TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

For a new parent, worrying is innate. Wanting to provide the best sleep environment possible for your child is only natural, but sometimes circumstances don’t allow the baby to have the luxury of a pin-drop silent room. That is where a baby sound machine comes in. White noise machines like the Graco SweetSlumber Sound Machine have been specifically designed to sooth your child to sleep with calming sounds and a built-in night light. Graco recommends their sound machine for children zero to 12 months, but we think the technology could be used until the child no longer needs a sleep aid. An included MP3 player port allows you to play customizable sleep sounds during the night and entertain your child during the day. The Graco SweetSlumber Sound machine is by far the best baby sound machine on the market, winning the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award for its intuitive design, quality sound selection and options that allow you to customize the sound therapy.

Features
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Moms around the world will attest there is nothing worse to hear than the sound of a fussy child. You’ll try anything and everything to quiet and calm your baby. A steady stream of soothing music and sounds is one of the best ways to comfort a child, and the Graco SweetSlumber Sound Machine can play continuously through the night. Some sound machines don’t have a continuous play feature, instead shutting off after a period of 30 to 45 minutes. While we do like the timer feature, sometimes the absence of sound can be jarring enough to wake your sleeping baby.

However, during the day when naps are the preferred form of rest, the timer feature is perfect. Graco’s SweetSlumber baby sound machine has a timer option that will stop playing after 60 minutes. All you need do to activate the timer is press the timer button (which looks like a clock) on the front of the white noise machine. You’ll know the timer is set when the button is illuminated. A minute before the 60 minutes are up, the illuminated button will begin to flash. If you would like to set the timer for another hour, simply press the button again. When the sound machine turns off it will remember the specifications of audio source and volume level so you can conveniently resume right where you left off when you turn it back on again.

One of our favorite features the Graco SweetSlumber Sound Machine provides is a MP3 player adapter. A tray beneath the baby sound machine swivels out to reveal a plug that connects into your MP3 player’s headphone jack. The tray is quite small and may fit a small iPod or MP3 player, but most likely you’ll need to pull the plug out and through the machine to safely stow your player and swivel the bottom back into place. To begin using your MP3 player, turn the player’s volume down to the lowest level, press the button on the front of the machine that looks like an iPod and readjust the volume on the player to your desired sound level.

The built-in night light is another very convenient feature. To activate the light, think of the entire top of the baby sound machine as a button and press it down slightly. A soft blue glow will begin emanating from the middle section between the top of the machine and the base.

Graco also includes a year warranty with the SweetSlumber Sound Machine to protect against any manufacturer defects.

Ease of Use
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The user-friendly design of a baby sound machine is just as important as included features, if not more so. Listening to your child scream while you fiddle with settings can be frazzling, so we like that with the SweetSlumber feature, in the time it takes to push two buttons, soothing sounds will begin comforting your child. When a particular setting is activated, its accompanying buttons will be softly lit, so you can easily change settings without having to turn on a light. Also, the night light is convenient for middle of the night adjustments as well. To make accessing the controls easy, store the white noise machine in a place where you can access the front and the back with ease. Most of the sound controls are located on the back, so pushing the machine into a corner would make it difficult to adjust the settings.

This baby sound machine is travel ready, meaning it is compact in size (weighing about 2 lbs) and it has a travel lock feature. To initiate this lock feature, simply press the top of the baby sound machine down, just like you would to turn on the night light, but hold it for about four seconds. To deactivate the lock, press the on and off button once and the machine will be available for use once again. Adding to the portability of this baby sound machine, it can be powered either by an AC adapter or by batteries.

Sound Selection
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On the back of the Graco SweetSlumber Sound machine you’ll see two buttons, one with the picture of a heart and waves and another with a music note. These two buttons control the built-in sound settings. To shuffle through the sounds, you must keep pushing the button until you reach the desired sound. The nature sound selection includes the sound of a rushing stream, the whispering tones of a forest, the haunting melody of a whale song, a distant thunderstorm, white noise or womb sounds.. The music note button includes several lullabies that will play one right after another in a loop y. Soothing sounds will play continuously until a different sound is selected or the timer turns the product off. When trying to set the timer, remember that it will not work unless the audio is turned on.

With the included MP3 port, the sound selection explodes with possibilities. When you're not using the baby sound machine for sleep therapy, it works quite well as a boom box. Using the convenient MP3 port, you can play everything from “The Wheels on the Bus” to Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” to an audio book version of “The Velveteen Rabbit” on the sound machine – the options are endless. iTunes even has a complete section of white noise selections available for purchase if you don’t like those included with the baby white noise machine.

Graco Summary:
10/10

The distant sound of thunder followed by the pitter-patter of rain doesn’t necessarily mean a storm is rolling in, especially when you are using the Graco SweetSlumber Sound Machine to lull your child to sleep. The calming sound simply means you’re using proven technology to safely and efficiently sooth a fussy child. Graco is in the business of creating quality products for your baby, and they’ve created a baby sound machine that is quite amazing. It is conveniently designed for travel, has easy-to-use options and includes hookups for the latest technology. You can’t go wrong with the Sweet Slumber Sound Machine as an effective sleep aid for your child.

 
 
 

Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine

Pros
The sounds can play continuously or on a timer, and it has a built-in night light.

Cons
The tray to store MP3 players isn’t large enough to hold a standard-sized iPod.

The Verdict
: 10/10

Quality sounds, continuous play and compact size make this the best baby sound machine.