Sometimes, babies get cranky to the point where it is difficult to soothe them. Parents usually find it challenging to put cranky or fussy babies to sleep. So what do you do when you have tried every trick in your book but still cannot calm a crying child?
You try a baby sound machine, which can distract and calm them. Here, MomJunction tells you more about baby sound machines, how to use them and the 15 best baby sound machines that you can pick.
What Is A Baby Sound Machine?
A baby sound machine is an electronic device that produces white noise, lullabies, or other melodious sounds that can soothe an infant or a toddler. Most have a control panel or an interface with buttons to regulate the sounds. Some advanced baby sound machines connect to smartphones that can be used to control all the functions remotely.
You can also try the portable sound machines that work on batteries alone. The various functions and features of an infant sound machine make it a useful device.
What Are The Uses Of A Baby Sound Machine?
Parents can use a baby sound machine for the following purposes:
- Most parents usually get the sound machine to soothe the baby to sleep. The various types of white noise from the device can help an infant relax and fall asleep quickly. Many baby sound machines simulate sounds of nature such as the ocean, breeze, and rain that have a calming effect on babies.
- Sounds can be used to distract a colicky infant and stop the crying.
- The device could have bonus features like lullabies, melodies, and other pre-recorded music for the baby’s entertainment.
To get the best out of it, you should know how to use a sound machine correctly and safely.
[ Read: White Noise For Babies ]
How To Use A Baby Sound Machine Safely?
Keep the following points in mind before using an infant sound machine:
- The device should be more than 200cm away from the baby: A 2014 study by pediatricians on a set of baby sound machines discovered that they gave out sound at levels greater than 50 decibels, which is noise limit set for infant sound machines (1). The researchers tested the machine at a distance of 30cm, 100cm and 200cm away from the baby’s crib.
Most machines exceeded the limit at 30 and 100 centimeters while one surpassed the sound limit even at 200 centimeters. The study led pediatric experts to recommend placing a baby sound machine at least 200cm away from the baby’s crib (2) (3).
- Always keep the volume low: Infants are more sensitive than adults are to noise. So always keep the volume low, even if the machine provides a safe high-limit of sound.
- Turn off the machine once the purpose is served: If your baby is fast asleep after using the machine, then turn the device off. It is not necessary to expose the baby to constant white noise or music without reason.
Read on for a list of the best sound machines that can soothe babies to sleep.
15 Best Baby Sound Machines
1. Baby Shusher Sleep Miracle Soother
Highlight: Works on 2 AA sized batteries and ships with a wrist strap to attach to your hand. The compact size and handy design make it an excellent portable baby sound machine.
- Contains pre-recorded sounds of ‘shushing,’ in a human voice, which will prompt the baby to stop crying.
- You can set the sound for 15-30 minutes for calming the baby for an extended duration.
- You can adjust the volume to a low level so that the sounds are only audible to the baby and do not disturb the other members in the house.
- The manufacturer ships the sound machine with 2 AA batteries so that you can use the device right out of the box.
- Simple buttons and rotary based controls make it easy to use.
2. MyBaby Soundspa Portable Machine
Highlight: It plays white noise and other natural sounds of a heartbeat, summer night, thunderstorm, ocean, and brook. The realistic sounds of the machine make it a great choice if you want to play natural sounds.
- Portable design. It can either work through a wired adapter or 4 AA size batteries.
- Set the machine to play sounds for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. There is an auto-off timer, which turns off the machine after the selected time.
- Simple, easy-to-use controls. One button for each sound and a rotary knob to fine-tune the volume.
- A wide base and top-mounted speaker makes it convenient to place the machine at any part of the house.
- Portable and fits in a bag.
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3. Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine
Highlight: The sound machine fits in the palm, which makes it a good compact baby sound machine.
- The sound machine contains an internal fan that rotates to create the white noise.
- The drum containing the fan rotates to adjust the size of the vents on the side. One can control the intensity of the white noise through it.
- Simple, three-stage button to switch off the fan and switch to the dual-fan speed.
- Works with a power adapter, and not batteries.
