Best Baby Sound Machines for Soothing Sleep

Selective focus of little boy in crib falling asleep with help of application for baby sleep.

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  • White noise has been proven to help newborns fall asleep faster. 
  • Baby sound machines produce white noise to help block out environmental sounds that may distract or overstimulate babies and young children and disturb their sleep. 
  • Many sound machines on the market offer different kinds of sound in addition to other useful features, like night lights, sleep training clocks, or Bluetooth speakers. 
  • It’s important to be mindful of the volume of any noise machine to protect your baby’s hearing. 
  • It is also important to help your child learn to self-soothe to fall asleep, so they do not become dependent on the sound machine in all sleep settings. 

While parents in the past may have turned on a fan or a vacuum cleaner to help soothe their crying, sleepy babies, today’s parents have a lot more choices when it comes to creating a soothing sleep environment for their little ones. 

Newborns are often comforted by white noise and heartbeat sounds which may remind them of their time in the womb and make them feel safer and less anxious. 

Scientists have also found that white noise blocks out external stimuli to make getting to sleep easier and faster without distracting or overwhelming babies with external noise from the environment. 

So if your child is struggling to get to sleep and stay asleep, a white noise machine might be able to help. There are so many options on the market, today’s babies are spoiled for choice when it comes to soothing sounds for sleep. 

Take a look at our picks for the best baby sound machines for soothing sleep. 

Best Overall
Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine, Night Light | 2nd Gen | Sleep Trainer, Time-to-Rise Alarm Clock, White Noise Soother, Music & Stories for Nursery, Toddler & Kids Bedroom (Wi-Fi)
Best Portable White Noise Machine
Dreamegg White Noise Machine - Portable Sound Machine for Baby Adult, Features Powerful Battery, 21 Soothing Sound, Noise Canceling for Office & Sleeping, Sound Therapy for Home, Travel, Registry Gift
Best Sound Machine with Bluetooth Speaker 
Yogasleep Duet White Noise Sound Machine & Night Light, 30 Natural Sounds, Bluetooth-Wireless Speaker for Travel, Office Privacy, Concentration, Sleep Aid for Adults & Baby, Registry & Nursery Gift
Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine
Dreamegg White Noise Machine
Yogasleep Duet White Sound Machine and Night Light
$59.99
$23.99
$44.99
Best Overall
Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine, Night Light | 2nd Gen | Sleep Trainer, Time-to-Rise Alarm Clock, White Noise Soother, Music & Stories for Nursery, Toddler & Kids Bedroom (Wi-Fi)
Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine
$59.99
Best Portable White Noise Machine
Dreamegg White Noise Machine - Portable Sound Machine for Baby Adult, Features Powerful Battery, 21 Soothing Sound, Noise Canceling for Office & Sleeping, Sound Therapy for Home, Travel, Registry Gift
Dreamegg White Noise Machine
$23.99
Best Sound Machine with Bluetooth Speaker 
Yogasleep Duet White Noise Sound Machine & Night Light, 30 Natural Sounds, Bluetooth-Wireless Speaker for Travel, Office Privacy, Concentration, Sleep Aid for Adults & Baby, Registry & Nursery Gift
Yogasleep Duet White Sound Machine and Night Light
$44.99

Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine: Best Overall 

Sale
Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine
  • 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘁, 𝘂𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝟮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗲𝗻 𝗌𝗈𝗎𝗇𝖽 𝗆𝖺𝖼𝗁𝗂𝗇𝖾 𝗂𝗌 𝗇𝗈𝗐 𝖶𝗂-𝖥𝗂 𝖾𝗇𝖺𝖻𝗅𝖾𝖽, 𝗐𝗂𝗍𝗁 𝖽𝗂𝗆𝗆𝖺𝖻𝗅𝖾 𝖼𝗅𝗈𝖼𝗄 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝖾𝗏𝖾𝗇 𝗆𝗈𝗋𝖾 𝖿𝖾𝖺𝗍𝗎𝗋𝖾𝗌 𝖿𝗈𝗋 𝖽𝗋𝖾𝖺𝗆𝗒 𝗌𝗅𝖾𝖾𝗉!
  • 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗠𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗲. 𝖸𝗈𝗎𝗋 𝖱𝖾𝗌𝗍 𝟤𝗇𝖽 𝗀𝖾𝗇 𝖼𝗈𝗆𝖾𝗌 𝖿𝗎𝗅𝗅𝗒 𝗅𝗈𝖺𝖽𝖾𝖽 𝗐𝗂𝗍𝗁 𝖾𝗑𝗉𝖾𝗋𝗍 𝖼𝗎𝗋𝖺𝗍𝖾𝖽 𝗌𝗅𝖾𝖾𝗉 𝗌𝗈𝗎𝗇𝖽𝗌 𝗅𝗂𝗄𝖾 𝗐𝗁𝗂𝗍𝖾 𝗇𝗈𝗂𝗌𝖾, 𝗈𝖼𝖾𝖺𝗇, 𝗐𝗂𝗇𝖽, 𝖿𝖺𝗇, 𝗁𝖾𝖺𝗋𝗍𝖻𝖾𝖺𝗍, 𝗋𝖺𝗂𝗇, 𝗅𝗎𝗅𝗅𝖺𝖻𝗂𝖾𝗌 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗆𝗈𝗋𝖾 𝗍𝗈 𝗄𝖾𝖾𝗉 𝗒𝗈𝗎𝗋 𝗅𝗂𝗍𝗍𝗅𝖾 𝗈𝗇𝖾 𝖽𝗋𝖾𝖺𝗆𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗍𝗁𝗋𝗈𝗎𝗀𝗁 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝗇𝗂𝗀𝗁𝗍.
  • 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗹𝗶𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗛𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵+. 𝖳𝗈 𝖺𝖼𝖼𝖾𝗌𝗌 𝖾𝗏𝖾𝗇 𝗆𝗈𝗋𝖾 𝖼𝗈𝗇𝗍𝖾𝗇𝗍, 𝗂𝗇𝖼𝗅𝗎𝖽𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗌𝗅𝖾𝖾𝗉 𝗌𝗍𝗈𝗋𝗂𝖾𝗌, 𝗆𝗈𝖽𝖾𝗋𝗇 𝗅𝗎𝗅𝗅𝖺𝖻𝗂𝖾𝗌, 𝗆𝗂𝗇𝗂 𝗆𝗂𝗇𝖽𝖿𝗎𝗅𝗇𝖾𝗌𝗌 𝗆𝗈𝗆𝖾𝗇𝗍𝗌 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝗆𝗈𝗋𝖾, 𝗀𝗂𝗏𝖾 𝖧𝖺𝗍𝖼𝗁+ 𝖬𝖾𝗆𝖻𝖾𝗋𝗌𝗁𝗂𝗉 𝖺 𝗍𝗋𝗒! 𝖲𝗎𝖻𝗌𝖼𝗋𝗂𝗉𝗍𝗂𝗈𝗇 𝗌𝗈𝗅𝖽 𝗌𝖾𝗉𝖺𝗋𝖺𝗍𝖾𝗅𝗒 𝗂𝗇 𝖺𝗉𝗉; 𝖿𝗋𝖾𝖾 𝗍𝗋𝗂𝖺𝗅 𝗂𝗇𝖼𝗅𝗎𝖽𝖾𝖽.
  • 𝗦𝗺𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗡𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗟𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁. 𝖥𝗎𝗇, 𝖻𝖾𝖽𝗌𝗂𝖽𝖾 𝗅𝖺𝗆𝗉 𝗐𝗂𝗍𝗁 𝗂𝗇𝖿𝗂𝗇𝗂𝗍𝖾 𝖼𝗎𝗌𝗍𝗈𝗆 𝖼𝗈𝗅𝗈𝗋 𝗁𝗎𝖾𝗌. 𝖯𝖾𝗋𝖿𝖾𝖼𝗍 𝖿𝗈𝗋 𝖻𝗈𝗒𝗌 𝗈𝗋 𝗀𝗂𝗋𝗅𝗌. 𝖨𝗅𝗅𝗎𝗆𝗂𝗇𝖺𝗍𝖾 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖼𝗋𝗂𝖻 𝖺𝗇𝖽 𝖼𝗁𝖺𝗇𝗀𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗍𝖺𝖻𝗅𝖾 𝗍𝗈 𝖾𝖺𝗌𝖾 𝗇𝗂𝗀𝗁𝗍𝗍𝗂𝗆𝖾 𝗂𝗇𝖿𝖺𝗇𝗍 𝖿𝖾𝖾𝖽𝗂𝗇𝗀𝗌. 𝖬𝖺𝗄𝖾 𝗍𝗁𝖾 𝖽𝖺𝗋𝗄 𝗅𝖾𝗌𝗌 𝗌𝖼𝖺𝗋𝗒 𝗂𝗇 𝗒𝗈𝗎𝗋 𝖼𝗁𝗂𝗅𝖽’𝗌 𝗋𝗈𝗈𝗆 𝗐𝗂𝗍𝗁 𝖺 𝖼𝖺𝗅𝗆𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝗀𝗅𝗈𝗐.
Pros 
Cons 
  • Truly multi-functional sleep device includes night light, sound, and sleep training clock for use from infancy through toddlerhood
  • Expensive

The Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine does so much more than just make white noise. If you’re looking for a multi-purpose, multi-functional sleeping device that you can use with your kids from infancy to toddlerhood, this is it. 

The Hatch Baby Rest includes many sounds including different kinds of white noise, nature sounds like ocean waves, and lullabies. You can expand the library of music and sound through an additional Hatch Sleep Membership. 

Not only is it a good sound machine with a lot of variation, but it’s also a lovely night light, with a range of color options which can also aid and promote better sleep. 

The clock includes a time-to-rise feature, which changes color to help early-rising toddlers understand when it’s time to stay in bed and when it’s time to get up. 

The Hatch Rest is also portable and rechargeable so you can take it with you on car trips and vacations or wherever you may need it.  

Although it’s expensive, when you consider how much you might end up spending on purchasing separate night lights, sleep training clocks, and sound machines, it may be worth your while to have all these functions in one device. 

Power Source: ‎Corded Electric | Special Features: Portable, Dimmable | Dimensions: 4.2 x 4.2 x 6.61 inches
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Dreamegg White Noise Machine: Best Portable White Noise Machine 

Sale
Dreamegg White Noise Machine
  • 【COMPACT BUT POWERFUL】- D11 Max has more skills. Designed for all things sleep, this sound machine comes with favorable features: rechargeable battery, 21 soothing sounds, customized timers, various volume levels, child-lock for safety, and even memory functions! It is not only a sleep soother sound machine for baby kids, but also an effective white noise machine for adults sleeping & relaxation.
  • 【HUGE BATTERY, WORRY-FREE ON THE GO】- Everything D11 max has, PLUS a LONG-LASTING battery. The portable sound machine is built with unbeatable1800mAh battery compared with 500mAh of others. Easily lasts through the night and into daytime naps on a single charge. For parents who are worried about baby getting naps on the go and especially when the power goes out, it is definitely a life saver! Battery is built in (comes with a USB-C cord to charge) so no need to worry about buying any.
  • 【HELPS SETTLE-IN & STAY ASLEEP】- Moms know how precious sleep can be. Turn it on to create peaceful sleep environment to help crying baby calm down and stay asleep. Choose from selected 21 soothing sounds including classic white noise sounds, to baby lullabies and nature sounds. Fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer with this baby sound machine.
  • 【ULTRA PORTABLE AND CORDLESS】 – D11 Max make magic happen for better sleep anywhere. Small and lightweight makes it a perfect travel noise machine. It is extremely convenient when you are packing around so much stuff whether for a baby or for your travel. With a lanyard and loop, you can easily hang it on the stroller or car seat or suitcase. Take it along in the car, on walks, hotel stays, business trips to enjoy portable freedom.
Pros 
Cons
  • Excellent price
  • Portable
  • Long battery life
  • No other features besides sound production

The Dreamegg White Noise Machine is a low-cost, portable, baby white noise machine that you’ll want to take with you everywhere. 

The Dreamegg is small and comes with an easy-to-use lanyard, so you can attach it to your baby’s stroller or car seat. With its long lasting rechargeable battery, you don’t have to worry about it running out of steam when you’re on the go. 

Despite the price and simplicity of the Dreamegg, it’s far from basic. It has six different white noise options including fan sounds, seven baby noise options, and eight natural sounds, so you’re sure to find your baby’s favorite. 

It’s easy to throw this device in your diaper bag. Although it doesn’t offer a night light, its buttons do glow in the dark for nighttime use. As far as baby noise machines go, the Dreamegg is a great portable sound machine option. 

