Our family has our final summer vacation coming up in less than 2 weeks. As Mom, it is my job to pack not only for myself but for the 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and maybe a little for Dad, as well. While talking to a group of moms at the local park about the joys of packing, the discussion quickly turned into horror stories centering around that one essential item or two that failed to make it into the suitcases. For my family, that essential thing would be a sound machine. I can’t sleep without one, and my children have slept with one almost every night of their short lives. I always thought I was alone in this nighttime habit, but one by one, other moms in this park gathering spoke of their attachment to white noise generators, whether as an aid to relax, mask background noises, or help soothe their children to sleep, and all of them agreed that this was, indeed, an essential item to pack. On the off chance, however, that you forget to pack your essential sound machine on your next trip away from home, turn your iPad into an ambient sound generator with one of these apps:

womb soundsWomb Sounds – Baby Sound Machine by Daniel Martinho

The mother’s womb is considered one of the most soothing sounds for a baby. This app offers an authentic, high-quality recording of the sounds in a mother’s womb, including a recording of the sounds from a sonogram, a clear recording of an adult resting heartbeat, 2 white noise recordings (one with higher frequencies, the other with lower frequencies), and 2 “shushing” sounds (one produced by a man, the other by a woman). All of these sounds come with the app for $1.99, with the option to purchase additional sounds for $0.99 within the app.

naturespaceNaturespace: Relax, Meditate, Escape, Sleep with 3D Sound by Holographic Audio Theater

Billed as the “ultimate headphone experience,” this app would be perfect for the older child trying to relax or sleep in a loud car or plane. This free app comes with 6 sounds, no ads, and a vast catalog to choose from so you only purchase what you want to hear. Everything from rain to winds is accurately reproduced, providing the listener with a true “being there” experience.

 

smart noiseSmart Noise by Florian Student

For $0.99, this app lets you generate “smart” noise, meaning the noise adapts to the sounds around you. You have the option of generating ambient noise with about the same frequency distribution as the sounds around you, or the adaptation can be switched off to just generate white noise. Some features include a time limit of up to 24 hours, frequency filter, and settings for noise floor, attack, and decay. With so many variables to control, this app is perfect for that adult in your family who enjoys the intricacies of sound.

white noise proWhite Noise Pro by TMSOFT

As seen on The Today Show and Dr. Oz Show, this app features 40+ perfectly looped sounds, advanced alarm and timer system, advanced settings for sound control, full screen digital clock with multiple colors and brightness controls, and much more. For only $2.99, White Noise Pro will generate sounds over a wide range of frequencies, masking unwanted noise interruptions, thus allowing the user to relax, sleep, reduce stress, soothe headaches, or mask tinnitus.

 

sound sleeperSound Sleeper–Calming Soothing Sounds of Nature and White Noise by Michael Geigenson

Developed by young parents, Sound Sleeper has 3 different operations modes to help your baby or toddler sleep when needed. Play Mode offers 9 high-quality sounds to soothe, including rain, womb, and vacuum. Listen Mode activates when your child’s cry turns the app on automatically. Sleep Tracking Mode generates color-coded sleep graphs to help you analyze your child’s sleep patterns. This app is $3.99 and also includes a make-your-own-sound option by recording your own sound on a background sound.

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