Every parent worries about their baby's health and safety.
However, some parents forget that when it comes to your child’s development loud noises can be just as dangerous as physical objects lying around.
[Source: World Health Organization]
The truth is that prolonged exposure to loud noises for extended periods can cause hearing loss and other developmental issues or your little one.
This is why many parents buy their babies a good set of baby ear defenders.
What Are Baby Ear Defenders?
Newborn ear defenders go by quite a few names: ear protection headphones, children’s ear protectors, noise-cancelling headphones, baby earmuffs and even regular earplugs.
As the name gives away, baby ear defenders are over-ear noise blockers designed specifically for newborns. They go around your baby’s ears to dampen everyday loud noises that can be harmful for your baby’s early development.
While newborn ear defenders have use in the home, many new parents choose to buy a pair specifically when they expose their baby to repeated loud noises in public. Baby earmuffs can be used when parents take their baby to:
- Crowded spaces such as restaurants or malls;
- Construction areas;
- Sporting events or concerts; or
- Anywhere there is loud televisions or music.
Baby ear defenders are not for 24/7 use, but they give new parents added peace-of-mind when they find themselves in loud situations with their little one.
Why Does My Baby Near Ear Defenders?
But hey, I don’t wear ear protectors – why does my baby need to?
Good question. While adults don't need to protect their ears as much, babies (and newborns especially) are more sensitive to loud noises.
Babies have smaller ear canals than adults, so loud noises cause a greater build-up of pressure within their ears. This pressure build-up can affect your baby’s ability to hear and recognize speech.
Baby ear defenders are crucial for your baby's well-being as they dampen and block out loud noises, keeping your baby’s ear canals safe.
They are specifically designed to be lightweight and gentle on your baby’s head, fitting comfortably without exerting too much pressure on your little angel’s skull.
Critically, newborn ear defenders help block repeated or prolonged exposure to loud noises can have a cumulative effect on your babies hearing which can result in severe and/or permanent hearing damage.
What you may not consider a loud noise – the sound of blender, whirring of a dishwasher, bark of a dog – your baby will experience in a totally different way.
The bottom line is that loud noises are everywhere, and it's almost impossible to stay away from them. So, it’s important to protect your baby’s ears!
That’s why every new parent should consider investing in a good pair of ear defenders.
Do Baby Ear Defenders Work?
Newborn ear defenders consists of two “cups” that are attached together by a strap or a headband. The “cups” are what rest on each of the baby’s ears.
The cups are made from “sound-deadening” material. This means they reduce the effect of loud noises (attenuation) by absorbing sound waves.
As a result, the ear defenders diminish sound pressure that enters the baby’s ear canals, driving off any potential harm.
Not only do baby earmuffs work, but they come in different varieties with designs specific to your child’s age and conditions.
An effective ear defender reduces loud noises to levels that are safe for your baby.
Babies should not be exposed to sounds that reach decibels above 60. Unfortunately, many everyday noises can exceed these sound levels. For example, common home appliances such as vacuum cleaners can reach decibel levels of up to 80.
An ear defender’s capacity to reduce loud noises is indicated by its NRR (Noise Reduction Rating). The recommended level for newborn ear defenders is 20 NRR.
5 Best Newborn Ear Defenders
When shopping for newborn ear defenders, there are a few factors that are important for you to consider:
- The age that the ear defenders are appropriate for;
- The ear defender’s weight and size;
- Just how comfortable they are to wear; and
- The ranges of sounds they are suitable for.
With these factors in mind, we went through some of the very best ear defenders available and chose our top five based on the above factors.
Each one of these 5 baby ear defenders comes with its own pros and cons. So, be sure to weigh them out and choose one that best suits your little one’s specific needs!
Let’s take a look, shall we?
There’s a lot about the Baby Banz ear defenders that makes it deserve a spot in the top 5.
Firstly, the ear defenders have an NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) of 31 decibels. This is well above the recommended level of 20, meaning it is great at reducing loud and harmful sounds.
What I liked about the product, though, is how it diminishes loud noises without blocking out “ambient” sounds. This feature is great because, while your baby is roaming around playing, he/she will still be aware of their surroundings.
Another of the Baby Banz’s attractive features is that it’s made of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is super lightweight, and as we discussed before, it’s important for newborn ear defenders not to be heavy or tight to protect your baby’s skull.
Plus, the Baby Banz ear defenders are quite comfortable. They come with cushions filled with foam and a soft leather cover, making them especially gentle on your baby’s head.
The ear defenders are also safe by design – they have a compact build with no parts unnecessarily sticking out, preventing them from catching onto anything while your baby is on the move.
Overall, the Baby Banz is a practical and intelligently designed pair of ear defenders that are best-suited for babies from the ages of 3 months to 2 years old.
- Thoughtful design
- Not suitable for babies younger than 3 months
Alpine Muffy Baby
Unlike the previous pair of ear defenders, the Alpine Muffy Baby can be worn by newborns. Typically, infants less than three months’ heads are too soft for even the lightest of newborn ear defenders. However, the Alpine Muffy Baby ear defender is suited for the most delicate heads.
The Alpine Muffy baby ear defender is made up of two white cups that are joined together by an elastic strap (instead of your usual plastic headband). When you put them on your baby’s head, the elastic strap exerts close to zero pressure, making it a gentle fit.
I also love how the Alpine Muffy baby ear defender comes with its own case. It’s small and easy to carry around, and you can safely store your newborn ear defenders in it. The case is especially helpful if you’re on-the-go a lot, because you can conveniently take the pair with you!
- Suited for babies aged 0-24 months
- No metal parts to cause discomfort
- Adjustable strap
- Strap can be detached for washing
- Slightly lower NRR of 25 decibels
Dr. Meter EM100
When it comes down to durability and quality, the Dr. Meter EM100 is a great ear defender.
The model is suited for infants and toddlers of different ages. Thanks to its adjustable leather headband, the ear defender fits different-sized heads - infant or otherwise.
The Dr. Meter EM100 has a 27 NRR, which isn't as high as the first entry on our list, but it’s still effective at dampening out loud noises like construction work.
Plus, thanks to its padded cushions this pair of ear defenders are also super comfortable. The ear cushions not only increase comfort, but also help the defender block noise out successfully.
The Dr. Meter EM100’s cups are some of its best features because they rotate a full 360 degrees. This makes it easy to fold them up and store them when you're not using them.
These ear defenders are a popular choice among young parents – they’re the number 1 bestseller in the “Safety Earmuffs” category on Amazon, with a 4.6/5-star rating (based on an impressive 7,548 reviews).
But, despite its many benefits, the Dr. Meter EM100 isn’t free from drawbacks. Unfortunately, the pair weighs 8 ounces, which is heavier than your average newborn ear defender. This means you might want to avoid using these defenders on younger children – it’s more appropriate for babies that are at least six months old.
- Good quality (ANSI S3.19 & CE EN 352.1 Tested & Certified)
- Adjustable for almost all head sizes
- Wide range of uses
- Cups that are 360 rotatable
- Slightly heavy for newborns
The BBTKCARE newborn ear defenders qualify as the “all-rounder” on our list. They’re comfortable, durable, lightweight, and carry the always-needed adjustable headband.
The BBTKCARE defenders are suitable for children as young as 3 months in age. They’re specially designed to be well-secured without placing pressure on your child’s head.
At the time of writing this article, the product has a 4.6/5 star rating on Amazon, with 8,806 ratings and peaked at the number 1 spot for “Baby Hearing Protection Earmuffs”.
On the whole, the BBTKCARE ear defender is reliable and comfortable. It ticks all the boxes of a good ear defender. However, some parents did mention that the headphones slipped off their baby’s head at times.
This occurred when their babies were especially young – the fit got better as the babies grew. But, the slips weren’t frequent and the defender’s are mostly reliable.
- Adds zero pressure to the child’s head
- Friendly design
- May slip
The WORCBGIO ear protection headphones are the most aesthetically appealing of our 5 selected newborn eamuffs. The pair’s shape and design are compact and cosy. They’re also super cute, and you can pick from seven different styles! Each pair is also delivered in colourful packaging.
Of course, looks don’t mean anything if the product doesn’t perform well. Fortunately, these ear defenders don’t disappoint here, either. It has an SNR (Single Number Rating) - the EU’s equivalent of the NRR – of 29 decibels, so it blocks noise well.
It also comes with an elastic headband that can stretch up to 37.5 inches, making it suitable for babies of all head sizes.
The only real drawback of the WORCBGIO is that it isn’t suited for infants under 3 months. Otherwise, it’s a great set of baby earmuffs.
All things considered, the WORCBGIO ear protection headphones make for a practical (and cute) pair.
- Cute aesthetic
- 29 decibels SNR (noise protection level)
- Comes with storage box
- Certified high quality
- Adjustable for all baby head sizes
- Not suitable for children younger than 3 months’ old
We hope our guide convinced you of the importance of newborn ear defenders. They are inexpensive, practical and can keep your baby’s ear safe from the harm of loud noises.
We've covered 5 great choices, but some of them are more appropriate for younger ages. So if you’re looking to buy a pair, be sure to check that the pair is right for your baby’s age.
Thanks for reading and please share any comments or questions you have!