When you live in a house with seven other people [1 other adult (the wife) 2 teenagers in high school (ages 16 & 17), 3 kids under 6, and an infant], you come to expect a certain level of noise. If we were using a noise scale from 1 to 100, my house would average about 87. This comes as simply a natural byproduct of all these people living in such close proximity. The way I’ve calculated it, the combined commotion increases exponentially for each person in my house under 18, and that doubles if you have a newborn in the mix.
As the days wind down, we can usually start to see a gradual decrease in the peak volume level. The teenagers are barricaded in their room either texting or frying their brains through YouTube overexposure. The small children may have their mouths full with a snack, something to drink or they’re being bathed. And the milk-drunk baby’s eyelids are getting heavier and heavier.
Now normally, in order to get the smaller kids (and especially the baby) to sleep, you’d think that we’d want the house to be as quiet as possible. You know, that whole “hear a pin drop” kind of quiet? But noooo. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What we’ve found is that our children actually sleep BETTER when they’ve undergone some noise conditioning.
What does that mean, you ask?
It means that from the moment they come home from the hospital, we take no special pains to make the house quiet. As a matter of fact, we prefer the house to maintain its typical volume level just as it existed prior to the baby’s arrival. Why? Because once the baby has grown accustomed to the noise level, it becomes a lot easier to get them to fall asleep, and we don’t have to worry about a sudden crash or bang waking them from their slumber.
It’s a wonderful thing.
Our children have slept through all kinds of noise… like the karoake New Year’s Eve party that ran til 3am… mistakenly setting off the house alarm at 1am… dogs barking… thunder… you name it, and our children will probably sleep through it!
You know what the best part is? When the children fall asleep while we’re out visiting, the hustle and bustle of life won’t cut short their naps. We don’t have to whisper and beg people to tip toe around the house. We just carry on living life and usual and the kids get the rest they need.