Do baby shushers work? Short answer: Yes.
My wife and I became parents on December 21, 2019 (our one-year anniversary) to a baby boy.
He’s wonderful, and as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we love him — impolite excretions and all.
Naturally, one of the first things we were worried about was his sleep. We’ve heard all the stats about parents being awake for way too long, including how the symptoms of sleep deprivation can last for up to six years.
As our son rounds out 10 weeks, I can’t say whether that’s true.
But it’s definitely true for 10 weeks.
That’s why we started taking as much sleep advice as we could get when it comes to our son’s snooze schedule.
We got a nice pack-and-play, my dad built us a surprise bassinet, and we even took a class on baby sleep cycles at our hospital.
During the class, the sleep consultant (which is a pretty cool job) talked about something called a baby shusher.
It’s pretty much an MP3 player that plays the same 5-second “shush” noise someone recorded in their spare time for 15 or 30 minutes at a time.
Does it sound lame? Yes.
Does it work? Weirdly, also yes.
Here’s what it’s like to own and use one.
What Is a Baby Shusher?
A baby shusher plays a soothing shushing noise (as in, someone saying “shh”) on repeat to help sooth babies who need to relax.
It’s like a chill pill for humans who can’t handle placebos yet.
The construction of a shusher is simple plastic in three parts, two of which are orange. The top orange part controls the time (15 minutes or 30 minutes) and the bottom part controls the volume.
… And that’s it. That’s the whole thing.
How Does a Baby Shusher Work?
Baby shushers are made to create a noise that allegedly replicates the sound that a baby most often hears when in the womb — their mother’s blood pumping.
If that sounds a little morbid, it’s apparently accurate. And I say “apparently” because it’s irrelevant whether the sounds are similar.
The important thing is that it works.
The only caveat to this is that baby shusher’s round shape. For whatever reason, the manufacturer chose to make the whole unit cylindrical. The problem here is that the sound comes from the bottom.
This is a pretty huge design flaw.
If you have your baby shusher standing upright, the sound can’t come out.
So if you roll it on its side to make the sound come out, the shusher keeps rolling — especially if it’s on a hard and smooth surface.
The baby shusher would be drastically improved if it were made in any shape with straight sides (and rounded edges, of course) so that it could sit sideways without rolling away.
Otherwise, baby shushers are made and work exceptionally well. They don’t have much to do — but they do it reliably.
What more could you want?
What Does a Baby Shusher Sound Like?
The sound can feel disruptive and obnoxious to adult ears at first. You wouldn’t choose to make the noise on repeat yourself, and it’s not like there are long lines of us waiting to shush each other to relax.
But you get used to it — and it’s surprising how quickly the sound fades into the background.
It’s also worth noting that the “shush” isn’t the obnoxious replacement for “shut up” that you get from middle-aged restaurant-goers who write “Why should I tip you for doing your job?” on their checks.
It’s more of a calm and almost passive sound that more resembles blood rushing in your ears than a sound coming out of your mouth.
That’s nice for a couple of reasons.
First, it’s not an abrasive noise — at least once you get used to it.
Second, it doesn’t make you furious at the generational, income, and class divide that has come to be the hallmark of generation-gap interactions by high-income Baby Boomers and never-going-to-retire-because-I’m-still-paying-off-school-lunch-debt Millennials / Gen Z.
Anyway, that’s what a baby shusher sounds like.
Should You Buy a Baby Shusher?
At least, I recommend one.
It may not be the “baby sleep miracle” that it claims to be on its exterior.
But it could still do the trick to get your baby to sleep when all else fails.
In fact, I recommend you make it the first thing you try to get your baby to sleep. If this fails, you can always try something new. But there’s a decent chance it’ll at least help your baby settle down with rocking, bouncing, or back-pats at the same time.
Where Do You Get a Baby Shusher?
They’re $35, which seems high at first.
But you have to remember that this thing is made to last, its batteries don’t seem to die (mine haven’t after three months of use), and it can help your baby sleep.
If that statement doesn’t resonate with you, then you’re not a parent yet.
Give it a shot or get it for your baby-expecting friends.
Baby shushers are the real deal, and they absolutely work.