Best Baby White Noise Machines (Easy Way to Get Kids to Sleep)

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 you could use to block out the sound of loud coworkers. 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 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.

In the following article, I’ll answer all the most frequently asked questions about using white noise to help babies sleep. So let’s dive in.

Best baby white noise and sound machines: How to use them and when to stop.

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. 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.

Pros & Cons of Using White Noise to Calm Babies

Being a parent in this day and age is incredibly frustrating. Everyone seems to know the precise way everything should be done. And they’re all ready and willing to point out everything you’re doing wrong. Believe it or not, many people have passionate opinions about whether you’re supposed to play white noise to your child. Who would have thought that would be such a controversial subject?

As I have mentioned, there’s really no need to worry about whether white noise is safe for children. After all, isn’t that exactly what shushing is? Still, there are some potential concerns people have.

So I’m going to present both sides to you. That way you’ll know where everyone stands when they’re shouting at you for doing it one way or the other.

How White Noise Can Help Put Your Baby to Sleep

The benefits of using white noise for sleeping are numerous. In fact, I’ve listed many of them in my article on using white noise to mask the sound of snoring. Depending on which type of white noise you use, you’ll find that it either helps you focus or makes you zone out before sleeping. Any low white noise should do the latter.

However, there’s another type of white noise that I’ve found particularly helpful — nature noises. And, in the case of machines for kids, lullaby melodies. In my experience, though, 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.

Another reason why it might be beneficial to have a white noise machine in the room while your baby is sleeping is if the rest of the house is particularly loud. That should make your baby’s sleep much more restful. In fact, that relaxation can even continue when the baby wakes up and reduce its distress.

Obviously, you should try to thoroughly soundproof the nursery as well. But if that’s not something you can do just now, a white noise machine should mask the noises coming from outside of the room.

If the sound machine also has light projections, those might aid in getting the baby to sleep. I’ll review one machine in particular 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.

The Potential Detriments

I realize that I probably sound a bit biased when I talk about white noise machines. After all, I use white noise to fall asleep almost every night. So in the spirit of fairness, let’s talk about some negative aspects of using white noise to get babies to sleep.

For one, you may want to consider whether the baby would like the white noise at all. If you want to be sure before making a purchase, you can look up the noises the machines make. You might be able to find YouTube reviews of the products you’re looking for, or perhaps the manufacturer included a demo video in their Amazon posting. If neither are available you can still play any audio — how different could ocean noises online be from the recording in the white noise machine?

Aside from the kids’ personal preferences, 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.

One last thing you may have to worry about is the dependency. I completely understand this concern. Once we develop a habit, even if it’s just falling asleep to a certain sound, it can be tough to break it. But these are kids we’re talking about. Depending on the child’s character, they may either refuse to give up the habit or do it easily.

The white noise itself isn’t any more dangerous than a child’s favorite blanket or a pacifier in this regard. After all, plenty of kids don’t give those up for a long time either. But in the end, they all do.

Key Features to Look Out for in These Devices

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:

  • The sound profiles and volume settings
  • Design (toy alternatives)
  • Portability
  • Night light features

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.

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. 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 original article, 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 can also be attached to strollers, cribs, and car seats.

Finally, you can also consider the types of lighting features the device had. 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.

Most popolar white noise sound machines currently on the market.

Reviews of the Best White Noise Machines for Babies

Before I talk about how you can make the best of your white noise machine, 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. PICTEK White Noise Machine

This PICTEK white noise machine is simple but effective. It has a 6.3-inch circular base and a variable height of 3.4 to 4.7 inches. The asymmetrical sides add a great stylistic element to the device and the clean white and gray lines make it suitable for any room.

Unlike many other white noise machines for babies or otherwise, this device is an acoustic sound machine. That means that it doesn’t play recordings, but uses an internal blade to make a natural whirring noise instead. You can set the volume to one of 3 levels by turning the outer shell of the device or even adjust the tone by rotating the button on top. Even though the loudest setting makes up to 85 decibels of noise, I recommend keeping it at a low hum if you’ll be using it to put your baby to sleep.

The sound escapes through the slits on the sides and top of the device. Aside from those, there are several other notable features at the bottom of the device. One of them is a power port (the device comes with an AC adapter). There are also two USB ports you can use to charge any of your other devices.

The last feature that would be really helpful for falling asleep with your child is the timer next to the power port. You can either set the machine to run indefinitely or have it turn off after 30 minutes or an hour. So this simple-looking machine actually has everything you could need to put your baby to sleep. Just make sure you like the sound it makes.

