The best white noise machines for babies


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There is a lot to learn when you have a child in the NICU, and one tip I took from the nurses was the importance of having a white noise machine in the home. Babies often find white (or brown or pink) noise soothing because it recreates some of the ambient sounds they have heard in the womb. NICU graduates in particular get used to an assortment of noises coming from various hospital machines, which means that white noise can actually help them feel comfortable when they arrive home. Let’s face it, anything that will help your baby sleep is worth trying.

In fact, my home is no stranger to white noise machines – we’ve had one for years now because of my partner’s tinnitus, and we both kept white noise apps on our phones when we travel. . Having a constant, gentle buzz of waves, rain, or static electricity helps mask exterior noises from airplanes or hotels. But, as I have mentioned in previous storiesAccidentally tripping over the tailgate was a fluke as it doubles as a night light and white noise machine, all controllable from a phone. While there is no shortage of white noise machines (for adults or children), few have the kind of smart features that made the Rest truly essential. I tried four different lollipops to see what each has to offer.

Hatch Rest and Rest +

Amber Bouman / Engadget

Advantages

You can control all features from a smartphone

There is a good selection of sounds and lights

The inconvenients

No narration function

No projection light

Cannot act as a bluetooth speaker

It’s easy to explain why the $ 60 Ax rest and $ 90 Rest + are popular with parents of Engadget staff: Both devices sport a clean, minimalist design and allow you to combine any of 12 sounds or colors to act as a night light, white noise machine, or time reminder. get up. And all of these actions can be controlled from your smartphone, so it’s easy to adjust the volume or change the color of the light in a different room. Using the Hatch app, you can set favorite combinations and schedule them to start and stop at specific times. There are also physical controls on the device itself, so you won’t be out of luck if you forget your phone in another room. After a year of using the Rest, the only thing I would have liked was the ability to mute a sound when you turn it off.

The Rest + also has additional features, including a rechargeable battery (not just AC power); two-way audio so that it can also double as an audio monitor; a digital clock display; and the ability to control it with Alexa. Hatch separately sells printed blankets for $ 12 that can cover the rest to match a nursery design. The company also recently released a “Mini” version, which offers a narration function and white noise but no light. There is also a Restore version of the machine aimed at adults.

VTech Wyatt the Whale Storytelling Lollipop

VTech Wyatt the Whale

Amber Bouman / Engadget

Advantages

You can record your own voice

There is a mode of narration

Starry projection

The inconvenients

The app is simple and you can’t use it to control audio playback

AC power only

Wyatt the whale is one of VTech’s three narrative lollipops; the other two, a monkey and a turtle, offer slightly different characteristics than Wyatt’s. The $ 50 Whale comes preloaded with 10 lullabies, 10 ambient white noise sounds, and 10 stories, which can be updated and disabled through the app. You can also use the app to record your voice while reading a story (the app provides scripts to help you) or a message for your child.

The selection of sounds is pretty standard for a white noise machine: nature sounds like birds and rain, as well as household noises like traffic or a washing machine. Lullabies have a range of children’s songs (“Mary Had a Little Lamb”) and classical pieces (Bach’s Ave Maria), while the stories are shortened versions of fairy tales (Alice in Wonderland in 3:48). Everywhere, the sound quality is decent and the voices clear. Wyatt can project a starry night scene as well, thanks to the shaped cutouts on the top of the device, but this feature can only be controlled through physical buttons on the device.

Lullabies, sounds and stories can be swapped and rearranged in the app. Unfortunately, that’s all the app was designed to do. As I discovered after several frustrating moments, it doesn’t play, pause, skip tracks, or adjust the volume; all of this has to be done using the physical buttons. If you try to play a sound through the app, it will just play by default on your phone. There is also no battery; it only works when connected to AC power, which limits where you can use it.

Project Nursery Dreamweaver with Bluetooth

Nursery Dreamweaver Project

Amber Bouman / Engadget

Advantages

Adorable firefly design

Doubles as a bluetooth speaker

Portable

The inconvenients

Only three sounds or lullabies

No app to control preset sounds

No projection

Project Nursery Dreamweaver is designed to look like a jar with fireflies in it, which is honestly quite charming. The $ 40 machine is shaped like a large mason jar with a brass-colored top and handle, and physical controls near the bottom. There are six buttons in total: volume up and down, power / bluetooth, preloaded tracks / skip tracks, a timer, and one for the lights, which flash in any of four patterns to look like captured fireflies. Below the power / Bluetooth button is an entry for a USB-C cable, which you’ll need periodically to recharge the battery.

The menu is admittedly quite limited: three lullabies (Brahms’ lullaby, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, by Mozart A little night music), two natural sounds (waves and a heartbeat) and pure white noise. However, since Dreamweaver connects to your phone via Bluetooth, you can stream whatever you want. It was certainly loud enough during my testing to serve as a portable speaker for picnics or days at the beach. And my twins were crazy about fake firefly lights.

Fisher Price Smart Connect Deluxe Pacifier

Fisher Price Smart Connect Deluxe Pacifier

Amber Bouman / Engadget

Advantages

Robust application

Three levels of lights

Cute design

The inconvenients

AC power only

No storytelling

Cannot act as a bluetooth speaker

The $ 50 Smart Connect Deluxe Pacifier is a large cylindrical device with three levels of lights: a ring of holes of different sizes near the bottom, various animal shapes engraved through the opaque sides in the middle and cutouts of animals and stars for projection on the above. At its base are seven tactile buttons to control the lights at each level, as well as colors and sounds. The upper part of the pacifier can change the colors it projects, while the middle and lower parts emit a soft warm glow. The pacifier can also play lullabies or nature sounds. Touching the buttons on the base will cycle through the different options, and when a feature is activated, the button will stay lit so you can easily find it in the dark.

The pacifier connects via bluetooth, so you can control all the lights and sounds on your phone. Indeed, the application is complete. You can change the speed at which the star projection changes color and select the colors it uses. You can also choose from six sounds or 10 pieces of music; adjust the night light or animal projection light; set a timer; or save a favorite combination as a preset. I also really like the way the lights and sounds softly fade when they are turned off. However, it does require AC power, so it will need a location near an outlet.

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