If you’ve so much as googled infant toys, it’s pretty likely that you have seen adds for the Snoo Smart Crib by Happiest Baby and invented by Dr. Karp, author of the celebrated “Happiest Baby on the Block” and creator of the landmark “5 S’s Approach” to calm crying. Among its elegant and modern design, Happiest Baby claims that the Snoo:
- Reduces parent exhaustion by soothing baby’s cries not linked to hunger or discomfort;
- Helps baby become a better sleeper and develop healthy sleep habits; and
- Helps parents better recognize their child’s cries.
Snoo also complies with safety recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics by offering baby a firm, flat mattress; a secure swaddle that will not cover baby’s face or impede breathing; and a breathable mesh siding to allow visibility of baby from all angles. The Snoo boasts itself as a “virtual 24/7 night nurse” helping new parents get as much sleep as they can during the first six months of their baby’s lives.
The Snoo works by pairing motion, soothing sound, and swaddling to create a comfortable and familiar sleeping environment for newborns. It has four levels of motion (rocking side to side) paired with four different soothing rhythms to accommodate your baby’s sleeping needs. When your baby fusses, the Snoo listens for crying and chooses the right level of motion and sound to help your baby fall back asleep. To add additional comfort, parents can modify the Snoo’s responsivity through its smartphone app. Typically, the Snoo will calm a fussy baby within 40-60 seconds, however, if baby continues to cry, the Snoo will shut off and send a notification to your phone that your baby needs assistance- usually a feeding or diaper change. I was just three months pregnant when I attended CES in January 2017 but needless to say, after talking with Dr. Karp himself, previewing the Snoo in-person, and talking with parents who had given it a try, I knew it was something that deserved a review.
When It Arrived
After setting up countless baby accessories and equipment, my husband and I were delighted with the ease of the Snoo’s set-up. The Snoo came in sleek packaging and practically ready to use- requiring just the install of the legs, connection to a power source, and pairing to the app. The Snoo itself is a bit heavy so you might need a friend to help you move it into position. It would be nice if the next version of the Snoo had little wheels on two of the legs so it would be more portable. The Snoo uses your Wifi connection to communicate with the Snoo cloud, from there it can connect to your IOS or Android Snoo apps. It is also worth noting you can easily add the Snoo to additional mobile devices so it can be controlled by you and your spouse or even a caretaker. The Snoo arrived with one fitted-sheet, and three swaddles sized small, medium, and large.
No one ever tells you the first night you are in the hospital is probably the last night you’ll enjoy sleep and a relatively quiet baby. It turns out that childbirth is exhausting for all parties. The second night and nearly every night after is a whole different story. When our baby girl first came home, we were terrified. As everyone says, baby’s don’t come with instruction manuals, so starting with the Snoo was a bit rough.
First, the web connectivity in our Snoo suddenly stopped working. Without it, we could not control the Snoo on our phones which left us worried. Luckily Snoo customer support was a breeze to work with so we got a replacement Snoo about a week or two later. Second, our baby girl was not a fan of the swaddle. This girl wanted her arms out and would scream whenever we tried to wrap her up. Unfortunately we caved in, and waited to start her Snoo experience when the new Snoo came.
About three weeks into our baby girl arriving home, we started using the Snoo regularly and she has slept in it every night since. Although it took a little for her to warm up to the idea, she loves her Snoo as much as we do now. Our baby girl looks around, mesmerized by the mesh siding and happy as a clam, even when she is awake. Now that we are about two months in, my husband and I assembled some pros and cons about our Snoo experience:
- Compared to her first two weeks in a traditional bassinet, our baby girl has the most restful and fuss-free sleep in her Snoo without question.
- Furthermore, our baby girl has some of the best night’s sleep we’ve heard of in comparison to other newborns. By the time she was 4 weeks old she could sleep between 5 and 8 hour stretches at night- meaning happy baby and happy and somewhat rested parents.
- Swaddling is a breeze and so much safer with the Snoo swaddle! I never knew the peace this swaddle could bring and I don’t wake up worrying about anything covering her airways!
- The Snoo app is a godsend, allowing you to control the Snoo’s levels from bed and even lock the Snoo so it does not turn on levels of rocking you may not be comfortable with.
- Within a matter of months, our baby girl is already using the weaning mode for the Snoo, meaning it plays the white noise but does not rock her unless she starts to fuss. This assures us that she will not be dependent on motion to fall asleep.
- Two and a half months in, our baby girl is still a solid sleeper and only wakes up when she is hungry, which has made the transition back to work and somewhat normal life so much easier.
- We can actually place baby girl in the Snoo when she is partially awake and the white noise will help her fall asleep.
- When mom and dad need a break, the Snoo is a safe place to place her for a couple of moments so mom, dad, and baby can regain their calm.
- Customer service is so delightful to work with and the Snoo website itself has a plethora of great sleeping tips for parents.
- We wish the Snoo came with more than one fitted sheet upon purchase. Babies experience blowouts pretty regularly, especially in the beginning, and when only one fitted sheet is provided it can make for chaos with late-night dirty diapers.
- Our baby girl runs cold, and while the vented swaddles are amazing, sometimes we need to triple layer her because the Snoo swaddle does not help her retain warmth.
- Snoo’s and colds don’t generally mix well, however, the issue comes more from laying flat on her back than the Snoo itself.
- So far, we haven’t slept a night outside of our home since our baby girl was born and we aren’t quite sure how she will fare without it. Although the Snoo can be moved from room to room, transporting it in a car wouldn’t leave room for any other baby gear you may need. Luckily, Happiest Baby does have tips for helping your Baby sleep without the Snoo!
- The price. The Snoo is very costly. However, at this point it appears to be built well enough to last beyond one child.
Our baby girl has just turned three months old and we are waiting to see how her sleep will change with her upcoming growth spurts. One thing is for certain, however, we are confident that the Snoo will help us make us through even the roughest of nights.
To get a review of the full Snoo experience, we will be offering updates of our pros and cons, and our final opinion on the Snoo. Check back in a couple of weeks for our four and six month updates!