Does your baby have troubles while sleeping at night? Or maybe you just live in a crowded neighborhood with lots of noisy stuff going on at all times. In that case you’ll need to distract your baby from all of those irregular and annoying noises, so he or she can sleep soundly. If you haven’t heard of sound machines before, they are basically little devices that generate sleep-inducing sounds. Sound machines come in various types and form factors. Some are corded, some are powered by batteries.
Many are capable of producing multiple types of sounds, and will run them in a loop. Some are known as “white noise” machines because they produce a sound similar to the static that you get from a TV or radio when the signal is cut off. However, the white noise machines don’t sound annoying at all, in fact they produce a much more polished and controlled version of electronic static sound. Below, we have listed 4 of the best sound machines on the market right now, and all of them are great for using around babies. They are highly portable and have been selected on the basis of customer feedback and specifications. Take a look and choose the one that fits your budget as well as your needs.
Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural White Noise Sound Machine
The Dohm-DS by Marpac is known as the “original sound conditioner” for good reason. The design of this machine dates back to 1962, and the first ever model consisted of a turntable motor, a fan, a dog bowl, and a dish of foam covered wood. The turntable motor spun the little fan inside the dog bowl, which was encased by the foam-covered wooden disk. The sound emitted by this design was kind of like the “swoosh” sound made by a breeze as it passes through an opening or cavity.
This device doesn’t use any digital technology or speakers, and it is basically a spinning fan mounted inside a specially shaped enclosure that has angled openings around the perimeter. You can select between two different fan speeds – slow and high. The dome-shaped enclosure can be rotated to change the sound signature. The unique white noise produced by this machine is perfect for putting your baby to sleep since it is very soothing, and you get the noise of a fan, minus the air so the baby does not feel cold when this is running near them.
STAR BUDGET PICK
HoMedics Sound Spa Relaxation Machine
If you want a sound machine that is cheap, compact, effective, and has a built-in timer, then take a look at the HoMedics SS-2000G/F-AMZ. It measures 6.5” x 6” x 2” and weighs just 8 ounces. It runs on 4 AA batteries, and can also run from a 110 V wall outlet if you connect. There are 6 digitally recorded sleep aiding sounds built-in, and you can either select from them manually, or let them loop automatically.
The 6 sounds include – white noise, thunder, ocean, rain, summer night, and brook. There are 3 different timer settings – 15, 30, and 60 minutes. A volume adjustment knob lets you easily change the amount of sound that you want, so that you can raise the volume if there is too much external disturbance, or you can lower the volume if the external disturbance is muted.
Marpac Hushh For Baby Portable White Noise Sound Machine
Marpac manufactures some of the best sleeping-aid sound machines for both adults as well as babies. Their most famous product is the Dohm-DS which happens to be our top pick, as well as the official machine of the national sleep organization. However, the Hush for Baby is a sound machine specially designed for babies, and it uses a speaker instead of a fan like in the Dohm-DS.
There are three pre-loaded sounds that can be played by the speaker, those include – bright white noise, deep white noise, and gentle surf. The small circular shape and handle allow you to strap it onto the stroller or car seat, so your baby can enjoy a deep sleep even when he’s on the move. The amber LED night light generates just enough illumination for you to be able to find the device in the dark, without waking up the baby. It even comes with a child lock.
LectroFan White Noise Machine
If you want tons of sounds to choose from, along with a sleep timer and cordless functionality, then consider getting the LectroFan. It is shaped like a heptagon, and features a speaker on the top, covered by a perforated metal grill. The controls are all located on the front panel, and they include power on/off, volume control, fan sounds, and white noise. There are a total of 20 sounds which include 10 white noises and 10 different types of fan sounds.
There are presets optimized for different scenarios. Some are meant to deal with annoying neighbors, some are meant to be used in the baby room, while some are built to provide a calm atmosphere in your study room. The sleep timer comes in really handy as you can set it on a certain point after which the machine will switch itself off.
Choosing the Best Portable Sound Machine for Baby
Whatever the design principle or size of a sound machine, it has two basic purposes:
1. Masking external noises that disturb your babies sleep or your sleep.
2. Producing a sound that helps you fall asleep.
That’s it, if a machine is capable of doing these two tasks well enough, then it qualifies as a good sound machine for babies. We reviewed portable sound machines in this article since those are the ones that can be easily moved from one room to another, and you can also carry them over from one house to another in your car since they barely weigh more than a toaster and are about as big or in most cases even slightly smaller than a toaster.
Look for a sound machine that has adjustable noise levels, and if you’re getting a battery powered model, then make sure it supports rechargeable batteries. Also, baby-friendly sound machines must have no small parts on the outside, because even though you will normally place it outside the reach of the baby, he or she might accidentally get a hold of the machine and attempt to taste it. Recyclable, phthalate free plastics are the best.