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Best sleep aids and white noise machines for babies

Do you want your baby to sleep through the night? These sleep aids and white noise machines will help you and your baby get a peaceful night's sleep.

10 of the best sleep aids and white noise machines for babies

A sleep aid is designed to help your baby drift off to sleep easily (and stay asleep). Some babies fall asleep instantly, some are much fussier and really struggle to sleep – much to their parents dismay. Thankfully, there are a variety of products that can help, ranging from white noise machines, to electrical rockers, to herbal sprays. Used safely and according to the manufacturers instructions, they can really help your child to settle and sleep soundly.

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To help you and your baby get a peaceful night’s sleep we’ve rounded up our top picks of the best sleep aids and white noise machines for babies.

If you want more products to help make the sleep battle that little bit easier, take a look at best baby monitors, best baby sleep aid toys and best baby and toddler sleeping bags.

What can you do to help your baby sleep?

According to the NHS, there are a number of ways to increase the chances of your baby sleeping longer at night. They suggest keeping the lights low, keeping quiet, putting your baby down as soon as they’ve been fed or changed, not changing them unless needed and not playing with your baby right before bedtime. As your children get older, keeping the room pitch black can also be helpful (and the good thing is babies aren’t afraid of the dark – that comes later, and that’s where the best nightlights come in handy).

Now, you may be thinking, all those things are easier said than done. But sleeping aids make them that little bit easier. For example, a blackout blind can help keep out the light for naps or summer sleep. You may have friends round or there may be noises that keep waking your baby up: a white noise machine is perfect for that.

Following NHS guidance alongside sleep aids, really could increase the chance of your baby sleeping for longer.

Natural sleep remedies for babies

Over recent years, pillow sprays for babies and children featuring herbs such as camomile, California poppy and of course, lavender, have become more popular, with brands claiming they can aid in sending your child to sleep.

Bought from a trusted retailer and used according to the manufacturers directions these are safe to use, however it’s important to read the label, use them sparingly, and speak to your GP first if your child has any medical conditions such as asthma.

Are white noise machines safe for babies?

Many parents swear by white, brown, or pink noise machines. They are designed to mimic the sounds a baby hears in the womb, and it can get quite loud in there! Newborns in the so-called “fourth trimester” can really benefit from white noise if they’re struggling to settle.

However, some white noise machines, when put on their maximum volume, exceed 85 dB, which could be damaging to the ears if used excessively.

To use a white noise machine safely, don’t have it at maximum volume and don’t place it next to your baby’s head – the cot should be clear of loose items until a child is 1 year old anyway. Place the machine on a shelf or bedside table, and aim to have the volume at a level similar to what you hear standing in the shower. Most sources recommend around 50 dB to be completely safe. You can download a decebel reader app to your phone if you want to test the volume of a white noise machine.

Sleep aid safety

Just before we get into our top picks of sleeping aids, it’s important to go over the safety concerns. Lullaby Trust give advice on sleep aids and say, as always to make sure every item complies with British standards. Also, the best practice for safe sleeping is to keep their cot empty, especially under 12 months to prevent risk of suffocation.

All the sleep aid toys should be either attached to the cot, or placed outside the cot, not just laid in the cot with your baby.

Baby sleep trainer also addresses sleep sacks and says how sleeveless sleep sacks are completely safe but to avoid sleep sacks with sleeves.

Following all this guidance, sleeping aids will be perfectly safe and could actually have great benefits.

Benefits of sleep aids

The safety issues of sleep aids have been addressed, now onto the benefits. A sleep aid can increase your baby’s sleep, one of the most important things for your baby’s development. Increased sleep helps their; growth, weight gain, mental development and learning and immune system.

Therefore, sleep aids really do have amazing benefits. If your baby is struggling to sleep they are really worth a try.

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations. 

To collate this list of best sleep aids and white noise machines for babies, we spoke to the Made For Mums community and asked them to tell us which sleep aids they use with their child and what they like about it.

When testing sleep aids and white noise machines we look at value for money, effectiveness, type of sleep aid and variety of sounds to send your little one to sleep.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

Best sleep aids and white noise machines for babies

1. Tommee Tippee Dreammaker, £29.99

– Best overall sleep aid

Operated by: USB plug

The Tommee Tippee Dreammaker is designed to simulate the best sleeping conditions for your baby. Once your baby is asleep you can adjust the settings to help you sleep too.

The pink noise omitted from the device imitates the natural sounds of the womb, providing comfort and more natural background noise for your baby to fall asleep to. This is a better sleeping environment than other noise, or even no noise at all.

As well as the noise being extremely effective to send your baby to sleep, it’s also safe. The maximum volume is 50dBA, perfect sound level to be audible and picked up by brain waves but not damage your baby’s hearing or disturb them from their sleep.

Its red light feature, allows for the production of melatonin which relaxes the body, getting it ready for sleep. You can choose from 3 brightness levels. This makes it the perfect device to use as a nightlight when breastfeeding or just during the night to prevent disturbance.

