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Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones: The Definitive Guide 2023

Baby ear protection, such as noise-canceling headphones, is as important as protecting their eyes or delicate skin from the sun.

As a parent, I understand the importance of providing a peaceful environment for my baby to thrive. However, with daily life’s constant noise and chaos, it can be challenging to create a calm and quiet space for my little one, let alone protect them from those random loud noises that often intrude into our small island of solitude.

That’s why I turned to baby noise-canceling headphones, and let me tell you, they have been a game-changer.

What are baby noise-canceling headphones (or noise-canceling headphones infant)?

Baby Noise-Cancelling Headphones are designed to protect your baby’s hearing by reducing the volume of loud sounds. This baby ear protection uses advanced noise-canceling technology to block out external sounds. Whether it’s construction outside, traffic, or chatty neighbors, these headphones can help reduce external sounds and create a calming environment for your baby.

Parents of infants with sensory sensitivities or autism spectrum disorders may also find them helpful in reducing sensory overload and creating a more soothing experience. By blocking out some sensory overload, these infant headphones or baby ear muffs can help your baby feel more comfortable in their surroundings.

How do Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones work?

Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones work by using a combination of active noise cancellation and passive noise reduction.

These tiny but mighty headphones utilize active and passive noise-reduction technologies to create a peaceful environment for your baby. Microphones detect external sounds and create opposing sound waves to cancel them out, while ear cups act as physical barriers to further block out noise.

Understanding the Need for Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones

Babies are incredibly sensitive to their environment, and excessive noise can harm their development. Research shows that loud noises can delay speech development, increase stress levels, and even lead to hearing loss.

Protecting our little ones from these negative effects is crucial as a parent, but it’s not always easy.

That’s where baby noise-canceling headphones come in. These headphones are designed to reduce ambient noise, creating a more peaceful environment for your baby while giving your baby ear protection. They can be used in various settings, from crowded public spaces to noisy home environments, allowing your baby to rest, play, and learn without distractions.

Why might you use Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones?

There are several reasons why you might consider using infant headphones for your baby, including:

1. To protect their hearing

Loud sounds can damage a baby’s delicate ears, leading to hearing loss or other hearing-related issues. Baby ear protection is critical for this reason.

2. To reduce sensory overload

Babies with sensory sensitivities or autism spectrum disorders can become overwhelmed by loud sounds and other sensory input.

3. To provide a more comfortable environment

If you live in a noisy neighborhood or have noisy neighbors, Baby Noise-Cancelling Headphones can help create a more peaceful environment for your baby.

Age Recommendations

You might be wondering at what age it’s safe to use baby noise-canceling headphones. While many state that these headphones can be used on babies as young as newborns, some parents prefer to wait until their baby is at least 3 months old. Most manufacturers also seem to use the 3-month mark as their cut-off – my suggestion is to always comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations for the relevant set of headphones.

However, it’s always a good idea to consult your pediatrician before using new products on your baby.

What do the authorities and doctors say about using baby ear protection?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Centre for Environmental Health (NCEH) issued a statement that parents should try to avoid loud noises to protect their children’s hearing. If they can’t avoid the noises, they should protect their child with noise-canceling headphones. In this case, “child” can be read to include infants and babies.

Here is their infographic from their statement:

Infographic from the CDC discussing how important it is to protect your child's hearing. If loud noises can't be avoided, the CDC says that parents should have children use noise-cancelling headphones.
CDC Infographic about protecting your child’s hearing.

The article linked through the QR code above called, “How do I Prevent Hearing Loss from Loud Noise,” recommends that children be treated the same as adults by keeping the volume turned down, avoiding noise where possible, or wearing noise-canceling headphones.

Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego

The Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego’s Audiology Department states in their Headphone Use Guidelines:

  • Use noise-cancelling headphones, rather than earbuds. This helps reduce background noise so you are less tempted to turn up the volume to block out other sounds. 
  • Remember DO NOT to turn up the volume in loud places. If you are often using headphones in noisy places a noise-cancelling model is a must.
  • Don’t use headphones for sleeping overnight.
  • Test your child’s hearing at least every three years. Also ask your child to report any symptoms such as ringing, muffling, fluttering, thumping, sensitivity, distortion or pain even if they don’t last. Temporary symptoms mean they might return and become permanent. 

