All new parents know the importance of creating a peaceful and soothing environment for their new baby. If they don’t realize it before their baby is born, they learn this vital tidbit soon after.
In the first three months of their lives, babies need between 16-18 hours of sleep each day. If their sleeping environment isn’t comfortable or tranquil enough, they’ll quickly fall short of the sleep they need. This could hinder their development in many ways. It can also make life very difficult for new parents, who may struggle to adapt to the new sleep routine.
Naturally, all new parents look for ways in which they can soothe their babies and help them get to sleep easier. From rocking chairs and light machines, there is a multitude of options to help. But by far one of the most effective ways to create a calming sleep environment is with a white sound machine for babies.
In this guide, we’re going to look at some of the best white noise machines for infants. Well also look at why it is so successful at helping babies sleep. Read on to discover everything you wanted to know about newborns and white noise. If you have a newborn or a baby on the way, these top-rated products and tips should prove useful over the coming months.
What is White Noise?
Table of Contents:
- 1 What is White Noise?
- 2 Why Does White Noise Help Infants Sleep?
- 3 Best White Noise Machines for Infants
- 3.1 Hatch Baby Rest Night Light, Sound Machine, and Time-to-Rise
- 3.2 SoundBub White Noise Machine and Bluetooth Speaker
- 3.3 Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System
- 3.4 ArtNaturals White Noise Sound Machine & Essential Oil Diffuser
- 3.5 Marpac Hushh for Baby, Portable White Noise Sound Machine
- 3.6 CFS White Noise Machine
- 3.7 MomKnows Galaxy Clock Soothing Star Projector Sound Machine
- 4 Tips that Will Help Babies to Sleep
If you’ve never heard of the phrase ‘white noise, you might be wondering what in the world it could mean. White noise is a colloquial term for the combination of all frequencies the human ear can hear. Remember the noise that old analog TVs would make when you’d switch on a channel that wasn’t in use? Or the sound of radio static? That’s similar to white noise.
When all the frequencies available to the human ear are played at once, it creates a hushing sound. This sound can be very relaxing when played at a moderate volume. It can also help with blocking out external noise.
Many people use white noise when they’re studying or working because it can help with concentrating and removing distractions. If you’re worried about waking your baby up once you’ve got them off to sleep, a white noise machine can help block out those sounds and keep them relaxed.
Why Does White Noise Help Infants Sleep?
So why exactly does this noise aid sleep in infants? Well, think about the environment in which they’ve spent the last nine months. They’ve been enclosed in a safe and warm environment – and its this environment that parents should try to mimic when they’re getting their baby to sleep in those first few months. That’s why swaddling is recommended for babies – it resembles the sensation of being back in the womb.
Of course, the womb is far from a silent place. When in utero, babies can hear the constant noise of their mother’s body functioning around them. Many parents mistakenly believe that babies need total silence to be able to sleep. In fact, it can be helpful to provide a background hum that resembles the sounds they’re used to.
White noise mimics the sound of bodily fluids whooshing around them. It can help to relax babies who have become overstimulated with unfamiliar sights and sounds while awake. This helps to explain why babies fall asleep on car rides – because the gentle rocking sensation combined with the hum of the motor can resemble their time in the womb.
Best White Noise Machines for Infants
Now that we’ve established what white noise is, and why it’s so useful, we can start looking at some of the best white noise machines on the market.
a rundown of the top products in this category:
Hatch Baby Rest Night Light, Sound Machine, and Time-to-Rise
The convenient little machine performs multiple functions. It acts as a nightlight and a white noise machine, as well as providing time-to-rise alerts, all of which can be controlled by a smartphone device. Perfect for the modern home, this nifty gadget is perfect for babies, toddlers, and older children.
The white noise function is the core feature of the Hatch Baby Rest device. It provides a steady hum of noise that’s perfect for helping little ones fall to sleep in their first months of life.
The device also has many other sounds and noises you can try. There’s a woodsy, outdoor-type noise, complete with crickets and leaves rustling. You can fall to sleep to the sound of a rain shower, ocean waves, or rippling water. We particularly like the ‘laundry machine function, which replicates the repetitive hum of a washing machine cycle. There are also some melody functions for lullaby time.
As well as the sounds, the Hatch Baby Rest has a comprehensive nightlight function. This is the feature that will keep it a mainstay in your baby’s room as they grow into toddlers. The colors used have been scientifically proven to promote melatonin production, unlike some nightlights which can emit blue light.
You can also configure the machine to send a time-to-rise alert. This changes the color of the lamp and lets your toddler know that it’s an appropriate time to wake up. As well as using white noise to help babies fall asleep, the Hatch Baby Rest helps older children establish healthy sleep patterns (and gives parents a little extra time to rest themselves).