Another fantastic feature the Tommee Tippee Dreammaker has is, a pulsing light. The rhythmical pulsing light waves encourage deep and low breaths to help the baby relax, ready for sleep. There are two settings, one faster, meant to reflect your baby’s breathing rate and one for you. Once your baby is asleep, you can change the settings to help you relax.

It also has CrySensor technology, to detect when to switch back on to soothe your baby back to sleep.

MFM home tester Casey used this with her 11 week baby, Maisie and said “it worked to help Maisie with her sleep and it did make the initial bedtime quicker and she definitely didn’t fuss anywhere near as much as she did”. “She is going down much easier and and her first stretch of sleep is 4-5 hours compared to 2-3 prior which for me is fantastic”, continued Casey.

The device is USB powered. The plug is not included but it’s compatible with most USB plugs used as phone chargers.

This sleep aid doesn’t just help your baby sleep, it also assists you in getting the best sleep possible too.

Available from: Boots, Amazon and Argos

2. Daydreamer Blackout Blind, £27.50

– Best for blocking out the light

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2021- Baby and toddler sleeptime product: Gold

If light is keeping your baby up, this blackout blind is the perfect solution. It’s made from a premium lightweight material which has been specially coated to enhance blackout, as well as reduce heat coming into the room on summer nights.

The best thing about this blind is how quick and easy it is to fit and remove. The Velcro fasteners mean you simply just stick it up.

The blind includes 2 x 1.3m x 1m blackout blinds, 16 Velcro fastener tabs, 4 securing straps, 1 storage bag and instructions.

This product is an MFM gold award winner, Abi, mum of 3 said “it has helped my baby nap in the day when he otherwise wouldn’t due to sunlight”. They loved the Velcro fasteners “the Velcro has held the blinds up without a flicker of movement for around a month so far”, said Becki, mum of 3. She also went on to say it was an “excellent product, extremely well made and very useful”.

With this blind, there’s no fear that the light will keep your baby up at night, or during nap time.

Available from: Amazon and DayDreamer Blinds

3. Rockit – Zed, £29.99

– Best for babies who love the car

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2021- Night-time comforter/sleep aid: Bronze

Operated by: 2 AA batteries

Zed is an award-winning vibration sleep soother and night light. If your baby sleeps better in the car than in their cot, you need this. It has 6 calming vibration modes to allow you to create the perfect virtual car ride for your baby.

You simply place it by your baby’s feet and the vibrations will ripple through the mattress. Zed can be used on any type of mattress, even a Moses basket or a pram.

It’s excellent portable design means you can take this nifty device with you anywhere.

The night light feature has 3 calming red light levels, to prevent disturbance for your baby.

Zed was awarded bronze in MFM Awards 2021. MFM home tester Daniele, mum of 2 loved how “robust, portable, discreet and versatile” the sleep aid was. She also commented how it’s “so easy to use – out of the box and go!” Laura, another of our home testers, said, “once we got into a nap routine with it, it’s worked it’s magic and my little one is 9 months now. He’s a tricky sleeper too. I/he loves the red light on it too, plus it’s portable!”

Zed has been tested to EN71 safety standards and is suitable for use from birth.

Available from: Amazon and Baby Planet

4. This Works Baby Sleep Pillow Spray, £19.50

– Best herbal sleep aid

This Works Baby Sleep Pillow Spray

This is an ultra-gentle sleep spray, designed to help your baby drift off to sleep peacefully. However, it’s important to note that this spray is only suitable for use for babies older than 6 months. Aromatherapy and essential oils should generally be avoided with newborns.

The baby sleep pillow spray is a 100% natural fragrance and 99% natural formula, with 4 essential oils. The blend of lavender, camomile and vetivert works to help send your baby into a peaceful slumber. If you’re concerned about the ingredients that go into products for your child, you may be happy to know it’s free from parabens, phthalates, sulphates and synthetic fragrance.

To use, you simply spray a small amount onto your child’s cot bedding before bedtime.

Available from: This Works, Feel Unique and Ocado

5. Rockit, £38.00 

– Best for babies who love motion

Operated by: 4 AA batteries

Ever desperately wanted to sit down during a pram nap but knew the moment the pram stops moving, your baby will wake up? This is the gadget for you. No more achy arms or endless strolls up and down the street or round the same park. The Rockit rocker attaches to any pushchair or stroller and gently vibrates to mimic hand rocking, even when you’ve stopped. That means if you have a baby who loves motion, you might finally be able to get them to sleep in the house: just pop this on the pram and open a window for some outdoor noise.

The speeds can be adjusted to suit your baby (and your buggy) and it has a 30-minute timer – set a timer on your phone for 28 minutes to reset it if you want to make sure your baby doesn’t stir when it stops.

Our MadeForMum home tester says: “Although I think the Rockit Rocker is expensive, it has been invaluable when out and about and I need a little more time to finish my chores.”

Read our full MadeForMums Review

Available from: Amazon, Jo Jo Maman Bébé and John Lewis

6. Clevamama Clevapure Salt Lamp, £64.99

– Best for easing respiratory symptoms

Operated by: Mains (universal plug)

This salt lamp not only looks beautiful, but with the calm and restful haven it creates, it could well assist your child into a calm and peaceful sleep.

