A baby’s sleep is vital to its development. Babies are sensitive to sounds, and when it has taken you hours to get them to calm down and go to sleep, the slightest noise can sound like a bomb going off. To make sure the baby stays asleep, you can soundproof your baby’s room.
- Acoustic panels
- Soundproof wallpaper
- Window inserts
- Thick curtains
- Area rugs
- Wooden door
- Metal lubricant
- White noise machine
We’re going to work from the bottom up. The floors of your home transmit more sound than you think.
If at all possible, your baby’s room should have carpet. Full carpeting dampens sound more than any other floor covering. When you can’t afford to change the flooring in the room, use area rugs.
If the baby’s room is located on an upper level of the home, identify where noises from below may seep in. Place the area rug in that location. This will trap any noise coming from lower levels and keep it from reaching the baby. You should also place an area rug directly under baby’s crib.
New parents are notorious for checking on their babies at all hours of the night. For them, I also recommend putting an area rug in the spots where you will stand when checking on the baby. This will prevent your feet from making booming noises against the hardwood floor.
The door to a room is the baby’s biggest defender against outside noises. Traditional interior doors may look like they’re made of wood, but they’re made of wooden panels with a particleboard interior. Particleboard is inexpensive, but it doesn’t provide the same soundproofing effects as a solid wood door.
To keep outside noises outside the baby’s room, replace the door to the room with a solid wood door. Swapping out doors isn’t complicated. Choose a wooden door that has been previously hung. You can find these at garage sales and online marketplaces.
First, you need to take off the existing door by unscrewing where the hinges hold on to the door. Using your drill’s reverse function, take the screws out of the hinges that are embedded in the original door.
Place the new door in the door frame, and size it up with the hinges. If someone is assisting you, have them hold the door steady while you mount it. If you’re working alone, you may want to mark on the door where the hinges will touch.
Don’t forget to put your drill back into forward mode, and drive the screws through the holes in the hinges and into the new door.
If you live in an apartment, replacing the doors may not be an option. In this instance, you’ll need to insulate the door to keep sounds in and out of the room. The best way to accomplish this is to pad the door with acoustic panels.
Acoustic panels are layers of foam designed to slow the transmission of soundwaves.
Attach acoustic panels to the front and back of the door. This will prevent outside noises from entering the baby’s room, and it will prevent noises in the room from being broadcasted to the rest of the house.
Squeaky door hinges can also cause noise that can wake your baby up. To remedy this, you’ll need to apply metal lubricant to the door’s hinges as often as is necessary.
The gap underneath the door can be your worst enemy when soundproofing a baby’s room. It’s one area that many people forget about.
Since you’ll be opening and closing this door often, stuffing towels underneath the door isn’t an option. Weathering strips can bridge the gap between the door and the floor. They’re sold at most home improvement stores, and you can find them near the exterior doors.
Simply attach the weathering strips to the bottom of the door, and you’re finished. Weathering strips will also help keep drafts out of the room.
The windows are the eyes of the home, but they’re a nightmare in a baby’s room. Even double-paned windows can let exterior sounds through, and the light coming in the window may disrupt the baby’s sleeping schedule.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to soundproof the windows in a baby’s room is to use light-blocking curtains. These thick curtains not only block light but also block sound from coming into the room. Hang the curtains from the curtain rod, and notice how quiet the room is when you have them closed.
If you don’t want to have the curtains drawn all the time, you can invest in soundproofing window inserts. The installation of these inserts is surprisingly easy. You just pop them into place, and they immediately begin blocking exterior noises.
When you’re really on a budget, which most parents are because kids are wildly expensive, you can just hang blankets over the window. Use a large, thick blanket, and tack it around the perimeter of the window. If you’re still hearing noises from the street, tack another blanket up. The blankets will insulate the window, preventing noises and drafts from reaching your baby.
Walls are the difference between a structure and a home, but they let a lot of noise pass through them. The walls are the most critical part of soundproofing a baby’s room.
Instead of purchasing a truckload of acoustic panels, you can purchase soundproofing foam in large sheets and rolls. This will allow you to hang the soundproofing material much more efficiently.
I prefer to purchase acoustic material that has adhesive on the underside, but that can be a little pricey. If you’re going with paneling that doesn’t already contain adhesive, you can use your own non permanent adhesive, or you can just tack it up. Make sure tacks are securely in place and routinely check to make sure all tacks are present and haven’t fallen onto the floor.
Hanging blankets and tapestries on the walls will help stifle the noises from the rest of your home as well. Unfortunately, they won’t do as great of a job as the acoustic panels, but something is better than nothing.
If you’re going the blanket route, I recommend covering the wall that is nearest the source of the most sound. If the baby’s room is close to the street and there are lots of cars driving by, focus your wall hangings on the wall that’s closest to the street. If you’re more worried about your baby being woken up by their sibling in the room next door, hang the tapestry on the wall that butts up to the next room.
When you want to soundproof your baby’s room, and you’re in the mood to do a little home improvement, you can install soundproof wallpaper. This wallpaper has a thick layer of foam that acts as insulation, keeping exterior noises away from the baby.
There are a lot of wallpaper options that already have adhesive on them, and they come in a lot of different colors and prints. The installation is super easy, you just stick the wallpaper to the wall. To ensure the best adhesion, you should use a flat object such as a bench scraper to smooth out the wallpaper as you place it on the wall.
The ceiling of a room is another way that unwanted noises can get in. You need to soundproof the ceiling as well if you want to make certain that the baby’s room is a quiet oasis.
If your ceiling is smooth, you can apply the soundproofing wallpaper to the ceiling. This will eliminate the transmission of noises from above floors in one step. If the ceiling is textured, commonly known as a “popcorn ceiling,” you won’t have any luck sticking wallpaper to it.
You can apply acoustic paneling to the ceiling of the baby’s room. In an abundance of caution, I recommend using nails instead of tacks to secure the paneling. Anything on the ceiling is subject to gravity’s force. Since tacks are only inserted to the surface superficially, they’re more likely to fall out. These tacks could poke your baby or become a choking hazard if the baby gets a hold of one.
Nails are driven into the surface, and they are less likely to randomly come undone. A nail lying on the floor is less likely to impale you or your baby’s foot than a thumbtack.
My same recommendation extends if you are hanging up thick blankets on the ceiling to insulate the room from noise. Using nails instead of tacks will result in a more secure fastening of the material.
6. When All Else Fails
If you’ve completed all of the steps above, and the baby is still being woken up by noises from outside their room, it’s time to employ the use of a white noise machine.
A white noise machine can help soothe the baby to sleep by drowning out any unwanted noises. It works for adults, and it can work for your baby too.