I again didn't want to buy the noise maker. But when she started napping poorly and I started trouble-shooting, one thing that I concluded was that perhaps a noise maker would help her. He brothers are not exactly quiet. First we tried the "fishie songs"--in addition to playing songs, they play a water-like white noise. But once the white noise turned off, she immediately woke up. I tried downloading a white noise app on my phone and it actually helped--but I was tired of having my phone with her during every nap. So I gave in. We bought a noise maker and put it in Lila's room. (Side note: A white noise machine is also one of My Baby Sleep Guide's Top Sleep Tips.) And guess what? That noise maker, coupled with a darker room, helped Lila start taking longer naps.

So I was wrong. A noise maker for baby? Not weird. And actually not too annoying--the noise maker has helped me sleep better, too, even hearing it through the monitor. Who knew?