So your child doesn’t want to sleep during nap time or go to bed at a reasonable time at night. They certainly didn’t get that from your side of the family! Parents of small children often feel more tired than their kids simply because of all the effort they put into getting their kids to sleep. Well, even that could be easy with one of the best baby white noise machines I’ll review today.
If you’ve been following my articles for a while, you may have read my reviews of white noise machines for offices. You can read more about white noise in general in that article as well as several others I’ve already posted.
To make a long story short, white noise is a mix of all sound frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz. Because it covers the full range of sounds humans can perceive, playing it can confuse our brains enough for us to ignore other sources of noise. That’s why it’s so effective for masking disruptive sounds at work, blocking out loud neighbors, and even falling asleep.
In fact, even though the benefits of using white noise machines to fall asleep isn’t limited to children, it might be particularly effective with newborns. In the first few weeks of our lives, we’re particularly sensitive to noise. After all, we’ve spent the past few months hearing everything through the water. So the sudden exposure to the full range of sound frequencies can be startling — which is where white noise comes in.
Are White Noise Machines Safe for Babies?
The question of safety is one that kept popping up as I was getting ready to research this subject. In a word, the answer is yes: white noise is perfectly safe. In fact, many parents figure out that white noise puts their child to sleep way before they get a machine. Usually, it happens when a mom gives up on her baby sleeping and goes to wash and dry her hair. Lo and behold, the baby falls asleep in the middle of the noisy hair drying session.
How is that even possible? Wouldn’t anyone hate the sound of a hair dryer? Apparently, not babies. Well, if your baby is an exception to the rule, you could also get a quiet hair dryer.
By and large, though, babies adore hearing this nondescript busy noise while they snooze. In fact, regular white noise affects babies in the same way it does us. Most people only notice it at the beginning before it becomes more of a droning noise in the background. Humans are great at disregarding that kind of sound.
However, regular white noise isn’t the only thing that’s on offer with white noise machines. Devices for kids, in particular, are often full of other sound profiles, notably lullabies. And the ones I’ve reviewed before often also offer pink or brown noises, in addition to nature sounds. Not all of these sounds are going to be pleasant for every baby.
Furthermore, since babies are more sensitive to noise, professionals recommend keeping the volume at a minimum. This way you can keep the machine playing all night.
As for me, I’ve actually seen both kids who sleep through sudden noises without any aids and those who need to have some constant noise in order to stay asleep if there’s a sudden noise.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Baby White Noise Machine
Before I get into my reviews, I always like to point out the criteria I was using to choose the products. This time around, I was basically following the same formula I used in my reviews of white noise machines for offices. If you’re in the market for a white noise machine for your nursery, these are some of the features you’ll want to pay attention to.
Sound Profiles and Volume
First and foremost, pay attention to the sound the machine can make. You don’t have to restrict yourself to machines that have real white noise. Plenty of them have various lullabies and some even have nature sounds. And, if you have a newborn at home, you could also get a machine with a heartbeat sound since it’s what they’re used to hearing.
In my experience, babies fall asleep more quickly if they don’t have patterns they can observe. So while melodies might make them concentrate on staying awake, repetitive noises such as heartbeats or looping wave sounds could help them relax more effectively.
You’ll also need to be careful with the volume settings. Most manufacturers don’t specify how loud their machines can get in decibels. However, it’s generally acceptable to keep the noise at a minimum when you’re dealing with small children.
Design (Toy Alternatives)
If I were choosing devices for adults, I wouldn’t mind the appearance that much. However, this time I loved looking through all toy sound machines on offer, especially the plushies. You can choose between owls, sheep, unicorns, and many more.
I’ve selected a few products that look like toys and some that don’t, so you’ll be able to see what’s out there.
In my other articles, I also emphasized portability. That’s doubly as important for white noise machines for babies. After all, you want to be able to bring your white noise machine everywhere your child goes.
Many of the products on my list run on batteries and can be attached to strollers, cribs, and car seats.
Night Light Features
Finally, you can also consider the types of lighting features the device has. As far as I can tell, there are two groups of products here: ones that have a simple nightlight and ones with a light projection. The latter is definitely more intricate, beaming stars all over the ceiling and the walls.
I’ll also review one machine that makes the room look like you’re underwater. Not that I need any prodding when it comes to sleep, but that would definitely knock me out for the night. So I imagine that babies wouldn’t be able to resist its relaxing charms either.
Best White Noise Machines for Babies
Now I’m going to suggest a few products that would be perfect for kids. In the following reviews, I’ve decided to list the devices starting with the most ordinary-looking ones.
