Throughout the years, I have had the privilege to speak with a number of parents on a variety of topics regarding their babies. Whenever I ask them what they found the hardest, they will answer with sleep nine times out of ten.
It is just not easy for a young child to sooth themselves to sleep, which is why it is helpful to have the best crib soother in their room with them. However, it is sometimes extremely difficult to know whether or not you have found the crib soother for you, which is where I come in!
I have scoured the market and tested lots of different soothers to help you make the right choice for you and your baby. In this article, I’ll lay out everything you need to look for and give you an in-depth review of five of the best soothers on the market today.
Best Crib Soother (Updated)
(*) Below, you'll find my detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
Types of Crib Soothers
Now, part of the difficulty with selecting a crib soother is determining which type you need or want. There are three distinct options out there, and each will offer a different type of soothing effect designed to help your little one calm down and go to sleep.
These are by far the fanciest type of crib soother. They play music or calming sounds, light up, and project different designs or colors onto your baby’s wall and ceiling, providing them with a little bit of stimulation to keep their mind occupied as they fall asleep.
This is the middle of the road option as far as soothers are concerned. This type will play music or sounds, light up, and feature some movement on the screen that is designed to lull your baby off to dreamland.
As the name would suggest, this type of soother simply plays music or sounds. Lots of times, this type will also come in the form of a soft stuffed animal. The idea behind this type of presentation is to let your child get accustomed to being around the doll and then being comfortable enough with it to fall asleep with it.
What To Keep In Mind Selecting A Crib Soother
1. Sound Options
The best crib soother will offer you several different sound options, which will allow you to try them all out until you find one that works best for your child.
I have always found that my baby’s enjoyed sleeping with ocean sounds, while my friend’s baby always liked the sound of raindrops. Some other children may like music instead. Getting a soother with lots of options allows you to find what will work best for your child.
2. MP3 Compatibility
With the advancement of smartphones and MP3 players, it was only a matter of time before there would be kid’s products that were designed with these technologies in mind.
If your baby has a favorite song that you play for them, a soother that allows you to broadcast it to them while they fall asleep could be a huge advantage.
Plainly put, some kids like their sound machines to be loud, while others will like it soft. In any case, being able to control the volume is key, as it allows you to find the sweet spot for your little one to fall asleep quickly and easily.
4. Remote Control
Let’s say you finally get your baby into bed and don’t want to let them see you again because you don’t want to distract them from falling asleep. But, oh no, you forgot to turn on the soother! If you had a remote control to operate it, this disastrous situation could be entirely avoided, which is a huge win!
5. Power Source
You can usually choose a soother that operates on batteries, a wall outlet, or both. Personally, if I like to keep my power options open and always buy products that can be powered by a plug or a battery. That way, I am all set if the power fails for whatever reason, and I usually don’t need to worry about the machine turning off overnight because of a dead battery.
A timer is a wonderful way not only to assure that the machine doesn’t waste electricity or battery life once your baby is asleep, but it also removes the possibility of startling them awake in the middle of the night. Most soothers will have a maximum timer time of twenty minutes.
6. Display Speed
When you start looking at crib soothers, be sure to pay special attention to the display on the screen or projection. If you find it to be too fast or frantic, odds are it will distract your baby rather than put them to sleep. The best crib soother will have a display that slowly moves in a predictable pattern.
7. Attachment System
Most crib soothers are placed either on the outside or inside of the crib with some sort of attachment system, which could be Velcro or buckle straps. No matter how it is attached, be sure that your child cannot pull it down, as this could pose a significant risk for SIDs, especially if your baby is under one year of age.
Top Five Crib Soothers
Now that we’ve had the chance to get down into the finer points of what features are key to assure that you are getting the best crib soother let’s take an in-depth look at some of the best available.
The Good: In our technologically advanced society, it is often surprising to find that the simplest solution is sometimes the best one. Such is the case here, as this soft plush sheep just might be the best crib soother out there today. It achieves this surprising accomplishment in multiple ways.
