As far as soundproofing a nursery goes, it’s not so much about blocking every sound possible, but rather about creating a comfortable space for your baby to sleep in, and of course, if you live on a busy street or if you have loud neighbors, you will need to do some work.
But in many cases, it may be as easy as getting a white noise machine to soothe the baby.
However, in this article I will cover every possible step you could take in order to fully soundproof the baby’s nursery.
How to Soundproof a Nursery
To properly soundproof a nursery you will need to seal every place where sound can come in, starting with the doors and windows by using a weatherstrip, acoustic caulk and a door sweep.
Another effective method is to use a white noise machine since it will mask all outside noises and create a comfortable atmosphere for your baby to sleep in.
There are plenty of additional steps one could take, and I will cover those in this post as well, but soundproofing the doors and windows is by far the best way to go about it since it’s where sound usually finds a way into the room.
Soundproofing vs Sound Absorption
People often think of these terms as being interchangeable, but they definitely are not.
Soundproofing consists in blocking sound, not letting it in or out of a room.
Sound absorption relies on using thick and heavy materials that help absorb the soundwaves in a room, effectively lowering echo. However sound absorption does very little to block outside noises.
Note: Installing materials that absorb sound will also help with soundproofing, jut not as much as most people think.
If you truly want to keep noises out of a room, then installing materials that actually block sound is the way to go.
Let’s get into the guide!
1. Soundproof the Door
Soundproofing a door can be done in about 15 minutes and for very cheap, and the results will be very noticeable.
One tip I can give you to check if the door is properly sealed is to have someone stand on the other side of the door (with the door closed) using a flashlight to light all around the frame.
You, from the other side of the door, shouldn’t see any light get through if it’s sealed properly.
If you can see certain spots where light comes through, work on those until they are sealed.
Steps to soundproofing a door;
- Weatherstrip the door: Weatherstripping tape is by far the best tool to create an air-right seal between the door and the frame.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: While not as important, acoustic caulk can help you seal off any gaps that might have formed over the years between the frame and the wall.
- Install a Door Sweep: A door sweep will cover up the gap left between the floor and the door.
- Use Acoustic Blankets: Hanging an acoustic blanket on the door might help by adding an additional barrier, especially if the door is thin.
While doing these things should already provide a drastic improvement, if you want to soundproof the door even further then read my post on how to properly soundproof a door.
In my home, once I applied weatherstripping and a door sweep, the difference was very noticeable and in most cases, it’s all you’ll need to do.
Important Note: Some nurseries have Sliding Doors, and the way to soundproof them is quite different, so here’s a guide on how to soundproof those.
2. Soundproof the Windows
Glass isn’t particularly known for its insulation capabilities, which means that windows are definitely a place that you will need to work on to soundproof the bathroom, especially if they connect it to the house, which isn’t that normal but I’ve seen it happen.
The process of soundproofing the windows is almost identical to the one of the doors, but if you want a full guide on how to do it, here is my guide on how to soundproof windows.
Steps to Soundproofing a Window
- Use a Weatherstrip: Same concept applies here; attach the weatherstrip to the frame and this should create an air-tight seal when closing the window.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: If there’s a small gap between the frame and the wall, which tends to happen on older windows, use caulk to seal them.
- Install Acoustic Curtains: Hanging good-quality acoustic curtains will absorb some of the sound.
- Use Moving Blankets: Moving blankets are great sound absorbers and they are easy to install.
There is a lot more to it and if you really want to soundproof your windows properly, then check out the post I linked earlier, but as long as you weatherstrip the windows and cover them up with a really thick material, you should be set.
In most cases, I don’t recommend covering the windows up with an acoustic blanket or a window plug because it will keep natural light from getting into the room, but in this particular case it might actually help the baby sleep better.
3. Soundproof the Electrical Outlets
You might be wondering why I’m even mentioning this, since one wouldn’t immediately think of outlets being the culprit of poor sound insulation, but they definitely can let noises in- or out of any room, and this could definitely wake your baby up, and considering how easy it is to deal with, why not just do it right and be done with it?
Steps to Soundproofing an Electrical Outlet
- Use an Outlet Seal: These rubber seals go between the plate and the electrical box and will prevent both sound and air-drafts.