1. AIRSEE White Noise Machine With Baby Night Light
AIRSEE is known for its affordable but quality white noise machines, and this model is one of the company’s best. It offers you 31 sound variations to choose from, including white, pink, purple, gray, and brown noise. Moreover, you can also play rain, ocean, windstorm, bonfire, bird, and water drop sounds, among others.
Conveniently enough, the machine also offers you 4 lullabies and 4 everyday situation ambient sounds. In the latter category, the pendulum clock and train tend to be especially soothing.
As with most models on this list, this machine also features a night light. It’s soft and unobtrusive, and you can adjust the brightness by switching between the 2 breathing light modes.
Featuring a 2000 mAh rechargeable battery, the machine can work for about 72 hours at a time. After that, you’ll have to charge it. Since it doesn’t have to be plugged in all the time, the device is fully portable, which is a huge plus.
If you want the device to play continuously as your little one sleeps, simply turn it on and let it work. However, you can also set a 30, 60, or 120-minute timer. Whichever time you pick, the machine will turn off after it’s through, letting your baby sleep peacefully throughout the night.
Finally, the machine has a modern design which is a big plus. Its body is circular, and it comes with a stylish wooden stand. As such, it fits perfectly onto desks, shelves, nightstands, and counters.
- 5.43 x 4.96 x 3.7 inches circular device
- 31 soothing sounds to choose from
- Soft night light
- Needs 2 AA batteries
- Timer (30, 60, 0r 20 minutes)
» AIRSEE White Noise Machine (Amazon) «
2. Yogasleep (Marpac) Hushh White Noise Sound Machine for Baby
If you checked out my previous reviews of white noise machines, you know that I’ve already mentioned some Marpac products (now Yogasleep). However, while the classic Dohm is a mechanical machine, this device is an electric one. As such, it’s capable of making 3 different sounds. It lets you choose between a brighter and a deeper white noise or listen to the sound of waves.
This 4.1-inch wide circular device is perfect if you don’t have anywhere to put a larger white noise machine. It has a small handle and also comes with a baby-safe clip you can use to hang it from the stroller or the crib. You could even attach it to the headrest in the car.
What’s more, you’ll be able to operate this device easily even with one arm. The power and volume keys are all on the side of the device. There’s also a child lock button that would allow your baby to play with the device while it’s working.
I also really like the fact that this white noise machine is also a nightlight. The LED light in the middle of the circular speaker will allow you to see at night when you have to get up to bring your child a bottle or change their diaper.
This device is rechargeable and it actually comes with a USB cable. It should be able to last for about 12 hours on a single charge. However, I’ve also seen that some people found the sounds it makes disconcerting. If you suspect that having only 3 types of noise will annoy you, you may want to consider getting a machine with more sound profiles.
- 4.1-inch circular electronic machine
- Adjustable volume
- 3 sound settings
- USB rechargeable
- LED night light
» Yogasleep Marpac Hushh (Amazon) «
3. Hatch Rest+ Baby & Kids Sound Machine
This beautiful 6.82-inch sound device by Hatch comes with a LED night light and a digital clock on the bottom, making it one of the most visually appealing models on this list. The base and body are white, while you can choose between several colors for the night light. These include pastel blue, pink, red, green, and yellow.
The machine allows you to pick from a wide catalog of sounds, ranging from white noise to rain and woodland ambient sounds. You can connect the machine to your phone via Wi-Fi and adjust the settings and volume without having to leave your own room.
With the device being fully portable, your baby can snooze whenever and wherever they like. The machine can work for about 8 hours without recharging, so you can even take it with you on trips and car rides to keep your child calm and relaxed.
Furthermore, the device comes with settings that can help your child develop healthy sleeping habits. For instance, you can set up a particular combination of lights and sounds for both waking up and falling asleep. Within just a few days, your kid will get used to them, and rousing them in the morning and putting them to sleep at night will be a lot easier.
The device requires a single lithium-ion battery to work, and it comes inside the package.
- 6.82-inch device
- Adjustable and dimmable night light
- Needs 1 lithium-ion battery
- Can connect to Wi-Fi
- Amazon Alexa controller type
» Hatch Rest+ Device (Amazon) «
4. Sympa Portable White Noise Machine for Baby
This Sympa sound machine offers you 10 different sound variations to choose from. They include everything from soothing piano melodies to white noise broadband sounds.