Power Source: Battery Powered | Special Features: Long-Lasting Battery | Dimensions: 4 x 3.7 x 1.8 inches
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Yogasleep Duet White Sound Machine and Night Light: Best Sound Machine with Bluetooth Speaker 

Yogasleep Duet White Sound Machine and Night Light
  • Wireless speaker functionality: Stream your favorite sleep soundtrack, podcast, or music from your smartphone directly to the Duet speaker
  • 30 non-looping sounds plus sleep timer: Robust sound options include 2 Dohm signature sounds, fan sounds, white noise, brown noise, pink noise, 9 nature sounds, relaxation tracks, and calming classically-inspired lullabies. Set the sleep timer to 45 minutes, 90 minutes, or 8 hours
  • Warm night light: Soft amber night light with gradient brightness perfect for infant nighttime feedings and growing with your child
  • Modern look: Streamlined unit combines sound machine, night light, and wireless speaker in one device; keeps bedside area tidy
Pros 
Cons 
  • Has an integrated Bluetooth speaker so you can play your own music, podcasts or sounds when not using it for baby sleep
  • Modern look for any room in the house
  • Included night light has only one color option

So often we buy baby gear that doesn’t really have a purpose or look that we can use beyond the baby years. However, the Yogasleep Duet White Sound Machine is a brilliant device that everyone in the family will find a use for well after it’s outgrown by your baby. 

The Yogasleep Duet includes 30 different sounds, a timer, and a soothing amber night light with adjustable brightness. 

The genius of it is that it also includes an integrated Bluetooth speaker, so it can be used by anyone in your family as a portable speaker to play your music, sounds, or podcasts. 

Once your baby has mastered getting to sleep, the modern look of this small sound machine will fit in anywhere else in your home where you may want to use it. This is one sound machine that is worth the investment because of its potential long-term use. 

Power Source: Corded Electric| Special Features: Night Light, Bluetooth-Wireless | Dimensions: 3.4 x 3.4 x 4.4 inches
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Homedics SoundSleep White Noise Sound Machine: Best Basic White Noise Machine  

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Homedics SoundSleep White Noise Sound Machine
  • White Noise Sound Machine: The Homedics White Noise Sound Machine includes 6 digitally recorded relaxing sounds designed to mimic the natural environment: White Noise, Thunder, Ocean, Rain, Summer Night, and Brook
  • Compact and Portable: This portable sound machine is lightweight, compact, and easily fits into your purse, bag, or suitcase
  • Baby Sleep Aid: Add these rhythmic sounds to your baby’s sleep routine to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer; it makes the perfect baby sound machine and baby registry must-have
  • Auto-Off Timer and Volume Controls: Choose to play relaxation sounds on this ambient sound machine continuously or opt for the auto-off timer; the timer features 3 options: 15, 30, or 60 minutes; adjust the volume with convenient volume control buttons
Pros 
Cons
  • Inexpensive
  • Six basic white noise sounds
  • Portable
  • Not the best sound quality
  • Battery powered

If you’re looking for a basic sound machine without all of the complicated bells, apps, and whistles, the Homedics SoundSleep White Noise Sound Machine is an inexpensive way to get the job done. 

The Homedics SoundSleep machine offers six basic sounds, including white noise, ocean sounds, thunder and rain. It has a timer and adjustable volume. It’s portable, lightweight, and slim. 

Although it’s not as aesthetically sleek and attractive as other machines, and some users feel that the sound quality could be improved, at this price point, it does exactly what you need the best baby sound machine to do. 

Power Source: Battery Powered | Special Features: Auto-Off Timer and Volume Controls | Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 2 inches
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SNOOZ Smart White Noise Machine: Best for Checking Nursery Volume 

