Updated on May 5, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
Whether you’re a brand-new parent or a childcare veteran, making sure baby goes down easily for naps and bedtime is always a top priority. White noise machines generate soothing sounds to lull baby into a restful slumber and come in handy when all your other sleep tricks have failed. Here are the 7 best white noise machines for babies.
Best White Noise Machine for Babies
(Best sound quality — $$)
Why it’s great: This white noise machine by Jack & Rose features 16 high fidelity soothing sounds, including a fetal heartbeat, which is intended to replicate a newborn’s experience in mom’s womb. Other sound options include a selection of 6 white noises, 6 nature sounds and 4 lullabies. This white noise machine also doubles as a nightlight with 7 distinct color choices to help create a peaceful ambiance in baby’s nursery. A timer can be set to automatically turn off this sound machine and a memory function will save your chosen setting for the next use.
Keep in mind: Some customers report that it can be tough to see the buttons on this white noise machine in the dark.
Good for: Parents who want a wide selection of high-quality sounds as well as a variety of nightlight colors.
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: Available in four color combinations, this Letsfit white noise machine is the simple and affordable answer to sleep success. This white noise machine has a selection of 14 repetitive and rhythmic soundtracks, which cover the categories of white noise, lullabies, nature sounds, fan noise and clothes dryer sounds. This sound machine also has a subtle nightlight function as well as a timer and automatic shut-down feature, making it the perfect addition to baby’s bedtime routine.
Keep in mind: Some customers say this white noise machine can be tough to turn off manually.
Good for: Parents who want a sound machine with lots of features at an affordable price point.
(Cutest design — $$)
Why it’s great: This adorable baby sound machine, made by Skip Hop, comes in the shape of an adorable owl to add a dose of cozy comfort to baby’s nursery set-up. With 4 lullabies and 4 nature sounds, this sound machine also has several fun light features. A gentle nightlight glows from owl’s belly while star and moon ceiling projections shine through the top of his head. This sound machine is also incredibly easy to use with back-side button controls that adjust the sounds, volume, timer, and light settings.
Keep in mind: Some customers say the light features aren’t super bright.
Good for: Gifting to new parents as this sound machine is as cute as it is functional.
(Highest quality — $$$)
Why it’s great: This Hatch Baby Rest sound machine is the modern answer to the age-old question of how to get a baby to sleep better. With 11 peaceful sounds to choose from, this sound machine also includes a light feature that offers countless customizable color options. Designed to grow with your child from the early newborn nights all the way through preschool, this sound machine includes time-to-rise programs and a toddler lock. Best of all, this sound machine is Bluetooth-enabled and can be operated remotely using your smartphone. Through the Hatch app, parents can design special sleep programs and operate timer and shutdown functions as needed.
Keep in mind: Some customers say the manual buttons to operate this product don’t work as well as the app controls.
Good for: High-tech parents who want to be able to control their baby’s sound machine from an app on their phone.
(Best for travel — $)
Why it’s great: Perfect for parents looking for a product to help baby sleep on-the-go, this MyBaby Soundspa white noise machine is both portable and durable. No matter where the day takes you, this white noise machine’s 4 relaxing sounds, which include heartbeat, white noise, ocean, and lullaby, will create a tranquil napping environment for baby. Designed for use in a variety of locations, this white noise machine has a built-in stand for stationary use and comes with an integrated clip to hook onto a diaper bag, stroller, crib, or car seat. A timer and auto-shut-off function provide added convenience.
Keep in mind: This product needs three AAA batteries to operate. Batteries are not included with purchase.
Good for: Parents looking for a small, easy-to-use sound machine to take with them on family trips.
(Best light features — $$$)
Why it’s great: This Babyfeel sound machine and nightlight has lots of fun features and is praised by parents for its quality and innovation. With 10 multi-instrumental sounds and melodies, this sound machine has the option to play soundtracks in sequence or on repeat. Meanwhile, a light projection feature brings the night sky into your little one’s nursery, casting the moon and stars across the walls and ceiling. The light projection setting has 3 color options, which can also be set to rotate. This sound machine can be powered with a USB cable or 4 AA batteries, making it perfect for at-home use or on-the-go.
Keep in mind: The timer function can only be set for 30 minutes.
Good for: Parents who want a unique light projection feature with their sound machine.
(Easiest to use — $$)
Why it’s great: This award-winning Baby Shusher mimics a real human voice to shush baby to sleep. Unlike other sound machines on the market, this product relies on the natural calming technique of rhythmic shushing, which reminds baby of being inside mom’s belly. Sold with a wrist strap, this sound machine is small and portable, perfect for slipping into a diaper bag for naps on the go. With only a few buttons, this device is easy to use and has adjustable volume controls as well as a timer function.
Keep in mind: This sound machine only has one sound function, though customers say it is an effective one!
Good for: Parents with fussy babies as this product is praised for calming little ones when nothing else will.
FAQs about White Noise Machines for Babies
1. Do I really a need a white noise machine for my baby?
White noise machines are useful for helping babies fall asleep because their soothing sounds filter out other environmental noise. Introducing a white noise machine into baby’s sleep routine also helps baby learn when it’s time to sleep as the familiar sounds will signal to baby that it’s time to settle down. White noise machines that are designed specifically for babies often have special soundtracks that cater to their preferences, including fetal heartbeat sounds, rhythmic shushing, and instrumental lullabies.
2. Do white noise machines really help babies sleep or is that a myth?
In 1990, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published a study that found that white noise does help babies sleep better. The study examined the sleeping habits of 40 newborns and found that 80% of them slept better when white noise was present.
3. What are things to consider when purchasing a white noise machine?
It’s important to think about where you’ll want to use your white noise machine. If you’re looking for something that will soothe baby to sleep during long car rides, you might want a white noise machine that’s small and portable. If you’re only planning to use the white noise machine in baby’s nursery, it might be worth it to invest in one with a nightlight feature. If you’re hoping to use your white noise machine past the infant stage, go for a product that has extra programmable features for toddlers.
4. How loud should a white noise machine be for a baby?
No parent wants to blast loud noise in their baby’s nursery, especially when it’s time for baby to go to sleep. At the same time, a white noise machine should be able to drown out other ambient noise. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends setting your white noise machine no louder than 50 decibels, which is about the level of a normal conversation between two people.
5. Should I leave a white noise machine on all night?
This is totally up to you. Leaving a white noise machine on all night can help baby fall back asleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night as the familiar sounds will signal that it’s still time to sleep. However, if you prefer not to run the white noise machine all night, most products come with a timer function, which you can set to turn off the machine automatically after a certain interval of time.
White noise machines help drown out the loud and distracting noises that can keep babies from getting the sleep they need. By employing soothing melodies and gentle lights, white noise machines create a calming ambiance that encourages babies to not only go to sleep faster but stay asleep longer. Most products are designed to be easy to use, with timer and auto-shutdown functions. Some white noise machines are even designed to grow with your child and can be used all the way through the toddler years with special time-to-rise programs. No matter which white noise machine you choose, rest assured that it will invoke a sense of peace and relaxation, which will be good for baby and probably good for you, too!