Babies are so delicate, and plenty of parents easily overlook such an important part of safety and health: protecting baby’s ears. It sounds simple or even a little extra, but it comes down to something simple. Would you rather be the parent thinking, “Wow, I hope it isn’t too loud for my baby in here”, or the parent thinking, “I’m so glad I brought noise-cancelling headphones for my baby today, it’s way too loud in here.” Keep in mind, babies (specifically premature infants), benefited significantly from wearing noise-reducing headphones in the NICU that featured a noise reduction rate of just 12dB. Certain headphones on our list contain a noise reduction rate of up to 31dB.
When it comes to an infant’s ears, it’s not even just the noise they need protection from. Babies also need additional protection when it’s cold outside, and plenty of babies benefit from ear protection in the water, too. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to protecting your baby’s ears, read on to check out our top picks to keep your kiddo’s ears safe in any type of situation.
1. Banz Noise-Cancelling Baby Headphones
Banz baby headphones are available in over 20 styles to suit the personality of just about any baby. They’re super comfortable, thanks to the quality padding, but what makes these infant headphones stand out over the rest is the noise reduction rate of 31dB. Banz has mastered the balance of creating a pair of headphones that are gentle enough to rest on baby’s delicate head, yet durable enough to really block out noise and offer protection. Consider slipping a pair over baby’s head (from birth to 24 months) next time you’re scheduled for a loud event, like a football game or a concert.
2. Hush Hat With Softsound Technology
BEST NOISE-CANCELLING BABY HAT
Hush little baby! Crafted with medical-grade, sound-absorbing foam, this innovate cap will keep your baby relaxed and in their own little world next time you need to put them down for a nap when there’s a bit of chaos in the background. It filters out noise levels that are too dangerous for your baby’s ears and it’s soft and safe enough for daily wear. It looks a little bit puffed out and different than a regular cloth hat, but that’s just because of the protective foam.
3. Snug Noise-Cancelling Baby Earmuffs
BEST ADJUSTABLE PAIR
This super cushy pair of noise-cancelling baby earmuffs is available in four colors: mint, baby blue, yellow, and light pink. This pair of earmuffs is pretty chunky, so it’s not the best pair to take on the road or to pack in your diaper bag. They’re super comfortable and effective for baby though, so this is a great at-home pair to use when you know there will be loud noises around the house, like a loud gathering. You can snag a pair during the newborn stage and adjust the band through the toddler years.
4. Joobles Organic Baby Earflap Cap
BEST FOR COLD DAYS
Sure, muffling out noise is a major aspect of baby ear protection, but what about the days when the temperature is cold enough for your ears to feel it! This popular, organic baby earflap cap by Joobles is available in plenty of different characters (this one is Mel the Monkey), and it’s guaranteed to keep your cutie pie’s head and ears toasty and well-protected on those chilly days. Hand-knitted with love, fair trade baby caps by Joobles are made of 100% cotton and earth-friendly dyes. A beanie or knit hat that features earflaps is always a perfect gender-neutral option for adding a warm layer of protection, and you’ll want one with a string to make sure it fits snug on your baby’s head and traps in the warmth.
5. Mumba Noise-Cancelling Baby Headphones
BEST FOR AIRPLANES
Perfect for little ones from three months to three years old, this pair of noise-cancelling headphones features special noise-dampening sponges that offer up a noise reduction rate of 31dB. Similar to our “Best Overall” pair, this is one of the most ideal options on the market for drowning sound out safely. Bonus: These headphones feature a large internal space to ensure zero added pressure to baby’s ears, and it’s our first-choice for airplane rides.
6. Utaly Warm Knit Baby Headband Set
BEST KNIT HEADBAND
When it’s cold outside, there are just a few different options for keeping your little one’s ears nice and warm. Super popular for girls, these knit headbands are an ideal option, not just for protection but for style, too! Available in four different sets so you can choose your favorite colors, these headbands are perfect for babies ages six months and up.
7. EMS for Kids The Original Baby Earmuffs
BEST FOR THE DIAPER BAG
These baby earmuffs dial down to a super compact size so you can toss them right in your diaper bag and take them on any adventure away from the house. Designed in Australia and made in the USA, these earmuffs feature a noise reduction rate of 27dB thanks to the double-layer foam core. Our favorite part? The fabric band is easy to remove, so you can just toss it in the wash to keep it clean.
7. The Good Ears Baby Water Headband
BEST FOR BATHS
Does your baby need some extra ear protection around the water? Whether for the swimming pool, beach days, or fussy bathing sessions, this baby water headband by The Good Ears will keep your infant’s cute little ears dry. It’s particularly helpful for babies who had to get ear tubes. Go with the small size to snag a band that will fit a newborn baby, up to 18 months. This option feels more laid back than the traditional water-protection visors most babes use, especially when the water isn’t falling from above.