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SNOOZ Smart White Noise Machine
  • Truly Peaceful Sleep: Immerse yourself in uninterrupted, non-looping white noise created by a real fan (minus the cold air). Unlike recorded tracks or apps that loop, our authentic white noise is consistent and never loops, ensuring you remain in a state of uninterrupted rest. Say goodbye to jarring loops and enjoy a night of undisturbed sleep, waking up refreshed and ready to conquer the day.
  • Tap to Sleep: Simplify your nights with a single touch. Turn on the device, adjust the volume, and get ready for peaceful sleep. Our user-friendly app allows you to unlock enhanced features for a customizable sleep experience.
  • Personalized Natural Sound: Tailor your sleep environment effortlessly with our highest-quality white noise sound. SNOOZ offers 10 volume settings and adjustable tone, suitable for everyone – babies, kids, adults, and even dogs, delivering a premium personalized sound experience for all.
  • Block Out the World: Don’t let common disruptive noises ruin your sleep. SNOOZ blocks out disturbances from all angles, whether it’s noisy neighbors, city streets, snoring partners, barking dogs, or any other nighttime disruptions. Enjoy undisturbed nights and stay asleep throughout.
Pros 
Cons
  • White noise created by an actual fan
  • Portable
  • Can calibrate the level of sound in your nursery
  • Has only one sound option
  • Expensive

The SNOOZ Smart White Machine is different to its competitors. Rather than using recorded white noise on a loop and sending it through a speaker, the white noise of the SNOOZ is produced by a fan inside the device. 

The makers of the SNOOZ claim that their white noise is better as it comes from the actual source and users don’t have to put up with glitchy sound coming through low quality speakers. 

Also, as the noise is natural and random, your brain does not stay active trying to detect the pattern that other white noise machines produce. 

What also makes the SNOOZ stand out is the app that you can use to set its timer and night light. Importantly, it also calibrates the level of noise in your baby’s nursery, an important feature that other sound machines don’t offer. 

The SNOOZ is nice looking, portable, and easy to use. It’s one of the most expensive sound machines on this list, which is surprising given that it only offers one sound. 

However, users of this machine claim that the white noise is of higher quality than with other machines and therefore it’s worth the price. 

Power Source: Corded Electric | Special Features: Travel friendly, portable design | Dimensions: 5.65 x 5.65 x 3.15 inches
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Echo Dot 5th Gen: Best for Versatility 

Echo Dot 5th Gen
  • OUR BEST SOUNDING ECHO DOT YET – Enjoy an improved audio experience compared to any previous Echo Dot with Alexa for clearer vocals, deeper bass and vibrant sound in any room.
  • YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC AND CONTENT – Play music, audiobooks, and podcasts from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and others or via Bluetooth throughout your home.
  • ALEXA IS HAPPY TO HELP – Ask Alexa for weather updates and to set hands-free timers, get answers to your questions and even hear jokes. Need a few extra minutes in the morning? Just tap your Echo Dot to snooze your alarm.
  • KEEP YOUR HOME COMFORTABLE – Control compatible smart home devices with your voice and routines triggered by built-in motion or indoor temperature sensors. Create routines to automatically turn on lights when you walk into a room, or start a fan if the inside temperature goes above your comfort zone.
Pros 
Cons
  • Multi-use function for the whole family
  • Download free white noise options on Amazon
  • Stream lullabies, stories, and more as your child gets older
  • Not designed for baby or child use so you may not want to keep it in your nursery

If you already have an Echo Dot for your Alexa, you might be thrilled to learn that you can download free white noise sounds to use for your baby at bedtime so that you can use it as a sound machine.  

It has great quality sound, and as your child gets older, you can stream unlimited lullabies and stories.

The voice-activated Echo is easy to use and offers lots of sound options. However, it’s not specifically designed for nursery use, so you may want to keep it out of reach of your toddlers. 

The Echo has a modern design, but if you’re looking for something that suits your nursery decor, check out the Echo Dot Kids.

Echo Dot Kids
  • ECHO DOT KIDS – Our most popular and cutest smart speaker with Alexa, made for kids (not a toy). The improved speaker delivers clearer vocals and rich, vibrant sound.
  • WHERE LEARNING MEETS FUN – Kids can ask Alexa to play music, read a bedtime story, get help with their homework, and more. Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and others.
  • INCLUDES 1 YEAR OF AMAZON KIDS+ – A digital subscription designed for kids aged 3-12 to safely learn, grow, and explore. On Echo Dot, kids can enjoy kid-friendly Audible books, interactive games, fun Morning Routines, and educational Alexa skills. After 1 year, your subscription will automatically renew every month starting at just $5.99/month plus applicable tax. You may cancel any time by visiting the Amazon Parent Dashboard or contacting Customer Service.
  • EASY-TO-USE PARENTAL CONTROLS – Alexa will automatically give kid-friendly responses and filter explicit songs. You can also set daily time limits and review activity in the Amazon Parent Dashboard.

