When I was pregnant with Summer, I researched what seemed like every baby product on the market. The SNOO Bassinet Smart Sleeper* by Happiest Baby had just come on the market, and while I was tempted to try it out, I just wasn’t sure if I could justify spending the money. While Summer was an incredibly easy baby, her sleep schedule was completely unpredictable. Daytime naps were short and inconsistent, and while she’d sometimes sleep long stretches in the evening, it was a struggle to actually get her to sleep in her bassinet. The second she touched the mattress, she’d be wide awake.
While Summer eventually became a great sleeper, I knew we needed to make a change with our second baby. Ryan and I were dangerously sleep-deprived during Summer’s newborn months, and it comprised our thinking and behavior. We knew we just couldn’t do that again with Luna. It was hard enough taking care of a newborn, myself, and my work on limited sleep when Summer was young, but I knew it would be impossible AND irresponsible to attempt to care for a newborn and a toddler without getting somewhat adequate sleep. After doing extensive research, Ryan and I decided the SNOO Bassinet Smart Sleeper would be the safest and most effective sleep environment for Luna.
SNOO Bassinet Smart Sleeper ReviewWhen Happiest Baby offered to send one for me to review for my audience, I jumped at the opportunity for two reasons. 1. I really wanted to try this thing out to see if it actually worked. And 2. I wanted to be able to honestly let you guys know if it was ACTUALLY worth the money. After 10 weeks of using the product multiple times a day, I’m ready to share my initial thoughts with you in an honest and detailed review. Keep reading to see my review of the SNOO Bassinet Smart Sleeper, see how it works, and learn if it’s really worth the money!
What does the SNOO Bassinet Smart Sleeper do?The SNOO was developed by Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician best known for his bestselling book Happiest Baby on The Block, which focuses on the 5 S’s that turn on the baby’s calming reflex: swaddling, side position, shushing, swinging, and sucking. The SNOO uses several of the S’s to soothe babies to sleep. It is the world’s first smart sleeper that boosts a baby’s sleep by imitating the rhythmic sensations of the womb with a combination of a gentle swinging motion and white noise. The SNOO is built to respond the way a part would – increasing the level of motion of noise as the baby cries.
Happiest Baby’s SNOO Smart Sleeper is the “safest baby bed ever made” thanks to the swaddle that securely attaches to the sides of the bassinet to prevent baby from rolling over while they’re sleeping. When used correctly, the SNOO guarantees baby stays on its back all night long, which is the safest position for sleep. In addition to losing sleep while Summer was awake, I can’t even tell you how many hours of sleep I lost worrying about her safety. Every time she’d wiggle or start to roll over, I worried she’d have restricted breathing or move into an unsafe position. I’d wake up dozen of times a night just to make sure she was breathing. The safety of the SNOO was just as important to me as the potential for baby Luna to sleep a little bit longer. Not only would she be safer, but I hoped I’d also get a little extra sleep without having to worry so much.
The SNOO also has a coordinating app that tracks usage and your baby’s sleep patterns. You can see exactly how long baby is sleeping each night and track patterns over time. You can also adjust settings on your SNOO, including increasing or decreasing the sensitivity of the SNOO’s response to crying and the volume of the white noise.
Now that I’ve shared the basis premise of the SNOO, I’m going to show you exactly how it works and then go over all of the frequently asked questions and share our personal experience using this smart bassinet.
How to Use The SNOO Bassinet Smart SleeperAs I mentioned earlier, the SNOO features a swaddle that attaches securely to the sides of the bassinet. Since the SNOO gently moves from side to side, the swaddles keep baby safely secured. They also feature a sensor that prohibits the SNOO from starting any movement if the swaddle isn’t attached to the bassinet, so you’ll never have to worry.
The unsung hero of the SNOO Smart Sleeper is the signature swaddle. I could NOT keep Summer swaddled when she was a baby, and it caused to wake up dozens of times a day due to her startle reflex. While my blanket swaddling skills haven’t improved much, the SNOO’s swaddle thankfully makes swaddling a breeze. You simply place baby in the swaddle, wrap the inner flaps around baby’s arms and secure with the velcro attachments, and zip baby up in the swaddle. It’s SO easy, and it keeps Luna snuggly swaddled and cozy all night long. Happiest Baby also sells their Sleepea swaddles without the SNOO attachment, so you can use them on-the-go for naps or soothing throughout the day.
