Let’s face it. Either we completely misunderstood the person who came up with the phrase “sleep like a baby”, or they had no idea what they were talking about. As new parents, I think we can all say that we sleep like babies, and that is not a good thing. Even worse, if your baby has colic, once you get them to sleep, you want them to sleep as much as possible.
If you think your baby is having trouble sleeping because your home isn’t quiet enough, you would be wrong. Chances are good that your home, and the rest of the world outside mom’s body, is much too quiet for baby to get comfortable.
The world inside the womb is surprisingly loud at 70-80 decibels, which is around the same noise level as a garbage disposal or freeway traffic. For comparison, is recommended that hearing protection be used when exposed to sounds over 85 decibels. No wonder baby can’t get any sleep! It’s much to quiet out here! Without all that sound, or white noise, your baby can hear every little footstep, every dropped object, every dog bark.
No worries, though. The solution for baby is the same as many adults turn to when they have trouble sleeping in quieter environments that they are used to: White noise machines.
White noise is a specific type of sound that is very similar to the sound baby heard constantly in the womb. It cancels out other small noises and can help baby go to sleep, stay asleep and get a better quality of sleep. It has also been shown in studies to reduce the risk of SIDS by more than 70 percent.
There are lots of white noise and sound machines on the market, and different machines have different features that will benefit you and your baby. We’ve found the top sellers and broken them down some of their features here:
This best-seller features six very realistic sounds and can be kept on all night or set to a 15, 30 or 60 minute timer. Can be used with included power cord or batteries.
Another best-seller, but a bit different in that it is a mechanical sound machine. The sound made by Dohm is made by an actual fan inside the machine, so there is no loop to notice if that’s something that bothers you about sound machines. The tone and volume on this sound machine are fully adjustable making this a favorite.
The LectroFan offers 20 unique non-repeating digital sounds. Powered by either AC or USB, it also features a 60-minute sleep timer. BONUS: There is a smaller version, the LectroFan Micro, which doubles as a Bluetooth speaker for those of us who like our possessions to multi-task.
The Music and Lights Elephant features white noise, nature and ocean sounds PLUS 20 classical songs and lullabies. Timer can be set for 20 or 120 minutes or can be used all night long. The precious star on the elephant’s nose glows and stays on, so it doubles as a night light. This noise maker doesn’t feature battery power, and must be plugged in.
myBaby Sound Spa features white noise, heartbeat, nature sounds and three lullabies. Adjustable volume and 15, 30 and 60 minute timer as well as always on feature. Included discs project images and lights onto the wall or ceiling. This feature can be turned on or off and can be used independently of the sound machine.
The Smart Connect Deluxe Soother features 3 sound options with fully adjustable volume control. The night light projects stars, animals or both and has several color options. What makes the Smart Connect Deluxe Soother special is the ability to control it with the Fisher Price Smart Connect app so you can change the settings from your phone!
Sleep Sheep is a wildly popular, cuddlier version of the sound machine. His Velcro strap allows him to be attached to crib to keep baby safe while sleeping. Features eight soothing sounds that can be set to play for 23 or 45 minutes. Includes two AA batteries.
Sleep Sheep On The Go is a smaller travel version of the popular sleep sheep sound machine. This is the sound machine we have used since our baby was born and still use each night at bedtime. The included batteries in this cuddly white noise maker have lasted over five months, so there’s no need to worry about its lack of AC power. As with the larger version, the travel Sleep Sheep features a Velcro strap to attach to stroller, car seat or crib and noise machine can be removed.
SoundSpa On-the-Go is another portable option that can be clipped onto strollers and car seats to soothe baby when away from home. It features four soothing sounds and the timer can be set to 15, 30 or 40 minutes.
The Soothe and Vibe is a portable soother that also includes soothing vibrations. Plays five sounds and is automatically set to a 20 minute timer. Volume and vibration intensity can be adjusted. This is another product we use nightly since our son outgrew his bassinet which had a vibration feature. It can be placed under the mattress or attached to car seat or stroller with its velcro strap.
Have you used any of these or any other soother to get you baby to sleep and keep him asleep? What worked best for you? Let us know in the comments if you’d like to share a review of any baby sleep product.