- Acoustic Putty: Acoustic Putty can be used to soundproof odd shaped, such as electrical boxes.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: You could also use acoustic caulk between the plate and the electrical box/wall to create a righter seal.
4. Use Soundproofing Curtains
The great thing about soundproofing curtains, apart from reducing outside noise, is that they can work both on windows and doors, plus they work as part of the décor.
A couple of things to consider before purchasing soundproofing curtains;
- Get the longest ones you can find; They work best if the go from ceiling to floor, because this way sound has fewer places where it can enter the room.
- They should be wider than the window/door; The wider they are, the more they will naturally fold, which means that they will be in contact with the wall more often, forming a better seal.
- Soundproofing Curtains need to be Thick, Heavy and Dense.
I wrote an entire article regarding soundproofing curtains, whether they work or if they are just a marketing gimmick, which ones to get, how to install them, etc. and you should check that post out if you’re thinking about getting a pair.
5. Soundproof the walls
Properly soundproofing a wall will require some work and a lot of time and money, but if the baby’s nursery is sharing a wall with the neighbors apartment or with any other member of your family who tends to be loud, then this might be your only recourse.
Note: Soundproofing the walls would by no means be a priority to me considering how much work and money goes into it.
Add an Extra layer of Drywall
While it may be quite expensive and time-consuming to add some drywall to your existing walls in order to add another barrier that sound would need to go through, it might be the best way to really deal with the issue in some cases.
Drywall will act as an additional barrier, and this reduces the amount of noise that is allowed to leave the room drastically, and as far as soundproofing goes, installing materials that block sound instead of absorbing it, like acoustic panels would, is the best way to do it.
One additional thing you might consider doing is adding some soundproofing compound to the back of the drywall to block sound even further.
Note: Use acoustic caulk to seal the gaps left between the sheets of drywall.
Hang Acoustic Blankets on the walls
Acoustic blankets are probably my favorite item to help reduce unwanted noises due to their very low price.
If you can get past the way they look, since they won’t help with the décor of the room at all, then these might be a great alternative since you can hang them on the wall that has the most noise issues, covering as much surface as you can, and it should help significantly.
A classic example would be these moving blankets from Amazon (affiliate link).
6. Get a White Noise Machine
If you’ve ever used a white noise machine to help you sleep, or a regular fan for that matter, then you know how effective they can be.
What these machines will do is create a consistent noise that covers/masks all other irregular noises, like a car driving by with loud music or blowing the horn, and this will keep your baby from waking up because these noises won’t be nearly as noticeable.
From personal experience, I have to say that these things are a lifesaver.
But like I mentioned, any source that can create a consistent sound should work, like a fan or music.
So, you could buy a white noise machine like this one (affiliate link), or just use a fan you have at home, as long as it’s not aimed directly at the baby.
7. Install Materials that absorb Sound
While sound absorption may not be the best solution to block sound, it can certainly help at making the room feel quieter since the echo dies out a lot quicker, and this creates a much more comfortable atmosphere for the baby.
In order for a material to be considered good at absorbing sound it needs to have certain characteristics; It needs to be thick, dense, and heavy.
A great example would be a thick Rug.
Other ways to absorb sound in the baby’s nursery would be to install acoustic curtains, acoustic panels, to have a sofa with lots of cushions, etc.
Creating a comfortable space for your baby to sleep in is not so much about blocking as much sound as possible, since you also want to be able to hear your baby if they wake up.
In fact, most people don’t even close the nursery’s door, which means that soundproofing it wouldn’t make that much sense.
I would suggest soundproofing the windows as much as possible since this is where most outside noise can enter.
But after this I would move on to absorbing a bit of sound in the room itself by placing a thick rug on the floor, installing acoustic curtains, etc.
Lastly, I’d highly recommend getting a white noise machine since they seriously help a lot!
Following these steps will get you great results, and most of them can be done in 15 minutes, or less.
If you live on a busy street or have loud neighbors, then it might be a good idea to invest some time and money into soundproofing the nursery.
I hope this information was useful!
Have a great day!
Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Facundo