My honest Snoo review. An unpaid, unsponsored, real-life experience with the SNOO bassinet. Plus – don’t miss the actual video footage from the first time we put our daughter in the SNOO.
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What is the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet?
In short, the SNOO is a high-tech smart bassinet that uses gentle motions and white noise to soothe your baby (and by extension, you) to sleep. It’s been shown to help babies sleep up to an extra three hours per night. Not bad!
Who invented the SNOO?
It was designed by Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the bestselling book The Happiest Baby on the Block.
Where can I buy a SNOO?
However, there is also a huge secondhand market for the SNOO, so be sure to check out Facebook Marketplace or your local mom groups.
How does the SNOO work?
The SNOO bassinet comes equipped with sensors that detect your baby’s cries and movements. When these sensors are activated, the bassinet will start rocking your baby gently back and forth until they fall asleep.
It will also play white noise at a volume that is just loud enough to block out other ambient noise but not so loud as to harm their hearing. According to the manufacturer, the sound level is safe and is below the levels experienced in the womb.
Is the SNOO safe?
The SNOO has been designed with safety in mind from the ground up. It meets or exceeds all US safety standards, and it has a number of features that help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
For example, it’s equipped with mesh walls that allow airflow while still keeping your baby contained, and it has an adjustable built-in swaddle system that secures your baby in place preventing them from rolling over in their sleep.
According to some, it’s the safest baby bed on the market.
My Honest SNOO Bassinet Review
Here is my honest opinion on the SNOO bassinet. I have not received any money, sponsorship, or gifts for sharing my personal experience.
I purchased the SNOO for my second baby.
As a first-time mom, there was no way I would have spent this much on a bassinet for my first baby. At that time I was all about minimalism and saving money.
But, I was never successful at getting my first daughter to sleep in her bassinet. I had a beautiful cradle I had borrowed from a friend, but it went unused.
My first daughter co-slept with us, and it led to years of poor sleep. I swore I’d never cosleep before my firstborn, and I swore it again before my 2nd born.
Recognizing that quality sleep is priceless, I just knew I had to splurge on a SNOO for my 2nd born.
As of 2022, a brand new SNOO sells for approx $1700. The following items are included with the sale of the bassinet:
- Three ivory swaddles
- One ivory bedsheet
- Mattress with water-proof cover
- Unlimited access to sleep consultants
- One-year manufacturer warranty
At first glance, that is certainly a lot of money and way more than the cost of a standard bassinet.
But quality sleep is priceless. And the cost is certainly cheaper than a night nurse.
I get that most people just can’t afford the hefty price tag. But when you take the resell value into account, it’s absolutely worth it and really not much more than a standard bassinet.
So you have commitment issues? Ummm no? Ok, maybe it’s the sticker shock. Good news, SNOO rental is available from the Happiest Baby website. While I never used the rental program, it’s certainly a good option if you don’t want to commit to buying a SNOO.
Purchasing a SNOO secondhand
I purchased my SNOO preowned from a friend.
Her baby had only used it a handful of times, and it just didn’t work for them.
So, I was able to purchase a very gently used SNOO with six ivory SNOO swaddles in different sizes and two ivory fitted sheets for about $1000 (huge savings). It even came in the original box. One fitted sheet and most of the swaddles were still in their original packaging.
There are plenty of secondhand SNOOs for sale. So check your local Facebook Marketplace or moms groups if you are looking for a great deal.
Assembly & Set Up
I brought the SNOO home well before my due date. My husband set it up for us in our bedroom. It was easy and quick to assemble.
In order to set up the SNOO app, my husband had to reach out to customer service that same night. He was able to get a representative on the line easily and he found them helpful.
We were all set up and we were able to confirm that we could easily control the bassinet from the app.
I immediately loved the sleek look of the SNOO.
The first afternoon we brought our daughter home from the hospital we laid her in the SNOO as a trial. We were excited that she seemed to like it from the very beginning.
Then, the first night home we put her in the SNOO to sleep.
My first impression was the rocking motion jiggled her head (and brain) too much. I also found the noise of the SNOO to be quite loud. It took some getting used to for us to sleep through the noise.
According to the manufacturer, the sound level is safe and is below the levels in the womb.
Given my concern regarding the motion, I opted to put the bassinet in weaning mode with the motion limiter on from the first night.
The manufacturer also addresses this concern on its website, stating that the amount of jiggling babies experience in the SNOO is safe and mimics being in the womb.
Every night we used it with these settings on. If we ever felt she needed a little more rocking to sleep, we could manually increase the speed from the app on our phones.
