by Mama Butterfly
When my son was born, my mom bought us a "noisemaker," which is a little machine that makes white noise sounds -- wind, ocean, rain, etc. I started playing it softly for my son when he got old enough to be sensitive to noise in the house while he napped and slept at night. It became especially helpful as he got older and we began traveling more often. He was so used to the noisemaker sound that he always knew when he heard it, it was time to go to sleep. It created a "homey" ambiance that allowed for better sleep when we weren't at home. He never became dependent on it, but I found it helpful on many occasions.
He is almost 3, and I still play it for him when he sleeps. It's so helpful, particularly in the afternoons when it's time for his nap and A isn't quite ready for hers. Our house is on the smaller side and our living room is just a small hallway away from his room. She can squeal the afternoon away and he can't hear it at all.
When my daughter was born, I bought one for her and now both my kids dream to windstorms and waterfalls! I love getting my little A ready for bed. I'll still be holding her upright and as soon as that noisemaker clicks on, her eyes almost immediately droop. It cracks me up every time! It's kind of like insta-sleep -- just kidding! If only there was such a thing!
Do you have any "secrets" that help your kids sleep, particularly when you're away from home? What helped you easily fall asleep as a child?