If you’re concerned about your baby’s hearing, they also have a useful set of Hearing Milestones for you to consider.

Benefits of Using Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones

There are numerous benefits to using baby noise-canceling headphones.

For starters, they can help promote better sleep for your baby. Reducing ambient noise (ie what noise-canceling headphones do) creates a more peaceful sleep environment and allows your little one to get the rest they need.

Additionally, baby headphones can help reduce stress levels for you and your baby. As a parent, dealing with a fussy or upset baby can be challenging, especially in loud or chaotic environments. Using noise-canceling headphones can help your baby stay calm and relaxed, making your job as a parent a little easier.

And you can even pop on or in your noise-canceling headphones to help out your sanity!

Finally, baby noise-canceling headphones can help promote better learning and development for your little human. Excessive noise can interfere with language development and cognitive growth, making it essential to create a quiet and peaceful learning environment. By using noise-canceling headphones, you can help your baby focus on the task at hand and promote better learning outcomes.

Features to Look for When Choosing Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones

When choosing baby noise-canceling headphones, there are several features to consider.

First and foremost, safety should be your top priority. Look for headphones specifically designed for babies that meet safety standards for childrens’ products. A big question is whether the headphones should have a cord, and we discuss this further below.

Additionally, you’ll want to consider the fit and comfort of the headphones. Look for headphones that are adjustable and can grow with your baby. They should be lightweight and comfortable, with soft padding and a secure fit.

Finally, consider the level of noise reduction provided by the headphones. Look for headphones with a high noise reduction rating (NRR), which indicates how much ambient noise they can block out. The higher the NRR, the better the headphones will be at reducing noise.

Safety Precautions When Using Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones

While baby noise-canceling headphones can be an excellent tool for promoting a peaceful environment for your little one, using them safely is essential. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and never leave your baby unattended while wearing the headphones.

Additionally, be sure to monitor your baby’s behavior while wearing headphones. If they seem uncomfortable or agitated, remove the headphones immediately.

And finally, be sure to use headphones in moderation to avoid over-reliance on them as a solution for excessive noise. You don’t want to train your baby to sleep only in pure silence, otherwise they will struggle to sleep as they grow older.

Best Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones on the Market

Several excellent baby headphones are on the market, but a few stand out above the rest.

  • The Baby Banz earmuffs are popular, with a high NRR and a comfortable, adjustable fit.
  • The Snug Baby Earmuffs are another excellent option, with a soft, padded headband and a compact, portable design.
  • The Peltor Sport Tactical 100 earmuffs are a great choice for a more high-tech option. They offer excellent noise reduction, with Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music or white noise.
  • And finally, Em’s 4 Kids Earmuffs are a popular choice for their cute, colorful designs and comfortable fit.

We discuss these further in our Guide on The 13 Best Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones (plus Infant Headphones for Flying).

Reviews and Feedback from Parents Who Have Used Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones

Parents who have used baby noise-canceling headphones have overwhelmingly positive things to say.

Many report that the headphones have helped their baby sleep better, stay calm in noisy environments, and focus on learning and play.

Parents also appreciate the peace of mind of knowing their baby is protected from harmful noise levels – I know I did when I had a construction site next door while my baby was in their first year!

Check out this feedback:

The headphones worked great for what I needed it for, my baby slept the entire flight both ways. As soon as I put the headphones on her and all the other noise was canceled out she would start to fall asleep. Ciaudrea

Product surpasses its expectation. Noise cancellation level is just as I wished it be. Looks & feels great on my baby. (Yes we’ve tested on ourselves). Annalee

My baby is 3 months old, they fit perfectly. No fuss over them being on her head, so I can assume they’re pretty comfortable unlike some others we’ve tried. Light weight and compact which allows for easy transport. Will likely be purchasing an additional pair for my baby nephew! Anonymous

Various internet sites

Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones

1. How do baby noise-canceling headphones work?

Baby noise-canceling headphones reduce ambient noise through a combination of sound-absorbing materials and technology that cancels out sound waves. In this way, they work the same as noise-cancelling headphones for adults.

2. Are baby noise-canceling headphones safe?

Baby headphones are safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. But you should always look for headphones that meet safety standards for children’s products.

And my suggestion is to buy the best quality headphones you can afford – I bought several cheap baby noise-canceling headphones that broke within weeks before I heeded this advice and bought a good-quality pair.