The first night in the SNOO she did cry quite a bit. It took some getting used to the SNOO, but I am so glad we stuck it out.
In weaning mode, once the SNOO senses that the baby is asleep, it gradually reduces the rocking and eventually, it will turn off the rocking motion. The white noise will continue to play even when the motion stops.
If the baby wakes up, the SNOO will begin rocking and increase the sound to put the baby back to sleep.
If you do not have the weaning mode on, the SNOO will continue to rock your baby through the night at the lowest level.
The SNOO has 4 levels of rocking motion. Level 4 is the highest level available. The motion limiter limits the rocking speed to Level 2.
I found the mobile app to be intuitive and easy to use. The app contains a sleep log that allows parents to see how well their baby sleeps through the night.
The app controls the SNOO via Wifi. If your internet is down, you can manually turn the SNOO on and off from the power button on the bassinet.
I don’t recommend the ivory SNOO sheets.
Since the baby is strapped down in the bed, the oils from my baby’s head formed a dark spot on the sheet. Even with frequent washing, I had to buy new sheets because of the dark spot that formed. Yuck!
Fortunately, you can buy sheets in other fun colors.
SNOO sleep sack aka SNOO swaddle
I found the SNOO swaddles to be high quality. They held up well in the wash and seemed comfortable for my baby.
Sometimes I did have to run them through more than one dry cycle to get all of the moisture out of them.
The mattress is more of a mattress pad but seemed adequate. It has a water-resistant mattress cover. I had no issues with the mattress and saw no need to replace it.
Ok, this is why we are all reading this right! Yes, I firmly believe the SNOO made my daughter a good sleeper and that I got extra sleep thanks to it!
By 2.5 months of age, my baby girl would sleep 7-9 hours straight! That’s no wake-ups! It was in fact a dream machine.
The Happiest Baby company recommends putting the baby to sleep in the SNOO for naps and overnight sleep.
Especially in the beginning, we did use it for occasional naps. But given how many hours a day newborns sleep, I just did not feel comfortable putting her in the SNOO, strapped down like that, for that many hours a day.
For most naps during the first couple of months of life, I used the Snuggle Me Organic lounger. This is one of my recommended must-haves for newborns. You can see, she actually liked to nap with her arms up.
The manufacturer recommends bringing the SNOO along on vacations. It is not exactly compact and frankly does not lend itself well to travel.
We took one vacation without the SNOO at around 3 months. It did not go well.
It would have taken up our entire trunk space, with no space left for luggage, if we had brought it along. Fortunately we only had a couple of nights of poor sleep to deal with.
Baby transition to crib
At 4 months of age, we had to wean my daughter. She now sleeps well in her own crib in her own room.
She is officially a SNOO graduate and continues to be a good sleeper. Woohoo!!
I purchased a preowned SNOO for $1000 with 6 swaddles and 2 fitted sheets.
When I was done with it, I sold my SNOO bassinet on Facebook marketplace for $1000. I bought some new sheets for it and included them in the sale. So the SNOO essentially cost me the price of the extra bed sheets.
I sold the SNOO at 4 months, and most of the swaddles that came with it were still in their original packaging.
How many SNOO sacks do I need?
SNOO sleep sacks are available for purchase from the SNOO website and other major retailers.
There is no substitute for the SNOO sleep sack because it’s specifically designed to secure the baby in place within the bassinet. So you have to buy the Happiest Baby brand of swaddle that’s designed specifically for the SNOO.
The SNOO swaddles come in 3 sizes: small, medium, and large. You can wash them in the washing machine. You should plan to use the SNOO for up to about 6 months of age (per the manufacturer’s recommendations).
How many you need depends on how often you like to do laundry. You can probably get away with 1 swaddle in each size, which is what the SNOO comes with. You will just have to wash it each week.
So that you have a backup swaddle always available, I recommend starting with at least 2 small swaddles and 2 medium swaddles. I never even used the large swaddle sack, we weaned before she got to that size.
If your baby is prone to spit-ups you will likely need more.
What to wear under SNOO sack
We keep our bedroom pretty cool, our thermostat is set to 70F to sleep.
Since the SNOO sack is breathable, I would usually put her in long-sleeved and long-legged pajamas to be sure she was cozy.
I love the Posh Peanut rompers for the soft stretchy material and two-way zippers.
Does the SNOO cause the baby’s needs to be neglected?
This is a fair question. In my honest experience no, it does not cause parents to neglect their children. The SNOO works by rocking and soothing your baby to help them sleep.
If they were crying you would otherwise pick them up and rock them, take them for a car ride, or bounce them up and down on a ball to get them back to sleep.