Sympa created this machine specifically for nurseries, which is why you can fasten it to your baby’s cot, stroller, or any other resting spot in their room. The device even resembles a hanging toy, so it won’t look out of place at all.
You can charge this model via USB, and when the battery is full, it can work continuously for about 16 hours. Since its dimensions are only 3.5 x 3.58 inches, it is also incredibly easy to carry around in your diaper bag.
Though you can let the machine work continuously, you can also set up a personalized timer. For example, the machine can turn off after 60 or 120 minutes, making your baby’s naps short but productive.
Besides the calming sounds, the machine also features a soft night light. It is perfect for creating a relaxing atmosphere in your nursery, as it will illuminate the space without being overwhelming to your baby’s eyes.
Volume-vise, this machine can go up to 85 decibels, making it one of the most powerful models in this price range. Still, it’s best to use the lowest volume setting for your baby so that the constant noise doesn’t damage their hearing.
Lastly, the company puts your child’s safety first, which is commendable. Namely, the machine features a lock mechanism that you can activate before placing the device near your baby. So, your little one won’t be able to turn up the volume or change anything on the settings panel if they decide to play with the machine.
- 3.5 x 3.58 inches
- Compact and portable
- USB port charging
- An affordable option
» Sympa White Noise Machine (Amazon) «
5. Jack & Rose Baby White Noise Machine
This Jack and Rose model comes in 4 colors: plain white, black, indigo, and pure white. However, since the entirety of the body is covered with an LED wrap, the device can take any hue you want, from red and purple to yellow and orange.
According to the manufacturer, the white noise variations that this model offers resemble the sounds a fetus hears while inside the womb. As such, the noise is soothing and helps babies feel safe and protected in their cots.
In addition to these sounds, you can also play environmental noises, including birds chirping, water flowing, ocean waves hitting the shore, etc. So, the machine gives you a rather varied sound catalog to choose from, making it suitable for babies and adults alike.
The device can play continuously or you can set a shut-off timer for 15, 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes. When you find a combination of sound, color, and time that works best, the machine can even memorize it so you don’t have to set it up every time.
Lastly, it’s important to note that this machine isn’t portable. It comes with a power adapter and needs to be plugged in to work. So, if you need a model that you’ll be able to take with you on trips, go for any of the rechargeable devices on the list.
- 4.65 x 4.65 inches
- Timer (15, 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes)
- LED night light
- Not portable
» Jack & Rose White Noise Machine (Amazon) «
6. SOAIY Portable White Noise Machine
With this portable Baby Sleep Soother from SOAIY, we’ve reached the more toy-like section of white noise machines. This white and orange owl-shaped device is 3 inches wide and 5.5 inches long. It’ll easily fit into your purse or your baby bag. It also has a handle and an adjustable orange strap you can use to attach the device to your stroller, the crib, or a car seat.
The product has everything you want it to have. All of the controls are in the back, with the power button being in the middle and the volume buttons to the right. On the left, you’ll find the buttons that allow you to choose between 4 nature sounds and 3 lullabies. Better still, the device remembers your preferences even after you turn it off and on again.
You’ll be able to adjust the timer using the slide switch underneath the other settings. You can have the noise shut off after 30 or 60 minutes. However, if you choose to, you can also let is play all night long. Just be ready to change the two AA batteries every few days.
What’s more, this device can also act as a night light. Similarly to the timer, the light feature is accessible by a slide switch in the back. When you turn it on, a warm and soft light will beam from the front of the device, underneath the owl eyes and beak.
- 5.5 by 3-inch owl-shaped device
- 7 sound profiles
- Timer (30 or 60 minutes)
- Uses 2 AA batteries
- Night light
» SOAIY Baby Sleep Soother (Amazon) «
7. SleepyMe Smart Sleep Soother and White Noise Machine
To be completely honest, I’d actually get these last couple of products for myself. Who says adults have to use boring white noise machines? The SleepyMe Smart Sleep Soother is pretty cute even when it’s not on — but I actually want it for the light show it can create.
The circular base of the device is about 7 inches wide. It actually looks like a broken eggshell covering a sleeping chick. The top of the eggshell is spotted with stars as the machine is also a star projector. In fact, the device can project one of 3 colors onto the walls and ceiling, including red, blue, and green.
When it comes to the sound settings, you’ll have plenty of options with this device. There are 6 melodies and 4 nature sounds, including true white noise, that can lull your child to sleep. The 4 soft-touch control buttons are all in the back of the egg, above the chick’s tiny tail. That’s where you’ll adjust the sound volume and the brightness and hue of the stars.
