Between the nightly feedings and the exhaustion that comes with trying to keep a tiny human alive, sleep is crucial when you’re a new parent. For this reason, many parents invest in tools to create the most comfortable sleeping environment possible, like swaddles and a white noise machine. But there’s a difference between any old gadget that makes noise and the best white noise machine for babies. Finally, infants particularly enjoy white noise, which better mimics their noisy earlier life in the womb.
“A lot of babies really like white noise. It’s very calming,” says Dr. Danelle Fisher, Pediatrician and Chair of Pediatrics at Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “I used one for my son for three years so I’m a big fan of it.”
If you’re already a heavy sleeper and maybe you just heard about the fact that your baby might need a sound machine, let’s elaborate. A white noise machine is a device that creates ambient noise. White noise devices are designed to block out other sounds, so we can fall asleep — and stay asleep — unperturbed by outside noise, including noisy neighbors, siblings, guests, or just plain traffic. Typically these machines play white noise and may contain other soothing sounds such as running water, rain, forest sounds or the sea.
These are the best white noise devices for babies and toddlers. You might also find that your school-age kids enjoy one in their room to ward off nightmares, or your teens suddenly want one to help them drown out early morning chatter.
Best white noise machine for babies overall
This white noise machine plugs right into the wall
Inexpensive white noise machine for babies
This machine offers six sound options for under $20
Best baby white noise travel machine
This machine attaches to baby’s car seat or stroller
Best combination of night light and white noise
A soft night light and wireless speaker are included
Best white noise machine for toddlers
This white noise machine delivers a delightful light show
Best smart white noise machine for babies
Control the sounds in the children’s room with your phone
How we picked the best white noise devices for babies
To choose the best white noise devices for babies, we spoke to parents and looked at the best brands of white noise devices. We then analyzed the machines for reviews, features, design and value. We have also used a number of these models in our own homes over the years, drawing on our sleeping expertise.