Stop a Crying Baby with Vacuum Cleaner Sounds
Put Vacuum Cleaner Noise to Good Use - Calm Your Baby!
Surely you've seen this before. That sci-fi movie where the robot tends to the child-rearing duties while future-mom and future-dad lounge, sipping cocktails, by the pool in hover-deck chairs....or something to that effect. Usually, these scenes might give you the heebie-jeebies (just imagine, a machine touching my baby!) and put you off ever having a robot care for your kid (although in Japan they're looking into robotic geriatric care).
Even though the age of Isaac Asimov's i-Robot has yet to arrive, there is a machine in your house that can help with the kiddies - and it's not even creepy! If you haven't guessed: it's the vacuum cleaner. But first....
Why Is My Vacuum Cleaner So Noisy?
The name "vacuum cleaner" can be misleading. Supposedly, these metal contraptions create vacuums -right? And Robert Boyle (a 17th century physicist and chemist whose claim to fame was the nature of a vacuum) showed that sound doesn't travel through a vacuum - right? A vacuum is essentially a volume of space that's devoid of matter; there's nothing going on in there. So why, then, is your vacuum cleaner so darn noisy? Why is there this name paradox? Why!
Before you pull out your hair over this conundrum you should know that a vacuum cleaner does not create a true vacuum. Instead of thinking of the "emptiness of space" just think straws. Yep, straws. Sucking soda through a straw is much closer to the actual science behind a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners create pressure drops, thus suction, and this creates apartial vacuum inside the vacuum cleaner.
The vacuum cleaner noise you hear is a combination of its motor, a constant stream of air, bits of debris and millions of dust mites bidding adieu to this mortal coil - all occurring simultaneously.
Babies Really Do Enjoy Vacuum Cleaner Sounds
So then, back to the real question: do babies like vacuum cleaner noises?
The answer, dear friend, is yes! Of course, this depends on your child and his or her unique tastes. After all, some of us prefer Bach to Beethoven and then some of us prefer Nine Inch Nails. But, to the delight of many parents around the world, the brain-buzzing white noise of a Dirt Devil, Bissell, or Hoover is as sweet as a summer symphony to their infant. Will it be for yours?
There's really only one way to know - flip the switch the next time your little one starts to cry. You may get a double dose of Tylenol coming your way - or - you may get a pleasant surprise!
Define Vacuum Cleaner White Noise
White noise is a sound produced by a stimulus with equal power within a fixed bandwidth at any center frequency. Throw out the science stuff and it's a lot of rather annoying noise with such little variation that you might find it the greater of two evils...white noise and your baby's unrelenting screech. This is similar to white light where the three color cones (receptors) in your eyes are all equally stimulated by combined visible colors - thus seeing "white" light!
Babies enjoy the white noise created by a vacuum cleaner because it most closely emulates the sounds heard while in the womb. For nine full months your baby was tuned into a symphony of sounds, 24/7, and that's all she ever knew. Suddenly there's this weird vacuum (illegal use of the word again) and the silence can be overwhelming, especially at night.
My Baby Has Colic: Will Vacuum Cleaner Noise Help?
All babies cry, but a baby with colic is a whole new kind of monster. As much as you love your child no one would berate you if you confessed the crying was maddening. Colic is often the worse pain your baby has yet experienced. No one knows for sure what it's symptoms are, but a few suspects include allergic reaction, gas producing foods, or (ironically) air intake from crying.
A colic baby shows signs of sleeplessness, exhaustion (from all that crying!), a bloated stomach, stressed out parents, and hours upon hours of crying spells. Try as you might by switching foods or rocking your baby just won't stop. Have you tried running the vacuum during these times?
Since vacuum cleaner white noise contains equal frequencies it produces a steady stream of monotonous sound. This is incredibly peaceful to an infant and can filter out more distracting and disrupting noises - and even pain. While this won't cure colic, running a vacuum cleaner will give your baby some temporary relief. Just think of yourself in a day spa, the music is a large contributor to your feeling of serenity. The same is true for your baby - he just has different tastes (remember Bach to Beethoven?).
How Can I Rest with Vacuum Cleaner Noises Blaring?
Of course you can't keep your vacuum cleaner running all night and day in the house. Just think of the electricity costs, plus those on your nerves! It's simply impossible and impractical. However, here's a quick, easy solution - record it. You've probably already got all the equipment you need at home: a computer with a microphone or an old tape recorder will do.
Just make a quick recording of the vacuum cleaner sounds so you can loop the track (over and over and over again on low) for your baby. Some soft, comfy headphones do nicely. That way you can enjoy that ever fleeting phenomenon - silence.
So the next time you feel stressed by the sounds your vacuum cleaner makes as it works diligently to suction dirt, dust, and debris just remember that this seemingly dirty noise is really noise gold!
Realizing this transforms a stressed-out Mommy from a coal miner to a diamond dealer - you just have to dig a little deeper into the rough. Have fun with your little one and good luck on your journey together!
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