3. Can Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones be harmful to my baby’s hearing?

No, Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones are designed to protect your baby’s hearing by reducing the volume of loud noises. However, it’s important to choose headphones tested and approved for use with babies.

4. At what age can babies use noise-canceling headphones?

Newborns can use baby headphones from birth, but some parents prefer to wait until their baby is three to six months of age. Always consult the manufacturer’s recommendations, and choose headphones that fit properly and are designed for babies.

It’s always a good idea to consult your Doctor or Pediatrician before using new products on your baby.

5. How long can my baby wear the headphones?

It’s recommended that babies wear headphones for no longer than two hours at a time to avoid any discomfort or irritation from pressure or rubbing or if the headphones are too tight. They can likely wear soft headphones longer than those with a hard head strap.

6. Can Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones be used in noisy environments, like concerts or sporting events?

Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones are not designed for use in extremely loud environments, like concerts or sporting events. In these situations, it’s best to remove your baby from the noise or use earplugs for ear protection instead.

7. Should babies wear noise-canceling headphones on an airplane?

Whether you put noise-canceling headphones on your baby for a plane trip is a matter of choice. Your baby will likely still be able to sleep on the plane trip without them. However, I found them to be a lifesaver, and it’s likely that you will too. After my first trip with my baby and my baby hearing protection, I never went again without them. (And I started using them on trains and other noisy transport as well).

8. Can babies sleep with noise-canceling headphones?

Babies can sleep while wearing noise-canceling headphones. Many baby headphones, particularly baby ear muffs, with a lightweight elastic headband, are meant for baby to sleep in. Remember that you should never leave your baby unattended while wearing headphones, so I always took the headphones off my baby after they went to sleep.

Conclusion: Why Baby Noise-Canceling Headphones are a Game-Changer for Parents

Protecting your baby’s ears from loud noise is important to their health and well-being. And baby noise-canceling headphones can be a useful tool for parents looking to reduce the amount of noise their baby is exposed to.

Infant ear protection promotes a peaceful, calm environment for your baby and helps keep your baby calm during travel. They can help promote better sleep, reduce stress levels, and improve learning outcomes.

Whether you’re trying to protect your baby’s hearing, reduce sensory overload, or provide a more comfortable environment, a variety of headphones are available for young babies. Check out our Guide here on how to choose the best baby headphones.

Once you have decided to use baby noise-canceling headphones, make sure you prioritize safety, comfort, noise reduction, and durability, and use them in moderation to avoid over-reliance or ongoing dependence. And don’t forget to consult with your Doctor or Paediatrician.

With the right headphones and proper use, you can create a peaceful oasis for your baby, no matter where you are.

About the Author

baby noise cancelling headphones

Rach Wellard

Rach Wellard is the driving force behind Sound & Solitude. Her mission is to help you discover the profound impact of sound in your daily life and to explore the beauty of solitude. With a deep passion for the connection between soundscapes and emotions, she brings a unique blend of expertise and personal dedication to our platform.

Rach understands that every individual's auditory journey is unique, and she’s here to guide you every step of the way. As a devoted audiophile, Rach’s discerning ear carefully selects the most exceptional products that align with your desires for Sound or Solitude. In a world filled with noise and chaos, Sound & Solitude serves as your sanctuary.

Rach’s journey as an autistic individual with a heightened sensitivity to sound fuels our commitment to creating an inclusive space where everyone can find solace while enjoying the meaningful sounds in their lives. Her understanding of diverse sensory needs enables us to offer personalized recommendations and insights, ensuring that your chosen audio equipment not only meets technical criteria but also resonates with your unique sensory preferences. And if you simply seek the best sound possible, Rach has you covered.

At Sound & Solitude, authenticity is our foundation. We provide unbiased reviews and comparisons because you deserve nothing but the truth. Our reviews are meticulously crafted, drawing upon Rach’s deep understanding of audio technology and the human experience in the Sound and Solitude realms. Whether you're searching for noise-cancelling headphones to immerse yourself in music or seeking a gaming headset that transports you to virtual worlds, you can rely on our reviews and personally tested comparisons to find the best equipment for your specific needs. Explore our carefully curated content, from the latest wireless audio advancements to tips for creating your ideal auditory retreat.

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