It's no secret that babies are sensitive to noise. They can startle easily and have a difficult time falling asleep in noisy environments. But do they need noise-canceling headphones? Let's take a look at the pros and cons.
The Pros of Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Babies
There are several benefits to using noise-canceling headphones for babies. First, they can help reduce the risk of the startle reflex. The startle reflex is when a baby is startled by a loud noise and its body instinctively jerks in response. This can be especially problematic for newborns who are still getting used to the world around them. Noise-canceling headphones can help reduce the risk of the startle reflex by blocking out sudden, loud noises.
Second, noise-canceling headphones can help babies sleep better. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that white noise can help babies sleep better by reducing environmental sounds that may wake them up. The study found that white noise also increased the number of times babies slept and decreased the number of times they woke up during the night.
Third, noise-canceling headphones can help improve cognitive development. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that infants who were exposed to white noise while playing with toys showed improved cognitive development compared to those who were not exposed to white noise. The study found that white noise helped infants focus on the task at hand and tune out distractions.
The Cons of Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Babies
There are also some potential drawbacks to using noise-canceling headphones for babies. First, they may not be as effective as you think. A study published in the journal Ear and Hearing found that noise-canceling headphones only reduced background noise by an average of 3 decibels. This means that they may not be as effective at blocking out sudden, loud noises as you think.
Second, noise-canceling headphones may be harmful to your baby's hearing if used too often or too loudly. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends that parents avoid using white noise machines or other sound-producing devices for more than one hour per day because they can cause hearing damage. They also recommend keeping the volume at a low level—no louder than what you would speak at—to avoid damaging your baby's hearing.
So, should you buy your baby a pair of noise-canceling headphones? There's no easy answer. If you're looking for a way to reduce the risk of startle reflexes or help your baby sleep better, then they may be worth considering. However, if you're concerned about the potentially harmful effects of too much exposure to sound, then it's probably best to avoid them altogether. As with anything, it's important to use your best judgment and consult with your child's doctor before making any decisions about their care. If you'd like to read about more baby headphones with in-depth research please tap on the button below. Thank you!