One of the most common pieces of advice people give to new parents is to sleep when the baby sleeps. But what if your baby never sleeps? There are several reasons parents struggle to get their newborns to sleep. The baby may be colicky, suffer from gas, have acid reflux that makes laying horizontally uncomfortable or have other indigestion issues. A swaddle that is too loose or too tight may make a baby uncomfortable. Then there’s the dreaded reverse cycle where babies are asleep during the day and are up all night. While some issues, like colic, are difficult to control, creating the best sleeping environment for your newborn is a bit easier. Blackout curtains, a safe and supportive mattress and crib, a gentle fan to keep air circulating, a humidifier and a white noise machine are all useful items to help ensure your newborn (and you) get as much rest as possible.
In a study conducted in 1990, researchers found that sound machines could be beneficial for newborns, babies and toddlers. Baby sound machines and specifically white noise machines — which is the noise that blocks out exterior sounds like traffic or other members of the household talking ☺ — were found to be a great sleep aid for babies. White noise includes all audible frequencies, which means it helps to masks sounds that can stimulate brain activity and cause a person to wake up. White noise, and baby sound machines in general, also help to mimic the calming whooshing sound that babies hear constantly while in utero.
Not all babies respond well to white noise, which is why most sound machines for newborns include a variety of calming and relaxing sounds to help little ones fall and stay asleep. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best sound machines for newborns. In addition to a variety of sound options, many of the baby sound machines also include additional features, like nightlights, projectors and sleep training functions.
A well-rested newborn is a happy newborn. Help your little one get the sleep they need with a reliable baby sound machine.
1. Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine
The Hatch Rest has quickly become a favorite among newborn items in recent years and for good reason. The multifunctional noise machine and nightlight is also a sleep trainer that uses gentle lights and sounds to helps alert toddlers and older kids when it’s time to get up and when it’s time to stay in bed and rest. For newborns, the Hatch Rest is a white noise machine that can stay on all night and doubles as a soothing nightlight. Parents can control the volume and sound using the Hatch app, which also allows them to fully customize bedtime and wake-up time for toddlers and older kids. By controlling the sound machine through the app, parents don’t have to worry about sneaking around their newborn’s nursery to adjust the volume or sound of the noise machine. Hatch also sells a variety of fun covers to match nursery decors and the Rest is now available in the upgraded Rest+, which can be controlled through Alexa and features a clock function and backup battery, making it a great option for older kids.
2. LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Children’s Trainer
BEST FOR ROOM SHARING
If your newborn is sharing a room with an older sibling or with parents, the LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Children’s Trainer is a sound machine and alarm clock in one that will work for the whole family. The LittleHippo has three sound functions, including white noise, ocean and lullaby. A night light is also included with six color options that create a soft glow that is ideal for older kids. The LittleHippo is also a sleep trainer for older kids, with child-friendly alarm sounds and gentle light changing colors helping to tell kids when it’s time to get up and when they should stay in bed longer. The sleep trainer also includes facial expressions on the clock, which help children to understand the different settings and whether they should get up or continue relaxing in their bed or crib.
3. REACHER R2 White Noise Machine and Night Light
For a compact and affordable sound machine that doubles as a night light, we like the R2 model from Reacher. The plug-and-play sound machine has seven white noise options, seven fan options, and 17 relaxing natural sounds. Parents can opt to choose one of the eight soothing and dimmable colors that turn the R2 into a nightlight. We like that the unit can be used solely as a sound machine, or nightlight, or both.
4. HoMedics Sound Spa
Lugging your sound machine back and forth between your home and the babysitter’s or a family member’s house can have devastating consequences. Specifically, you could forget the sound machine and be without it at bedtime. The horror! Avoid this terrifying scenario with the affordable HoMedics Sound Spa, which is priced so that users can have a second unit to leave at grandma’s house. Not only is the HoMedics a great price, but it’s also easy to use for exhausted parents/tech-challenged babysitters. No confusing app or remote is needed to choose between the five sound options. Each option is clearly labeled with its own button and the volume knob is also straightforward. A timer button enables users to easily scroll through the three options or simply leave the sound machine on all night. The HoMedics comes with an adapter for easy plug-and-play or can be powered using batteries, making it portable.
