Crib soothers, which are sound machines that help your little one sleep, are invaluable for tired parents. “I wish I got less sleep,” said no mom ever. In the early months (or, more likely, years) of parenthood, our overnight hours are spent wearily trying to shush your baby back to sleep so you can steal a few minutes of shut-eye. Sleep regression is real, so if your little one is nearing the 18-21-month mark, you might be noticing Baby is having a more difficult time sleeping through the night. We’ll try any and all tips and tricks or use baby swings to get our babies to sleep soundly through the night with the hope of getting at least one solid hour of sleep. Not to mention wrangling our little ones between the endless kicking, screaming, and crying (otherwise known as bedtime), getting them into bed and settled down is another feat in itself.
But fear not, bloodshot-eyed, over-caffeinated parents—there’s an answer to your sleep-deprived prayers (fingers crossed). With the right baby sound machines and crib soothers, these handy little gadgets will do the shush-ing (and singing, and white light-projecting) for you. From the best-selling Hatch Baby Rest sound machine to travel-friendly options for car seats or portable cribs, we rounded up the 12 best crib soothers out there so you—and your baby—can finally get some zzz’s.
Best Sound Machines
No list of the best baby soother machines is complete without the wildly popular Hatch. A sound machine, night light, and alarm clock all rolled into one convenient device, the Hatch is every parent’s (literal) dream. You can even control everything from the changing light colors to the time-to-rise alert from anywhere in your house using the app on your phone.
How adorable is this firefly jar sleep soother? The “fireflies” feature 4 light modes: sparkle, fade, dance, and rhythm, so your baby can fall asleep watching the fireflies glow. On top of playing your average lullabies and nature sounds, you can connect your phone via Bluetooth to stream music of your choice. The sleep soother provides 8 hours of wireless playtime and can be recharged via USB.
For moms who prefer the minimalist approach, the Letsfit White Noise Machine is a dream come true. This sleek gadget doubles as a nightlight, offers lullabies, white noise, and nature sound effects, and has an easy-to-use timer and volume control. While it’s perfect for nurseries, adults who wind down with slumber sounds will love this, too … and since the price is right, you might as well grab two.
For the record, this isn’t just a sleep soother, but with the new Sleepy Time Tonie Pack, it can become one. But, let’s rewind: The Toniebox is a cube-shaped speaker with touch controls that are designed for ease so kids (ages 3+) can use them, themselves. It’s also rechargeable so it’s chord-free and can be taken anywhere. Place a magnetic Tonie figurine on top, and like magic, it’ll start telling a story or playing music. And thanks to the newly-launched Sleepy Time Tonie Pack, which includes Tonies for lullabies, white noise, and nature sounds, this awesome gadget can double as a sound soother to help little ones drift off to sleep.
Best Sound Machines + Projectors
Is it a nursery decoration, a nightlight, or a sound machine? All three. This adorable elephant does everything from play peaceful lullabies to put on a rhythmic light show in an array of pretty colors. And the auto shut-off timer makes it easy to simply set it and forget it. Rest assured (pun intended!), your baby will be asleep in no time.
This Fisher-Price crib toy has high ratings on Amazon—and for good reason. With 25 minutes of relaxing music or white noise sounds to soothe your little one, it also has an easy on/off button that your baby can control if they wake up on their own. With a warm sunset-colored glow, adorable moving critters, and a projector that illuminates a “night sky” on the ceiling, your BB will drift into dreamland with lovely images in his or her head.
There are regular baby soother machines and then there are smart baby soother machines like this one from Fisher-Price. You can control it from anywhere, anytime via the app on your phone so you don’t wake up your baby. Not only can you remotely change the music and lights, and an upward projection displays a light show in the dark. The machine also plugs right into the wall so you don’t have to worry about it dying in the middle of the night. Phew!
Behind every good night’s sleep is an even better baby soother machine. One of the best-selling ones on Amazon is this multipurpose whale. Whether you want lullabies, ambient sounds, a bedtime story, or even a colorful nightlight glow, Wyatt the Whale does it all. The coolest feature, however, is that you can record your own voice so your baby is listening to you speak (without you actually being in the room).
Whoooo says bedtime has to be difficult? Certainly not this owl, which does a lot more than just play lullabies (although it does that, too!). The Bubzi crib toy hanger also has a soft night light that projects starry constellations, an auto shut-off function so you don’t have to risk waking your baby to turn it off, and even an option to play a mother’s heartbeat to lull your little one to sleep.
Best Portable Sound Machines
Shhhh. That’s likely the first thing you say when your baby is crying. But if you have this sleep soother, you don’t have to—because it does it for you. The Baby Shusher uses a real human voice recording to shush your little one to sleep with a rhythmic technique that’s been approved by doctors.
Snuggling sheep is the new counting sheep when it comes to falling asleep. Take it from the over 1,400 parents (and their kiddos) who have given this super soft sheep five stars on Amazon. They like the calming sounds that come pre-programmed—like ocean waves or a gurgling stream—and the fact that it’s a compact size that can easily be tossed in your diaper bag for on-the-go soothing.
Meet the crib toy hanger every on-the-go parent needs. While it plays calming white noise sounds (and can even connect to your phone via Bluetooth), the best part of this gadget is definitely how easy it is to use. It can stand on its own or clip to any stroller, crib, or car seat and is chew-safe so you don’t have to worry about death by baby bite.
Your baby is finally asleep so you tiptoe into their room to turn off the sound machine—only to accidentally wake them up and have to start the hour-long process all over again. Fortunately, you won’t have that problem with this giraffe crib soother. Its soothing sounds and gentle glow automatically fade out after 15 minutes and then can be restarted with just a hug if your baby wakes up.
Now that BB is asleep, finally, check out our other mom-friendly baby gear.