The SNOO is a bassinet with a built-in swaddle that keeps baby safe and automatically starts moving in order to keep your baby asleep for longer periods of time. But, is the SNOO worth it? We will explore the pros and cons of the SNOO and help you decide if it’s right for you.
What is a SNOO?
The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet is a bassinet for newborns to babies up through 5 to 6 months old. The bassinet has key features that set it apart from other bassinets such as the Arms Reach Bassinet:
- Built-In Swaddle – This bassinet has a built-in swaddle that is very secure. Your baby will not be able to break out. What’s more important is that it will keep your baby sleeping in his or her back, which is considered safest to reduce the risk of SIDS. Furthermore, your baby won’t be able to roll over while swaddled, which might be when to stop swaddling.
- Detects Crying – The SNOO has multiple microphones to pick up sounds your baby is making including fussing and crying. It “responds” to your baby depending on what it’s detecting.
- White Noise – The SNOO also has built-in white noise which automatically turns on if/when your baby starts fussing or crying. There are three different sounds and it chooses different sounds for sleep versus crying.
- Movement – When this bassinet detects fussing or crying, it can move automatically. It has a slow swing for sleep but faster jiggle for upsets.
As you can see, the SNOO bassinet is indeed “smart” and one can see how it would add more sleep for new parents. This is especially helpful when some babies won’t sleep in a bedside bassinet at all. But, is it safe and is the SNOO really worth it?
Is SNOO safe for newborns?
While there is always risk to using any “device” for your baby, the SNOO has appeared to have undergone rigorous testing. Dr. Harvey Karp is not new to keeping babies safe and I am confident safety was the #1 goal for the invention. After all, the idea is to reduce the risk of SIDS by keeping baby on their back in the first place. And, Dr. Karp has been helping babies sleep with his Happiest Baby Series for many years.
In addition, the movement of the SNOO will not work unless the swaddle sack is clipped to the device. It is also vented to prevent overheating and allow baby to breathe freely. And, they added a metal plate to block WiFi exposure or you can simply turn off WiFi. It appears they’ve thought of everything.
But, what about night feedings?
Will the SNOO work “too well” and lead to a baby to miss nighttime feedings? This was my first concern when I learned about this product.
It appears they’ve thought about, too.
The SNOO isn’t supposed to replace parenting altogether. It’s just another tool in your toolbox. The SNOO will stop movement if there is continuous crying for a couple of minutes. The SNOO is only meant to soothe your baby back to sleep when she does NOT need something. Do keep in mind, too, that your doctor will instruct you to feed the baby at regular intervals for the first several weeks of life. You will need to set an alarm for that, so you can feel confident your baby shouldn’t skip feedings just because you are using a SNOO.
Should you keep the SNOO on all night?
The SNOO is meant to keep the guesswork out of this. It automatically detects when to go on or increase the movement and stops if your baby is crying continuously.
When should you start using the SNOO?
Parents can start using the SNOO with their newborn, so from birth.
How long can you use the SNOO? When should you stop using the SNOO?
The maximum weight limit of the SNOO is 25 pounds. You can use a SNOO until your baby is approximately 6 months old.
Keep in mind, however, the SNOO may operate more frequently at night after 3 months old.
Once your baby starts his 4 month sleep regression (which can start anytime between 12 weeks old and 5 months old), your baby will cycle through more sleep cycles. That means your SNOO may have more “work” to do.
If you are concerned your baby is outgrowing the SNOO or no longer likes it, you may want to experiment with the settings using the app. He or she may simply need faster or more rigorous movement.
SNOO Price and Is It Worth It?
The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet sounds like a dream, right? Unfortunately, some dreams aren’t cheap.
This fancy bassinet is over $1,200!
However, you can now rent one for dollars a day.
Can you really put a price on better sleep?
If this can truly give your family hours more sleep per night for the first 6 months of life, in my opinion, it really is worth it. And, if you compare the cost of a night nurse for $200-300 a night, it’s a no-brainer!
There are a few things to consider, however.
First, not all babies enjoy being rocked or jiggled to sleep! While many babies do enjoy movement and it soothes them to sleep, it can irritate some babies. And, if your baby isn’t soothed by movement, then the SNOO is a very expensive bassinet, swaddle and white noise machine!
Second, some babies simply need that human touch. We worked with one client who had to rock their baby to sleep and THEN put the baby in the SNOO! If you have to put the baby back to sleep yourself each time he wakes, there is simply no point to spending this much on a bassinet.
Third, although sleeping on their back is safest, not all babies like to sleep flat on their back. From a young age, my son enjoyed moving to his side to sleep.
Finally, some babies are naturally good sleepers. Obviously, my baby was NOT one of them, hence this website. However, I’ve talked to many parents whose baby started sleeping through the night as young as 6 to 8 weeks old. Not all babies will need anything this “fancy.”
Unfortunately, until your baby is born, it’s impossible to know if they will be a naturally great sleeper nor their taste in sleep space, swaddle, pacifier, or any other product. However, based on the reviews of the product, it appears most babies and parents like the SNOO. So, if you have the budget, there’s a good chance it will help get everyone more sleep.
Of course, there are so many amazing baby sleep products to buy, so not everyone will be able to splurge this much on just one item!
There isn’t a perfect alternative to the SNOO. It’s innovative and likely took years of research and development. Competitors may be working on their own versions as I type this, but for now, here are a couple of products that might help:
The Green Frog Bassinet has a rocking feature that’s great for newborns. It isn’t “smart” of course, so you’ll need to soothe the baby yourself. However, it’s easier on your back especially when you are recovering from labor. In addition, you guard against your baby sleeping on your chest or in your arms which can become a problem later on.
The Graco Sense2Soothe Baby Swing is meant to be an alternative to the SNOO. It even has “cry detection technology” to soothe the baby when they start crying. It has 8 different types of motion, 3 different speeds, 2 vibration settings, and 15 songs and sounds. You can find the right settings for your baby and it has a memory function so you don’t have to find it over and over again.
The main drawback of this is that for SIDS risk prevention, your baby should sleep on a flat surface on their back. This swing is for soothing not necessarily sleeping. I’m sure parents use it for sleeping, but technically, you’re not supposed to and it’s not the safetest sleep space. That’s why Graco does not market it for sleeping. It can be helpful nonetheless if you have the type of baby who never wants to be put down and you have things to do such as cook, clean, and rest!
I hope this post has helped you decide whether the SNOO is the right choice for your family. Always remember that all these tools in our toolbox help us be better parents, but there is never a replacement for parenting. There is no shame in adding more tools in your toolbox!