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My house is always noisy and with a six-and four-year-old as well as an infant. Must the baby have quiet to sleep? It's a losing battle. What can I do?
Your baby was not used to a quiet sleeping environment during her nine months in the womb. In fact, the womb is a very noisy place to sleep. Yet, babies manage to sleep through these sounds. Because womb sounds are so imprinted on babies, tape recordings of womb sounds is one of the oldest props for getting babies to go to sleep and stay asleep. As parents of eight, we found that our babies were able to sleep in the midst of noisy chaos. You will also find that babies nod off to sleep quickly when exposed to the monotonous household sounds of a vacuum cleaner, air conditioner, or dishwasher.
Babies also have a remarkable way of tuning out disturbing noises and retreating into deep sleep. Yet, if your baby startles and awakens easily from the usual laughter and yells of playing children, teach your older children to respect "quiet time" while baby is sleeping. Take this as an opportunity to teach your children the social skill of respecting the needs of other family members. If the phone ringing awakens your sleeping baby, turn the ringer off or put it on the low setting. If there is a lot of family noise, such as a party or holiday celebration, play music during baby's naptime, letting the background sounds of the music predominate over the ambient noise of a household.