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White Noise Machines as Sleep Aid

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Help Child Sleep by Using a White Noise Machine

2008-05-19-conair sound therapy
Yesterday on “The Parenting Show,” we had Tracey Ruiz, a sleep doula, as our guest. She brought a wonderful gift basket as a giveaway which included a white noise machine.  Infants spend months sleeping in the womb, which is very loud, and then once they are born we mistakenly feel compelled to tiptoe about and whisper, fearing we’ll wake the baby. Tracey recommends you aim for 80 decibels of background white noise, which is about the loudness of running a vacuum cleaner.  White noise is not only a soothing sound, but it also mutes any sudden sounds that might startle your baby awake.  I love to listen to the hum of my bedroom humidifier as I drift off to sleep.  True white noise could only be better! Yup – white noise, not just for babies anymore! Give it a go with anyone in the house who could use some help nodding off.

About Alyson

Alyson has been blogging parenting advice for over 15 years. She has been a panelist at BlogWest, Blissdom, #140NYC and more. Her content appears on sites across Canada and the US, but you can read all her own blog posts right here.

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10 Responses to “White Noise Machines as Sleep Aid”

  1. Becky

    You can also download the white noise and put it on your Ipood or a cd. I put mine on a Cd and I believe it cost $2.25. I just put it in my son’s cd player on repeat and voila! I have a small cd player that I take with us on the raod to hotels etc. He loves it. We love it for the hotel because it helps to drown out the halway noise!!

  2. edstephbrown

    April 2, 2009
    To whom it may concern,
    The work of Tracey Ruiz (aka as the “sleep doula”) has been a growing concern for many regulated health care professionals in Toronto who work in the area of paediatric sleep and/or who provide counselling services to parents regarding children’s sleep issues.
    Tracey and her PR team have coined the term “sleep doula” which has appeared to have allowed her to go above and beyond what her title “doula” allows her to do. She continues to provide clinical services that physicians and clinical psychologists provide and has no licence to do so.
    Various attempts to curtail her work have been met with further PR tactics that are irresponsible and outrageous. Most recently it appears that Tracey has written or has allowed herself to be referred to as “Canada’s preeminent sleep expert” ( How could it be that with all the psychologists, physicians, and researchers we have in Canada working in this field that she has earned this title? How can it be that when a doula role’s is to provide support to the mother and provide such services as preparing light meals, laundry, and sibling babysitting (as taken from the Doula C.A.R.E. website ) that she has become an authority on developing sleep training programs for children ages 0-3 YEARS?
    Information from the Doula C.A.R.E. home page:
    Doula C.A.R.E.Canadian Association Registry & Education
    What is a Doula?
    A doula is someone who provides non-clinical support and care to a woman (and her partner) during childbirth.
    In addition, at no time will a birth doula perform clinical or medical tasks, such as taking blood pressure or temperature, fetal heart tones, vaginal exams or postpartum clinical care. A Doula C.A.R.E. postpartum doula recognizes the importance and challenges of family adjustment following the birth of a baby. Services are usually customized to meet the specific needs of the family, but may include:
    • Reassurance and support to help parents feel comfortable and confident with their babies
    • Breastfeeding support
    • Practical hands-on help such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry and short errands
    • Provide relief childcare / sibling care
    The Canadian Paediatric Society, Canadian Sleep Society, Rogers Media, Globe & Mail and various other news outlets have been contacted on several occasions due to concerns regarding Tracey’s work. Given that she is clearly providing clinical treatment (regardless of whether she refers to this work as “support” or not) it has become apparent that she is breaking provisions set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act of Ontario. Doula’s are not one of the health care professionals listed in the RHPA that are allowed to provide clinical treatment.
    My impetus to contact Doula C.A.R.E. and CAPPA stem from reports from patients who have also worked with Tracey. These reports have almost been identical in nature which leaves no room for speculation. While, as health care practitioners, we cannot please everyone, we are mandated to provide ethical and responsible treatment that is within our scope of competence. These patients’ recounts have been disturbing. After collecting high fees for sleep consultations, it was described that Tracey did not provide follow-up care to each of these 4 families when the “treatment plan” – which they described that Tracey developed in entirety – was not working. Needless to say they were all left very upset and feeling very betrayed. While I feel it was important to recount these stories, I have encouraged these clients to tell their own stories to the relevant authorities. To reiterate, it was explained that Tracey did far more than support parents through making decisions, but rather developed detailed, step by step sleep training programs for children up to 3 years of age.
    The work that Tracey and her “dream team” provide is clearly outside of their scope of competence. Public safety is as risk and continues to be at risk. While there is a scope for the work of a doula, Tracey is clearly overstepping her boundaries and needs to be reprimanded by her certifying body and other regulating authorities in Ontario. Having her refer to herself as a sleep doula – which is nothing but a made-up term – must still be under the purview of the doula association(s) that she is a part of and that certify doulas.
    In the interest of public safety including the provision of providing ethical and competent health services within ones scope of practice, I, as a paediatric physician, ask that this letter be the start of a formal investigation of Tracey Ruiz and her dream team. In the meantime, Toronto Public Health, the Canadian Sleep Society, the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Ontario Ministry of Health are being contacted regarding this issue.

  3. Melanie

    I bought my Conair white noise machine at Walmart for about $ 25.00. It works great. I don’t know what I would have done without it. Both of my kids were colicky, they are now 2 and 5yrs old and we still use them all the time!

  4. white noise machine

    I might just buy one of those. The fan that we have in the kid’s rooms isn’t as loud as I’d like it to be. I bought a white noise machine awhile back from Babies R Us and it was way too quiet.

  5. s

    I disagree about your comments. I used Tracy’s services after 10 months of my child waking up every 15-20 min. My child sleeps 11 hrs straight and we did not have to let her cry it out. Her methods work and no doctor could help me so she can call herself whatever she wants. Maybe you should contact all the families that they helped and I am sure you will see that without Tracy many of us in toronto would not have been able to get help.
    edstephbrown, When you have a child that does sleep and you are sick cause you do not sleep, I am sure you will think differently. So just allow us to use who we want cause if the doctors cannot figure out how to make a child sleep and she can, then let it be.

  6. Brenda hayes

    I’m a very interested to see what What kind of a result if any comes from an formal investigation

  7. Alyson Schafer

    Hi Brenda,
    I know there has been lots of research. I did a quick google search and found this:
    I only glanced so I can’t say its the most credible source – but something to check out anyway.

  8. SleepMate

    I would recommend this Canadian website. They carry a great selections of sound machines / sleep mates.

  9. A.E.

    We hired Tracey….I have to say I totally agree with everything you said! We paid her A LOT of $ for her to sleep over while letting my child throw up on himself all night long. He finally slept due to sheer exhaustion. The next few nights we tried following her list of “techniques”, & all failed. We tried contacting her afterwards & unless we paid another huge fee we were given little help. She told us to sleep on floor beside our child to calm him, which is what we were doing before we called her??!!?? We felt ripped off unbelievably! Her methods are crazy, & no follow up was given! I hope she is made to stop running this scam of a business! She is no sleep doula,,,more like con artist!

  10. White Noise Machines

    Thank you for providing such information. This is very generous of you providing such vital information which is very informative.


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