Before my second son was born, I already knew I needed a sound machine to use as an initial aid for sleep training. From experience with my first born, the shush-pat method was the most effective and least demanding. But shushing continuously for fifteen minutes until bubba fell asleep literally took my breath away.
The Baby Shusher was one of the first recommendations that popped up on my Google search. Even back then in 2017, it was already hailed as “The Miracle Soother”.
Well, I had no reason to doubt something that was so highly acclaimed and reviewed!
I bought it, waited anxiously, tried it out and…
… Ended up re-boxing it back into its original packaging a few weeks later and gifting it to a colleague who’d just given birth too. Here are the reasons why (the MOST IMPORTANT reason being the last one on this list):
1. The Baby Shusher is not travel-friendly
One common review that you’ll see on Google and Amazon regarding the Baby Shusher is its oddly shaped design. The speaker – for reasons unbeknownst to users – is located right at the bottom, so you can’t stand it up or the sound gets muffled.
The rest of the body is round, so it constantly rolls around in the crib, especially when the baby moves around too. The egg-shaped design also makes it difficult to hang or hook onto anything.
In my few short weeks of owning it, I never quite figured out how to take it out and about with me in the car and the pram.
2. For the price you pay, the Baby Shusher’s functions are underwhelming
To put it bluntly, the Baby Shusher is literally JUST a shushing machine. No night light, soothing music, or clock.
I knew immediately that once my newborn outgrows it in a few months (the shush-pat method isn’t as effective on babies over 6 months), it will be reduced to a chew toy or thrown around by my two boys.
For the same price, many other sound machines are multifunctional and can serve other purposes once the baby is older. In terms of its value for money in the long run, the Baby Shusher is extremely short-lived.
3. Last but not least… the Baby Shusher only has TWO timer settings
The Baby Shusher only runs for either 15 minutes or 30 minutes at a time, after which it auto shuts down. You have to manually click the power button again to start it up.
This is apparently quite a common complaint amongst other buyers too. The fact that you can’t keep it running continuously is extremely frustrating. It doesn’t even fade gradually, it just STOPS. Sometimes the baby takes longer to settle and, not long after he falls asleep, the shushing abruptly stops and the sudden deathly silence shocks baby awake.
I wish this was part of the disclaimer on the product before I bought it, but it was a complete deal breaker as soon as I opened it and realised there is no continuous sound-on option.
In about 90% of sleep training e-books and courses that I’ve read, the recommendation for using sound as a sleep training aid – whether it be music, white noise, or shushing – is that you maintain the length of that sound for the entire duration of baby’s sleep.
Imagine falling asleep to a beautiful lullaby, and then waking up to complete dead silence. Like the world has ended. That’s probably how your baby will feel waking up to nothing.
Having only a maximum of 30 minutes meant I was anxiously keeping an eye on the clock and rushing back into the room before the time was up to reset the Baby Shusher so it would keep going.
A couple of other reviews also mentioned that the power button clicks very loudly. I can attest that this is indeed true. If you have a baby who is sensitive to sound, the clicking noise alone will be enough to wake her.
Till this day I am still baffled as to why this product would not have a continuous running option. Perhaps because it can only hold two AA batteries? If so, why not just make it a rechargeable one so you can plug it into the wall and keep it running?
Underwhelming functions and usability for its price tag. Not very user-friendly and effectiveness is dependent on individual babies.
An alternative to the Baby Shusher that solves all the problems
I am currently pregnant with my third baby, and so I have scoured the Internet once again to find something that will actually work for the baby and myself this time.
I am amazed at how difficult it is to find a white noise machine that ticks all the boxes, but I believe I have finally found The One: The Soundbubs by Wavhello
- Reasonable cost (only slightly more expensive than the Baby Shusher)
- Continuous play option
- 3 white noise tracks and 11 soothing tracks (this is an important feature because some babies don’t like shushing or white noise, and prefer music instead)
- Easy to take around – The clip also reverses to function as a stand!
- Rechargeable lithium battery
Functions as a Bluetooth speaker – You can play music and other digital content via their free VoiceShare app.
Made of chew-safe materials – There are some sound machines like the much loved Ewan The Dream Sheep and Beanie The Bear that are designed like plush toys. Babies chew and dribble A LOT. Plushies are basically a breeding ground for mould and other nasties.
Adorable and baby relatable design – I think it’s crucial that the baby recognises and accepts its sound machine as a sleep cue. To have a design that appeals to babies means it’ll have greater success of being loved.
Photos: Wavhello Instagram
The Soundbub is designed and patented in the US, so it’s a fairly new product in Australia. As far as I can tell it is only available on Amazon Australia if you want to get it locally.
Even though it’s a new product in Australia, it is already ranked #3 in the Sleep Soothers bestsellers on Amazon AU.
Here is an official demo video from the founder of Wavehello and Soundbub designer himself:
Needless to say, I’m keen on getting a Soundbub for baby no.3, but I’ll wait till closer to the due date, because I’m pretty sure even if it’s made of steel my two boys will still be able to destroy it if I let them.
If you love reading reviews, check out my review of Little Ones baby sleep program.