5. Douni Sleep Sound Machine
INCLUDES HEADPHONE JACK
There are several types of white noise and the Douni Sleep Sound Machine makes it easy for parents to scroll through their extensive list of sounds and find the one that is the best fit for their newborn. The Douni features seven white noise sounds, seven fan sounds and 10 classical nature sounds. The best part is that none of the sounds have a looping effect, which can wake babies from a restful sleep. The Douni can be set to run all night or a timer can be turned on for 30, 60 or 90 minutes. The plug-and-play white noise machine features a headphone jack, making it a great option for toddlers and older kids who are comfortable wearing headphones. This is a great feature for work from home parents who need to be on video calls in the same space where their little one is trying to nap.
6. Soaiy Aurora Night Light Projector and White Noise Sound Machine
Newborns are naturally not scared of the dark, but as babies get older and reach their toddler years, a fear of the dark can develop and turn nighttime into a nightmare for parents. That’s why we like the Soaiy Aurora Night Light Projector and White Noise Sound Machine, which works as a sound machine for newborns and can transition with children as they grow. The Soaiy comes with six built-in sounds, including white noise and soothing nature sounds. A remote control makes it easy for parents to adjust the volume, choose their sound and set a timer. They can also adjust the Aurora night light show once babies get older to create a colorful and soothing light display. We also like that the Soaiy has Bluetooth pairing abilities and doubles as a speaker, making it a great accompaniment for music time in the bedroom.
7. Baby Shusher
USES HUMAN VOICE
Creating an environment that is conducive to quality sleep for your little one is all about mimicking their time in the womb. That includes swaddles, rocking bassinets and the whooshing noise that babies hear while in utero. The award-winning Baby Shusher takes this idea and goes one step further, using a human voice to make the shushing sound, which not only re-creates the noise babies heard while still in the womb but also makes them feel as though their parent is right next to them while they sleep, providing a calming soundtrack to naptime. The travel-friendly Baby Shusher is wireless and powered by two AA batteries. It also is made with BPA-free plastic and has rounded and smooth edges, making it easy to place the sound machine anywhere near the baby, including inside the baby’s crib, car seat or stroller. By twisting the unit, parents can set the volume and timer function to create the perfect sleep environment for their little one.
8. SNOOZ White Noise Sound Machine
CALIBRATED TO PROTECT BABY’S EARS
Newborns’ ears are still developing, which means it’s imperative to protect them from loud and intrusive noises that can damage their hearing. That’s why we like the SNOOZ White Noise Sound Machine, which features a free companion app that allows parents to control the noise level of the sound machine and has a Nursery Calibration option that offers added protection for little ears. Users can easily adjust the volume on the sound machine by twisting the unit or they can use the companion app, which also makes it easy to set the automatic timer and adjust the nightlight function. The portable and rechargeable SNOOZ is made with a real fan inside the unit, which produces an authentic whirling noise that is free from a distracting loop sound.
9. MyBaby Soundspa On-The-Go Portable White Noise Machine
BEST FOR DIAPER BAG
For an affordable noise machine that is compact and perfect for keeping in the diaper bag, we like the MyBaby Soundspa On-The-Go Portable White Noise Machine. The lightweight noise machine runs on three AA batteries, meaning parents don’t have to find an outlet to plug in the noise machine when they are on the go. A large integrated clip provides a convenient way to attach the sound machine to a diaper bag, stroller or car seat. A built-in stand props up the noise machine for stationary use. Basic but powerful, the MyBaby Soundspa has four soothing sound options, an adjustable volume level and an auto timer for naps.
10. Skip Hop Cry-Activated Baby Sleep Soother
Babies should not sleep with anything in their crib until they are at least 12 to 18 months old, but when they are ready for a stuffy at bedtime, we like the Skip Hop Cry-Activated Baby Sleep Soother. The stuffed animal can sit on its own or attach directly to a newborn’s crib using hook and loop fasteners. The back of the stuffy has a small pad that enables parents to choose between three lullabies and three soothing sounds that can play for up to 20 minutes to help little ones fall asleep. Unlike a traditional sound machine that can play all night, the Skip Hop is designed solely to help newborns and toddlers fall asleep. If the little one stirs and begins to cry after the soothing sound has finished, the sound will reactivate to help calm the baby. Parents can also record their own voices to play when their little one begins to cry. Once a child is older, they can use the Skip Hop as a soothing stuffed animal that will gently lull them to sleep.