4. Hatch Baby Rest Night Light
Highlight: The night-light pod features several colors, along with sounds, to amuse the baby. The sound and light combination makes it a cool baby sound machine to buy.
- You can connect the machine to your smartphone via Bluetooth and control its various function through an app. It supports iOS (9 or higher) or Android (KitKat or higher).
- Pick from the 11 preset sounds that include white noise and various other natural sounds.
- Set the color of the light from any of the ten options or choose any color from the color wheel.
- Colors also change when the baby taps the machine, a useful feature to entertain the baby. Parents can lock this feature through the phone app.
- Brightness and volume can be set using the app. You can set for the music to be played at a specific time, and turn it into an alarm clock for older toddlers.
5. Big Red Rooster Baby White Noise Machine
Highlight: The machine has a cuboidal shape, which allows you to slide it into any travel bag.
- The machine creates six distinct sounds, which can be generated by pressing an individual button clearly labeled for it.
- Set the timer for 15, 30, and 60 minutes with auto shut-off.
- Easy to adjust volume with separate buttons for increasing and decreasing the volume of the sounds.
- Works with an AC adapter or 3 AA batteries.
6. Bubzi Co White Noise Sound Machine
Highlight: The sound-making module gets an adorable, plush, owl-shaped cover that is appealing to babies. It makes it the best baby sound machine to soothe and entertain an upset baby.
- You can remove the electronic module from the plush owl cover, which can be washed by hand.
- A velcro strap behind the cover allows you to strap the sound machine almost anywhere.
- Play white noise and ten popular lullabies. All sounds turn off after 30 minutes to save power.
- Soft night light with a mini projector that projects patterns of stars and other shapes on the wall or ceiling. Projections change colors to keep the baby engrossed.
- Battery operated and portable. It works on AAA-size batteries, that the manufacturer ships with the machine.
[ Read: Best Baby Bathtubs ]
7. Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System
Highlight: A built-in projector displays scrolling images on the wall or ceiling that can soothe the baby to sleep.
- A cartridge fits into a dedicated slot to play a carousel of images. The machine comes with three image reel cartridges, each with unique pictures.
- The machine turns on the voice activation feature and turns on the noise and projections as soon as it detects the baby’s crying. Parents can turn off this feature and set it to manual operation.
- Ten sounds each with dedicated buttons for several sounds. An adjustable timer that can be set to 15, 30, or 60 minutes.
- Sounds include lullabies, sounds of nature, and musical melodies.
- There is a built-in night light at the base of the machine to soothe the baby.
8. Cloud B Sleep Sheep White Noise Sound Machine
Highlight: The sound machine nestles within a plush stuffed toy. It is a cute stuffed toy-style sound machine that could adorn your baby’s room.
- The toy makes eight soothing sounds and melodies, which include natural sounds and lullabies plus white noise.
- The sound machine stays within the toy and is not accessible to the baby. Parents can remove the sound machine before giving the soft toy to the baby to play.
- The toy is washable, once you remove the sound module. The sound machine works with two AA batteries that are shipped with the toy.
- Built-in Velcro strap allows you to attach the toy to the crib bars or car seats.
- Buttons at the back of the machine provide easy control. Auto shutdown of music after a maximum of 45 minutes of play.
9. SoundBub White Noise Machine
Highlight: Connect the machine to your phone via Bluetooth and use the speaker to play music from your phone. The versatility of the sound machine makes it a good Bluetooth-enabled baby sound machine to consider.
- It has three noise tracks: beach, rain, and brook. You can choose from 30, 60, or 90 minutes of continuous play.
- You can also access 12 additional sounds when you download the manufacturer’s app.
- An in-built rechargeable lithium battery that you can recharge using a micro USB port. The device ships with a micro USB cable.
- Adorable, animal-shaped, padded cover. A folding handle on top works as a stand for the toy and also as a hook for attachment of the machine.
10. Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Crib Soother
Highlight: An enticing night light makes the surface bright and well-lit, which will surely distract a crying baby enough to calm them down.
- The toy looks cute, shaped like an elephant. One speaker on each side of the machine.
- A button panel at the back allows you to control all the features.
