White noise never sounded so good

A friend’s newborn would only go to sleep if the washing machine was going. Preferably with a heavy load of towels. Needless to say, there were never any piles of laundry waiting to be done in her house!

The idea of using ‘white noise’ to either mask out background noise or provide a steady stream of sound to help babies and children to sleep is hardly new. There are lots of white noise apps available, handy for creating the perfect sleep environment for your bub, regardless of where you are. Still, most offer the same sorts of sounds – ambient rainforest noise, crashing waves or rain on a tin roof. All of these sounds are quite lovely – for grown-ups.

Babies and kids are less likely to have experienced the calm of listening to exotic birdcalls in a rainforest or the sound of a crackling open fire. However, it is likely that the sound of a whirring fan, a washing machine or the gentle peaks and troughs of dinner table conversation has lulled them to sleep.

Which is why you need the White Noise Ambience app by Logicworks. Among the sounds included are air conditioners, a clothes dryer, a washing machine, the whir of a floor fan, the gurgle of a fish tank, a hair dryer, tapping on a laptop keyboard, a running bath, bacon frying and a vacuum cleaner. That’s more like it!

Of course, if your baby settles to the sound of Tibetan Singing Bowls, dawn in the forest or an ocean storm, this app will have you covered for those as well. It’s so comprehensive that there are twenty-one different water sounds, each with subtle but noteworthy differences. For example, water running through a downspout sounds quite different to a running shower and rain on a car roof sounds different to rain on an umbrella.

My favourites are the comforting crackle of a vinyl record and the quiet chinks and murmurs of the restaurant sound.

The app is surprisingly sophisticated – you are able to create mixes of your favourite sounds (want a little thunder with your ‘rain on car’ sound?!), adjust the balance of the sounds, adjust the brightness of the graphics and set sleep timers.

Find your baby’s groove with the White Noise Ambience app Lite version (includes twelve sounds), available free via iTunes or the White Noise Ambience HD version for $1.99 (includes seventy-five sounds).

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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