We hope you love our recommendations! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Getting your baby to fall asleep, and better still, to sleep through the night, is no mean feat.
You can do everything right: you can maintain a calming bedtime atmosphere, you can keep your voice and the lights low before sleep and work hard to establish a steady bedtime routine, and still, when it comes to sleep time, your baby may be restless, wide awake and whaling. This is where a good sleep aid toy comes in.
There are tons of ingenious toys and gadgets on the market with unique functions designed to soothe your little one to sleep. Some use pink or white noise to instil calm and block out other distracting noises; some project tranquil images onto the wall above your baby to lull them into sleepiness; others use relaxing music.
Some of the best sleep soothers feature additional components that are sure to make your life a little easier; we particularly liked the toys that employed sensors to anticipate when your baby is waking up, jumping back into action to coax them back into dreamland and preventing you another sleepless night running back and forth between your baby's bedroom and your own.
Finding the right baby soother toy for you may take a little trial and error. Whilst some babies respond well to soothing images, others might react better to a rocking sensation, or the gently revolving motion of a baby mobile. Some parents find that comfort is key to inducing sleep: a baby swaddle blanket, for example, can help to make a baby feel cosy and cocooned. We tended to find that the toys that make use of sound were the most successful toys to help baby sleep across the board, and you'll see that reflected in our list.
We've gathered together a diverse range of 15 innovative sleep aid toys that have proved the move successful in helping babies drift off. Take a look at our list below and find your favourite. You may also want to take a look at the best soft toys to comfort your baby for the day time.
Kidadl's Top Pick
1. Fisher-Price Soothe'n Snuggle Otter Baby Toy
This Soothe n' Snuggle Otter toy from Fisher Price is already super popular with parents, and with good reason. First and foremost, it's actually effective. Featuring up to 30 minutes of calming music or soothing sounds, you can pick the ones your baby responds the best to: 'womb', white noise, snoring or a beating heart. The volume is adjustable and there's also a light on the otter's tummy that emits a soft glow; perfect for creating a cosy, tranquil bedtime atmosphere. But what we particularly love is the otter's clever breathing motion: its little furry belly rises and falls in a soothing replica of your baby's own breathing, helping your little one to drift naturally into sleep. As well as sound and light, there are tons of textures and patterns to aid your baby's sensory development and the super soft plush fur makes it the perfect cuddle buddy for older babies. It's also so cute, which does tend to help. The electronics can be removed when it's time pop it in the wash and the 4 AA batteries it needs are included. An all-around winner.
- Price: £35
- Age: 0+
Best On-The-Go Sleep Aid
2. Baby Shusher The Sleep Miracle Sound Machine
Parents rave about this nifty little gadget, which utilises the ultimate tried-and-tested means of soothing your baby to sleep: shushing. Recorded with a real human voice, the device emits a rhythmic shushing sound in 15 or 30-minute sessions, providing even the most restless tots with ample time to get to sleep. The volume is adjustable too, perfect for drowning out excess noise in the rest of the house. One of the greatest things about it it, though, is how portable it is. It's battery-powered (and two AA batteries are included) so you aren't reliant on a mains plug, and the small, slick design makes it easy to pop in the pram, car or day bag for sleep aid on-the-go. It even comes with a handy removable wrist strap, so you can safely hold it close even when you're carrying your baby around. The plastic casing is also much easier to clean than a soft toy. The perfect addition to your next trip.
- Price: £27.25
- Age: 0+
Best For Restless Babies
3. The Gro Company Ollie the Owl Light and Sound Sleep Aid
The innovative cry sensor in this sweet little owl from The Gro Company makes it the perfect sleep aid toy for babies who are prone to waking in the night. When it's time for bed, Ollie plays one of four calming sounds: rainfall, white noise, a heartbeat or a classical Brahms lullaby. He enters standby when he senses baby is sleeping soundly, then automatically jumps back into action at the first sign of stirring in the middle of the night, easing them back into restfulness and hopefully allowing you a more peaceful night's sleep. The initial sounds play for 20 minutes and the subsequent standby lasts three hours. There is also a warm orange light that shines for 30 minutes from Ollie's stomach, helping to further create a reassuring atmosphere for your little one to fall asleep in. Each of these functions is operated by pressing one of Ollie's feet or wings and you can strap him easily to your baby's cot with the little velcro strap fixed to the back of his head.
