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You might be surprised to learn that babies need a lot of “noise” to fall asleep. We aren’t talking about loud televisions or car horns, but rather white noise, soft music, or lullabies, which can all work wonders in helping infants fall asleep faster. Just think about it: Your baby spent 40 weeks listening to your heartbeat and hearing you talk and breathe, and while that might not seem like much, babies get used to that noise to help them relax.
“I cannot recommend white noise machines enough,” says Mahaley Patel, a certified sleep consultant based in Los Angeles. “For newborns, they help recreate a womb-like environment, which is incredibly soothing during the fourth trimester. For babies and toddlers, white noise machines help cue that it’s time to sleep and can help them sleep deeper and longer.”
Sound machines are also great to drown out external noises like an unexpected doorbell or noisy roommates. “I also find them helpful when siblings share a room or have rooms close together, as they can help drown out sounds when one child is on a different nap/bedtime schedule than the other(s),” says Patel.
Choosing the right sound that best suits your baby can take a little trial and error. You can start with a sound machine that features songs, sounds, and white noise to see which one your baby likes the best. Many of these sound machines can be controlled through your smartphone or shut off by a timer, meaning you don’t have to worry about sneaking into your baby’s room to turn it off and risk waking them up. Check out our picks for the 13 best sound machines below.
Best Overall: Hatch Rest+ Sound Machine and Night Light
Best with Projector: Fisher-Price Smart Connect Deluxe Soother
Best with Night Light: VTech Wyatt the Whale Storytelling Soother with Projection Night Light
Best Portable: Baby Shusher Sleep Miracle Soother
Best White Noise: Yogasleep Marpac Dohm
Best Affordable: HoMedics MyBaby Portable SoundSpa
Best for Toddlers: Skip*Hop Moonlight and Melodies Elephant Sound Machine
Best Versatile: Project Nursery Smart Sound Soother
Best Plush: Cloud b Sleep Sheep
Best Vibrating: Halo SnoozyPod Vibrating
Best for Travel: SoundBub White Noise Machine and Bluetooth Speaker
Most Innovative: Skip*Hop Sloth Cry-Activated Soother
Best with Baby Monitor: Motorola All-in-One Smart Soother and Audio Baby Monitor