All of this can be controlled by an app, which syncs with the device over Bluetooth. This means you’ll need to leave your smartphone within the Bluetooth range, but also means you can control it remotely without entering your child’s bedroom.
SoundBub White Noise Machine and Bluetooth Speaker
This portable and chargeable white noise machine is perfect for travel. It’s also been a hit on many baby registry and gift lists, because of its affordable price. Perhaps the most significant selling point of the SoundBub speaker is the white noise options it has. The device comes with a couple of pre-installed white noise options, and you can install twelve more styles through the accompanying app, VoiceShare.
This white noise can be set to a timer of thirty, sixty, or ninety minutes. There’s also a continuous play option that will continue playing the noise until you turn it off. This means your baby won’t wake unexpectedly when the white noise ends.
As well as playing white noise to your little one, you can also use this speaker to play your baby’s favorite music. From lullabies to relaxing acoustic music, this is a great way to help them sleep. The VoiceShare app also allows you to send voice messages to the speaker. Your little one will be reassured hearing their parent’s voices through the speaker.
Convenience is the key to this device. It’s portable enough to slip into any changing bag or stroller. It also has an integrated clip that doubles as a stand. You can use the SoundBub to create the perfect sleep conditions wherever you go. The battery is rechargeable too, so you won’t need to replace the batteries every few weeks.
The sound machine has a cute owl-shaped design, perfect for any modern nursery or living space. Hook it to a crib, stand it up on a nightstand, or keep it in your bag for naptime emergencies.
Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System
This device by Munchkin comes with a full sound system. As well as the traditional white noise, which helps to lull babies to sleep, it includes nine other unique sounds. These include rain, ocean, and heartbeat, which could be another useful sound to mimic the sensations felt in the womb.
The Munchkin device offers traditional lullabies and a selection of Mozart songs. It also contains a selection of projection cartridges so that you can light up your baby’s nursery with comforting, dreamy scenes. These include the Soothing Sea, Calming Rainforest, and sleepy Sky. These options are perfect for babies who won’t settle. The soothing images combined with the white noise or heartbeat options create the perfect sleeping environment.
This projector and sound system plugs into the mains, so you’ll need to ensure you can place it somewhere near a power socket. It’s not as portable as some of the other devices available, but it would make a great mainstay in a nursery. Many reviewers assert they’ve kept hold of it to use for their subsequent children due to the effectiveness of the device.
ArtNaturals White Noise Sound Machine & Essential Oil Diffuser
This white noise machine has a feature that’s a little different – an essential oil diffuser. Let’s start with the traditional white noise function. The machine comes with six different ‘natural sounds pre-programmed. These are designed to calm the brain and allow the sleep cycle to begin.
The excellent white noise option is perfect for blocking external noise. If you live near a busy road or are trying to get your baby to sleep during the daytime, when there’s more surrounding noise, the white noise function is ideal.
The device also comes with seven gentle LED colors so that you can create a serene and tranquil nightlight. If you’re breastfeeding your child, this means you won’t need to turn all the lights on when they need to feed. You can use the gentle glow of the nightlight to avoid overstimulating them.
Now for the unique feature of this device. The ArtNaturals machine comes with an essential oil diffuser, which distributes a gentle mist of water vapor throughout the room. Add a few drops of essential oil to the water tank, and you create a relaxing haven scented with lavender or chamomile.
The advice from professionals is to dilute the essential oil much more than you would for adults. The diffuser should only be used for babies over the age of four weeks. Consider using the timer function the first few times you use the diffuser option in your baby’s nursery – just five minutes of lavender diffusion should be enough to create a gentle and relaxing scent that isn’t overpowering.
No heat is used in the diffusion process, making the device completely safe for children. Sonic vibrations also deliver maximum humidifying power so that you can use the device without the essential oils. Humidifiers are great for relieving your baby of dry skin, as well as creating optimal breathing conditions.
Marpac Hushh for Baby, Portable White Noise Sound Machine
This Marpac baby white noise machine comes with three different sound options, all of which have been designed to promote good sleep. There’s a ‘bright white noise option and a ‘deep white noise option. These are categorized based on different octaves, so you can experiment and see which option works best for your baby. A gentle surf sound completes the set of three sound options, perfect for relaxation.
The Hushh is one of the best portable white noise machines on the market. With the baby-safe clip, you can pretty much take the machine anywhere with you. It can be affixed to a stroller or a car seat, as well as a crib and many other pieces of furniture within the home. It can also be operated with one hand, with its user-friendly interface. Learning to do things with just one hand is an essential skill.
