You'll want to limit the noise level surrounding your newborn below 60 decibels. For instance, a calm conversation at home is around 50 decibels (dB), road traffic is about 70 decibels (dB), a workplace might be 80–85 decibels (dB), and an aircraft takeoff is about 100 decibels (dB). Exposure to sounds above these levels for long periods can lead to hearing loss.
Here are some other things to consider: Babies's ears are very sensitive and they need to hear everything you say in order to learn language and socialize properly. Also, like adults, babies' ears can be damaged by excessive noise. So, when choosing what volume to listen to your baby in, keep this health factor in mind as well.
Finally, let's not forget that babies under 12 months old cannot tell us how they feel, so if they start crying at the loudest volume then that's what you should play at all time.
The number one thing to know about how loud is too loud for babies is that there is no exact amount beyond which babies should not be exposed. It's not just a matter of whether or not they will be harmed if they are exposed for too long, but also about how much damage could happen if they are protected from noises that you would otherwise allow adults to hear. The only way to know for sure is by measuring the decibel level at which your baby sleeps.
Even normal noises in your home or neighborhood that are acceptable to you are too loud for your infant. A vacuum cleaner, for example, produces 70 decibels (dB), whereas a city street may produce up to 90 decibels (dB). The human ear can hear sounds between 15 and 160 dB. In other words, your infant can hear millions of times more noise than you can.
Newborns have very small ears and hairless skin, which makes them sensitive to sound. Even with the use of headphones, music players, and other devices that block out noise, infants are still exposed to loud sounds. You should avoid playing any type of music while you're cleaning to protect their hearing.
Noise pollution is one of the most common health concerns for parents-to-be and new mothers. Infants younger than 1 year old are particularly at risk from noise exposure because their brains are developing more rapidly than their bodies. Excessive noise during this time may lead to learning problems later on. Adults who live in areas where noise levels are high must overcome their instinct to protect their children by keeping them inside or under a blanket when noise levels are high.
Vacuums are used daily items many new parents assume are safe for babies. However, studies show that even though vacuums are designed to be quiet, they are still too noisy for infants.
Adult hearing can be harmed by noise levels of 85 dB or above, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a consequence, based on the findings of research and the CDC's guideline, it is preferable to restrict your exposure to noises lower than 85 decibels in order to minimize bad effects on you and your fetus (5).
Noise from music players, computers, and other devices is one of the most common sources of noise during pregnancy. Studies have shown that listening to these types of noises at high volumes can lead to increased stress hormones in pregnant women, which may affect their baby. If you do need to use a device with speakers, try using headphones instead.
Also, make sure that any home equipment that uses batteries is out of reach of your fetus. An unborn child cannot control the flow of current through his or her body, so if you leave them exposed to electric currents, there is a risk of injury or death.
Last but not least, avoid using household chemicals and cleaning products without knowing how they affect babies. Some products contain ingredients such as alcohol, acetone, or benzene that could be harmful to an infant's developing organs. Other products may produce toxic gases when they break down under high heat or pressure, such as when cooking food or using a hair dryer. Test all chemicals before use in case some should not be used during pregnancy.
As seen in the graph below, white noise at 50 dB provides no advantage to your baby's sleep. Sound does not begin to improve sleep until it reaches 60 to 65 decibels. At this level, noise is considered disruptive to sleep.
Disadvantages of listening to white noise machines before bed: 1 It can be difficult to tune out after hearing the same tone continuously for hours at a time; 2 The high volume output can be stressful or irritating for those who cannot fall asleep immediately after listening to them; and 3 Some manufacturers claim that white noise helps with insomnia by blocking out other noises that may be disturbing to individuals with anxiety or depression.
White noise machines were originally designed to help people sleep by masking outside noises that might keep them up at night. Although some adults find them helpful for this purpose, research shows that babies do not benefit from listening to white noise before bed. At best, it gives them something interesting to look at when they are already sleeping, which allows their brains enough time to relax and shut off thinking about everything else besides breathing in and out.
It is important to remember that babies learn what they live. If you feed them, talk to them, and give them attention when they are awake, then they will expect to stay up late playing and being busy every day.
The louder the noise, the greater the noise level. You can listen to noises that are 70 decibels or lower for as long as you wish. Sounds at 85 dBA can cause hearing loss if listened to for more than 8 hours. At 100 dBA, you should stop listening to them after 4 minutes.
Decibels are measured with an electronic device called a decibel meter. The sound of a lawn mower, for example, is around 75 dBA. A jackhammer is about 90 dBA. The higher the number, the louder the noise. Even sounds at low levels can be heard by sensitive ears. For example, the whirring of a fan is about 45 dBA; the ticking of a clock is about 35 dBA.
Sounds range in intensity from very soft voices (about 60 dBA) to very loud noises (about 110 dBA). Most noises you hear every day are between these two values, such as when someone opens a door or takes out the trash. Loud noises are those that exceed 120 dBA for longer than 3 minutes; they can cause damage to your ears. Examples include car accidents, explosions, and power tools.
Your risk of hearing loss increases with the length of time you expose your ears to high-intensity sounds.