To start my SNOO review, I’ll preface by saying Dr. Harvey Karp’s book, Happiest Baby on the Block, was a lifesaver for me when I had my first baby. My husband and I routinely used their method of the 5 S’s to calm our little girl, so I was thrilled to learn about the SNOO Smart Sleeper when expecting my second child!
After using this product for two months, I have a good grasp of how the SNOO works and when/how to use it for my baby. The SNOO aims to reduce crying and boost sleep (for both mom and mini). While its many features, which I’ll get to in a second, could be beneficial for all babes, it could definitely be more of a necessity depending on your little one’s temperament and sleep preferences. (I only wish this sleeper was around a few years ago! The SNOO would have been a godsend for my first child.)
Setting Up the Snoo Smart Sleeper
Assembling the SNOO was a breeze—it was up and running in a matter of minutes and required no tools. The quick start guide and user guide are each designed with simple illustrations and contain concisely written instructions to do just what their names imply: get you started. After a few nights using the SNOO, we found it helpful to visit the website (happiestbaby.com) to find in-depth answers to our more detailed questions.
The SNOO is essentially a large bassinet and is a more of permanent piece of furniture … so don’t plan on traveling with it. It is a really gorgeous design with minimalistic legs and soft, white flexible mesh material for the siding. The base is plastic faux-wood, which I was a little surprised by, considering its price.
The mesh walls, mattress pad and base should be spot cleaned. I typically throw the swaddle and mattress cover in the washing machine on cold and hang or lie flat to dry.
I wanted to keep my son close for a couple weeks to learn his sleep patterns and establish breastfeeding. Once we started using the SNOO bassinet more consistently, we all quickly became fond of his fancy baby bed. The SNOO uses soothing white noise and gentle motion to lull little ones to sleep, mimicking the environment of the womb, so it feels like home sweet home even in the middle of the night. But unlike other high-tech sleepers, it not only soothes and monitors your child, but it also responds to him! The SNOO will move to comfort your newbie, and it knows just what kind of motion is best: slow swinging/rocking for sleep or a faster paced jiggle for upsets. You can also select the best white noise for your tot (either a womb sound that works well to calm crying or a soft patter of rain to help baby drift off). It’s basically a bedside night nurse, so your wee one is content and still within arm’s reach those first few months of life.
The makers of the SNOO promise it will give you increased stretches of Z’s and help with sleep deprivation. Our little guy was already prone to long stretches and considered a good sleeper, only waking in the night to eat, but the SNOO has been incredibly beneficial in conditioning Harvey to fall asleep after being put down drowsy—but still awake. The calming white noise and gentle rocking sends him right to dreamland.
The SNOO comes with three sizes of organic cotton swaddles to accommodate a growing baby. The SNOO sack takes only a matter of seconds to swaddle your babe, and they are designed with healthy hip development in mind. With a couple areas of breathable mesh, they also enhance airflow to prevent overheating for safe sleep. There are loops sewn onto the sides to secure the swaddle to the SNOO and prevent baby from rolling over. The unit will only work if the clips are engaged, and it will automatically shut off if they are disconnected. This is a great safety feature, especially for first-time mamas who might worry about baby flipping onto his tummy and SIDS.
The companion SNOO app setup involves connecting to the SNOO’s private WiFi and creating a username and password, then it is ready to roll. The app is pretty robust and user-friendly. It would be helpful if the user manual was accessible from the app, but it does link directly to YouTube video tutorials if you need extra guidance.
The app is not necessary to operate the SNOO, but it does allow you to do so remotely (or from the comfort of your bed). The screen displays “Harvey is calm” while on the lowest setting and continues to display each status level as it changes. Upon reaching the highest level of activity (red), the SNOO sends a notification through the app to alert you that your kiddo is in need of (human) attention.
If you prefer to intervene before your baby gets super worked up, you can disable the higher levels of activity. The SNOO will discontinue its efforts after level two and alert you. The app also allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the SNOO’s responsiveness, making it more or less sensitive to your baby’s cry. I really like these features, especially knowing that Harvey typically only wakes to eat. There’s no point in letting him get that upset if I know he’s just hungry.
We aren’t quite there yet, but when the time comes to wean Harvey from SNOO, the app helps manage that process, too. When “weaning mode” is selected, the rocking motion turn off once the baby is calm for several minutes. The SNOO will intervene if the baby begins to fuss. I am hopeful that the weaning process is as well designed as the rest of the SNOO’s features because the last thing we need is to return to sleepless nights with an older baby!
The SNOO is available from the Happiest Baby website and other retailers. It’s clearly an investment piece, but the good news is it comes with free shipping, a one-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee. They also started a SNOO rental program starting at $149 a month, so you can try it out and see how it works for your babe!