Review: Earmuffs for Protection from a Wailing Baby

When my Little Miss was a newborn, her wailing was hard on the ears. My wife chalked it up to something you endure, just part of the job. No way! I went to the hardware store and bought headphone-earmuff-thingie ear protectors.

Peltor Professional Hearing ProtectorResearching them now 16 months later, I realize I bought the Peltor Professional Hearing Protector, designed for someone who spends a lot of time around a leaf blower.

While wearing the earmuffs, the baby cries were heavily muffled. My wife’s voice became low, but still audible. The loudest noise was generated by my feet as I walked, a sound strangely amplified, like how on rare occasions you can hear your heartbeat in your ear.

My wife continued to think I was crazy, but I nonetheless donned the earmuffs for peaceful diaper changing experiences.

My memory of all this was jogged last week when Kevin at WebGoonies wrote about ear plugs marketed to new parents as a sort of gag gift.

As Kevin noted, a baby cry can be 85 to 110 dB. Noises above 85dB can temporarily impair your hearing and noises above 100 dB have the potential to cause some hearing loss. Foam ear plugs have varying Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) levels. The highest NRR I’ve seen was for 33 dB, which means you subtract 33 dB from however many decibels to which you have been exposed. My muffs have a NRR of 30 dB.

Plugs are an inexpensive alternative, but they bring the repeated hassle of taking time to be properly inserted, and then you have to store them in a container for reuse that is separate from where your spouse stores her plugs… unless sharing ear plugs is some sort of disgusting bonding experience for your relationship. Earmuffs are the way to go. Fast and simple.

Now, if you want to take ear protection to the next level, buy muffs designed for firearm enthusiasts. The Peltor earmuffs for shooters limit amplified sounds to 82 dB.


5 Responses to “Review: Earmuffs for Protection from a Wailing Baby”

  1. Caroline Samuel says:

    I have a pair of these hearing protectors and I love them. I originally got them to protect myself from my macaw. When I used to walk by his cage with them on, he’d quiet down, like he knew he couldn’t get to me. After I had my baby I pulled them out again. Now that she’s older (16 months) she puts them on too, and she loves them. These are also great to send a message to those areound you- it’s worth the price of looking a little foolish– to leave you alone. They make me feel safe, warm, and protected. Seriously though, they are strangely comforting.

    October 6th, 2007 at 8:33 pm

  2. valerie bettlach says:

    what the hell are those? that is the most tacky thing i have ever seen… make them cuiter!

    October 25th, 2007 at 10:00 am

  3. Monica says:

    Ummm…. Shouldn’t you want to hear when your baby cries? I can see putting one ear plug in one ear (maybe in the ear your baby is screaming into when on your shoulder) but that is it. ANything more seems a bit negligent.

    January 20th, 2008 at 8:11 am

  4. AJ says:

    Monica, I only wear ear protection while I’m changing a diaper or handling a runaway tantrum. If you think I’m a bit negligent, then I think you’re a bit of a masochist.

    January 20th, 2008 at 11:14 am

  5. LindaW says:

    I used to wear shooting muffs in collage for studying. Tried them once with our baby, but found it awkward to put him to my shoulder with them on and not bonk him in the noggin (he was a BIG baby) and decided it was just easier to listen to him bawl.

    And as someone who has used these for years, I can assure Monica that you are still able to hear things, it just tones them down a bit, puts them at one step removed.

    April 17th, 2008 at 7:28 pm