I also wanted to mention that in addition to having the safety feature of the side-attached swaddles, the entire bassinet of the SNOO is compromised of breathable mesh material. And before I move on, I just have to point out that setup is incredibly intuitive and easy. You literally take it out of the box, snap on the legs, plug it in, and quickly scan the code on the bottom on your phone to connect it to the SNOO app. The last step is putting baby in the swaddle and hitting the “on” button. Hands down, the EASIEST and smartest setup process of any baby product we’ve ever owned.
SNOO Bassinet Smart Sleeper FAQSince we’ve used the SNOO Smart Sleeper, I’ve received SO many questions from family members and online friends. It’s expensive and new, and I completely understand why people want concrete answers. I’m going to answer the top five questions I’ve received so far, but if you have ANY other questions, feel free to DM me on Instagram at @ashleybrookenicholas. I’m happy to answer any questions and add my answers to this post for reference.
1. Does the SNOO prevent parents from picking up on baby’s hunger cues?
NO. While the SNOO does help to keep your baby relaxed, which in turn can boost sleep, your baby will still wake up if they’re hungry and show normal hunger cues. In fact, I find that using the SNOO has helped me more accurately pick up on Luna’s cues. Since the SNOO is swaddling her, shushing her with white noise, and swaying her gently, I know that she’s either hungry or uncomfortable if she wakes up while using the SNOO.
We keep the SNOO next to our bed, so I can respond to her cries as soon as necessary. We’ve exclusively breastfed for all ten weeks of her life, and I credit a lot of our healthy breastfeeding relationship to the SNOO. Well-rested babies eat better. Well-rested mamas produce more milk AND have the energy to keep trying to latch baby correctly in the beginning.
P.S. You can also turn off the SNOO and wake baby up if you want to feed at particular intervals. During the first few weeks, I woke Luna up every 2-3 hours to nurse, and as she grew, I gradually followed her natural sleep schedule and fed on demand.
2. Is the SNOO a babysitting device for parents?
NO. The SNOO isn’t meant to replace interaction with parents. I tell my family all the time that it’s basically like having an extra set of comfy arms to hold the baby when she wants to sleep. I’m still right next to her. I’m still available. I’m still listening for her cues. BUT I can safely rest or work nearby knowing she’s in a safe sleep environment, and she can potentially sleep longer and more peacefully than in a traditional bassinet.
3. Will the SNOO prevent baby from learning to self-soothe?
NO. In fact, I’ve found the opposite to be true. I put her to bed in the SNOO Smart Sleeper awake but drowsy, and while she is being gently swayed with white noise and swaddled, she falls asleep on her own. And when she does cry, I pause for a moment because I know that 1. she may fall back asleep on her own, and 2. the SNOO will begin to sway more rapidly and shush with a louder white noise if her cry doesn’t stop within a certain period of time. Those pauses are where Luna learns to self soothe. I have the SNOO’s sensitivity and volume set at the lowest levels (totally a personal preference), so the escalation of movement and noise is slower than the base settings.
4. Will my baby ONLY sleep in the SNOO after sleeping in it every day?
NO. While Luna exclusively sleeps in the SNOO at night, we only do some of her naps in the bassinet simply due to convenience. Luna can basically fall asleep on her own in almost any setting. She falls asleep in my arms, in traditional bassinets, in the car seat, on her play mat, etc. I truly credit her sleeping skills to learning to self-soothe in the SNOO.
5. Will using the SNOO make sleep training harder?
Truth be told, this question was MY #1 question and concern. I was confident the SNOO would help Luna sleep, but I was concerned it may make sleep training harder in the long run. While we’re still a few months away from traditional sleep training, I can confidently say that I don’t think it will be an issue at all. In fact, I truly believe it will make sleep training easier for the following reasons:
As I mentioned earlier, Luna is learning to self-soothe in the SNOO, AND I’m learning to pause before responding to her cries to give her that time to self-soothe. It allows both of us to start the process in a safe, gentle, and developmentally-appropriate way. The SNOO also features a weaning mode that gradually decreases the sensitivity of the settings, so that your baby can have a smooth transition to their crib. And finally, I can already see Luna’s sleep skills outside of the SNOO. I have no doubt she’ll be easier to sleep train than Summer thanks to her time in the SNOO.