One of the Marpac Hushhs best feature is the child lock. It locks the device at a specific setting, so the sound can’t be altered by wandering hands. When babies become toddlers and are a little more mobile in their cribs, this is an advantageous feature. They cant turn the unit off or turn the volume up and end up scaring themselves.
Like many of the white noise machines available today, this model comes with a nightlight included. The amber-toned LED nightlight provides just enough illumination for parents and babies to see properly, without rousing the little ones. This is ideal for breastfeeding mums and great for parents who can’t resist checking in on their baby dozens of times throughout the night.
CFS White Noise Machine
Made by CampFire Stuff, this feature-packed white noise machine has absolutely everything you could ever need from one of these devices. It provides an array of natural, premium-quality sounds, including ocean, clock, rain, and lullaby. Of course, the coveted white noise option is the best sound this machine creates. It blocks out distractions and background noise and creates a lovely environment for rest and sleep.
This unique gadget also has a MicroSD port, so you can slip your memory cards in there and play music chosen by yourself. You can make playlists of your favorite lullabies or relaxing songs and play them to your baby, before switching to white noise as they begin to fall asleep.
The CampFire sound machine has a range of additional features, including an auto-timer. This can be configured to thirty, sixty, or ninety minutes, so you don’t waste power by leaving the device on all night. It’s also super portable. It weighs just over 0.5 pounds, and can easily be slipped into changing bags without adding bulk or weight.
There are two power options for this device. You can either plug it in with a USB cable, or you can use the mains power with the included AC adapter. This means there’s rarely an environment where you won’t be able to use the CampFire white noise machine.
Like many of the other baby white noise machines on the market, this device has a nightlight included. It provides low, ambient light so parents can check on their little ones without waking them with lots of illumination.
MomKnows Galaxy Clock Soothing Star Projector Sound Machine
This particular white noise machine comes with a wonderfully relaxing projector, perfect for kids of all ages. The device projects the images of stars onto the ceiling, with several color combinations available. The light then rotates, so the stars move across the ceiling, providing an almost hypnotic form of bedtime entertainment for little ones.
Of course, the white noise is the real reason parents are snapping up this product. The MomKnows Galaxy Clock device comes with a white noise mode called ‘Womb Simulator, which can mimic the sounds heard in utero. As we’ve established this is a great way to calm newborn babies, this feature could be a very useful one for new parents. Other sounds this machine offers include birds, brooks, rainforest, waves, and rain.
You can also sync this device up with your smartphone, to use as a speaker for your music. The device comes with a volume control knob so that you can find exactly the right level for your little one – and there’s also an auto shut-off function to help you conserve energy.
One of the features which set this sound machine apart is its temperature monitor. Babies cannot yet regulate their temperatures, so it’s essential that the room they sleep in is not too warm or too cold. The MomKnows Galaxy Clock gives you a way to check the temperature easily, so you can keep your baby’s environment temperate and comfortable.
Perhaps best of all, this device comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the product, or if it isn’t having the desired effect on your little one, you can send your device back for a full refund, no questions asked.
Tips that Will Help Babies to Sleep
Finding a sleep routine for new parents, who aren’t used to the strange patterns of their little one. Babies can also find it tough to sleep out in the big, wide world when they’re used to the cozy surroundings of their mother’s body. Here are some top tips to help babies drift off to sleep more easily in those first few weeks:
- Always swaddle. This prevents babies from startling themselves awake, and it also replicates the environment they’ve become accustomed to.
- Limit nap length during the day. Of course, babies need a lot of sleep during their first few months of life. But if they’re napping for long stretches in the day, they can find it hard to sleep at night. Ensure they sleep regularly, but try to keep each naptime to under about two and a half hours.
- Use pre-sleep routines. Babies like routine, even if they don’t know what it is yet. To create a consistent sleep routine that helps them understand what should happen next. Perhaps your routine includes moving your baby into their nursery or wrapping them in a certain blanket. Perhaps it involves turning on a certain lullaby or a white noise machine. Eventually, these small signals will help a baby to understand that it’s time to sleep.
As you can see, there are many white noise machines on the market, all of which can help your infant to settle in their first few weeks or months of life.
There are so many options to choose from. You can select a white noise machine that emits the sound you’re looking for. You can select one that includes a nightlight for gentle illumination when you need it. There are white noise machines that double up as projectors, to soothe your baby while they fall asleep. Many of the machines come with other sounds, and a range of additional features, such as auto-timers, temperature gauges, and smartphone sync capabilities.
Whichever white noise machine you settle on, these devices have been proven to help promote healthy sleep patterns. While we’re not saying your baby will immediately be sleeping through the night, these gadgets will surely help parents to strike that important balance – and maybe even find time for a relaxing nap themselves.