Getting your child to fall asleep (and stay asleep) is not a task for the faint of heart. For the most part, repetition, patience, and maybe a little praying are a part of every parent's repertoire. Don't worry, no one will blame you for using every handy tool at your disposal -- like your Smartphone -- to pull it off. Testing out some sleep-inducing apps at naptime or bedtime is an easy place to start, and we've rounded up the ten best apps, designed for babies and older kids, that are worth trying out today.
If you've spent hours shushing your baby to sleep, you'll want to try this app, which provides the rhythmic, soothing shushing sound for you. The timing feature allows you to keep the noise going, and the sound equalizer automatically adjusts the volume if your baby starts crying over it. (Free; iPhone or Android)
Sometimes all a baby needs for a perfect night's sleep is a little music. The prerecorded lullabies of this app, which include simple melodies and lullaby classics such as "Hush, Little Baby" will soothe your little one to sleep. You can even set a timer to keep the songs playing for as long as you like. (Free; Android)
With a library of almost 200 sound loops -- including everything from rainstorms and waves to electronic instruments -- Lightning Bug is a white-noise mixer that's bound to have the sound that will help your baby fall fast asleep...and stay asleep. The alarm and snooze prevent you from falling asleep while your baby's still awake. (Free; Android)
Along with its white noise, lullabies, and nature sounds, the Sleepy Sounds app also displays soothing animation while it?s playing. The images serve as a calming night-light that can help kids (and even adults!) fall asleep. You can also record your own music and sounds. (Free; iPhone or Android)
When an app uses technical words such as "binaural and isochronic entrainment" to describe how it works, you figure it's got to be good. In layman's terms, this app mixes two tones (or binaural beats) that are sent to each ear; the mix creates a pulsating effect and a frequency that will signal brain waves to slow down and relax. The app also sends a single pulsating tone (an isochronic beat) that may induce meditation. Together, the tones help your child fall asleep quickly and then stay deeply asleep. There are more than 30 tracks, effects, and sounds to pick from. ($1.99; iPhone)