While it doesn’t have the baby features of other sound machines, like a night light or sleep training clock, the long-term, multi-use device can be used by multiple members of your family for years to come. 

Power Source: Corded Electric | Special Features: Alexa Built-in, Handsfree, Voice Control | Dimensions: 3.53 x 3.94 x 3.94 inches
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Momcozy Baby Sound Machine:  Best Budget Multipurpose Machine  

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Momcozy Baby Sound Machine
  • 【Multiple Soothing Sounds】34 high-fidelity sounds (11 white noises, 3 fan sounds,8 lullabies and 12 nature sounds) ,40~110dB, let you choose the ideal background to mask intruding noises and create the perfect environment for work, study, sleep or an upset baby.
  • 【Night Light】An adjustable, soft LED luminous lamp provides sufficient, but not too harsh, light for your bedroom at midnight. There are also 7 color light offerings, Baby sound machine is perfect as a nightstand lamp, baby nursery light, relaxing lamp, romantic atmosphere light etc.
  • 【Convenient to use】Smart light can be adjusted remotely via phone, can be tapped on manually as needed or soft-touch. Control remotely via the free companion app. Device requires Wi-Fi.(Please be aware to use a 2.4G network, 5G wifi is not compatible.)Please note:needs to be plugged in for use.
  • 【Sleep Better】With sound machine, enjoy soothing content to help you wind down and prepare your mind & body for sleep. Personalize a sleep-wake routine to help you fall asleep, stay asleep & wake up refreshed.
Pros 
Cons
  • Reasonable price point for a multipurpose machine
  • Night light, multiple sounds, and app controlled
  • Users find that the charging element can be inconsistent

The Momcozy Baby Sound Machine provides many of the features of more expensive competitors but at a more reasonable price. 

The Momcozy provides 34 sounds with a range of white noise, nature sounds, and lullabies to choose from. It also has an LED night light with seven relaxing and soothing color options. In addition, it has an auto shut-off timer and alarm clock. 

Like its more expensive counterparts, the Momcozy can be controlled via an app on your smartphone. It also has a clever sleep routine feature which allows you to customize sound, color, volume and brightness to an automatic sleep schedule based on your and your baby’s preferences. 

Parents have found that the charging cord can be temperamental and that charging of the device can be inconsistent. However, with so many other great features, the Momcozy is definitely worth a try.  

Power Source: Battery Powered | Special Features: Wi-Fi Compatible, Sleep-Wake Routine | Dimensions: 4.70 x 4.48 x 4.48 Inches
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What Are Baby Sound Machines?

Cute asian baby lying on bed looking on camera with vintage filter.

Baby sound machines range from simple white noise machines to advanced nighttime devices with multiple features including different sound options, heartbeat sounds, music, night lights, and sleep training clocks. 

However, the basic premise is the same. A baby sound machine produces soothing, quiet, calming sounds which block out other environmental noises and comforts your baby to help them fall asleep and stay asleep.   

Baby sound machines may offer three kinds of ambient sounds that lull babies to sleep:

  • White noise: like static from a television or radio which mimics the sound of the womb
  • Brown noise: which has a lower frequency than white noise, like rainfall or thunder
  • Pink noise: like white noise but more consistent with lower frequency, like a waterfall

These types of noise are especially effective for infant sleep. A baby sound machine may also offer a number of sounds which appeal to children as they get older like nature sounds or soft music.  

Do Sound Machines Help Babies Sleep?

In 1990, a study in the Archives of Disease in Childhood11. Spencer, J. A., Moran, D. J., Lee, A., & Talbert, D.. White noise and sleep induction. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 1990;65(1), 135–137. https://doi.org/10.1136/adc.65.1.135 found that among very young newborns, 80% fell asleep within five minutes of exposure to white noise. 

Researchers concluded that because the white noise masked other noise in the environment, it removed extra stimuli and calmed the babies, allowing them to fall asleep faster. 

It is also widely theorized that white noise mimics the environmental noise of the womb which young infants find comforting. Young babies may feel safe and less anxious when they hear heartbeat sounds which remind them of the womb environment that they left behind. 

Practically, white noise machines can mask street noise, loud older siblings, or other household noises during naptime and bedtime, removing distractions and making it easier for your baby to fall asleep. 

