It’s not always easy to get your baby or toddler to take a nap, but soothing sounds and white noise can help ease them into it by blocking out ambient noise. Classic sound machines used fans to generate white noise, and they’re still effective today. More advanced devices can play back lullabies or nature sounds, and can also project images on the ceiling to help distract kids. Some wi-fi-enabled units take commands from an app and double as night-lights or baby monitors. Whether you keep it classic or go high-tech, one thing never changes: A good night’s sleep is invaluable. Here are four sound machines to help babies and their parents get some shut eye.
Feature-rich smart tech. Amazon
This Alexa-embedded, app-controlled device features a library of sleep-inducing sounds and white noise. Colored lights indicate when it’s time for naps, bedtime, and when it’s okay to get out of bed. It even works as a customizable night-light. It includes a two-way audio monitor so you can listen and talk to your child through your phone. It’s battery powered and wi-fi enabled so it works even when you’re away from home.
For simple slumbers. Amazon
This sound machine features three natural sounds: heartbeat, rain, and ocean. It also has three lullabies to help your child sleep. The device projects images on the ceiling that can appear with or without audio. The timer works in 15-minute increments up to an hour, so you can set it and forget it. At less than five inches tall , the unit is small enough to slip into a diaper bag, backpack, or carry-on luggage for easy travel.
Keeping it old-school. Amazon
The Marpac Dohm has been around since 1962, making it a classic with generations of users. A real fan generates white noise to drown out ambient sound. Dual speeds and a rotating cap allow users to personalize the sound’s pitch and intensity. Its low-profile design comes in white, black, camo, gray, pink, and tan—perfect for any home. And when your baby gets older, the white noise helps prevent distractions during homework time.
Budget-priced but effective. Amazon
This inexpensive sound machine features six sounds, including rain, ocean waves, heart beat, summer night, forest, and babbling brook. A five LEDs project stars on the ceiling to help distract your child while they doze off. It’s battery powered, making it easy to take on vacation or even just to the grandparents’ house for the night. However, it lacks a timer, which means the batteries might run down quickly if you’re not paying attention.