Shh, Shhhh, Shhhhhhhhh… that’s the sound I make when trying to calm my baby down. But guess what: when you’re in the depths of newborn exhaustion, it can get tiring to shush for a long time.
Introducing the Baby Shusher. (You can hear it here.)
The Baby Shusher draws from Dr. Harvey Karp’s “Happiest Baby” soothing method, which includes five steps (famously known as “the 5 Ss”): swaddle, swing, side or stomach position, shush, and suck.
Remember: in utero, babies are used to the sound of mom’s blood flow, which makes a shushing sound louder than a vacuum cleaner! Newborns don’t actually need or want silence to lull and keep them asleep. They’re accustomed to the white noise of the womb, which is exactly what the baby Shusher provides. It uses a series of loud, rhythmic shushing noises to sound like someone is saying “shhhhhhhhh” in a long, drawn out way…over and over again.
The Shusher device has a 15- to 30-minute timer, which is limiting. It also shuts off rather abruptly. The app is better for parents who need that sucker running all night long (longer than 30 minutes, rather). For colicky, fussy babies, the 8-hour shushing span the app offers is a real lifesaver.
To activate the sound on the physical shusher, all you have to do is twist one end of the device. You can set the timer for 15 or 30 minutes and adjust the volume (by twisting the opposite end), depending on how calm or fussy your baby is. Place the Shusher about two feet from him/her. Then crank it up so that he or she can hear it over their crying. Shoot, they can even snuggle up with it.
I particularly love that it’s small enough to carry in my diaper bag. And at about the size and weight of a soda can, I can bring it with me in the car and on the plane without adding too much weight to my load. *It does operate on batteries, so make sure to have a spare if you travel long distances.
Besides the price and shushing-length, the app has another big advantage: a sound equalizer. This means that the app “listens” to your baby and adjusts the shushing sound to the baby’s cry volume (what!? So cool!). When your baby is wailing, the shushing sound goes up. When he or she is calm, it goes down. The shushing is a bit more static on the app, but it didn’t bother us.
The only (major) drawback to using the app is the fact that smartphones release microwave radiation. This is something you don’t have to worry about with the Baby Shusher O.G. Just remember to always put your phone on airplane mode (or, like Charlene’s family did, dedicate an old phone for baby shushing use).
Though you can use it indefinitely, the Baby Shusher is most helpful during the 4th trimester. All in all, the Shusher device and the app have provided many families with much-needed relief in early infancy. Many call it a true lifesaver.
See also: Our other favorite sound machine devices