Babies thrive with a consistent bedtime routine, and minimizing noise and outside distractions with a gadget that plays white noise or music, lights up the room softly, or otherwise offers soothing comfort can help baby wind down. Here are gadgets that promise to help your baby get to sleep and stay asleep.
Stars and Sweet Sounds
White noise, lullabies or a relaxing bird song will soothe your child to sleep at one of five volume settings. You can also turn on a light projection of colorful stars on the wall or ceiling to give baby something magical to focus on while drifting off to sleep. This cuddly owl can sit on a bookshelf or dresser or attaches to a stroller or the outside of the crib. Pop out the music box when it's time to clean the owl.
Available at bubzico.com, $35.95.
Lullabies and a Light Show
This sweet fox nightlight, the Infantino GaGa Musical Soother & Night Light Projector, plays soothing melodies or nature sounds for 20 minutes to help baby fall asleep and tune out other noises. You can also add a light show that displays slowly drifting colorful stars and clouds on the wall. Choose one or both, depending on what your child enjoys. For added comfort, the baby fox nightlight can be removed and placed in bed.
Available at target.com, $29.99.
A Soother and Much More
This sleek soother doesn't just look modern, it changes the baby sleep game. In addition to providing lights and comforting sounds designed to help babies fall asleep, Suzy Snooze doubles as an audio baby monitor when hooked up to an app. If your baby wakes up, its cry sensor will help put them back to sleep. It also grows with your child: When they're older, it'll function as a nightlight and provide a clear signal for when it's time for your toddler to get out of bed.
Available at bleepbleeps.com, $248.
What the Dohm lacks in bells, whistles and cuddly touches, it makes up for in effectiveness. This white-noise sound machine has been helping babies (and adults!) rest since 1962. It offers two speeds and a dial to adjust tones and volume. And the white noise is natural, meaning the whooshing noise comes from a fan, not an audio loop.
Available at marpac.com, $49.95.
An App-Controlled Portable Speaker
First of all, it's adorable. Secondly, we love that it's rechargeable and easy to stash in a diaper bag or suitcase for helping baby sleep anywhere, anytime. But what makes WavHello's SoundBub a winner is that thanks to an app and Bluetooth, you can play your (or your baby's) favorite tunes, not just the typical Brahm's lullaby. This is key for those babies who best snooze to Taylor Swift or the Star Wars theme song. This sweet bunny also plays pink noise (rain and beach sounds) with the push of its belly.
Available at wavhello.com, $29.99.
A social media sensation when it launched, the Lulla Doll by Roro can work miracles on baby sleep issues. The soft, huggable doll plays a real-life recording of a mom's heartbeat and breathing for up to 8 hours. Place it on the outside of, or inside, your baby's crib (depending on their age) and you may be wowed by its ability to calm and soothe. Keep the doll close to your body before giving it to your child so it picks up your motherly scent, which can offer baby added comfort.
Available at lulladoll.com, $69.
A Mobile That Does It All
This mobile and sound machine combo from Skip Hop will both soothe your baby to sleep and entertain them when they wake up. Attach it to the crib and check out all its tricks to lull your baby to sleep: the rotating mobile, glowing clouds, projected stars and an array of melodies and sounds. The feature you're going to love most? You can restart the whole shebang after its 20-minute auto shut-off using a remote control that works from outside the nursery.
Available at skiphop.com, $65.
Your Virtual Bedtime Assistant
This sleep gadget, called Rest, works in tandem with an app on your mobile phone or tablet. Use it to set nap times, bedtimes and ok-to-wake times (when the clock changes color to let a toddler know it's okay to get up). You can also set times for it to play white noise or soothing sounds. And if you see that your baby needs a little more time to fall asleep, you can add additional time without entering the nursery.
Available at hatchbaby.com, $59.
Plug 'n' Play
Some sleep soothers eat up batteries like nobody's business. If you're not looking to buy stock in AA's, consider the Fisher-Price Music & Lights Elephant, which plugs into your wall. It comes loaded with a whopping 20 songs and lullabies to choose from, along with white noise and ocean, rain and other nature sounds. Since you don't have to worry about draining the battery, you can leave this one running all night long, or choose a 20-minute or 120-minute auto shut-off.
Available at amazon.com, $19.80.
Cloud b's Twilight Turtle has been a sleep-soothing favorite for years. The plush turtle features a hard shell with eight constellations that project on the ceiling in three colors. Now, there's an app for this classic that allows you to program a customized mix of melodies to play from the turtle. It all works thanks to Bluetooth and can provide soothing sounds to your baby for up to 24 hours.
Available at amazon.com, $31.95.
One Smart Puppy
Attach this soft pup to your baby's crib and let it works its magic. It plays six different soothing noises, including music, heartbeat and white noise, and shuts off after 10 minutes. The cool thing is that is automatically starts again when it senses movement or the sound of your baby waking up.
Available at amazon.com, $34.99.
Huggable Melody Maker
Your baby won't have to count sheep when this sweet little lamb in their nursery. It plays 20 minutes of soothing music (with four classic tunes to choose from) and projects a star and moon light show, and it can also be used as a night light. Keep it outside of the crib before age one, but after that, kids can take this huggable music player to bed with them.
Available at amazon.com, $28.
Your Automatic Shusher
If your baby is a big fan of shushing noises (and what baby isn't?), then this portable noisemaker is for you. Munchkin's Shhh... Portable Sound Machine only plays three sounds (the ever-popular shushing, white noise and a heartbeat), but it may be all you need. It also provides a soft nightlight glow that can pulse with the sound if you choose. At just over 4 inches tall, it's easy to take on the go.
Available at munchkin.com, $18.
If your baby will be snoozing in the stroller or car seat often, whether due to travel or big siblings' sports practices, try Cloud b's Nighty Night Owl on the Go bear. It's small enough to stow in your diaper bag and clips onto gear with Velcro. It has four soothing natural sounds (gentle stream, ocean waves, spring showers and whale songs) and can be set for 23 or 45 minutes.
Available at cloudbusa.com, $26.99.
This Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed gadget fits in the palm of your hand and is handy for taking on vacation or even a nap at Grandpa's house. Not only does it play two lullabies and a rain sound, it'll project a starry light show on the ceiling in blue, green and orange. The sound and lights keep going for 40 minutes.
Available at amazon.com, $15.99.
What do you include in baby’s bedtime routine? Tell us about it below.
— Julie Seguss