Silence is golden.
But is it preventable? For young children — babies, especially — loud noises are part of their culture. In fact, unusual quietness in a baby can oftentimes be seen as sign of something being not quite right. Still, people can be stubborn. The world apparently revolves around their eardrums. And the prospect of donning toddlers’ mouths with muzzles has entered the conversation. Should it be fine for parents to buffer their baby’s blaring? Keep reading to find out why or why not masking babies for the sake of silence is or isn’t a good idea. Continues on the next pages…
The world is filled with so many kinds of noises. In a way, noise has become something of a pollutant, clogging up the airwaves, around every corner and oftentimes inescapable. And one major contributing factor to the noise is, as we all know, us. Especially the younger versions of us — the babies.
Should we shut ’em up?
Crying babies have become tethered to situations like horrible airplane rides, annoying trips to the mall and disrupted movie theaters. But if there was a way to keep them quiet, should people get on board? Would muffling a baby’s cry be the world-saving gift we all needed?
The Baby Muzzle.
There’s a Japanese product available called The Baby Muzzle which is designed primarily for newborns to 3-year-olds — specifically, newborns to 3-year-olds who won’t stop crying. But is this product an easy fix or a bigger problem?
Muzzling the problem.
The Baby Muzzle works similarly to the way noise-reducing headphones work. It cuts out noise frequencies and gives parents some volume vacation. No more need to shush the baby. There’s a product that’ll do it for you.
The baby mask.
It might seem like an easy fix to eradicate a baby’s cry, but crying is actually vital for a healthy baby. It’s a significant part of communication, even when it seems like anything but. Enduring is actually important.
Hungry? Why wait?
If you’ve ever seen the Snickers commercials where people literally transform into mean characters because they’re hungry, and then transform back to themselves once they’ve eaten, then you’ll understand the importance of getting food into the belly of the average human. We’re cranky when we’re hungry. And so are babies. More so, in fact. The thing is, though, they can’t talk. Obviously. So a good cry can get them a good meal. Denying them that is denying them the sustenance they need to survive.
We oftentimes get irritated when we’re tired. Especially when we’re forced to stay up. This all stems from childhood. When babies want to ass out, they’ll cue you with a cry because they simply don’t know how else to make it known. Again, it’s a form of communication. So why would you want to deny them that?
Defending the muzzle.
The creators of the Baby Muzzle try to reassure parents that their product won’t devour the sound completely. Parents will still hear their child, just not at the decibels which the crying of babies usually reach.
Breathe easy, parents.
There is a definite fear of breathing issues when anything goes near a baby’s mouth, let alone something that’s meant to keep them quiet. Firstly, it doesn’t cover their nose. So there’s that. And there are holes poked into the fabric to allow air to freely enter and exit the baby’s lungs.
Baby Batman villain.
The product itself is comfortable — or at least that was the intent of its design. It wraps around the baby’s face not unlike a ski mask — or even Bane’s mask from “The Dark Knight Rises.” So, if nothing else, it could double as a clever Halloween costume. It’s pink, but still.
Shushing them up.
Is it really a great idea to keep a baby quiet? And more to that point, is it really helping your child through its development by consciously telling it that vocalizing is frowned upon? Crying is a natural part of development. It’s how babies find their voice. A simple “shush” is one thing — but completely muffling them is another story.
There is also such a thing as “colic.” Have you heard of it? If your baby is crying for what seems to be for no reason at all, there’s a chance that he or she may have colic. But here’s the thing, excessive as it may be, this is by no means a reason to shut them up. If anything, this is a cue for the parent to call the local pediatrician.
Babies have internal alarms. And they’re in their vocal chords. When they’re gassy, when they’ve gone to the bathroom and even when they just want some cuddle-time, they’re going to reach out to mom or pops with some tears and a few well-placed screams. It’s really all they’ve got. So, really, they need to cry. And you need to be able to hear them.
A baby crying ought to be seen less as an annoyance and more as a natural part of life. But the next time you see a wild animal muffling their cub when they’re howling for mama bear, then, by all means, consider the Baby Muzzle. Otherwise, listen to your gut.
Instead of muffling your baby, learn from them. Bond with them and figure out ways to soothe them, how to calm them down. It’s probably not a mask that your baby needs, but a parent’s comforting touch.