So we are three weeks into parenthood and are learning more and more about our little man all the time. We’ve learned that after a slow start, he eats like a small horse. We’ve learned that he takes after his mother when it comes to burping and that he’s inherited an ability to gurn from an unknown ancestor who was clearly very good at it. One thing we also learned very quickly, was that he loves to be soothed by white noise. Just like Mummy and Daddy.
Until now, we’ve had a phone app that has a variety of noises intended to settle your newborn to sleep, but it’s not always effective or practical, especially when there’s a lot of people and noise around the place or when I, you know, want to use my phone for something other than playing the looping noise of a vacuum cleaner. Also there’s that danger that the noise of the vacuum is likely to send Wes off to sleep far quicker than Mason. It’s far from ideal, that’s for sure.
That’s where the wonderful people at the Gro Company come in, and their ingenious little gadget. The Gro Hush. It’s a cute cushioned number that plays the soothing sounds of white noise to your baby without disturbing those around you (or in our case, lulling you off to sleep at four in the morning when the baby is still wide awake) and gently adding to your normal comforting routine. We were kindly given one to try with our new arrival and both of us gave it a whirl.
Amy: It just so happened that Mason was having a good old whinge when the nice delivery man arrived with our Gro Hush, so needless to say I was very excited about firing it up and giving it a bash on our restless three week old son. It takes three AAA batteries and the back of it screws on nicely so you’re not going to lose them. It has three white noise sounds to choose from, all designed to help your baby calm themselves down and even soothe them to sleep up until they’re about three months old. It also comes with a travel case, so you can just pop it in your changing bag and take it anywhere your baby goes.
Mason’s clear favourite sound was the rain on the tin roof, but all of them did the job. We even found that the action of gently brushing his cheek with the soft cotton padding would make the process even more rapid. Within a few minutes, our baby was completely silent despite being in the middle of a growth spurt, and was getting drowsier by the minute. He is a wriggler though, so trying to get him to keep still whilst holding the Gro Hush next to his ear was a challenge at times and if your baby flails his arms like ours, be prepared for him to swat at it a couple of times before the noises have the desired effect. It is a challenge at first, but the calming effect the noises have are well worth the awkward 30 seconds or so.
It does exactly what it says. It calms your baby to a quiet state and often will eventually send your baby to sleep. How long they sleep for of course isn’t part of what the Gro Hush is capable of, but hopefully it will give you five minutes to make a brew before the whole process starts again. It’s now definitely a part of our calming routine, especially since the fact that only your baby can hear it means I can use this during night feeds and not wake Wes up (shame!).
If I’m being nitpicky (and I am) I have two teeny, tiny bugbears with the Gro Hush that perhaps The Gro Company could tackle if they ever upgrade their model. The first is their heartbeat noise, which isn’t a perfect loop and skips a bit every second. It’s like a CD with a bit of dirt on it and just kind of ruins the point of white noise being a continuous rhythm that you can almost be hypnotised by. I found the heartbeat wasn’t the sound the comforted Mason the most, and can’t help but wonder if this skip just stopped him from drifting off like he did with the others.
The second is the travel case. It’s a great idea, but with the one we got, the clasp is incredibly flimsy and the shell will NOT shut when the Gro Hush is inside it with its padding. Believe me, I spent a good ten minutes trying to get it to stay closed, but it just popped straight back open. You can see what I mean in the images above. It’s a small design flaw that is easily fixed, but the only time the case was shut was when the Gro Hush arrived in it. It’s a shame, but I’m willing to whizz an elastic band on it for the sake of such a great product.
The main thing is that Mason loves it. The noises clearly aren’t too loud that they interrupt his sleep and he drifts off deep enough for me to be able to remove it from his ear without disturbing him either with the sudden quiet. With the exception of the two minor things, I can’t fault it and would definitely recommend it to anyone who has a baby who just can’t seem to relax. As you can see from The Gro Company’s research, white noise is proven to have a calming effect on babies as it reminds them of being in the womb.
It sounds like an ‘aww’ moment, but I can’t help but think he should be happier now he’s out here!
Wes: We love a good bit of white noise in our flat. At the minute our home’s like an oven (as it is for 80% of the year, urgh), so at bedtime we have a big fan which provides our slumber soundtrack but if that’s not on we have an arsenal of mobile phone apps that have some good alternatives to try and help us get a decent night’s kip! As I would expect from any son of mine, Mason is also a fan of the droning tones of a vacuum cleaner (I LOVE it. Or a hairdryer, hnnnng) to help him nod off but I don’t want it drowning out Great British Bake Off on a Wednesday night. Luckily, The Gro Hush has you covered.
Last night in particular, Mason was not for going to sleep at all. He’d been fed, burped, changed, fed again, the whole shebang but he was just doing what babies do. Wriggling and whinging. So when the Gro Hush was thrown my way I had a quick listen to decide which noise I was going to try and decided on the heartbeat (or womb noise, as I described it initially) and put the little gadget to work.
It was a struggle getting Mason to listen to the noises above his crying, but once he caught on to them he gradually forgot about the bottle that was being made for him and soon quietened. Not completely, but I think that it would take more than the soothing sound of a heartbeat to make a man forget about his upcoming meal. It was certainly enough to make him realise that he wasn’t going to starve to death and that bellowing at the top of his lungs wasn’t going to make supper turn up any quicker.
It clearly wasn’t going to send him to sleep like it had for Amy earlier in the day, but it just illustrated that in situations where your baby clearly needs feeding or changing and you can’t do it immediately, because you’re trying to cool down the bottle, or in that ridiculous queue for the one baby changing cubicle in a ten mile radius, it’s ideal for keeping your baby from deafening everyone who can see him and calming him down until you can see to the actual reason he’s crying. Then you can look around smugly at all of the desperately stressed out parents who don’t have one. Winner.
I think I’d have liked it to have a few more sounds to choose from, not only because I love the sounds of vacuum cleaners and hairdryers, but also to keep it competitive with the various mobile apps out there which have a whole host of noise types to select. All in all though it’s a really handy little gadget to try and prevent you from being ‘those parents’ in the supermarket with the screaming child and generally just allowing your little one to be as happy and as content as possible. One other caveat too, as you’ve probably gathered already both Amy and myself are easily soothed by white noise, or anything similar, and we’ve always had something of that nature on since Mason has been here. I can’t say for sure that without immediate introduction to vacuum cleaners, mobile apps and powerful fans from birth, or a deep-seated hereditary need for them, that he’d have taken to it so well. I can’t say he wouldn’t have either though, and there’s science to back this up. Actual science.
If you fancy a little bit of portable calm in your house, you can bag yourself a Gro Hush by clicking here and purchasing one from The Gro Store. You can also read the official facts and tidbits in this handy infographic below.
Disclaimer: We were kindly provided with a Gro Hush by The Gro Company for the purpose of this review, however, all images (with the exception of the infographic which was also provided by The Gro Company) and words are our own, brutally honest opinion!
Actually, there wasn’t much to be brutal about in this review. We liked it.
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