Skip to main content

Why you need baby earmuffs to protect your child from noise

No need to miss out on loud events with baby earmuffs

ljubaphoto / Getty Images

Loud noises can be annoying for most people, but for a baby, loud noises can negatively impact their hearing. Noisy environments can be more than just scary to your little one. The alarming fact is that long-term or even short periods of exposure to especially loud sounds can damage your newborn, infant, or toddler’s sensitive inner ear — potentially leading to noise-induced hearing loss.

Unfortunately, severe damage to the hearing nerve is irreversible. If you suspect your young child may have some hearing loss, you will want to ask a doctor or specialist to perform tests. To help prevent hearing loss, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep their ears healthy and safe, like getting a pair of baby earmuffs for your little one. Headphones for infants can actually give little ones the protective benefits of noise reduction. Want to know when to slap a pair on your peanut? Read on for all the important tips and info.

Baby wearing headphones

8 times your baby definitely needs ear protection

Volume is measured in decibels or dBA. Anything above 85 dBA can potentially harm your babe’s ears, so you will want to have age-appropriate headphones or baby earmuffs handy. Potentially dangerous, high-volume situations include, but are not limited to:

  • Indoor and outdoor concerts and live shows
  • Firework displays
  • Sporting events
  • Large events (i.e., weddings and parties)
  • Flying in an airplane or sometimes, while using other forms of mass transportation
  • When requiring a nap in a noisy environment (noise-reducing headphones can help them get to sleep despite perpetual auditory disturbances)
  • At busy indoor restaurants, etc.
  • Nearby loud construction work

If you are not sure if a venue is too noisy for your baby, you can also try downloading a sound-level meter app on your phone. If the approximate measurement comes in at around or above 85 dBA, consider putting a pair of muffs over your sweetheart’s adorable little ears.

Baby with noise-canceling headphones
Biehler Michael/Shutterstock

What type of ear protection should you purchase?

Not all baby earmuffs for noise are created equal. You will want to do your due diligence before purchasing any old pair, and look for a few specific and important features:

  • First, you will want a pair that is age appropriate and designed with your infant or toddler’s small size and head circumference in mind. That means a band should fit well (cozily) and feel comfortable.
  • Look for the noise-reducing level on the packaging. A pair with a higher noise reduction rating (NRR) will reduce more noise. Ideally, you want the NRR to be around 30 dBA or more.
  • Avoid small plugs or ear inserts for babies and toddlers. These can easily get lodged in tiny ears, get lost, or even pose a choking hazard (toddlers will be toddlers, after all). Instead, opt for over-the-head baby earmuffs. These are the best (and safest) bets at this stage and age.
  • Look for a pair that offers ample padding at the ear. If you are planning to be somewhere loud for an extended period of time, you will want to make sure that your little one stays comfortable, keeps them on, and maybe is even able to nod off while wearing them.
Preschooler wearing headphones

Is hearing loss a real risk?

You may think that your baby doesn’t need earmuffs, especially if you don’t think they’ll be exposed to loud noise for any extended period of time, but the Minnesota Department of Education notes that hearing damage can occur during a brief exposure to extreme loud sounds or consistent exposure to moderate level noise. They also found that an estimated 1 in every 8 children aged 6-19 years have permanent hearing loss due to noise.

If you think something may be too loud for your baby, you’re probably right.  “Noise that is potentially dangerous to an adult is even more dangerous to a child,” Levi A. Reiter, head of the audiology program at Hofstra University, told the New York Times. Baby earmuffs can help protect your child from,

You want your baby to be able to hear all those sweet soft lullabies, those smitten coos, and the adoring “I love you” whispers. That is why it is important to safeguard their tiny, sensitive ears from day one. Under normal circumstances, you won’t need to do anything, but if you are in a loud or disruptive environment, you will want to take some precautions and have noise-reducing headphones or earmuffs ready. No need to skip out on concerts, shows, and other life events with your littlest family member in tow, just be prepared and keep them protected.

Editors' Recommendations

Lauren Barth
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Lauren Barth is a freelance writer and digital editor with over a decade of experience creating lifestyle, parenting, travel…
When do babies sit up? What you need to know
Here's when you need to start baby-proofing the house
A baby sitting up looking at the camera.