This great sleeping aid can be used as a humidifier, a warm comforting night light with natural air purifying properties and an aromatherapy diffuser.

The humidifier feature can help ease respiratory symptoms and soothe sore throats and ease dry itchy skin whilst your baby sleeps. The air purifier function reduces chance of allergies and irritations.

It has a whisper-quiet noise level, making it perfect for your baby’s nursery. Another plus? There are no filters that need replacing, so it’s very low maintenance.

The salt lamp device is suitable for use from birth. It auto shuts off when the water runs out and lasts for up to 6 hours on continuous operation and 12 hours on intermittent operation.

Available from: JoJo Mama Bebe

7. Ewan Deluxe with Shush, £39.99

– Best for familiarity

Ewan Deluxe with Shush

Operated by: 3 AA batteries | Awards:  Silver – night-time comforter/sleep aid, MadeForMums Awards 2021

You can’t talk about sleep aids without mentioning the beloved Ewan the Sheep. This cute cuddly toy mimics the comfort of the womb with soft red melatonin inducing glow and selection of pink and white noise soothing sounds. The sounds include an actual recording of a heartbeat and womb to help your baby drift off to sleep.

This new and improved version even has a new shush sound, imitating a mother shushing her baby. It also now has a removable control pod so Ewan can be easily washed, keeping him clean and healthy for longer.

Its clever smartCRY feature automatically turns on when your baby stirs and helps send them back off to sleep. The smartCRY sensor listens for 4 hours, after which it turns off to preserve battery.

This intelligent sheep sleep aid can be attached to your baby’s cot by its Velcro tail, safely out of the way of your sleeping baby. MFM tester Lauren, mum of 6, said, “I couldn’t have tested this at a more perfect time – my baby had just started fussing at night-time and it was somewhat difficult to get her off to sleep. I pop this on and she falls straight to sleep to subtle heartbeat noises. I really tried to find something that was missing or that could be changed, but I honestly couldn’t find a single thing.”

Available from: Amazon

8. Infantino 3-in1 Projector Musical Mobile, £39.99

– Best for evolving with your baby

Operated by: 3 AA batteries

Infantino’s 3-in-1 Projector Mobile claims to keep little ones sleeping soundly through the night, from newborn, evolving with them as they grow-up.

At 0-5 months, this mobile can be used as a musical mobile. From 6 to 18 months it can be used as a crib night light and projector. By 18 months, you can use it as a table top light and projector.

It illuminates the room, helping with children’s fear of the dark. As your little one drifts off to sleep the mobile emits soothing melodies. There are 6 different melodies and 4 nature sounds.

There are different options when using this product, a night option and a day option to gently wake your baby from their slumber.

The mobile has an automatic 20 minute auto shut-off timer, so will not stay on all night.

Additionally, the 3 cute detachable hanging characters may help your baby’s development, improving their eye tracking.

Available from: Amazon and Hello Baby Direct

 9. Pabobo Calm Ocean Musical Projector Night Light, £45

– Best projector

Pabobo Calm Ocean Musical Projector Night Light

Operated by: 3 AA batteries

This Pabobo Calm Ocean Musical Projector enhances your baby’s bedtime routine. There are 2 pre-set expert sleep cycles depending on if you want to calm your baby or soothe a restless baby.

There are 3 phases to help calm your baby; phase 1 is to captivate baby’s attention with lively animations and music. Phase 2 is to soothe baby with softer animations and music. Finally, phase 3 is time for your baby to fall asleep with minimal animations and without music.

Its nifty Baby Cry Sensor automatically turns the ambience projector back on if your baby cries in the night. The relaxing womb sound calms your baby back to sleep.

Turn your baby’s nursery into an under the ocean experience, with waves and fish projected on the ceiling.

It’s easily washable too, just remove the projector from its plush exterior and throw it in the washing machine.

Available from: JoJo Maman Bebe, Mamas & Papas and Amazon

10. Marpac Hushh for Baby, £34.95

– Best for continuous sound

Operated by: USB

This clever, portable white noise machine has the option of 3 sounds. You can choose from bright white noise, deep white noise or gentle surf.

With its handy baby-safe clip it can be attached onto your little one’s pushchair or cot and the sound will play continuously. MFM home tester Gemma, mum of a 2-year-old loves that it plays all night. She went on to say “the fact that it’s cordless us so useful, and it can be easily clipped to the pushchair or top of a travel cot. My favourite element, though, is the fact it’s got a continuous mode: too many products like this turn off after 20 to 30 mins and my son would always wake up the moment they shut off”.

This device isn’t just great for its sounds. It’s also got a soft night light for late night breast feeding, to prevent disturbing your baby too much.

It’s also perfect for travel due to its portable size. The fact that its USB charged eliminates the need for batteries and constantly having to replace them.

The Hushh sounds machine has a child-lock feature so that the volume and night light cannot be messed with.

Available from: Amazon

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About the author

Chloe Brightwell is a Digital Reviews Writer working for Immediate Media’s Parenting Team. She is dedicated to helping parents find the best deals on the very best products.

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