Some babies can sleep through anything (so I’ve heard), but most babies prefer the shushing and comforting sound of white noise. I recommend white noise machines for babies because they naturally help babies connect their sleep cycles by offering a constant, womb-like sound in the background. Honestly, our noise machines are a life saver and I strongly suggest that everyone have one in their nursery.
What's in this article?
Do Babies Need White Noise While Sleeping?
Yes! I recommend using a white noise machine for babies from birth because it masks background noises while your baby sleeps. Do you plan to wash the dishes while baby sleeps? Take a shower? Walk down the stairs? Do you have creaky hardwood floors? All of this can potentially wake up your little one before they’re done napping – more so if they are a light sleeper.
However, I strongly suggest that all parents avoid using mobile phone apps to generate white noise. First, this exposes your baby to unwanted radiation (EMF) from the cell phone. And not to mention, it ties up your phone unnecessarily.
What Should You Look for In a White Noise Machine?
When shopping for white noise machines for your baby, it’s important to get one that truly and naturally makes white noise, and isn’t playing a recording of white noise (or worse, music or lullabies). Also, it’s best to select a white noise machine that doesn’t automatically turn off after a set period of time. Some noise machines shut off after 15-45 minutes, and though this may have helped your baby fall asleep, it doesn’t help your baby stay asleep and connect those sleep cycles.
Please note that you must keep any white noise machine at least 5 feet away from your baby so as not to cause any damage to their hearing.
What are the Best White Noise Machines for Babies?
Marpac DOHM-DS Natural White Noise Sound Machine: The Marpac DOHM is the best sound machine out there, and it’s even the official sound machine of the National Sleep Foundation. The reason this is recommended is because it has an actual fan inside, making this true white noise (as opposed to a recording of white noise).
Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner. At about half the price of the Marpac, the Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner is a lesser-priced option that offers similar features. I haven’t tried this myself, but it has good reviews on Amazon.
Portable White Noise Machines for On the Go:
In the early weeks, newborns are so sleepy that they’ll fall asleep almost anywhere. They have very short waketimes and are almost always ready to sleep. Most babies will fall asleep in the car seat, in their stroller, in their bassinet, and even in the living room while the TV is on and your dog is barking. This is great because it gives you plenty of flexibility to get things done around the home, to get some rest yourself, and to get out of the house.
You’ll be accustomed to them falling asleep anytime you get them in the car seat and the car is moving. (Note: a lot of babies will cry when you stop at a red light and stop crying when the car is moving. This is normal!) As they outgrow this sleepy phase, you will see that your baby has longer waketimes and that they might not fall asleep simply because the car or stroller are in motion.
This is where a portable white noise machine comes in handy! I am so sad that I only discovered portable white noise machines with my second baby, because they are such a life-saver. This is another absolute must for all new parents and it also makes a great baby shower gift.
The Baby Shusher: This is a genius baby product because it makes a “shushing” sound that mimics the same sound you would make when trying to calm your baby or get them to sleep. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? You have to watch this video.)
I began using this portable white noise machine with my second baby at around 3 months of age, when he started outgrowing that sleepy newborn phase and paying more attention to the world. When he’s due for a nap and is starting to get cranky, all I do is turn this on and place it near his car seat or in his stroller. The shushing sound, combined with the movement of the stroller or car seat, gets my baby to sleep in a few minutes’ time — almost every time. Even if my baby isn’t tired, the shushing sound will calm him when he is being fussy.
It has a 15- or 30-minute setting and you can also control the volume, so this would be equally good to keep in your diaper bag or to to take on an airplane.
Truth: I keep mine in my diaper bag at all times!