Putting the baby to sleep tends to be a parent’s nightmare. Worse, an uncomfortable infant can wail for prolonged hours. Understandably, parents often turn to alternative measures for more rest and less tears.
An infant sleep machine (ISM), also known as white noise, soothes babies to sleep by blocking environmental noises or mimicking the womb’s tenor. Unfortunately, despite the product’s intention, experts warn about excessive noise exposure.
Excessive noise can damage infant hearing
Smart bassinet companies, such as Snoo, integrate the white noise feature into their items to ease babies into falling asleep. However, like any technology used excessively, it can harm infant hearing.
Its output sound pressure can reach destructive levels of more than 85 decibels that can affect adult hearing, what more for a vulnerable and developing child. While the impact may not be apparent at the onset, it can progress to potential hearing loss over time.
Thus, per the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation, parents must be extra vigilant when using the product. They must do so in moderation through the following ways:
- Place it as far away as possible
- Set the volume as low as possible
- Limit the frequency or duration of usage, which must not be eight consecutive hours
Using the machine sparingly can help prevent overreliance. Babies who are overly dependent on the device may find it difficult to adjust to different sleeping environments. Similarly, parents may have a tough time transitioning them to independent sleep. Further, loudly using the machine may also mask essential sounds, such as the child’s cries or a smoke alarm.
Parents must strike a safe balance
Childrearing can be an emotionally taxing parental obligation that often entails a lack of proper rest. So, the ISM offers a promising alternative. But parents must use it responsibly. It is up to them to gauge a healthy balance between protecting their baby’s sleep and hearing. However, if the manufacturer designed a defective product that led to the baby’s auditory problems, parents can seek liability with the legal guidance of their Pennsylvania representative.