PROS / The Graco Sweet Slumber has a timer and continuous play options.
CONS / The tray to store MP3 players isn't large enough to hold a standard-sized iPod.
VERDICT / Quality sounds, continuous play and a compact size make this the best baby sound machine.
The Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine has been specifically designed to soothe your child to sleep with calming sounds and a built-in nightlight. Graco recommends its sound machine for children 0 to 12 months, but the technology can be used until your 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 Sweet Slumber Sound Machine is by far the best baby sound machine on the market, winning the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for its intuitive design, quality sound selection and options that allow you to customize the sound therapy.
There is nothing worse for a parent 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 Sweet Slumber Sound Machine can play continuously through the night. Some white noise 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 sudden absence of sound can be jarring enough to wake your sleeping baby.
However, during the day when it may be difficult to encourage your baby to take a nap, the timer feature is ideal. This baby sound machine has a timer option that makes it stop playing after 60 minutes. When the sound machine turns off, it remembers the previously selected sound and volume levels so you can conveniently resume right where you left off when you turn it back on again.
The Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine provides an MP3 player adapter. A tray beneath the baby sound machine swivels out to reveal a plug that connects to 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. Once your player is plugged in, you can use it to play your baby's favorite sounds to soothe him to sleep.
The built-in nightlight is another convenient feature and is easy to activate. When it's on, a soft blue glow emanates from the middle section between the top of the machine and the base. Please be aware that some studies indicate that blue light can interfere with sleep cycles. If you use the accompanying nightlight, pay attention to your baby's sleep patterns to identify any impact.
Graco also includes a one-year warranty with the Sweet Slumber Sound Machine to protect against any manufacturer defects.
The user-friendliness of a baby sound machine's design can be just as important as included features. Listening to your child scream while you fiddle with settings can be frazzling, so we like that with the Sweet Slumber machine, in the time it takes to push two buttons, soothing sounds will begin comforting your child. When you activate a particular setting, its accompanying buttons are softly lit, so you can easily change settings without turning on a light. The nightlight is convenient for middle-of-the-night adjustments as well.
To make accessing the controls easy, you should 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 under 2 pounds) and it has a travel lock so it won't activate inside your luggage. Adding to the portability of this baby sound machine, it can be powered by either an AC adapter or batteries.
Ease of Use
On the back of the 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, which is a little inconvenient. The nature sound selection includes the sound of a rushing stream, the sounds of a forest, a whale song, a distant thunderstorm, white noise and womb sounds. The music note button includes several lullabies that play in a loop. Soothing sounds play continuously until you select a different sound or the timer turns the machine off.
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 boombox. Using the convenient MP3 port, you can play anything you have in your MP3 collection on the sound machine – nursery rhymes, upbeat pop songs or an audio book version of your child's favorite story.
When you are using the Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine to lull your child to sleep, you'll have access to all kinds of calming sounds to soothe your fussy child. Graco is in the business of creating quality products for your baby, and this baby sound machine keeps with that trend. It is conveniently designed for travel, is easy to use and includes hookups for your own MP3 player, letting you customize the sounds your baby hears. With its convenient design and versatile features, the Sweet Slumber Sound Machine is one of the best sleep aids for your child.