The first time I heard of the SNOO was when I was 8 months pregnant. I brought a homemade meal to a friend who had just given birth to her baby. I asked her the age-old question, “how’s the sleep? Is it as bad as everyone says?” Her response: “not too bad, actually. The SNOO really helps.” She then went on to tell me about this robotic bassinet that detects when the baby is upset and rocks her back to sleep. I asked her how much it costs. “Uh, $1300 plus tax.” I kinda laughed, decided that I would will my baby into being a good sleeper, and put it out of my mind. Seriously….this thing costs $1400…is it worth it? I doubted it.
Fast forward 5 weeks. I had given birth and brought Milo home from the hospital, and Nate and I were one week into our parenting journey and deathly tired. Turns out that when experts say that newborns sleep in 2-3 hour stretches, you have to deduct the time spent feeding, changing, shushing, and swaddling the baby. We were surviving on 45-minute stretches of sleep.
Also see: Postpartum Q&A
I told Nate about the SNOO, we went on Craigslist and found one for sale in “like new” condition for $1,000 in San Antonio (about two hours south of where we live.) I contacted the seller, who told me someone else wanted it but it was first come, first serve. “Go NOW!” I told Nate. Armed with my list of questions and specs to check over, he fought through traffic on I35 to go retrieve the SNOO. (Side note: I later found out that you can rent a Snoo for $4.25 a day, and they even deliver it based on your due date so you can be prepared ahead of time without paying rent before the baby arrives. Don’t do what we did, haha! It was so stressful to scramble to find one, and I looking back I wish we had just rented ahead of time. They make it super easy, but I was dragging my feet and made our lives harder than they had to be.)
Nate brought it home, set it up, and it turned out that the WIFI connection wasn’t working and we couldn’t control it with our app. He contacted the Happiest Baby company, and since it was still under warranty, we returned that one and were able to get a brand-new SNOO set up. And we finally got to try it out.
Is The Snoo Worth It?
The result? Instant bliss. Milo started sleeping in longer stretches right away, and by 8 weeks he gave us his first 8-hour stretch of sleep. At around 4 months he was sleeping 12 hours through the night. Is the SNOO worth it? Hells to the yes. I would have told you that after the first night, but now, 5 months later, I can give you a much more thorough review.
What is the SNOO? It’s an app-controlled bassinet that was launched in 2016. It’s chic and pretty, and it mimics the womb-like sensations that a baby craves in the first three months of his life. The SNOO was developed by Dr. Harvey Karp, the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. (An excellent read if you’re about to have a baby!) In this book, Dr. Karp explains that all babies are born 3 months early (hence the term 4th trimester), and they crave the womb-like sensations that they left behind. The SNOO provides those by swaddling, shushing, and swinging the baby. The SNOO company has lots more info on it here.
How does it work? The SNOO gently rocks your baby and plays white noise through speakers in the bassinet. The motion and sound continue all night. If your baby stirs in the middle of the night (and he will! All babies – and adults – wake a few times per night and have to eventually learn to soothe themselves back to sleep), the SNOO will sense your baby’s movement and increase the rocking and the volume. Ideally, your baby will fall back to sleep, and the SNOO will gradually decrease the rocking and volume.
What if my baby keeps crying? Of course, the SNOO isn’t actually a replacement for a human being, so if Milo was every hungry or truly upset and needed his mama, the SNOO would shut off. It takes a couple minutes and goes through 4 levels of increasing motion and sound, but if your baby still crying, the SNOO will shut off and alert you that your little one needs you.
Is it safe? 100%. It’s actually ranked the safest sleeping device on the market right now, and that’s because the zip-up swaddle (called a SNOO sack – you can see them here) hooks into the sides of the bassinet, preventing your baby from rolling over onto his side or stomach.
How much sleep did you actually get with the SNOO versus without it? Since we were late to the game and didn’t get our SNOO until Milo was a couple weeks old, I can confidently tell you that it made a huge difference in the amount of sleep we got! Now, he was still a newborn and slept like one, but we went from getting 45-60 minute stretches of sleep to getting 2-3 hour stretches. That’s a BIG difference when you’re severely sleep deprived. His sleep gradually increased, and he was sleeping in 7-hour stretches at the end of his second month, and 12-hour stretches at 4 months.
How many sleep sacks did you get? We have two sets of sleep sacks and two sets of sheets (because #laundry). We went through all three sizes (small, medium, and large) before weaning him out off the SNOO.
Talk to me about weaning…was its hard? *Updated: I wrote this article when Milo was 5-months-old. A few weeks later, the weaning process was finished! Super easy and he sleeps 12 hours/night in his crib every night, plus two good naps every day.* We’re still working on that, so I’ll let you know! Around three months old, Milo figured out how to pull his arms out of the swaddle, so we started putting him to bed with his arms out of the swaddle. There are little snaps that open up to allow for this. We went on an International trip when he was four months old, and we really missed the SNOO. He didn’t sleep well without it! Based on that, I was worried that he had become “addicted” to the SNOO and we had created a sleep monster, but this article told me that it’s impossible for a baby to become addicted to the SNOO. I have zero reasons to doubt this company, because so far everything they’ve told me has been correct. We recently toggled the app to the “weaning” mode, which uses sound but no motion, and he’s still sleeping well! Our next step is to move him into the crib.
Should I buy or rent? Every baby is different, and I don’t know how yours will respond to the SNOO. I recommend renting it for the first few weeks (it’s about $3.90 per day) to see if it helps you. If you love it and think you’ll want to use it for 5-6 months, you can buy one and then either save it for your next baby, or pass it along to a friend who has a baby after you (which is what we’ll probably do.) Click here to get all the details about renting.
Is the SNOO worth it? In our case, 100% yes. I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try as a rental. When you’re sleep deprived, you will happily pay $4.25 a day for a better sleeping baby. Just think about it: sleep (or lake thereof) affects literally every part of our waking hours. Plus, it helped us sleep train Milo in a safe, easy way. He’s 5.5 months old now and a great sleeper! We bought ours a few weeks after we got home from the hospital, but if I could do it again, I would have already had it ordered ahead of time. Shipping is free, and you can have it delivered based on your due date so you’re not paying to rent it when you don’t need it. Click here to reserve your SNOO based on your due date.