- A projector on the top makes star and moon projections on the ceiling. The night light illuminates the floor.
- Night light can be dimmed or brightened using the control panel.
- Works with an AC adapter.
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11. Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother
Highlight: A feature called auto drift-off gradually dims the light and reduces the volume of the music every ten minutes until it switches off after 25 minutes. The feature helps the baby fall asleep without keeping the volume high constantly.
- One-button remote control allows the parent to control the music remotely without having to disturb the baby.
- A universal attachment clip makes it convenient to attach the machine to most points of attachments.
- Front panel lights up with a backlight with plastic sea animal characters attached to the panel to create an underwater effect.
- Turn on the backlight, and the animals move in their place. A light reflected from water effect adds to the fun.
- You can play melodies and ocean sounds with the backlight on or off.
12. Pure Enrichment Wave Baby Soothing Sound Machine
Highlight: The device has a premium finish and looks stylish, with a modern, sleek look.
- Light and portable baby sound machine. Connects directly to the wall socket.
- You can choose from six gentle sounds that you can play back-to-back in a loop, creating an extended playback of soothing sounds for the baby.
- Besides white noise, the machine creates lullabies, heartbeat, fan, rain, and ocean sounds. You can play the sounds for 15, 30, and 60 minutes with an auto-off timer.
- The USB port at the back of the machine lets parents charge their electronic devices, thus making this sound machine quite utilitarian.
13. VTech Wyatt the Whale Storytelling Baby Sound Machine
Highlight: It not only plays white noise but also reads stories to the baby! You can even record short phrases in your voice and play to your baby later.
- Shaped like an adorable whale. It has a speaker right on top for even distribution of sound to the surroundings.
- There are ten stories, ten calming lullabies along with ten soothing sounds, including white noise to soothe the infant.
- The device can connect to your phone via WiFi. Install the manufacturer’s smartphone app and download additional stories, lullabies, and sounds for free.
- Record your voice using the smartphone app and save it on the machine to soothe the baby.
- A glowing light on top of the device projects bright patterns of stars on the ceiling.
14. SoundSpa On-the-Go Sound Machine
Highlight: If your little one gets easily overwhelmed by sounds when outdoors, this sound machine can help. You can attach this machine to the car seat, stroller or crib easily with the specialized hook to pacify the infant even in a noisy environment.
- Pick from any of the soothing sounds viz. white noise, heartbeat, ocean, and lullaby. Large volume buttons make it easy for a parent to see them while outdoors.
- The machine is made from durable, hard plastic so that it can withstand all the bumps and tumbles that may occur while being attached to a stroller.
- Lightweight and portable. You can carry it while traveling by storing it in your handbag.
- Works on 3 AAA batteries without the need for a power cable.
15. Tiny Love Meadow Days Sound ‘n Sleep Baby Soother
Highlight: There is a built-in data storage option in the sound machine, which allows you to store up to 35 minutes of MP3 music. No hassle of transferring music again and again. You can play these songs using the controls on the device. If your baby listens to music, this machine, with its playback options, can be a great choice.
- Compact and lightweight with a built-in rechargeable battery that you can charge through a micro-USB port.
- Connect your phone or laptop to the sound machine using a micro-USB cable and transfer music to the internal storage space of the baby sound machine. Play it using controls on the machine.
- A calming night light at the front of the machine. Separate buttons to increase and decrease the intensity of the night light.
- It contains five types of soothing white noise and 17 lullabies. You can set the timer for 15, 30, or 60 minutes with the auto shutdown feature.
- A cry sensor can detect when the baby cries and turn on the music automatically.
Baby sound machines are gadgets that make it easier for a parent to calm the baby. The important point here is always to use sounds at a low volume. Regular usage of the machine can eventually teach infants to self-soothe and fall asleep faster, letting them and the parents get the much-needed rest.
[ Read: Baby Laundry Detergents ]
Did you use a baby sound machine to soothe your baby? Do share with us your experience in the comment section below.
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2. White Noise: Not the Right Noise; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
3. Can Infant Sleep Machines Be Hazardous to Babies’ Ears?; American Academy of Pediatrics