First off, the sheep is ridiculously adorable. I could easily see my little ones wanting to drag it all over the place with them, which is, of course, what it was designed for. This extra bond will help your little one to fall asleep easier simply because they will feel like they are with a friend, instead of alone.
While it doesn’t offer any sorts of lights or projections, the sound options are top notch. You can select from a variety of sounds and volumes, which will allow you to get it just right to put your baby’s mind at ease.
The Bad: As much as I like the cuteness and the softness of this sheep, I would not want to attach it to my baby’s crib at night, especially if they are under one.
It could pose a significant risk to your child if they tried to sleep with it at too young of an age. This can easily be combated though by placing the soother on a nearby table, out of arms reach.
The Long and Short of It: An extremely simple option to help you, baby, to sleep, this sheep soother, which you can see here, offers plenty of sound options to help your little one drift off into dreamland.
The Good: Now we go from one of the simplest soothers to one of the more advanced. This soother, which can be viewed here, allows you to connect your phone or MP3 player to play your baby their favorite music. It will even create a display that flashes lights along to the beat.
I also really like the attachment system. It was simple to click on and attach to any part of the crib that I wanted to put it on. The screen is also easily aimed down towards the mattress, meaning your little one will have to lay down to view it, which is a big plus since that’s the position you want them to be in!
The Bad: While you can adjust the volume of the sounds, I found that it was a bit noisy, even when it was turned down low. This will not be a big problem for some children but might bother others to the point where they can’t get to sleep.
The Long and Short of It: This soother allows you to play music from your MP3 device to give your baby a custom light display. Although you can change the volume settings, it might be a bit loud for some babies.
The Good: While you do have the option to attach this soother to your baby’s crib, it is also ideal for use next door to it, since it can be set up to be free standing. I really like this option, because it lets the soother do its job without presenting your baby with something to play with in their crib.
The display is also one of the best screen options out there. You can control the speed, sounds, lights, and volume with an easy to use remote. There is also a fade option for that slows down the display every ten minutes until it shuts off.
The Bad: There is an awful lot on the display, which will quickly drain the battery. I would have greatly preferred if this had a plug in option, but it, unfortunately, does not.
The Long and Short of It: The display works well and can be modified to turn off slowly over a period. The battery life isn’t great, however, which could be a problem. If you would like more information on this soother, you can find it here.
The Good: While the display is enchanting and the sound options are good, what really sets this soother apart for me is the attachment strap, which you can view here.
Of all the different soothers I looked into, this is by far the most secure. It features something akin to a zip-tie and will be impossible for your little one to remove, making it a really safe soother option.
The Bad: Short battery life strikes again! The light up screen and music/sounds, which can be utilized for up to thirty minutes at a time, will quickly drain the battery on this soother. This could be a big problem, especially if it cuts out right when your kiddo is about to fall asleep.
The Long and Short of It: If you are at all worried about your baby accidentally pulling their soother into their crib, this is the best option for you. The strap is really secure. The battery will not last as long as some other soothers, however.
The Good: This projection style soother, which you can check into here, has one of the longest run time options out there, going all the way up to an hour!
This extra runtime would be perfect for a baby who seems to take a while to fall asleep. The projection is really pretty and would help to keep your child lying down since it shoots it onto the ceiling.
The Bad: I found that the music and soothing sounds weren’t all I heard from this model. If you listen carefully enough when it is projecting, you can hear the motors running. While not the biggest deal, this might be a bit of a problem for your little one.
The Long and Short of It: This soother has a nice projection display that can be set to run for a long time. I found the motor to be a bit noisy, which might be a distraction for light sleepers or babies with sensitive hearing.
And The Winner Is...
After careful consideration, I have found that the best crib soother option available today is the Cloud B Sleep Sheep! While not quite as technologically advanced as the other soothers I tested, the Sleep Sheep allows your baby to create a special bond with it before bedtime, making it feel like they aren’t alone in their room, but rather with a friend.
Now Let’s Get Some Shut Eye!
I hope that one of these crib soothers will be helpful to you in your quest to get your baby to sleep in their bed! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know in the comments section below. Good luck and good night!