WFMW – Sleeping Away the Night

WFMWAfter a rather serious (controversial?) parenting tip on tv viewing and a silly post on Socktoberfest, I thought it was time to get practical. How handy that Works for Me Wednesday has arrived.

I am a night owl, no question about it. It not that I don’t like to sleep, but I have sleep apnea for which I am using a CPAP machine, so sleeping is quite difficult. I’ve found, however, that I can’t efficiently run my household or homeschool the children without starting a little earlier in the day. Sigh. These are the great tragedies of life. :)

Needless to say, sleep is VERY important to me.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Tim and I have been blessed with children who are fairly good sleepers, and we do our best to train them to that end. Over the years we stumbled upon a little secret that has helped the entire family sleep better.

A small table fan. and Bed, Bath & Beyond both sell a version for $10 to $15. These little appliances have turned out to be real treasures.

joshua's fan

Don’t look too closely or you will see the dust gathering on the edges of Joshua’s fan.

We originally bought these fans to help with the summer heat. Western Washington doesn’t dole out the kind of summer temps that other parts of the country face, but we do occasionally have warm (even, dare I say it, mildly hot) summers. We quickly discovered that the fans provided an additional benefit — sound proofing. This was especially nice with a baby in the family, whose naps we were usually desperate to safeguard. We immediately rushed out to buy one for each bedroom.

rachel/sarah's room

The girls have a cute, brightly colored fan from Wal-Mart.

Now Tim and I can enjoy a movie in the evening, have a “grown up” conversation, or just play our music loudly without worrying we are disturbing the children’s sleep. Even more significantly, on the rare opportunity we have to sleep in (the occasional Saturday or holiday) we can do so peacefully with the white noise of our fan muffling the scampering feet of happy children.

I heartily recommend these table fans as a compliment to any room’s decor.

hooray for fans

The girls mime a little fan dance for the camera.

Pop by Works for Me Wednesday for other tips and ideas.

Project 365 – Day 289

Duckabush Blog Works for Me Wednesday entries.

Several weeks of Tuesday Parenting Tips.

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23 thoughts on “WFMW – Sleeping Away the Night”

  1. We are big fans of fans! The kids have them in their rooms and we have a fan in our room!! We picked up a dual set of them at Costco this year. We love the white noise of fans, and everyone seems to be much better sleepers.

  2. Samuel’s now become addicted to the humidifier we brought out for his cold, even though his cold is gone. Same idea. Good for that dry winter air whether one is sick or not!

  3. I love running fans year round! I prefer old-fashioned box fans–the louder, the better, in my opinion! Any fan that is marketed as “Super Quiet” is passed over.

  4. We stumbled on it with baby #2, and now I pass that tip on to moms! It has been a life-saver! And let me tell you, a box fan on the highest speed is some MIGHTY soundproofing! :)

    I love your tip. (But I have to admit, I REALLY loved Socktoberfest.)

  5. I’ll have to try this with the wee one. He is NOT a good sleeper and I’m so tired I can hardly see straight. I hope this works!

  6. I really like this idea but I have to ask, do your kids even cut their fingers in them or play with the fan instead of going to sleep? I’d like to try this with our little ones. We turn on the bathroom fan for white noise. But I think a fan in the bedroom would be even nicer.

  7. I LOVE FANS!!!
    When I travel, if I don’t have a fan, I turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom or leave static on the tv or radio or just hum loudly till I fall asleep.
    PLUS…it’s amazing how much faster babies start sleeping through the night when you can’t even hear them crying over the sound of the box fan in our room. ;)
    (And this is really Scott, not Cindy)

  8. Ha ha ha! Scott, thanks for the chuckle — I picture you lying on your bed in a hotel room, humming loudly to the room at large, while your wife tries desperately to sleep with a pillow over her head.

    When we were first married, we lived in an attic apartment, and used the extra bedroom as a study. We found a hole in the wall and fed speaker wire through it from the living room, so we could enjoy music in that room as well. When our oldest son came home from the hospital, we hurriedly put together his crib and rolled it over to the corner, forgetting about the speaker that was now concealed beneath it.

    I remember many evenings, sitting in our living room, listening to our music, until one day we noticed that we weren’t getting much of a stereo effect. Belatedly, we realized that all this time, the speaker was blaring away under our newborn son.

    While I wouldn’t recommend this as a standard practice for newborns, it is interesting to note that to this day, it takes a noise on the apocalyptic level to wake him.

  9. Summers here are hot & humid (occasionally so are the other seasons), necessitating fans WITH the AC on warm days. We found out long ago the benefits of pleasant, ‘white noise’ fans ::grin::

    My son especially thinks that your collection looks pretty cool…probably because his personal fan is very similar ;-)

  10. No fans here, except during the hottest summer weather.

    I would so miss the wonderful night sounds…the insects in the summer, the owls that hoot in the fall and spring, the coyotes, the deer snorting in the field, the rain on the roof, even the sound of the snow as the wind blows it against the window is a joy to me.

  11. Thanks for commenting on my blog!

    THis is a great tip–we already use this for our 4-month old. I’msure he’ll be addicted to white noise, but it’s a great thing to have–I think it helps him sleep SO much better!!

  12. I have been doing this for years! I am going to be going to Disney World in December and am going to invest in a white noise machine. I don’t know if they will let me take a fan on the plane.

  13. Oh yeah this idea is great. My daughter has a humidifier that we keep on during bedtime and naps each day. It is wonderful! I’ve often wondered what if we’ll keep it on until she is a teenager!

    I honestly sleep better with the soft sound of something like that – or even the dishwasher running at night.


    Stacey (Kisses from the Father)

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