Although this machine doesn’t have a timer, it does turn off automatically after 30 minutes. According to users, the machine usually manages to put their kids to sleep in that time. And, the automatic shutdown also conserves the 4 AA batteries you’ll need. They may even last you a good month or two of daily use.
- Approximately 7 inches wide egg themed machine
- 10 sound profiles
- 3 colors star projector
- Adjustable volume and projection brightness
- Uses 4 AA batteries
» SleepyMe Smart White Noise Machine (Amazon) «
8. Bubzi Co White Noise Machine and Sleep Aid
I’m seeing a bit of a trend of owls and stars, so here’s a white noise machine that combines the two motifs. The Bubzi Co Sleep Aid Night Light consists of a plastic night light and sound machine that’s been placed into an owl plushie. The device itself is removable from the toy, so the toy is washable. And, the plushy even has a velcro strip in the back so you can attach it to the crib or the stroller.
The owl plushie part of this machine is actually fairly large, coming in at around 8 by 7 inches. Since the batteries are in the device itself, you’ll be able to use the star projection feature and sound machine even when you take it out to wash the plushie. With or without the sound machine, I’d guess that your kids would love having a new soft toy, especially the younger ones.
However, that’s not to say that this device doesn’t have great capabilities. In fact, it has 10 built-in sound profiles you can shuffle through by repeatedly pressing the third of the four buttons on the device. Or, you can hold down the button to have the machine play through all of the sounds like a playlist. Additionally, the power button is all the way to the right and the first two buttons on the left control the colorful star projection and the sound volume.
However you choose to use this machine, it will turn off automatically after 30 minutes. As I have mentioned, this spells out great things for the battery lifespan. You’d even get AAA batteries free of charge with your purchase.
- Approximately 8 by 7-inch owl plushie with removable a sound machine
- 10 sound profiles
- Multi-color star projector
- Adjustable volume settings
- Includes free AAA batteries
» Bubzi Co White Noise Machine (Amazon) «
9. Cloud B Turtle White Noise Sound Machine and Nightlight Projector
If your child loves the sea, I can think of no better sound machine to put them to sleep than this one. The turtle-shaped plushie from Cloud B can project an underwater light effect thanks to the hard shell on its back. The lights will even move to simulate waves, adding to the calming effect of the sound profiles. You can actually adjust both the light movement and the brightness to your liking.
However, some might say that this toy isn’t worth the purchase since it only has 2 sound profiles. But I’d urge you to consider it more closely. The 2 melodies are like none you’ve ever heard before — you can choose between the Ocean Waves and the Tranquil Melody setting. And you can even further adjust the sound with the 6 volume levels.
Between the gentle music and the moving lights, your child may just get mesmerized to sleep. You can also use just the lights or just the sound, depending on your mood. And if you want to have the device automatically turn off, you can use the 23-minute timer.
Even during the day, your kid could play with this turtle. Honestly, I would probably play with it, too. I can just imagine getting home from work, lying down on the floor with my dog, and projecting the ocean onto the ceiling.
- 10.5 by 7.5 by 4-inch turtle plushie
- 2 sound profiles
- Underwater light effect projector
- Adjustable volume settings
- Includes free 3 AA batteries
» Cloud B Turtle Machine/Projector «
10. Cloud B Ella the Unicorn White Noise Sound Machine
Of all the products I’ve mentioned today, the Ella the Unicorn white noise machine looks the most like a toy. Like Bubzi Co plushie owl, this unicorn has a removable sound machine. However, while the owl had a visible machine, this one has a pocket that hides the machine inside the toy. The unicorn also has a Velcro tab in the back you can use to attach it to a crib, stroller, or your child’s car seat.
The product itself is about 14 inches tall, 10 inches wide and 7 inches deep, so your baby will be able to hold onto it comfortably. Kids being kids, they’ll also probably drag this toy everywhere they go. Fortunately, you’ll be able to easily slip the sound machine out and throw the cotton plushie into the washing machine.
Even though kids would love this little fuzzy toy, that’s not really what we’re here to discuss. So let’s take a look at the sound machine itself. It has four buttons and a slider switch (I assume that’s the timer, which can be set to 23 or 45 minutes). There’s also a dial that possibly acts as both a power and volume button. The machine can play 8 sound profiles including Mother’s Heartbeat — which would be perfect for newborns — and various nature sounds and lullabies.
And if your kid isn’t particularly impressed with the unicorn, this same product is available in 4 other animal “skins”. You can get Sleep Sheep, Bubbly Bunny, Peaceful Panda, or Nighty Night Owl. They all actually come with a storybook and an adoption certificate as well, which would probably appeal to preschoolers.
