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There’s a lot to learn when you have a child in the NICU, and one tip I picked up from the nursing staff was the importance of having a white noise machine at home. Babies often find white (or brown or pink) noise soothing as it recreates some of the ambient sounds they heard in the womb. NICU graduates, in particular, become accustomed to an assortment of noises from various hospital machines, which means white noise can actually help them feel at ease when they arrive home. Also, let’s be honest; anything that will help your infant sleep is worth trying.
In fact, my household is no stranger to white noise machines — we’ve had one kicking around for years now because of my partner’s tinnitus, and we’ve both kept white noise apps on our phones for when we travel. Having a consistent, gentle hum of waves, rain or static helps mask outside noises from airplanes or hotels. But, as I’ve mentioned in previous stories, accidentally stumbling across the Hatch Rest was a stroke of luck as it doubles as a night light and white noise machine, all of it controllable from a phone. While there’s no shortage of white noise machines available (for adults or children), few have the kind of innovative features that made the Rest genuinely indispensable. I tried out four different soothers to see what each has to offer.
Hatch Rest and Rest+
The lullabies, sounds, and stories can get swapped out and reordered within the app. Unfortunately, though, that all the app was designed to do. After several frustrating moments, I discovered that it doesn’t play, pause, skip tracks or adjust the volume; all of that has to be done using the physical buttons. Attempting to play a sound through the app will just default to it playing on your phone. There’s also no battery; it only works when connected to AC power, limiting the places you’ll be able to use it.