- Price: £22.62
- Age: 0+
Best For Range Of Sounds
4. Sweet Dreamers Deluxe Ewan the Sheep
We love this adorable fluffy sheep, which fastens onto your baby's crib and emits five white and pink noise sounds to help babies drift off: a harp melody, rainfall, a recording of the womb and, hilariously, a vacuum cleaner (personally we can't think of a less soothing sound to tempt us into sleep, but apparently it's like a lullaby to a baby). This is another toy that makes use of the magical 'shushing' sound, too, and every sound it plays is accompanied by a heartbeat in the background. The range of sounds available is a real plus point of this toy: there are enough that your baby is sure to respond well to at least one, and the rhythmic heart beating along with each sound is doubly effective. The electronic control pod is removable so you can give him a wash, too. Three AA batteries needed (not included).
- Price: £39.99
- Age: 0+
Best For Babies Who Take A Long Time To Fall Asleep
5. MyHummy Simon Sleep Aid With Sleep Sensor Humming Heart
This little bear is super cute and really soft, emitting, as many of its competitors do, both white noise and pink noise, as well as ocean waves, rainfall and the sounds of amniotic fluid accompanied by a heartbeat, recreating the sounds of the womb. It's superpower, though, is the length of time it goes for: the initial sounds play for an impressive 60 minutes before gently fading away, and the following standby mode lasts for 12 hours, throughout which a sleep sensor anticipates your baby reawakening and reactivates when necessary. It is among the longest running sleep aids we found, making it the perfect toy for babies who struggle to get to sleep quickly. It also comes with a teething ring - bonus!
- Price: £49.95
- Age: 0+
Best For Families On A Budget
6. MyBaby SoundSpa On‐The‐Go Baby Sleep Aid
We found this MyBaby SoundSpa to be the cheapest baby white noise machine on the market that's both effective and well-made. There are four sound options, a heartbeat, ocean sounds, white noise and a lullaby, and adjustable volume, with a timer that allows you to set it to play for 15, 30 or 45 minutes before it turns itself off. It's compact and lightweight, featuring a handy clip that makes it easy to clip onto a pram, car set, baby sling or cot, though the flat base means you can also stand it on a bedside table. Of course, you don't get the sensory benefits or cuddle factor of a soft toy, but it's simple to use and does the job. A great, no-frills sleep aid for a good price. 3 AA batteries not included.
- Price: £14.99
- Age: 0+
Best For Design
7. Snuzcloud Baby Sleep Aid
Snuz is known for creating well thought out and beautifully-designed sleep options for children, and we loved this charming little cloud. The chic grey plush, glowing cheeks and sweetly closed eyes make it a great decorative addition to the nursery as well as a functional sleep aid. It's super cuddly, too! Featuring four soothing sounds (a lullaby, waterfall, heartbeat and pink noise), the cloud plays for 20 minutes before turning off. The volume is adjustable and it attaches to the crib, pram or car seat with a velcro strap. A welcome additional feature is the internal light in each cheek, which have two colour settings: soft pink or a warm, cosy white. 3 AAA batteries not included.
- Price: £29.95
- Age: 0+
Best For Buggies
8. Rockit Baby Rocker
This ingenious device is just the thing to help get little ones off to sleep when you're out and about - no more screaming when you're shopping or running errands! Just clip the little rocket to the handle of your buggy and it will mimic the hand rocking motion of a parent stood behind the handlebars, whilst saving you the effort. The cycle runs for 30 minutes and you can adjust the speed. It's water resistant (essential for all outdoor use in Britain), fits onto all major prams and buggies and can last up to 60 hours of use before the batteries need changing. Requires 4 AA batteries, which are not included.
- Price: £39.99
- Age: 0+
Best For Encouraging A Deeper Sleep
9. Ergobaby Swaddler, Elephant
When a baby is very young they're often unable to control their limbs, which can flail in their sleep and startle them awake. Swaddle blankets can help prevent this, wrapping snugly around the body to make babies feel cosy, cocooned and secure, help them sleep more restfully and stay asleep for longer. This Ergobaby Swaddler is one of the best; it's breathable and escape-proof, featuring an ergonomic design that allows your baby's legs and hips to move freely (as recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute). There's also a pouch in the legs for easy access during nappy changing times.