So many firsts will happen in the first year of your baby's life. Some will be completely unpredictable, like the first word. But others you could kind of prep baby for, like the first time they sit up. When do babies sit up for the first time? When should your baby sit up without falling over or needing a few pillow assistants? Here's when your tenacious tot will conquer gravity to stay upright.
What age your baby will sit up

The first time your baby sits up without any support is a milestone parents can't wait for. It also means you don't have to keep propping your baby up with pillows and hoping they don't fall over the second you walk away. The earliest you could see your baby sitting up without support is around 4 months old, with a more accurate range of most babies sitting up between 7 and 9 months old.
Because baby sat up once, doesn't mean they're a pro
We aren't saying that by 7 months, your bundle will sit all day long and never topple over. But you will see your baby get stronger and more confident and be able to sit for longer periods of time. You'll still see a bit of bobbing around, a leaning tower of baby, and possible faceplants here and there. By 9 months old, they should be able to sit up the majority of the time without needing you to adjust them.
Why it matters that baby can sit up
A few things happen once baby learns to sit up. One is the promotion to eating solid foods, which your little one shouldn't eat until they can support their body. Once your babe sits propped up and can stay mostly centered, solid foods can enter the chat, and that's huge for both baby and parents. When your child sits up properly without you holding them, mealtimes become easier. 

Read more
Is Roblox safe for kids? You need to take these precautions
Should you ban this popular online in your home?
Roblox app on a cell phone.

Children and teens have been obsessed with video games since they first hit the market in 1971. Thank you, Pong. Since their initial release, video games have opened us up to the world of virtual reality, missions, conquests, storylines and epic battles as our characters move across the screen. In more recent years, video games have made a switch from versus and mission-style gaming to a more diverse genre such as platform gaming. Games included in this category include Minecraft and Fortnite, both of which parents are likely familiar with. So, what about the newest craze? What is Roblox and, more importantly, is Roblox safe for kids?

Roblox is the newest contender on the platform gaming scene. It's described as a global virtual center where users create their own worlds in Roblox Studio and play in the creations of others — something akin to a game within a game. Users play with friends in an endless list of stations, from escape rooms to pet adoption in real-time. But is Roblox safe for kids? What measures have they taken to protect young children from falling victim to online predators or bullying? Is there an approved age range for play? We will discuss these issues and help you determine if this trending gaming app is really worth all the hype.
What is Roblox, anyway?

Read more
9 beautiful fantasy girl names for your baby
Get inspired with these fantasy choices
Baby girl at a birthday party

If you love all things fantasy -- from books and movies to video games and beyond, you may have considered a fantasy-inspired girl name for your baby. Thanks to the emerging popularity of this genre, fantasy names are becoming more and more common. Consider names like Arya, which took off after the premiere of Game of Thrones, or Arwen, which was popularized by J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series. Names from fantasy books and movies can be an endless list to choose from.

If you've been thinking of a fantasy girl name for your little one, you have a lot of choices. We've compiled a list of nine beautiful fantasy girl names for your baby that are out of this world and that can help you narrow down your options.
Meaning "dawn," Aurora is well known for being Sleeping Beauty's given name. It is also the name of the mystical aurora borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, which much of the U.S. was able to witness recently.
The name alone evokes images of fair maidens and fantastical settings and was also the name of King Arthur's Queen. The name was often translated into Jennifer, but we think Guinevere is a beautiful option for someone looking for a fantasy-inspired name.
From Latin meaning "youthful" or "queen of the gods," this name would be ideal for any little girl. Despite the name being around for centuries, it has grown in popularity over the last two decades or so.
A fantastical take on the traditional Sarah, Seraphine is less common than Seraphina, which is also a stunning name option, making it a great name choice for those who want something unique but not unheard of.
Another name popularized in The Lord of the Rings books, Eowyn, pronounced "ay-oh-wyn" is a nontraditional name rooted in the fantasy genre.
Another name that gained attention is Melisandre, which is of Old German and Old French origin and means strong in work and brave strength. The fantasy series Game of Thrones featured a character named Melisandre.
Fans of the 1988 movie Willow will recognize the name Sorsha as the name of the princess in the film. Meaning "bright" or "freedom," this is a beautiful fantasy name for a girl.
Evoking images of royalty, Dauphine is the name you're looking for if you want a fantasy name with some French flavor.
Give your little girl the moon with the name Luna, the choice of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend for their eldest daughter.

Read more