When I found out I was pregnant, my sister texted me a list of all the products she loved when her three girls were young. I must have asked her a million questions about bottles, swaddles, clothes, and more while making my baby registry. And when it came time to choose a sound machine, she had one word for me: Hatch.
I wasn’t surprised; the Hatch Rest 2nd Generation smart sound machine and night light is featured in nearly every must-have baby product guide. I wasn’t sure why a sound machine was really necessary for a baby, but my sister assured me she loved this one and used it from birth to toddlerhood with her girls, so I went ahead and registered for one of my own.
After 18 months of momming, I can honestly say the Hatch makes my life better. It helps my son go to sleep quickly, and — though he didn’t sleep through the night for the first year of his life — sleep longer and deeper. It disguises household noise during naps. I may have purchased two extras, one for his day care and one for his grandma’s house. And I’d do it again.
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- Price: $69.99
- Dimensions: 4″D x 4″W x 6.25″H
- Colors: White, with patterned coverlets sold separately
- Who it’s for: Newborns through grade schoolers
Babies love white noise for a reason — they’ve been hearing muffled sounds for months as they developed in the womb, and white noise simulates that experience. Just like swaddling them tightly reminds them of being all balled up in utero, a white noise machine can comfort them, too. Plus, of course, it masks other noises during naps and bedtime, like older siblings playing or your dog barking.
The Hatch has a dimmable night light that can be set to any color of the rainbow, and 12 white noise sounds to choose from (think rainfall, TV static, a tumbling dryer, and more). The volume is adjustable, as is the night light brightness, using buttons on the sound machine’s base or the Hatch app on your phone.
That silver circle on top? It’s an easy, one-touch ring that will turn on the machine and turn it back off when you hold it down. Using the app, you can set favorites, saving the light and sound settings you use most often. Then, touching the ring will cycle through them in order.
While it seems like overkill to have so many ways to control one sound machine, it’s what sets the Hatch apart from other options. Having been the mom feeding a baby in the dark with only one free hand, or who left her phone in the other room during a contact nap, or who forgot to turn off the night light but doesn’t want to risk going back into the baby’s room… you can see why it’s helpful.
If you opt for the Rest+ ($89.99), you’ll also get an eight-hour backup battery so you can take your sound machine on the go, and it won’t turn off suddenly if you lose power overnight.
How I Use The Hatch Rest Sound Machine
When we brought our newborn baby home from the hospital, I unboxed the Hatch and popped it on top of the dresser in our room near his bassinet so we could use the light for his overnight feedings.
It quickly became the bedrock of our bedtime routine — turn on a dim light and rainfall sounds, get our little guy into his PJs, and have a bottle. We’d put him down drowsy and he’d conk out within a few minutes, zero fussing involved. As for me, I don’t know whether it was sleep deprivation or the sound quality of the Hatch’s speaker, but I have woken up many mornings convinced it rained overnight when it really hadn’t.
Today, our 18-month-old sleeps in his own room. Each night at bedtime, we turn on the white noise, read a book or two using the night light, and then he lays down to sleep. Nine out of 10 nights he doesn’t make a peep, because his routine is soothing and consistent.
When we’re traveling, I pack the Hatch to replicate our routine and make an unfamiliar place feel like home for him. Using it, he has slept successfully at many a relative’s house, and even in a (well-ventilated and air-conditioned) storage room at a baby shower.
Pros & Cons
- Pros: It includes a night light, so it takes up less space than having multiple devices. Using the Bluetooth connection to my phone, I can also change the sounds and light level without entering my baby’s room.
- Cons: I do worry my baby won’t fall asleep without it, so we take it along when we travel. Also, the price point is high compared to other sound machines.
I love my child, but he didn’t sleep through the night until after his first birthday. One of the only reliable things about his sleep was that he always drifted off easily and without much fuss, and he could sleep more easily than I ever expected in new places. While that could be chalked up to having a consistent bedtime routine rather than white noise, the Hatch has made it much easier to establish a routine and stick to it for our family. I really do think the white noise really helps — our dogs are loud!
I didn’t think you could buy predictability, especially when it comes to babies and sleep, but great news: it retails for $69.99.
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