- 14 by 10 by 7-inch sheep plushie
- 8 sound profiles
- Removable sound machine
- Adjustable volume settings
- Includes 2 AA batteries
» Cloud B Ella the Unicorn (Amazon) «
How to Use a White Noise Machine to Put Your Baby to Sleep
Now that we’ve seen the many great products that may help your baby fall asleep on time, let’s talk a bit about how you can use them.
First, I’d like to mention that I’d use the plushie sound machines to start a nighttime routine. Don’t let the kids play with Ella the Unicorn before bedtime. Over time, it should click that getting the unicorn means that they’ll need to settle down and get to bed.
Based on my experience with kids, they’ll want to mess with the settings. All of those buttons are an irresistible temptation, and not even child locks will stop them from fiddling with the controls. That will only keep them engaged for longer, rather than sleeping.
So allow me to use the Unicorn example to provide another suggestion. When you turn the machine on, make sure that your child can’t see you slip the sound machine into the plushie. And, for the models where all of the settings are out in the open, leave the device out of reach.
That will not only teach your child that some things are simply inaccessible to them but also prevent them from messing with your electronics in the future. Trust me, I’ve had to wrestle my own devices out of the determined grasp of my infant nephew enough times.
As I’ve been saying, you may want to select a boring and relaxing tune for bedtime. Many people believe that all white noise is the same. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. You’ll want to avoid high-pitched noises and stick to lower frequencies — which naturally resemble what babies in utero hear.
If your child is likely to be dazed by a light projection, turn that on as well and let the device take over.
When you select the sound profile that appeals to your little one, watch the volume dial. The sound should be just loud enough to mask the surrounding noise and provide a constant buzz.
Some devices are able to produce as high as 85 decibels of noise. That’s almost as loud as a regular hair dryer. But I always recommend keeping it even lower. And while you’re at it, you could also make sure that the other appliances in your nursery, such as space heaters or humidifiers, are quiet as well.
But here’s the kicker. Before you can have the machine running at a decently low volume, you’ll have to make sure your child can hear you. Crying babies can produce about the same amount of noise as a tractor. So you’ll need to get their attention.
That’s when most parents run into the room making an instinctively high-pitched shushing noise. Believe it or not, your panicked consolation actually works. After the initial loud shush, most parents naturally transition into a noise that takes less air to produce and which is therefore more sustainable. Instead of having to hold that shush for minutes at a time, you can hand over that task to a white noise machine.
And, once the baby is asleep, you can turn the volume down to about 50 decibels. That’s about the same level of noise as the rain. Also, move the machine away from the baby.
When to Stop Using White Noise
The main issue most people see with using white noise to help a baby fall asleep is the potential dependency you might be nurturing. However, I’m not sure that a child can become reliant on white noise. I’ve already explained how I feel about those claims: I’ve yet to see any real evidence of white noise being “addictive”.
Parents being parents, I understand why they would worry about this. After all, the kid would need to grow up at some point. They can’t bring their white noise machine everywhere. Well, they can, but that’s not the point — they shouldn’t.
As someone who often falls asleep playing white noise from a phone, I don’t see an issue here. It’s just a device that blocks other distractions and allows us to clear our minds. But if you believe that your child may be becoming too reliant on their white noise machine, you can either give them the old “oh no! The machine broke and it was one of a kind” spiel or just wean them off slowly one night at a time.
A Word or Two In Closing
I feel nothing but sympathy for parents with small children, so I really hope the products I’ve talked about today can help your baby and you get some well-deserved rest. Clearly, I’ve got my favorite white noise machines, but you should focus on your child’s preferences.
Test out the sounds and lights your child likes by showing them videos and playing songs. Also consider how you usually put them to sleep, and which techniques work best. Even if your child isn’t particularly fidgety, white noise will make them have a more relaxing and restful sleep.
Aside from using white noise, though, you can also implement other techniques that make it easier for babies to sleep. Swaddling is great for small children and establishing a daily routine will make it easier to handle children of all ages. For older children, I’d recommend not having the TV playing while they’re falling asleep. I’ve found that content deprivation works best for the little tykes — so stick to repetitive and droning white noise.
All of these tips should work even in concert with one of the white noise machines I reviewed today.
- When To Stop Using White Noise For Babies
- How To Soundproof A Baby’s Room
- LectroFan Classic Vs. Marpac Dohm
- Best White Noise Fans