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).
**Much like with night lights, we’re starting to see many more noise machines that also offer other features, like a night light and/or a speaker and/or a clock and/or a monitor (SO many different iterations…). We’re super into these combo products, especially because some of the top manufacturers in this department — including Hatch and Yogasleep (formerly Marpac) — make really high quality products that can last for years to come.
There are two runaway favorites in the white-noise-machine only category — and you can’t go wrong with either one:
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:
This plush little guy is beloved; he has natural sounds, lullabies, a rotating projector, and an on/off timer. Seriously, kids love this thing.
Hatch Baby Rest ~$69
The Rest is a night light/sound machine combo that we love (two birds/one stone…). Actually, it also has an OK-to-wake clock function, too — though you won’t need it for years, sadly. 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.
For Travel, Around-the-House, and On-the-Go:
This portable sound machine is SO great to have on-hand. The sound quality is top-notch and it lasts up to eight hours with a charge. It also comes with a little fastener clip to easily attach to a car seat, diaper bag, or pack ‘n’ play. Trust me — having a super-portable white noise player like this is SO much more functional than trying to use a white noise app on your phone on the fly. (Though, you can certainly do that in a pinch!)
*The buttons can be finicky, which is somewhat annoying (it can take a few times to turn it on or off), but the overall functionality of this little thing is still worth it, in IMO. Comes in unicorn, fox, dino, or penguin design.
Another great option for a portable noise machine that also offers a night light. This one has the same annoying-button issue as the travel sound machine (above), but overall the white noise quality and small size of this machine outrun that pesky issue.
Annnnd that’s a wrap in the sleep department, folks! Next on the list is products for diapering. Let’s do this…