I’m a big fan of white noise/baby sound machines. (BTW, there’s nothing super special about baby sound machines — they’re basically the same ones that are great for adults.)
But yes, having one can make all the difference in drowning out loud neighbors, cars, sirens… other siblings (ahem).
There are two runaway favorites in the white-noise-machine only category — and you can’t go wrong with either one:
Marpac Dohm ~$44
This dual-speed “sound conditioner” has an actual fan inside, which creates the soothing sound of rushing air. This has only one sound setting (whoosh), and two volume settings, but that’s honestly all most people need. Yes, we own 3. Cannot. Live. Without.
This is another crowd pleaser. It has a wider range, with 20 non-repeating sound offerings, and multi-level volume control (from whisper to very loud). It’s also a bit smaller than the Dohm, making it easier for travel, IMO.
A separate option is to get a multi-tasker specifically designed for babies/kids:
Hatch Baby Rest ~$59
The Rest is a night light/sound machine combo that we love (two birds/one stone…). You can even get the Hatch Baby Rest+ ($89) for a few bucks more to bundle an audio monitor with the whole thing, too. MAN I wish this had been invented ten years ago. It’s amazing.
This plush little guy is beloved; he has natural sounds, lullabies, a rotating projector, and an on/off timer. Seriously, kids love this thing.
*If you’re in a pinch (car/grandma’s house/a friend’s house/etc.), there are also a handful of apps that function as baby sound machines too, if need be… White Noise ($0.99) is an all-around favorite.
Annnnd that’s a wrap in the sleep department, folks!