White Noise.

When Monk A & B were two months old, I remember watching them sleep peacefully in their baby swings and thinking, “I wish I were you right now”.  Yes, I was jealous of my newborn babies. I would have given anything to curl up in an adult-sized baby swing and fall asleep.

Now, seven months later, their sleeping habits have improved. I don’t feel jealous of my babies anymore, but if you read this post you’ll know that Monk A & B are still not terrific sleepers. It’s the twin thing: as soon as one’s crying starts to subside, the other one begins again. Their first game of tag!

As a temporary solution, Monk A was downgraded to economy class (a playpen in our room). It helped at first, but then they started waking each other from across the hallway. Our situation was getting desperate. There was only one thing left to try: earplugs. Just kidding. There was only one thing left to try: white noise.

So, while our friends and family spent the May long weekend barbecuing and cottaging, Dan and I spent it Googling the following things:

“Best white noise for twins”

“Loudest white noise machines”

“Can white noise cause hearing loss?”

“Can you become addicted to white noise and never sleep again without it?”

“When does having twins get easier?”

Then the experiment began. Wait, I should have mentioned that we already had something called a Sleep Sheep, which is a sound machine disguised as a stuffed animal.

Sleep Sheep

Sleep Sheep.

The problem is, it only stays on for 45 minutes. I don’t know about you, but I like to sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time.

Okay, so then the experiment began.

Saturday Night: We reunite Monk A & B in their nursery and pray the fancy sound machine I bought from from Babies R Us would do the trick.


Fancy Sound Machine.

Results? Complete failure. My friend explained that fancy sound machine wasn’t loud enough. White noise has to be loud. LOUD. She said it can be as loud as a vacuum cleaner – though I can’t remember how loud that actually is because I haven’t heard the sound of a vacuum cleaner in months.

Sunday Night: We decide it’s time to bring in the big guns:

Speakers and stereo.

The Big Guns.

Dan hooks up his speakers in the nursery and downloads the loudest white noise mp3 he can find – it’s called “waterfall”. Who wouldn’t want to fall asleep next to a waterfall? We put my iPod on repeat, plug it into the speakers and turn up the volume. The boys fall asleep next to Niagara Falls.

Results? At 2am I hear Monk A stir. I wait. Monk B stays silent. Then Monk A is silent again. Success! I am so excited I wake up Dan, “it worked!”  The words had barely left my mouth when suddenly the white noise stops. What!? Almost immediately I hear Monk A stir again. Monk B hears him and begins to cry. I too begin to cry. Dan goes in and discovers my iPod froze.

Monday Night: The pressure is on. It’s Victoria Day. Fireworks. We need to get it right and can’t take any chances on my iPod. Instead we turn on the radio to static (which actually sounds exactly like “waterfall”, but somehow I feel guilty letting my babies fall asleep to radio static).

Results? A miracle: Monk A & B sleep from 6:30 p.m.- 6:00 a.m.

Since then, Monk A & B have been sleeping in the same room. It hasn’t been perfect – far from it – but definitely an improvement. I’m sure there are still sleepless nights in store for us. In fact, I know there are. I was planning to write this post a week ago but needed to nap instead.

4 thoughts on “White Noise.

  1. We purchased (albeit 20+ years ago) a fantastic CD called “calming rhythms” comprised of very soothing drum beats. I probably still have it somewhere if you can’t find online.

  2. So um…..white noise machine = good idea? I never bothered with my older kids but I had them one at a time. So yes, when Anika re-enacts the sound of music in her room during quiet time it FOR SURE wakes Sam up. But I can kind of control that because, you know, she’s six. “Hey Anika – knock it off.” “Okay mom.” Et fin. But babies waking up babies…huh. Didn’t think about that. IS there a good white noise machine out there?

    Oh dear.



  3. Hey Christy!
    I think white noise is definitely a good thing. Wish I had started using it much earlier. For the first 4 months or so they slept through everything, as most newborns do. Wasn’t until about 6 months that they started waking each other up. A friend of mine has the Conair sound machine and says it is quite loud. Most people on my multiples forum use CDs, iPad apps, etc. The key for us is that it is loud enough. Maybe not quite as loud as a vacuum, but pretty loud. For us that meant using a small set of old speakers (per above). There’s something about the bass that fills the room with sound without being too abrasive. It’s really just trial and error when/IF you cross that bridge (I say IF, because you might not even have this problem!) I think we were wrong to separate them. Probably should have let them get used to each other’s crying at an earlier age, with the assistance of white noise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *