Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison
- How is Hearing Protection for Babies Rated?
- View the Best Baby Ear Protection
- The Bottom Line
Baby Hearing Protection Buyer’s Guide
- Why is Hearing Protection for Babies So Important?
- Which Children Will Benefit Most From Hearing Protection?
- Finding the Right Hearing Protection For Your Baby
- 1. Check the NRR on Your Baby’s Ear Protection
- 2. Make Sure the Headband is the Right Size
- 3. Make Sure the Ear Protection is Lightweight
- 4. Three Comfort Keys for Your Baby’s Ear Protection Device
- 5. Leather v. Synthetic Material: Which is Your Best Bet?
- 6. Check out the Product’s Durability
- 7. Looks Do Matter (to Some Children)
- 8. Make Sure There’s a Warranty and Exchange Policy
For this review, our team spent countless hours researching and reviewing dozens of baby ear muffs until we narrowed it down to our list of the four best baby ear protection products on the market.
Making sure your baby is healthy and safe is a top priority for any parent.
Although hearing may not be the first thing that comes to mind, it is important to protect your little one from harmful noise exposure early on.
Infants and young children have very fragile auditory systems and once damage is done, it cannot be reversed.
Not only does hearing protection prevent damage to their sensitive ears, but it may also help keep them calm and content in noisy environments that would otherwise be overwhelming for both you and baby.
So without further ado, let’s jump right into our favorite picks!
How is Hearing Protection for Babies Rated?
Just like earmuffs or earplugs for adults, hearing protection devices for children are given a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) which is a scale that indicates how much protection a device will give in a noisy environment.
NRR is given in decibels (dB) SPL which is a measure of sound pressure level.
So, in the case of hearing protection, higher is better. A higher NRR means more sound is being kept out and better hearing protection.
We know that if you plan on bringing your baby to any noisy sporting events or concerts, you should consider investing in hearing protection, but how do you know which type to choose?
For infants and young children, over-the-ear muffs and headphones are ideal because of their tiny ears and ear canals.
Still, it can be difficult to decide on which product will give your baby the most protection and comfort, so we have outlined some of the most highly rated hearing protection devices for infants below.
View the Best Baby Ear Protection
Baby Banz Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection
The Baby Banz Ear Protection Earmuffs are specially crafted for your littlest ones, specializing in hearing protection for newborns.
However, they boast that these earmuff can fit kiddos up to 24 months and older.
These earmuffs are good for all types of noisy environments, whether at a playground, movie, rodeo, concert, watching fireworks, during a thunderstorm, or on an airplane, you can rest assured that your child’s hearing will be protected.
These are also our top pick for the overall best baby ear protection! Let’s find out why.
Main features of the Baby Banz Ear Protection Earmuffs:
- Earpieces are cushioned with comfy foam, and don’t pinch or squeeze their sensitive heads
- Made of “kid-friendly” materials that are made to be durable for all adventures
- High NRR of 31 dB SPL
- Available in 16 unique colors
- 1-year guarantee
Why We Like It
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Pro-Ears ReVO Baby Headphone
Now we’d like to introduce you to the Pro Ears ReVO youth ear muffs.
These muffs are fully equipped with electronic noise reduction technology that prevent loud, damaging noise to get through while still allowing through environmental sounds and conversation, so that your baby is not totally shut out from your voice.
Let’s dive into some of their main features as well as some of the great and not-so-great things parents had to say about the Pro Ears ReVO ear muffs.
Main features of the Pro Ears ReVO:
- Adjustable headband for all head sizes
- Large, comfortable, form-fitting, leather ear cushions to allow for maximum noise reduction
- NRR of 25 dB SPL
- Offer a 1-year warranty
- Huge variety of fun colors and patterns
Why We Like It
3M Peltor Junior Earmuff Baby Headphones
Next, let’s talk about the Peltor Junior Earmuffs by 3M.
This trusted brand certainly comes through with protection for the little ones, by offering this smaller size with the same quality.
These youth-sized headphones may be ideal for infants and toddlers, but can adjust to fit a wide variety of ages. Below are some of the main features, as well as the pros and cons of these muffs.
- General purpose hearing protection, for a variety of noisy environments
- NRR of 22 dB SPL
- Very affordable, so these are great if you have more than one child you want to purchase hearing protection for
- Two color options — black and pink
- Easily adjustable, padded headband
Why We Like It
BEBE Muff Hearing Baby Ear Protection
The final hearing protection device for infants we want to introduce you to is the BEBE Muff.
These muffs have a lightweight, comfortable, gender neutral design for little ones 2 years and older. They are sure to provide your baby with quality hearing protection, no matter what you need them for.
Below are the main features, as well as what parents had to say about BEBE muff hearing protection.
Main features of the BEBE Muff:
- NRR of 25 dB SPL
- Foldable and compact for traveling
- Soft, PVA leather headband
- Constructed with durable ABS muff caps
- Lifetime guarantee and outstanding customer service
Why We Like It
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is, no matter which hearing protection you choose, any of these options are better than nothing when it comes to protecting sensitive, little ears.
We hope that you can be proactive in choosing one of these products that have stood to the test based on parent reviews.
When it’s all said and done though, we recommend going with the Baby Banz Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection. They have the highest NRR rating, are available in 16 unique colors, and are feature a comfortable fit for your little one.
Hearing health is our top priority, and it is even more important for little ones who have delicate auditory systems which can be easily damaged by loud noise.
Protecting your child is a responsibility all parents take serious and the same care should be taken when it comes to the dangers associated with loud environments.
We hope that our review of the best baby ear protection will help you decide which type of hearing protection is best for your baby. Good luck!
Baby Hearing Protection Buyer’s Guide
Why is Hearing Protection for Babies So Important?
You may be wondering why you need to be concerned about your child’s hearing. If you’re taking her for regular checkups and she’s responding readily to hearing her name being called and other low– to mid-level sounds, the likelihood is that she’s developing normally.
However, about 15% of people in the U.S. age 18 and over report that they have difficulty hearing in one or both ears. In fact, over the course of his or her lifetime, an American adult has a 16% chance of being diagnosed with some degree of hearing disability.
Most concerning of all, by the time hearing loss is detected, it’s possible that the issue has been developing for years, experts say. That means hearing loss may begin in childhood, when you think your child’s hearing is just fine.
The National Institutes of Health reported a slightly higher percentage of hearing loss in 2017 v. 2016, which is also concerning. The reason for the increase could be due to a number of factors, including very loud direct sound via earbuds, electronic sounds through devices such as tablets, and noisy sport or music events.
If you protect your baby’s hearing before there’s a detectable problem, you’re putting the odds in her favor and helping ensure healthy hearing in the future.
Which Children Will Benefit Most From Hearing Protection?
While all babies’ and toddlers’ ears should be protected in noisy environments, some children may be especially good candidates for wearing ear protection. These include but are not exclusive to:
Children who naturally seem more sensitive to sound
Children who cry/pull their ears/try to run away in the presence of sudden or loud sounds
Children who have had recent surgeries or procedures in the middle or inner ear or ear drum
Babies and toddlers who seem to become overstimulated from noises or activity
Any child who will be near sounds above approximately 80 decibels –– fireworks, loud car or other shows, loud music, power tools, etc. (even if the noise is only expected to last for a short period of time)
Babies and toddlers who have already been diagnosed with some form of hearing damage
The above does not constitute medical advice; if you suspect hearing loss in your child, see her doctor.
Finding the Right Hearing Protection For Your Baby
Finding great baby ear protection that will work for your child can be a bit of a juggling act. Babies and toddlers often dislike having anything on their head, or anything at all that gets in the way of their freedom of movement.
That’s natural, but it means you need to find just the right ear protection gear for your little one. During our research we chose the highest-rated ear muffs for babies that are also parent-approved.
With that said, you may wish to shop around and decide which of these works for Baby. We’ve compiled the most important factors to keep in mind. We’ve based them on verified users’ experiences. Below are the most relevant questions you’ll want to ask yourself before making a purchase.
1. Check the NRR on Your Baby’s Ear Protection
We’ll explain the NRR in more detail below in this article. Briefly: NRR stands for “noise reduction rating.” The NRR is an EPA standard of measurement used for noise protection products.
Baby ear protection with a high NRR (up to about 31 or 32) tends to be a bit pricier than lower NRR ear muffs. Depending upon your child’s ear sensitivity, she may do fine with a lower NRR (about 18 and up).
If your child is a usually only sensitive to mid-decibel sounds –– for example, while out at the store or the park –– start out with a standard rating. If your child is extremely sensitive or if you will be in an area with very high decibel noise, shop around for your best value with the highest NRR.
Very high NRR protection may also be a good choice if you want your bases covered anywhere you plan to take your child.
2. Make Sure the Headband is the Right Size
Most youth hearing protection comes in adjustable sizing. The headband adjusts up or down just as it does with adult headphones. But since babies grow dramatically between birth and age two, some manufacturers offer specific size ranges.
Believe it or not, a baby’s head at age 24 months is 90% of the size it will be when she’s an adult. Since head growth varies most during these first two years, specific sizes may be more important for a baby than for a preschooler, who will probably do fine with child’s standard adjustable earmuffs.
When in doubt, try before you buy. Your best bet if purchasing online is to make sure the supplier offers a returns or exchange policy. Also, be sure to read consumer reviews, as these will give you an idea of how the sizing has worked for different babies and toddlers.
3. Make Sure the Ear Protection is Lightweight
Most toddlers will fuss if they have to wear something heavy. (We’re sure that as a parent, you already know that!) So choose an option that’s lightweight for your child’s comfort.
This is another case where reading reviews comes in handy. Ear protection muffs do have to have some weight to them, but some are made of lighter materials than others. Please note that the choices we investigated above are all fairly lightweight.
4. Three Comfort Keys for Your Baby’s Ear Protection Device
Of course, your baby’s hearing protection is your goal. On the other hand, the highest NRR and best noise seal in the world won’t mean much if Baby refuses to wear the device. So look for these three important features:
Padded headband: Ultra-soft padding is a huge bonus.
Soft ear cuffs: The interior padding should be insulating against sound, but soft and comfortable.
Secure but not-too-tight fit: While you don’t want the ear protection band to slip off your baby’s head, you don’t want it to squeeze. An adjustable set can help with this.
5. Leather v. Synthetic Material: Which is Your Best Bet?
There are pros and cons to either of these. Leather looks and feels high-quality and if it’s been correctly treated in the factory, can last a long time. Synthetics, such as vinyls (PVC, for example), may repel sweat better and tend to be easier to clean.
Leather costs more; if price is a consideration, you may have better luck with synthetics. Make sure your baby doesn’t have negative reactions to vinyl before making this decision. Most children are fine with synthetic ear protection. Your child’s experiences could vary.
6. Check out the Product’s Durability
It’s pretty much guaranteed that your toddler’s ear protection gear will be chewed on, spilled all over, and thrown into the baby bag at the last minute. Check reviews to see how a particular model holds up under standard handling.
The product should be easy to clean and water-stain resistant. It should also be sturdy enough not to break when handled by your youngster. Remember that as the parent, you may be subjecting the ear protection earmuffs to some rough times, too. You’ll be grabbing for the earmuffs, putting them on and taking them off Baby, and will probably be toting them from place to place.
Fold-up varieties are great; because the earphones are more compact, they’re less likely to get caught on things and break when you cart them around.
7. Looks Do Matter (to Some Children)
It may be easier to get your little one to wear her ear protection if it looks awesome. You’re in luck: today’s baby ear protection comes in super cool colors and patterns.
If your child is toddler-age or older, ask what her favorite color is. She’ll be much more likely to proudly wear her ear protection if she loves the color.
As for patterns, some child ear protection gear has these. Look for child-friendly animals, rain patterns, or other appealing visual features.
Of course, once they’re on her head, your child won’t be able to see the sound protective ear muffs anymore. The choices we found were primarily basic black or white, but also offered color options. This will be up to you and to your child’s tastes.
8. Make Sure There’s a Warranty and Exchange Policy
We know you’ve experienced this: you find what looks like the perfect item for your child…and she just can’t stand it. Sometimes she’ll tell you why; other times, you have to simply put it down to her own idiosyncrasies and delightfully unique personality.
Just in case that perfect baby ear protection isn’t so perfect to your toddler, make sure the gear you choose comes with a returns or exchange policy.
Warranties are also great. Usually these will protect against manufacturer’s defects. Check the warranty limitations carefully.