Support networks are an important part of success for many people, especially parents. Spending time with other parents can provide a safe place to vent, decompress, and brainstorm approaches to persistant issues. A group of parents can function much like a think tank: working through a problem, tapping the multitude of varying experiences of the collective.
Sometimes other parents hand you a piece of advice so brilliant, yet simple, that you struggle to believe it. I’ve been on the receiving end of such advice, and it took me a minute to realize the simplicity and brilliance of the solution. So here’s my story.
It was a rather unassuming Southern California night in mid July. I was meeting some of my gym buddies for drinks at a local bar. It was a casual boys’ night and resulted in a hodgepodge arrangement of attendees. Some were older retired gents or close to it. Others were single and carefree, while some, myself included, were new parents.
Nothing about that day or evening indicated that I was about to receive some life changing advice. I met the group of guys on the patio, promptly ordered a beer, and began shooting the breeze with the fellas.
At some point our conversation shifted towards children, and I began receiving a barrage of questions about my girls. The twins were about 6 months old at this point, and their novelty had yet to wear off. As I filled the boys in on the status of the kids and parents, I mentioned that we were struggling with sleep training.
Side note: I am all for rocking your baby to sleep and then putting them down, while they’re an infant. There comes a point however where the kids need to be taught how to fall asleep by themselves. The process of teaching this technique can be equated with a ring of hell in Dante’s Inferno, but I digress…
At that moment, my buddy Brian told me, “Dude, you should get a Shusher!”
Unsure if he was messing with me, as he was a few beers ahead of me, I asked, “A shusher?”
“Yeah, bro a Shusher. It was a game changer for my kids,” he replied.
Still uncertain about the sincerity of his advice, I asked Brian, “What does it do?”
He leaned in, placed a finger over his mouth, and said, “It goes shhhhh, shhhhhh, shhhh.” I guess my hesitancy and skeptical look telegraphed to Brian that I was not buying his story.
“I’m serious! Look that sh*t up,” he told me, as he began sipping his beer and shifting his attention to one of the many TVs on the wall.
Well wouldn’t you know it, Brian was right. Though I did not realize it at the time, Brian had handed me one of my most prized possessions…. more sleep!
You see, apparently it’s pretty loud inside the womb, but as parents we expect our kids to fall asleep in total silence. This creates a jarring experience for the babies’ senses, as they quickly transition from a loud and snug environment to a snug but silent environment.
Now there are plenty of high dollar solutions to this problem like the SNOO Smart Sleeper or the Baby Bjorn Crib. But their costs run into the hundreds of dollars and as useful as they are, they are a temporary solution to a potentially pervasive problem. Using our iPads as white noise machines worked but seemed like an expensive overkill using a $700+ dollar device for simple sounds.
That’s where the brilliance and simplicity of the Shusher come in. The product costs around $30 and lasts years! Installing and switching out the batteries is literally the only maintenance required. The low cost means that if your kids break the thing, speaking from experience here, you can replace the Shusher without breaking the bank.
This product seriously revolutionized the falling asleep experience for my kids. What are some things that changed your parenting experience?