Friday, September 14, 2007

:: Make-Your-Own White Noise Machine ::

Evan, though a wonderful night-sleeper, is something of a disastrous napper. Surprisingly, it seems not to be because he’s not tired that he can’t sleep but because he is very tired. Despite sleeping eleven to twelve hours each night, often in one single stretch, the poor kiddo needs to be back down within an hour of waking. And then within an hour of waking from that nap. And from that nap. And from a fourth. If we miss any of those windows, we’re more or less done for and spend the day exhausted, frustrated, and pulling on our ears (or tugging out hair, in my case).

Last week, I went on a mission to find room-darkening shades and a white noise machine. My search took me, where else? To Target. There I found roman shades, valences, faux-wood blinds, drapes, and café curtains but no room-darkening shades. I also found alarm clocks that made various nature sounds (yes, I think crickets are what Evan needs to nap better) and crib add-ons that play lullabies and, of all strange and, I guess, logical things, heartbeats. But no white noise.

I came home, instead, with a onesie emblazoned with the phrase “Mommy and Daddy’s Alarm Clock.”

Once home, Brian and I began the online search for a white noise machine (knowing we’d find shades at Home Depot or someplace, but not knowing where to look for the noise maker). To our surprise and alarm, we found out that those suckers are tres cher. Tres, tres, cher. As we were deciding whether to pull the proverbial trigger on a $60 white noise maker, I had a thought.


A quick search confirmed my suspicions: iTunes sells, for just 99 cents a pop, at least a hundred tracks of just plain old white noise. Here are pictured several entire albums.

So here’s how we made our 99 cent white noise machine:

  1. Download one track of white noise from iTunes. They don’t all sound the same, so find one you like. The photo above is just a sampling of all the good white noise to be found.

  2. Burn that track onto a CD. We burned it three times, giving us 30 minutes of white noise.

  3. Put the CD into a CD player in the baby’s room.

  4. If you want ten minutes of white noise, advance to track three and press play. If you want twenty minutes, advance to track two. If you want thirty, play the CD from the beginning. And if you want continuous white noise, put the CD player on repeat mode. Not all CD players have this mode, but most I’ve seen do.

It’s that simple. Screw you, white noise machine makers. I’m saving my money for something here:

my etsy favorites

Pretty, huh?


bubandpie September 14, 2007 at 6:11 PM  

Ah, yes - the one-hour window. And then, just when you think you've got that figured out, it will suddenly jump to 90 minutes, and if you are so foolish as to attempt the nap after a mere 60 minutes, there will be wailing and lamentations from all sides. I'm just saying - you've been warned.

Toni September 14, 2007 at 7:13 PM  

This is a fabulous idea. You should submit it to ParentHacks.

And bubandpie is right on about the window change. Watch for it. It will come.

Christina September 16, 2007 at 6:23 AM  

Our window is now every two to two and a half hours. She's three and a half months, so watch out - the space between naps will lengthen soon.

We had our best luck with room darkening shades at Lowe's.

Great idea about using iTunes. We have a CD called Transitions that we use for bed and naptimes for both girls. It's a new-age type music with "womb-sounds" (seriously, someone recorded noises from inside a womb) mixed in. Sounds crazy, but it works very well. Just don't bring it with you to play in the car - it'll put you to sleep, too!