Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Lisa Hilliker says

    My son will be 1 in 15 days. He sleeps with a whit noise machine playing. He sleeps better with noise rather than without it. When do you stop using them though is my question. My son has never been the best sleeper, he still wakes up sometimes. He is teething though.

    • Emily DeJeu says

      @ Lisa Hilliker – my kids sleep much better with their noise machines, too! 🙂

  2. Valerie says

    Sound machines and fans are great, we used them with every baby. Apps on wifi are not good though; the EMF messes with baby’s circadian rhythms.

    • Emily DeJeu says

      @ Valerie – Interesting, your point about the EMF…I didn’t know that! I avoid using apps simply because I only have one smartphone and three kids in two different rooms – not enough of my phone to go around! 😉 We stick with basic white noise machines for my kiddos.

  3. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Michelle — yay for cheap! This is a really, really good idea, and it’s one I’m going to file away for those times when I forget my kids’ noise machines!

    Thanks for commenting, Michelle 🙂

  4. Michelle says

    We use a radio tuned to static for our daughter. She has had white noise playing while she sleeps since she was a newborn, and she is almost two now. At one point, I decided I should go buy a white noise machine, but she did not like the static setting – it just wasn’t the same as her radio. I ended up giving the white noise machine to a friend who had just had twins. Sometimes, cheaper options are the best!

  5. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Helen — oh, yes, the ceiling fan! I’m a big fan of that one, too. Ours isn’t loud, but I’ve found that I sleep a little better when my ceiling fan is on, and there’s a slight breeze in the room. That plus my white noise machine knocks me right out! 😉

    Thanks for sharing, Helen!

    @ Sarah – I hear what you’re saying. It’s definitely not good to equate sound sleep with love and security. As you point out, plenty of babies and toddlers who are deeply loved by their parents, and who live in secure and safe environments, struggle with sleep. In fact, as Nicole points out, parents who are loving and attentive may unwittingly help create sleep associations and issues, since loving parents are quick to respond to their babies when they cry, and to do whatever it takes to soothe them.

    My guess is that, as a grandma, @Sylvia is looking back fondly at her experience with her 4 babies and is remembering the happy, sweet things as opposed to the hard things. There were surely times when mothering was hard for her, and when she felt overwhelmed and exhausted. But I agree, that it for those of us who are in the “mommy trenches”, and who are currently raising little ones, it can be discouraging to hear older women reminisce and remember only the rosy, wonderful things – makes us feel like we’re not doing things correctly, since we don’t always feel rosy and wonderful ourselves! 😉

    Glad to hear that you’re buying a package and are preparing to work on your baby’s sleep! Best of luck to you, Sarah; you sound like a wonderful mom. 🙂

    @ Kerry – I know what you mean! We live right next to railroad tracks, too, and the trains run around the clock here. I always find that when I sleep with my windows open, in the fall and spring, the railroad noise wakes me up for the first week or so. But then, I get used to it, and I hardly notice it at all. I think you’re right, about this being called ‘habituation’. Amazing how a person can get used to the sound of a train whistle blaring at 2 a.m., and sleep through it, but wake to small sounds like the door opening, or the floor creaking!

    Also – thanks for your kind feedback about the site. 🙂 So, so glad to know that the site has been an encouraging resource for you! We work hard to make this a safe place where moms and dads won’t feel judged for their parenting choices, because (as you point out), we know that parents who take the time to seek help regarding their babies’ and toddlers’ sleep issues are good parents who love their little ones. And really, as long as that’s at the heart of our parenting, everything else is just details. 😉

  6. Kerry says

    It’s funny how some sounds can have an effect on babies and toddlers while others leave them completely unfazed. We live a block away from the train tracks, so my son has been exposed to the sound of a blaring train whistle since before birth. Sometimes, the sound of that whistle blast can wake me up from a dead sleep; when that happens, I always take a second to check on our son (I’m also from a long line of “just checking” moms and dads) and he’s always sleeping peacefully through the ruckus. I believe this is called “habituation,” meaning when you are exposed to a stimulus early on in life and with enough frequency, you won’t notice it as much, if at all. That may explain why the train always wakes me but not my son. That said, sometimes the slightest noise can disturb his slumber – keys jingling, a door squeak, a dog barking down the road, even the sound of the shower from across the hall. Perceptive and bright since the second he was delivered, my son if very in tune with his surroundings; thus he has benefitted from having the Sleep Sheep to mask other less ambient noise. That train thing still puzzles me though.
    Let me also just say that this site has been wonderful for me. We all know why we are here: to be the best parents and caretakers we can be. No parent that frequents this site would willingly choose something that is “wrong” for babies. We simply do, as parents have done for generations, what we can to with what we are given. No one is entirely right or wrong; everyone is accepted and supported, and support in any form is a wonderful thing. So thanks to Nicole and Emily and all the sleep consultants who make it their job to help families. And thanks to the parents, too, who know that their children are perfect and therefore strive to be more perfect in their eyes. Keep up the good work!

  7. Sarah says

    I have just read all these comments and I’m in the process of buying the package and u feel I have to make a comment. Sylvia, while I agree with your philosophy that modern equipment does go to some lengths to mimic mother, allowing mum to ‘carry on’ with her own agenda, I imagine that I am like many other mums on here who has tried all manner of approaches to help their baby sleep. They, like me, are most likely exhausted, emotionally drained, heartbroken and guilty, by seeing how their precious, much adored child is suffering through lack of sleep. Whether you intended it or not, your post implies that a child who knows they are loved sleeps soundly. Firstly, let mesay my son knows he is loved. I respond to him imediately, as nature intended (as you say) i never let him cry, he is close to me at all times, and he breast feeds. He has a close bond to me and his father, not to any toys or comforters. Yet he still is a terrible sleeper, waking up to 15 times a night. Secondly, whether your intentions were honorable or not, suggesting to a devastated new mother that her child would sleep better if he felt more secure or more loved, is quite possibly the most insitive, cruel and condescending comment I have heard so far. How lucky for you that your 4 children slept well, but i dont believe for a second that you love tour children anymore than the rest of us. Furthermore, I personally know a family with 3 children, all raised and lived the same, where 2 slept well and 1 didn’t.

  8. Helen says

    (Sorry, posted too soon!)
    And at 20mo she doesn’t sleep through noise, just like her Mum and Grandma, who are both ‘get up and check the windows are closed, and the kids are all ok’ type people. And when she does wake up, she calls Mum if she wants her, or hugs her teddy and goes back to sleep. White noise as a cd or machine was not for her, but she does live the whir of a ceiling fan in summer!

  9. Helen says

    I just want to say, I’m a big fan of this site’s positive approach to helping parents.

    I’m not sure why a grandparent like Sylvia is sharing her memory lane take on bonding but rest assured that my DD KNOWS she is loved, and secure, safe and happy. And that she loves her teddy, because he can fly!

  10. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Amy – thanks for chiming in, and sharing a bit about your experience! The fact that your daughter is able to sleep okay at daycare without a noise machine will no doubt be comforting to @Debora, who expressed some concern about the possibility that her son might become ‘hooked’ on the white noise. So thanks for sharing! 🙂

    @ Sylvia – thanks for sharing your point of view with us! We like to hear from moms from all walks of life, and from all parenting philosophies. While other moms might not take your approach, or might feel differently about some of these points, it’s nice that you can share your parenting philosophy in a way that’s kind and encouraging.