Historically, parents have suffered through many painful hours of sleep deprivation as a consequence of poor newborn sleep. And the SNOO is basically a very effective tool for helping babies sleep.
If the baby continues to cry despite the SNOOs increased rocking and sound – perhaps because they are hungry or need a diaper change – the SNOO will turn off and inform you your baby needs your attention.
Because I knew my daughter’s feeding schedule I pretty much knew when it was time to get up and feed her. I would change her diaper when I would feed her.
I really didn’t have the SNOO turn off and alert me to attend to the baby that many times, because as a mother I was in sync with her needs.
Does the SNOO cause a flat head in babies?
There is some controversy surrounding the SNOO. There are some concerns that the use of the SNOO leads to a flat head in babies. The medical term is known as plagiocephaly.
I think for regular bedtime use, this is not a concern, especially since parents have been swaddling babies to sleep long before the SNOO existed.
Also, remember that the AAP recommends that babies are always placed on their backs to sleep.
Does the SNOO interfere with bonding?
This is another controversy out there that you may encounter. In my opinion, no it absolutely does not interfere with bonding.
Current safe sleep guidelines recommend that babies are placed to sleep in their own baby bed that meets safe sleep standards. That is exactly what the SNOO bassinet provides for them – a safe space to sleep.
You will still do all the childcare that will give you an opportunity to bond: like baths, clothing changes, diaper changes, feeds, burping the baby, playing and reading to them!
Is the SNOO an infant sleep positioner?
Some have suggested that the SNOO is unsafe because infant sleep positioners have been deemed unsafe.
Let’s take a closer look at this claim.
This is how the FDA describes sleep positioners:
“Some types of sleep positioners can feature raised supports or pillows (called “bolsters”) that are attached to each side of a mat, or a wedge to raise a baby’s head. Products called “nests” can feature soft, wall-like structures that surround the base. The positioners claim to keep a baby in a specific position while sleeping and are often used for babies under 6 months old.”
The following video from the FDA website warning about infant sleep positioners also shows pillows and bolsters.
Sadly these positioners have been linked to infant death from suffocation.
From both the description and video provided by the FDA, it seems to me that the FDA is referring to snuggle nests and bolsters as being unsafe for sleep – not the SNOO.
The AAP also warns against the use of postioners. Here is how the AAP describes positioners:
“These are sometimes called baby nests, docks, pods, loungers, rockers or nappers…Soft and plush sleep surfaces are…dangerous…With sleep positioners, babies can suffocate after rolling onto their stomachs since they can’t lift their heads. The soft padding can make it difficult to breathe if a baby’s face presses against it.”
Similar to the FDA description, the AAP seems to be talking about bolsters and pillows and nests – not the SNOO.
Perhaps not surprisingly, even Happiest Baby (makers of the SNOO) claim the SNOO is not a positioner.
SNOO newborn tips
- Start from the first night at home.
- Make sure your baby is well-fed before you put them in the SNOO for the night.
- Make sure your baby has a clean diaper before you put them in the SNOO for the night.
- Make sure the temperature in the room is comfortable
- Resist the urge to bring your baby into your bed. The early days are tough because newborns wake to eat every 2-3 hours. Sticking to putting the baby back in the SNOO will pay off in the long run.
- Be consistent and patient. Newborns do not come with a preset day/night cycle – they often have their days and nights mixed up. But with some consistency, they will get a handle on their new sleeping arrangement.
- Plan to wash your sheets and swaddles at least once a week.
- If your baby is prone to spitting up just go ahead and buy more swaddles, save yourself the headache of too frequent washing. Remember you can sell everything in a bundle when you are done with it.
Is the SNOO worth it?
There’s no denying that the SNOO is an impressive piece of technology. But is it worth the price tag? When you consider the resell value, then yes it is absolutely worth it.
If you’re looking for a way to get more sleep (and who isn’t?), then the SNOO is definitely worth checking out.
And if you still can’t stomach the cost, consider renting one.
Benefits of the SNOO
In summary, the biggest benefits of the SNOO for me were
- It took care of sleep training my baby for me
- My baby slept in her own safe sleep space (no bed-sharing)
- My baby slept longer stretches
- By the time my baby was 3 months old, I was able to consistently get more restful sleep
- Overall instilled good sleep habits, as a SNOO grad she sleeps through the night in her own crib
Overall, the SNOO is a great device for newborns and new parents. The SNOO can help babies (and parents) sleep longer and more soundly. And yes, it is expensive but oh so worth it.
Did the SNOO work for you? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
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