Shhh! A Baby’s Language of Love

by Julie Trotter, Birth and Bereavement Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Newborn Care Specialist


Shhh! Who could have known the same sound that speaks of annoyance to an adult could speak in a whole other language to a baby’s ears? Most adults automatically “shh, shh” a baby when it’s crying, but what most of us don’t realize is by speaking in “Shhh language” we are actually speaking a language of love to our babies. 



During your first trimester your baby develops ears and is able to hear sounds inside and outside the womb. What most parents are unaware of is exactly what a baby is hearing inside the womb and at what intensity this sound is. 

The blood rushing through your arteries creates a continuous shhhing sound. This sound is about two times louder than a vacuum cleaner! You can imagine how quiet it seems to a baby once it’s born when everyone is tiptoeing around for fear of waking the baby. Having such a quiet atmosphere often makes babies fussy and sleep in shorter stretches between feedings.

So you may be thinking, what is the solution? A white noise (sound) machine will become your new best friend. I have only come across one white noise machine that I like. Sound Therapy, made by Conair, can be found on for $17-25. The Conair brand is my personal favorite because it’s inexpensive, but works like a charm.

Key points to get the best out of your noise machine:

  1. Turn it up as loud as possible. It should be about as loud as your vacuum cleaner.

  2. Place it 2-5 feet away from the baby’s crib.

  3. Make sure it plays continuously through the baby’s sleep time at night and naps (the Conair brand may have a timer button on the side - make sure this is OFF).

One more thing - if you don’t have access to a noise machine in a public place such as a store, you can use your own shhhhing. Again, be sure it’s loud (at least as loud as the baby is crying) and place your mouth about 2-4 inches from the baby’s ear so she can hear you. You may worry about how many rude stares you will receive, but then be surprised at how many “Wow’s” you get once people see your baby quiets down in a matter of seconds! View the video below of shhhhhing and see for yourself how well it works!

Bookmark this article for future reference and if you've found these tips useful, please share this post with other new parents. I hope this helps you jumpstart your way to having the happiest baby on the block and a restful night's sleep.


Julie and her team of newborn care specialists and registered nurses offer private in-home lessons that cover the essential information you need to know about your newborn and sleep training. For details and registration, please visit Parent Nurture.