Features:

  • 6.3-inch acoustic sound machine
  • 3 volume levels
  • Non-stop playing or timer
  • 2 USB charging ports
  • Comes with a detachable power cord

2. Marpac Hushh White Noise and Sound Machine for Baby

If you checked out my previous reviews of white noise machines, you know that I’ve already mentioned one Marpac product. However, while the Marpac 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.

Features:

  • 4.1-inch circular electronic machine
  • Adjustable volume
  • 3 sound settings
  • USB rechargeable
  • LED night light

3. Hatch Baby Rest Night Light, Sound Machine and Time-to-Rise with Coverlets

This Hatch Baby device is surely one of the most stylish devices on my list. The primary purpose of this product seems to be to act as a night light. However, it can also play white noise and even be an alarm.

The lamp itself has a 4-inch circular base and the lamp itself narrows toward the top. The product allows you to adjust the color and brightness of the night light by using the manufacturer’s mobile phone app. You’ll get 3 lamp covers in one of 5 themes: alpacas, confetti, woods, stellar, and geometric.

However, I think that these designs would be great for preschoolers, in particular. After all, they’d be able to appreciate the customization features more than a toddler would. That’s actually one of the reasons why I like this product so much — it would be useful for years. It can play white noise to help your baby sleep or provide a safety light for slightly older kids.

In addition to the light brightness and hue settings, you’ll also be able to program the device to turn on and off automatically according to your child’s schedule. And, of course, you can always change the settings manually on the Hatch Baby Rest app.

I also really like the time-to-rise alert which makes the light turn green to signify that it’s time for the child to wake up. According to some users, that feature has really helped their toddlers stop waking up too early. There are also several sound profiles you can play, although the manufacturer didn’t specify the exact number. Still, it can play white noise, and several songs and nature sounds as well.

Features:

  • 6.2-inch tall night light and speaker
  • Adjustable color, brightness, sound, and volume
  • App connectivity
  • Time-to-rise alert

4. SOAIY Portable Compact Baby Sleep Soother

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.

Features:

  • 5.5 by 3-inch owl-shaped device
  • 7 sound profiles
  • Timer (30 or 60 minutes)
  • Uses 2 AA batteries
  • Night light

5. 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.

Features:

  • Approximately 7 inches wide egg themed machine
  • 10 sound profiles
  • 3 colors star projector
  • Adjustable volume and projection brightness
  • Uses 4 AA batteries

6. Bubzi Co White Noise Machine and Sleep Aid Night Light

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.

Features:

  • 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

7. Cloud B Tranquil Turtle Aqua 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 aqua 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.

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.

Features:

  • 10.5 by 7.5 by 4-inch blue turtle plushie
  • 2 sound profiles
  • Underwater light effect projector
  • Adjustable volume settings
  • Includes free 3 AA batteries

8. Cloud B Sleep Sheep White Noise Sound Machine

Of all the products I’ve mentioned today, the Cloud Sleep Sheep white noise machine looks the most like a toy. Like Bubzi Co plushie owl, this sheep has a removable sound machine. However, while the owl had a visible machine, this lamb has a pocket that hides the machine inside the toy. The sheep 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 sheep 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 sheep, this same product is available in 3 other animal “skins”. You can get Frankie the Fox, Peaceful Panda, or Gentle Giraffe. They all actually come with a storybook and an adoption certificate as well, which would probably appeal to preschoolers.

And if your kid isn’t particularly impressed with the sheep, this same product is available in 3 other animal “skins”. You can get Frankie the Fox, Peaceful Panda, or Gentle Giraffe. They all actually come with a storybook and an adoption certificate as well, which would probably appeal to preschoolers.

Features:

  • 14 by 10 by 7-inch sheep plushie
  • 8 sound profiles
  • Removable sound machine
  • Adjustable volume settings
  • Includes 2 AA batteries

How to Use White Noise to Put Your Baby to Sleep

Now that we’ve seen the many great products that may help your children 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 the Sleep Sheep before bedtime. Over time, it should click that getting the sheep 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 Sleep Sheep 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.

How Loud Should White Noise for Babies Be?

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. However, I’ve already mentioned that many of the devices I’ve reviewed haven’t specifically stated the decibel levels they produce.

The one notable exception is the first device on my list, the PICTEK white noise machine. It claims to be able to produce at most 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 air purifiers, 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 for Baby

As I’ve previously mentioned, 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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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