- Price: £20
- Age: 0+
Best Night Light
10. Lumie Bedbug
This bedside night light uses fading light to encourage sleepiness. Just pop the little creature beside your baby's cot and use the dim setting as you are preparing them for bed; it will emit a soft white light that's almost entirely free from the stimulating blue light that prevents sleep. You can then set the device to slowly fade in a way that mimics the sunset, further inducing drowsiness and creating a natural, tranquil sleep routine. There is also the option to leave the lamp on as a night light, a useful feature that will prove even more so as your child grows. And if you have to pop in to check on your little one in the middle of the night the same low white light will prevent wakefulness in you, too, allowing you to fall asleep easily when you get back to bed.
- Price: £58
- Age: 0+
11. Infantino 3 in 1 Mobile
Musical mobiles are among the most tried-and-tested sleep toys, employing movement, sound and sometimes even light to help babies get to sleep. This Infantino 3-in1 mobile uses all three. It plays six calming lullabies and other soothing sounds to lull baby to sleep whilst the little star, bird and bear figurines rotate slowly above. A light projector shines a tranquil star-scape onto the ceiling, further inducing a serene, dream-like atmosphere, and the internal LED night light that sits in the middle of the revolving parts emits a soft glow in a rotating stream of muted colours. There's no need to worry about switching it off, either; sleep mode powers these features for 20 minutes before slowly fading away. There is even a little mirror attached, so your baby can see their own sleepy reflection. And the added bonus? The mobile can be converted into a simple nightlight, which can affix to the bars of a cot or act as a standing bedside lamp. A well-thought-out product that you'll get years of use out of.
- Price: £31.99
- Age: 0+
Best For Babies Who Respond To Images
12. Infantino 2-in-1 Night Light Projector
Another great Infantino sleep aid, this sweet little fox light projects a calming light show onto your baby's bedroom wall; a slowly fanning display of clouds, moons and stars to ease your little one into sleep. The mellow colours create a calm atmosphere, whilst the gentle fanning of the projected visuals encourages your baby to track the movement with their eyes, a hypnotic effect that further induces sleepiness. You'll probably find your baby asleep within minutes with the use of the visuals alone, but there is also a choice of five sweet songs or three nature sounds to accompany the light show and further instil drowsiness. The adorable baby fox functions as a separate removable night light, too.
- Price: £39.99
- Age: 0+
Best Bedtime Companion
13. Skip Hop Moonlight and Melodies Hug Me Projection Soother
This sweet little lamb is something of a 2-in-1: a soothing baby sleep aid with sound, light and projection features and a cuddly toddler bedtime toy with comforting night light. In its first stage, the lamb can be placed on its back beside your baby's cot to help get your little one off to sleep. There are four twinkling melodies to choose from, including classics like Fur Elise and Brahms' lullaby, and a projector in the lamb's little belly that transmits a circular yellow night sky onto the wall beside your baby's crib. When your baby reaches 12 months old, the lamb becomes the perfect snuggle buddy; just pull the pocket up over the projector and it becomes a soothing, portable night lamp that's the perfect size for your child to cuddle as they nod off.
- Price: £30
- Age: 0+
14. Pabobo Calm Ocean Night Light & Dynamic Projector
This plush starfish is more than just a cuddly toy; the dome in the middle projects an underwater sea world onto the walls and ceiling of your child's bedroom, and the swimming fish and undulating waves are sure to soothe your baby to sleep. As well as the soothing sounds of the crashing waves, there are a number of other accompanying melodies and sounds to choose from, and two different play options: 'quiet child', a 20-minute sequence featuring 3 phases of decreasing intensity and 'agitated child', a 40-minute arrangement designed to calm and placate. Featuring auto switch off and an intelligent sensor to sense when your baby starts crying, this is a great, innovative sleep aid to add to your collection. 3 AA batteries are not included.
- Price: £44.50
- Age: 0+
Best For Comfort
15. Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Pod, Lush And Ferne
This stylish baby sleeping mat from the pros at Sleepyhead makes the ultimate comfort cocoon for your baby to drift off in. Lightweight, soft and uber cosy, the padded ring around the edge makes it extra safe as well as snug, preventing your little one from rolling over the edge. It's also portable, great for establishing a comforting sense of familiarity for your baby when you're sleeping away from home. The stuffing is breathable and hypoallergenic and, though there are plenty of colours and patterns to choose from, we really love this chic botanical design.
- Price: £150
- Age: 0-8 months
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for best baby sleep toys then why not take a look at our pick of the best moses baskets perfect to use from birth? Or for something different, take a look at our guide to the top baby slings.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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