They can be helpful in sleep training and create a soothing sleep environment as part of the bedtime routine, signaling to your child that it is time for sleep. 

Are there negative effects of using baby sound machines? 

While baby sound machines can be very helpful when your baby has difficulty with sleep, there are factors you should also be aware of when using them. 

Volume and Hearing Development

The American Academy of Pediatrics22. American Academy of Pediatrics Sounds the Alarm on Excessive Noise and Risks to Children’s Hearing in Updated Policy Statement. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2023. https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/conference-news-releases/american-academy-of-pediatrics-sounds-the-alarm-on-excessive-noise-and-risks-to-childrens-hearing-in-updated-policy-statement cautions parents to be mindful of the volume of baby sound machines to ensure that frequent exposure to the noise will not damage their child’s hearing in the long term. 

An AAP study in 201433. Hugh, S. C., Wolter, N. E., Propst, E. J., Gordon, K. A., Cushing, S. L., & Papsin, B. C.. Infant Sleep Machines and Hazardous Sound Pressure Levels. Pediatrics. 2014;133(4), 677–681. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-3617 found that many baby sound machines are capable of producing sound above 50 decibels, which is the upper noise limit for babies in hospital nurseries. 

Pediatricians recommend that if you use a baby sound machine, you should keep it at least seven feet away from where your baby is sleeping and keep the volume below the maximum setting. 

Dependence on Sound Machines for Sleep 

Another potential disadvantage of sound machines is that your baby could become reliant on white noise or other ambient noise in order to fall asleep. 

Your child could develop a sleep association which means that when they are without the sound machine, for example, in a daycare setting at naptime, they may struggle to fall asleep or not sleep at all, creating another host of problems. 

If you use the white noise machine at all nap times and bedtimes, your child may become overtired and fight sleep when you’re on vacation, visiting relatives, or in any other setting where they don’t have the machine. 

Like rocking or holding your baby until they fall asleep, if you use the baby sound machine consistently, your baby may become dependent on it for sleep. Trying to sleep train your baby or teach them to self-soothe and learn to sleep on their own may become very difficult. 

How to Choose the Best Baby Sound Machine

Device for sleeping, calmness or meditation on white background.

There are so many baby sound machines on the market, ranging from basic white noise machines to advanced devices with other features, like night lights or clocks. 

Consider the following when shopping for a baby sound machine: 

Safety 
  • Does it have volume control and can it be kept at a safe volume easily?
  • Are there any small parts which are potential choking hazards?
  • If your child gets hold of it, does it have a safe, baby-proof design?

Sound 
  • Are the sounds it makes clear and pleasant to listen to?
  • Does it offer pink and brown noise in addition to white noise?
  • Does it offer other sounds, like ocean, nature, or lullabies?
Usability and Practicality 
  • Is it easily portable?
  • Does it have a timer with automatic shut-off?
  • Is it controlled by app or remote control?
  • Is it battery-operated?
  • Is it rechargeable?
Longevity 
  • Will it be useful beyond infancy?
  • Does it offer any features that will be useful in sleep training?
  • Does it offer any features that will help older children with sleep?
Multifunctional 
  • Does it offer a night light, clock, temperature gauge, or other features that mean you won’t keep buying multiple other gadgets?
  • Does it do the work of any other sleep gadgets, like a baby monitor that you’ve considered buying?
Price and Warranty 
  • Is it reasonably priced for what it does?
  • Does it have a warranty or money-back guarantee?

References

  1. Spencer, J. A., Moran, D. J., Lee, A., & Talbert, D. (1990). White noise and sleep induction. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 65(1), 135–137. https://doi.org/10.1136/adc.65.1.135
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics Sounds the Alarm on Excessive Noise and Risks to Children’s Hearing in Updated Policy Statement. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2023, October 21). https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/conference-news-releases/american-academy-of-pediatrics-sounds-the-alarm-on-excessive-noise-and-risks-to-childrens-hearing-in-updated-policy-statement
  3. Hugh, S. C., Wolter, N. E., Propst, E. J., Gordon, K. A., Cushing, S. L., & Papsin, B. C. (2014). Infant Sleep Machines and Hazardous Sound Pressure Levels. Pediatrics, 133(4), 677–681. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-3617
Best Baby Sound Machines for Soothing Sleep


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