Setting up the nursery is one of the most important steps in preparing for a new baby’s arrival. In addition to selecting the fun design components such as colors, toys, furniture, and decorations, soundproofing the space is also critical to the baby’s comfort, as well as your own. Soundproofing any room has numerous benefits:
- Decreasing outside noises, especially if the home is part of a multi-unit apartment building or on a highly trafficked street, helps the baby sleep better.
- Babies will make noise and sometimes need to cry it out, and soundproofing the nursery prevents sounds from echoing throughout the house or reaching neighboring apartments.
- Family members won’t need to worry about being too noisy elsewhere in the house and disturbing the baby sleeping in the nursery.
Soundproofing, as well as a good baby monitor, will make these exciting, early days more peaceful and comfortable for everyone. Whether you’re in a house or apartment, an owner or a renter, there are numerous, easy ways to soundproof a baby room without breaking the bank.
Install a Solid-Core Door
Interior doors from hallways into rooms are often far from soundproof as they are frequently constructed with thin materials and are hollow on the inside, which do little for soundproofing. If you’re not sure what kind of door you have to your nursery, simply knock on it or try to have a conversation through it. If it feels hard and thick like the front door of your house, it’s a solid door. If you and another person can have an audible conversation through the closed door or it feels closer to hard cardboard when knocked upon, it’s likely hollow.
An easy solution is to simply replace the door to the baby’s room with a solid-core door. For a few hundred dollars, this can be a worthwhile investment for homeowners. However, installing a new door may not be an option for renters (of either apartments or houses), as the landlord’s permission would be necessary for such an upgrade.
Soundproof the Existing Door
If replacing a hollow-core door is not possible, too big a hassle, or you would like additional soundproofing for an existing solid-core door, there are a few things to try.
Seal off air leakage around the door:
• Apply an acoustical sealant to the door frame.
• Add weatherstripping to the sides of the door.
• Install a door sweep at the bottom of the door.
Add mass to the room-side of the door:
• Acoustical soundboard.
• Mass-loaded vinyl.
• A thick, sound-absorbing blanket.
Reducing impact noise is crucial to soundproofing any space, and the best way to do this is with carpeting. Hardwood flooring projects sound while carpeting dampens it. Wall-to-wall carpets, especially thick ones, will decrease the room echo while at the same time muffle any vibrations and impact noises, such as walking across the floor in high heels, running, etc.
If installing wall-to-wall carpeting is out of reach or not possible where you live (landlords may not permit renters to install it), thick area rugs will also do the trick. Wool and tufted rugs are better at dampening noise than cotton or flat-woven rugs.
Soundproofing Acoustic Panels for the Walls
A similar solution to upgrading the door is applying soundproof wall paneling inside the baby’s room. These days there are many soundproofing panels available that come in myriad styles, shapes, and colors, making them a practical, functional, and customizable choice. There are even panels with nursery-themed illustrations that will fit well with any baby room’s design.
Soundproofing windows is imperative when planning and setting up the baby room to avoid outside noise (that you cannot control) from affecting their sleep. Options include:
• Applying acoustical sealant and weatherstripping. Similar to sealing off air leakage around the door, this is an easy and affordable process.
• Installing sound-absorbing curtains or drapes. Like other fabrics, sound-absorbing curtains or drapes deaden sound rather than blocking it out entirely and can be coordinated by design to match the rest of the nursery.
• Replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows. This solution is more expensive and may not be feasible for renters.
• Installing soundproof window inserts. A smaller investment than replacing the entire window, soundproof window inserts reduce and cancel noise (up to 50–70%*), which is especially important if the window oversees a high-traffic area. They are affordable, cut to fit, and easy to install and remove.
• White noise machines: Not all noise is bad — white noise can be soothing for a baby and muffle noise from outside the room. Many white noise machines on the market today are specifically designed for infants, adhering to the recommended low decibel level for babies (at or below 50 dB), and feature calming lullaby or heartbeat sounds.
• Furniture: Placing furniture against walls helps muffle sounds, such as a bookshelf full of books and stuffed animals or a dresser full of clothes. Fabric decorations on the walls are another way to incorporate soundproofing into the nursery’s design. Pillows on a comfy, upholstered armchair will also absorb unwanted sound.
• Multi-color, solid foam exercise mats for children: Kids gym mats are a fun, popular surface for infants to safely play on while also helping to dampen sound. Just like carpets, it’s important to make sure the mats are non-toxic and kept clean.
• Extreme measures: For homeowners remodeling or building new spaces or additions, extreme and expensive options include installing extra insulation designed specifically for acoustics or additional drywall.
Setting up the nursery in your house or apartment can be one of the more fun and rewarding projects before the baby arrives. Soundproofing helps create a tranquil place for the baby to rest and sleep, as well as giving you peace of mind.
*We want to ensure our inserts help solve your noise problem. Overall noise reduction depends on the amount of noise coming through your walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and existing windows. Noise reduction will be less when placed over double-pane windows. Read our full Noise Reduction Sheet to learn more.