What is it about the sound, “Shh”, or “Shhh” or “Ssh” that causes babies to calm down and if you’re lucky, sleep. I’m not sure why it’s so effective. I hear it may be related to it’s similarity to the sounds made in the womb: of the muffled rushing of liquids in the body that a baby associates with comfort and safety. It seems to work on crowds too. We were all once a baby — so they say. Maybe we never quite shuffled off that instinctive feeling of quiet and calm when we hear that sound. And so we relent, trance-like when our neighbor shushes us during Zoolander 2.
For our daughter, in the middle of the night — say 3AM — if she is still wide awake after a feeding and I’m trying to get her to sleep, I will play a recording of this sound over and over again. I will raise the volume and slide the phone under her cradle. This works most of the time. If you’re in a similar situation with a midnight-jazzed baby, you can download an hour-long MP3 of the shh recording that I use below and let it play in the crib. Load it on your phone or tablet and hopefully it works well for you and your little one.