How to Soundproof a Baby’s Room: 9 Easy Tips
There’s nothing more heart-warming than a sleeping baby. But if the nursery is not properly soundproofed, the noise from the outside can cause a big disturbance in the baby’s sleeping patterns. It can also make parenting in those first few years more difficult than it has to be.
Having said that, here’s how you can soundproof your baby’s room:
1. Soundproof the door
While the front door in houses and apartments is pretty thick, the inside doors are usually thin and hollow. You can basically talk with another person through the door, and you can listen in on conversations others are having. In fact, I’m listening to a conversation in the other room as I’m writing this!
Option 1: Buy a thicker door
One thing you can do is buy a new, thicker door for your baby’s room. You can get a door custom made at Home Depot. If you decide to do this, make sure that you take proper measurements. If you don’t get the proper measurements, you’ll have to try again and it can get pretty expensive. For this reason, and because replacing a door can be a hassle, I recommend soundproofing the existing door:
Option 2: Soundproof the existing door
Soundproofing a door is easier and less expensive than installing a brand new solid core door. The only items you’ll need are a soundproof blanket, a door sweep and some weatherstripping tape.
A soundproof blanket (link to Amazon) can be tacked on the door or hanged from the wall above the door by hooks with anchors or on a standard curtain rod. It’s a very practical product because it can be hanged and removed whenever you want. It can also be reused in other areas in the house that need thermal and sound insulation.
The reason why I recommend using this blanket in particular is because it’s made from fiberglass. Fiberglass is effective against airborne AND impact noise.
Airborne sound is the higher frequency sound transmitted through air. In contrast, impact noise is low frequency sound caused by vibrations. It can pass through ordinary materials. Standard soundproofing products like foam panels can’t do much about it. This is where a fiberglass blanket comes in handy.
If you’re dealing with only airborne noise, you can tack moving blankets on the door. Another option is to hang moving blankets or noise-blocking curtains in front of the door by using a curtain rod. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do this.
It’s also important to seal off any open areas between the door and the door frame, AND under the door. For the gaps in the door frame, you can use regular weatherstripping tape. Apply the weatherstrips on the door frame until there’s a seal when you close the door. A door sweep is the best tool for sealing the gap under the door. Simply attach it to the bottom of the door and you’re good to go.
2. Get a Sound Dohm
A sound dohm is a small device that produces fan noise without blowing any air. It’s used to mask the outside noise so that the baby can get proper rest.
With a sound dohm on, you’ll improve your baby’s sleep without the whole family having to sneak around all the time. There are many sound dohms to choose from, but with over 12 000 positive reviews, the Marcap sound dohm is arguably the best option.
I’ve reviewed some others that look like toys and have other features for babies and small children. To check those out, click here.
3. Hang up Soundproof Curtains (optional)
A lot of noise can pass through windows, even when they’re closed. This is especially true if you live on a busy street. So adding density to the window area in the form of thick curtains helps.
Another significant benefit of soundproof curtains is that they prevent sound from bouncing off the walls. You can imagine that an empty room will have more echo and generally be louder than one filled with soft fabric. In addition to curtains, adding plush furniture, rugs and toys will also soak up the noise. Some parents add bookshelves as well, but books collect a lot of dust, so it depends on how much upkeep you’re willing to do.
I have these soundproof curtains in my bedroom (the orange ones) and they’re pretty good both for termal insulation and for reducing noise. Also, make sure to cover any gaps and cracks with weatherstrip, just as you did with the door.
Having said that, if you don’t want to get thick curtains, no worries. Here are a few other ways you can soundproof a window.
4. Soundproof the walls
Adding density to walls can really reduce noise coming in and out of the room. If you’re just dealing with airborne noise, installing soundproof foam panels on the wall is the easiest method. You can use Command Strips that are typically used for hanging mirrors and frames to hang the panels on any wall in the room, including the ceiling.
Having said that, standard foam panels don’t work against impact noise. If you’re dealing with that problem, you should use anti-vibration material like fiberglass or mass loaded vinyl.
Fiberglass panels can be installed on the wall using Command Strips just like other panels, and they look almost the same as the ones made from foam. The only difference is that they’re heavier. These flat ones in particular look great. They also have fire-retardant capabilities, so they add safety to the room in case of a fire. Although they’re more expensive than foam panels, they’re worth it because they will reduce all types of noise to a larger extent.
The other way to soundproof a wall in the babies room is to do a bit of wall reconstruction and install Mass Loaded Vinyl directly on the studs or mineral wool boards between them. Mass Loaded Vinyl is a powerful soundproofing material that really blocks all types of noise. Also, it’s an affordable option that is simple to install. Simply cut it to size and nail it or screw it to the studs. You will however need one more person to hold the material while you attach it to the studs.
If you plan on using mineral wool boards instead, make sure that you use gloves, a mask and glasses, because the tiny particles can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory organs. This is why mineral wool is typically used inside the walls, rather than outside, unless its covered with a dense fabric.
So to summarize wall soundproofing: if you’re dealing with lesser noise, use foam panels. It’s a simple and affordable option. But if you want to REALLY effectively soundproof your baby’s room, use fiberglass panels on the wall, or install either Mass Loaded Vinyl or mineral wool boards inside the wall. All of these options can be used on the ceiling as well.
The final option is to add an additional layer of drywall to the wall. This will not produce the same results as professional soundproofing material. But by adding another layer of construction material, you will also notice a reduction in noise.
5. Soundproof the floor
Soundproofing the floor is important if you’re dealing with annoying sound coming from below your baby’s room.
Installing a subfloor (also known as floor underlay) below the visible surface of the floor can be of major help. For subfloor the typical material that is used are MDF or plywood panels.
Also, using soundproofing tape on the floor joists (studs) will eliminate the noise made by walking on the floor. You can also cover the subfloor with a thick soundproofing adhesive called green glue. Green glue has a jello like consistency, and it’s excellent for breaking down impact noise and vibrations.
Placing a thick rug or soft and dense mats on top of the floor will further minimize the walking noise and echo in the room. To learn how to do all of these floor soundproofing methods and more, check out this article.
6. Soundproof the ceiling
If the noise is coming from above, you should also think about soundproofing the ceiling, or even better, the floor in the upstairs area.
One piece of advice to always have in mind is to apply soundproofing material as close to the origin of the noise as you can. So if you have access to the room above, soundproof the floor in that room rather than the ceiling in the baby’s room.
If you’re unable or unwilling to do so, you can of course soundproof the ceiling and get great results as well. For soundproofing the ceiling you can use soundproof foam panels in the same way as you would in order to soundproof any other wall.
Foam panels are usually enough to deal with airborne noise like people talking or playing music a bit louder than normal. For stronger noises, refer to the other methods mentioned above, like Mass Loaded Vinyl, fiberglass panels and mineral wool boards.
7. Soundproof the above-door air vent
Any gaps and holes that connect one room with another will also make the transfer of noise pretty easy. I don’t recommend sealing off the air vent entirely, because there will be no air circulation and it can get pretty hot as a result.
A much better option is to create a sound maze inside the air vent by using a few pieces of plywood. A sound maze will not soundproof the air vent entirely, but it will make the sound bounce off on the plywood as it passes through the maze and lower it to a great extent. To learn more about soundproofing air vents, check out this guide.
8. Get the SNOO Smart Sleeper for your baby
If you’re not interested in soundproofing the room entirely, the SNOO Smart Sleeper is another excellent solution. This bed is designed specifically to ensure that the baby has the best sleep that it possibly can. It’s incredibly safe, and it produces soothing motions and white noise whenever the baby needs to relax. The incredible thing is that it uses the same rhythms that the baby was used to in the womb!
The bed has a motion and sound detector, so when the baby starts crying, the bed starts to gently rock back and forth and plays the soothing white noise (the sound produced by sound dohms) to get the baby to sleep.
This bed is quite expensive, so it’s not for most people. But if you’re willing to invest a little extra so that both your baby and your entire family have excellent sleep during those first few months, it’s worth every penny.
To check out the price and customer reviews on Amazon, click here.
9. How will I hear my baby?
Parents sometimes worry that soundproofing their baby’s room is not safe, because they won’t be able to hear the baby at all. But using a baby monitor easily takes care of that problem.
While some still use an audio-only monitor, which is fine, it doesn’t give you the full picture. Your baby could be crying for no particular reason, and you might stress out thinking that there’s something wrong. And vice-versa, perhaps your baby might need you and you don’t hear anything at all.
Depending solely on audio, regardless of whether it’s coming from a baby monitor or it’s echoing throughout the house doesn’t provide enough information. If you want to know when your baby actually needs you, using a video monitor is the best option.
Not only does it ensure that the baby is safe, but it will also improve its sleep by reducing the interruptions from family members walking in unnecessarily all the time.
The Infant Optics monitor has over 18 000 positive reviews on Amazon. So if you plan on soundproofing the room to a greater extent, definitely check it out.
These are all viable soundproofing methods you can implement for your baby’s room. You probably only need some of them, and this depends on the level of noise you’re trying to reduce.
If you’re on a tight budget, the first thing I would do is seal off any gaps and holes, beef up the door and use thick curtains for the window(s).
I would also get a sound dohm to generate a peaceful fan sound in the room. And if you want to really ensure that your baby gets the best sleep possible and doesn’t cry in the middle of the night for no reason, stressing you and other family members in the process, then getting a SNOO Smart Sleeper is an awesome option.
With that being said, I hope you find this article helpful, and I wish you good luck with your soundproofing project.