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New parents often struggle to sleep with an infant at home and are woken by every sound and movement of their little one. Travel can exacerbate this problem further, as new babies are learning to cope in a world with new and often frightening sounds, from the bustle of street traffic to the sudden noise of a barking dog, vacuum cleaner, or ringing phone. While thin hotel walls can’t be fixed, white noise machines create a peaceful background hum to help lull your child to sleep. Whether you’re at home or traveling with a baby, these sound machines it easier to ignore the unexpected intrusion of loud noises. With fewer distractions and disruptions, the whole family will sleep more soundly at home and away.
Marpac makes a range of sound and white noise machines to help guarantee a more restful nights sleep, both for babies and parents. The Dohm Classic uses an acoustic housing surrounding internal fans to create an adjustable volume fan sound without disturbing the air in your nursery.
- Uses less electricity than a ceiling fan
- Adjustable Volume
- Air currents won’t blow curtains, doors, etc
Find the right sound for your environment with Avantek’s sound machine. With twenty sound choices to choose from, some based in nature, like wind, waves, or rain, multiple white noise options, or fan sounds, there’s a perfect choice for every family. It comes with a programmable timer option, and memory function to help pick up right where you dropped off. There’s also a USB power option, so it’s a perfect travel companion for the family on the go. Reviewers say “The sound quality is rich and sounds much better than I anticipated.” Though there are mixed reviews about whether the sound loops are discernible, users agree that there are no gaps between loops, at least.
- Highly rated with over 350 reviews
- 30 Volume settings and 7 Timer options
- Great background sounds for studying
This unobtrusive little thing is loud enough to block out obnoxious neighbors or a snoring partner or can be turned down low enough on the white noise alternatives to sound like a tv or other appliance humming in the next room. Reviewers compare one white noise sound to a car idling or other low rumbling sounds. One remarked, “I didn’t expect it to be very loud but thought it would be better than nothing. To my surprise it is amazing. I don’t even keep this as loud as it will go because it gets extremely loud.”
- Covers the sounds of a snoring partner
- Dim night light doesn’t disturb sleep
- White, pink, and brown noise options, plus nature sounds
With an automatic 30 minute off, this baby and toddler sleep aid is the best choice for families with multiple children and staggered bedtimes. Never again disrupt one child’s sleep with the other’s sleep aid. If even thirty minutes is too long, there are also stuffed animals with lullaby and night light options to consider; these can be turned on or off by squeezing the toy, great for teaching children to put themselves back to sleep.
- Soft and Cuddly
- Short duration
- Soothing Night Light
A no-frills option that’s less expensive than most, this model has six sound options to choose from, a night light, and controls that are easy to operate even while fumbling around sleep deprived in a darkened nursery.
- Good for first-time buyers
- Simple operation
- Sound quality is lacking
“Portable, light, and does just what it says. Works great even on nearly the lowest volume – the volume range is excellent,” according to reviewers, Marpac’s Hushh is rechargeable, so it’s easy to clip onto the stroller or car seat and bring those soothing sounds anywhere. This small travel gadget packs up easily for family vacations, to muffle out the strange sounds of unfamiliar environments, and has a child lock option, so toddlers can’t fiddle with the controls and wake the whole family in the middle of the night. A great choice for on-the-go families.
- Child Lock
- Nightlight function
Perfect for those first days with a new baby at home, this sleek and stylish sound machine helps parents relax and rest, instead of waking every time the baby stirs. White noise helps newborns adjust to common background and outdoor sounds, like street traffic or bird song, and the relaxing nature sounds let parents drift off more easily.
- Simple controls
- Highly adjustable volume
- Limited sound choices
For those who experience poor sleep quality or are extremely restless sleepers, the need for background sounds to help fall asleep and stay asleep, or reach deeper sleep, is significant to their quality of life. The iHome Zenergy adds an additional layer of sleep aid with light therapy; instead of loud obnoxious alarms, set customizable flashing light patterns to wake you without harshly jarring you from sleep. Set light timers for waking and sleeping, so night lights are soothing, and fade out over time, instead of too-bright lights that disrupt melatonin production and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Light and Sound programs for better sleep
- Aux cable allows for custom sounds
- Smartphone app for easier programming and controls
A white machine and alarm combo, this Sharper Image soother travels light and is perfect for fighting jet lag and time zone confusion. With its extra-large digital display, you’ll have relevant date and time info at a glance. If the standard nature sounds that most sound machines come with are unappealing, this may be the perfect choice for you; foghorns, windchimes, and other uncommon picks make this machine stand out from the usual rain, wind, and waves options.
- Alarm volume increases gradually over time automatically
- Set different sleep and wake sounds
- Some reviewers note audible loops are short and detectable
The least expensive option by far, this battery operated sound machine has 4 sound options to choose from and a clip to keep it snugly tethered to a car seat, stroller, or crib rail. Perfect for helping ease babies into a nap while on the go, it muffles the jarring, surprising sounds of older siblings playing, traffic noise, and even theme park crowds without being loud enough to damage delicate hearing. A top reviewer comments, “I was nervous about the new design but it works just as good as the original. We love this sleep machine. We don’t even have a regular one we only use the travel one. It’s definitely loud enough, we love the timer aspect and it has been a godsend to relax our son while he is awake in the crib. We give it to him to hold and play with when we put him down to sleep.
- Battery Operated
- Lullaby sound option