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Is the SNOO Smart Sleeper worth the money?Yes, yes, yes – 1000x yes! I honestly love the SNOO Smart Sleeper so much more than I ever thought I would. Luna’s been sleeping eight hours or more at a time at night since she was two months old (and long stretches even before then too). She wakes one time a night to feed, and honestly, I’m pretty sure that waking will be going away soon because it’s been getting shorter and shorter. While Luna is getting more sleep, Ryan and I are too! Her long stretches of sleep are OUR long stretches of sleep, and honestly, we both like the white noise the SNOO makes just as much as Luna does haha!
Having a well-rested baby means she’s less fussy and generally easy during the day. And being well-rested myself, I can be a more attentive and more responsible parent to Luna and Summer. Managing a newborn and toddler is a challenge in itself, let alone if you’re trying to do it on inadequate sleep.
Yes, it is expensive; however, here are the reasons why I think it’s worth the price tag:
1. If I told you that you could hire a night nurse to hold your baby each night to help them sleep for about $7 a day for baby’s first six months, would you do it? Um, yes, you would. Well, guess what? That’s the cost breakdown of the SNOO! Having the extra support and “set of hands” honestly makes life so much easier and less stressful at night. You will ABSOLUTELY save that much money a day buying less coffee, less caffeine, and less gadgets and devices to get your baby to sleep.
2. The safety of the SNOO is incomparable. Babies are safest sleeping on their back, but guess what, they don’t always like to sleep that way. They’ll roll over on their stomach, into the side of their bassinet, or move into all sorts of unsafe positions. The SNOO prevents that from happening and helps them learn to sleep safely on their back. The safety features AND the peace of mind knowing your baby is safer is honestly worth every penny. Babies have slept over 50,000,000 hours in the SNOO, and there hasn’t been a single reported death. According to this article, 20-30 deaths would’ve been reported in a similar population. THAT IS AMAZING!
UPDATE: The SNOO was accepted into the FDA’s Breakthroughout Device Program, which means that the FDA is fast-tracking its review to consider it to be a SIDS/SUID prevention product. Babies have slept over 75 million hours in the SNOO with ZERO injuries or deathes. They are also conducting studies to see if there’s any correlation with reduction of postpartum depression. Seriously, I can’t wait to see where this thing goes! Click HERE to read the full article about this research / FDA consideration.
3. Baby Luna gets WAY more sleep than Summer did, and I truly believe that good sleep begets good sleep. I love that she’s building good sleep habits from the very beginning. Even though Summer is a great sleeper now (and honestly was good as a baby too after sleep training), I know that Luna is way ahead of the curve and will get there even quicker.
4. It’s saved our sanity in so many ways. We got more sleep from the VERY beginning. Not only because Luna was sleeping peacefully for longer stretches but also because she’d fall asleep almost instantly in the SNOO. Summer was great at sleeping once we fell asleep in the bassinet; however, that was a twenty-minute dance where we’d put her down asleep and she’d wake up crying instantly. Even if Luna cries when we put her in the bassinet, the SNOO soothes her almost instantly with gentle swaying and white noise. She’s out like a light in seconds. I swear it’s magical!
5. You can reuse the SNOO for future children. We’re planning on having more kids, so I know we’ll be able to use the SNOO for years to come. We have also temporarily offered it to family and friends who may be having babies after Luna moves to her crib but before we’d be having a baby.
6. You don’t HAVE to buy the SNOO. It’s now available for monthly rentals. If you’ll only be using the SNOO for several months (maybe you’re buying it after baby is born) and won’t be using it for future children, renting might be a more economical option for your family. I’ve also seen families online rent the SNOO for extended vacations.
7. The SNOO retains its value. When you’re done having children and won’t use it any more, you can resell it for about half of the retail value. They also have sales every now and then, so if you take advantage of those, it’s an even better deal considering the retail value!
I would ABSOLUTELY purchase the SNOO with my own money, and I literally tell everyone I know who’s even remotely thinking about having children that they absolutely need to budget for the SNOO while they’re pregnant. (Of course NEED is a strong word. The only thing babies NEED is love, milk, clothes, and shelter, but this bassinet is really helpful.)
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2020: After nearly six months of use, I wrote a second post here with a few additional thoughts. You can CLICK HERE to read it! Spoiler alert: I still love it! With that being said, I’d still recommend reading the second post to learn how we used the SNOO, what settings we used, tips/suggestions I have, and more!