With all the insanity of COVID-19, self-quarantining, social distancing, and shelter in place orders, the world became a different place in March 2020 than it was last year. With everything that’s going on, it’s even more important to ensure you’re taking care of yourself. As a new mom, this includes getting the most sleep that you can. If you’ve just given birth (ahem, me) or if you’re expecting in the coming weeks or months, know that you will get through this. Do everything you can to relax, and try to maximize sleep to help prioritize your mental health. I know, maximizing sleep with a new baby is hilarious. That’s one of the reasons the product I’m talking about, the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet, is so relevant right now.
As a new mom, one of the hot topics on your mind is sleep. Outside the baby’s safety and whether they are eating, sleep is probably the top priority on your list. I struggled through sleep deprivation with my first baby. She wouldn’t sleep flat on her back in her Pack N Play past 4 a.m. We kept her in a Rock N Play from 4-6 a.m. Once those were recalled I had no idea what we were going to do if we had another baby. I felt like a zombie after waking up 3-4 times per night.
There has to be a better way to get more sleep
With my second, I felt like there had to be another way. Yes, the early days are always going to be tough no matter what. I just wasn’t thrilled to wake up every few hours for another year. Enter the SNOO smart sleeper. I was browsing Pinterest and was lucky enough to find the SNOO smart sleeper bassinet while I was pregnant. We’ve been using it for a month, and so far it’s been a game-changer. I’m going to walk you through the pros and cons of this bassinet so you can find out if it’s right for you.
**I was given a SNOO rental for the purposes of this review, but the opinions are 100% my own. I’d never recommend or endorse anything I wouldn’t use or buy myself.
This post probably contains affiliate links. That means if you buy something using one of my links I may receive a small commission – at no additional cost to you! How cool is that? It’s kind of boring, but feel free to read my full disclosure if you want more info
What is a SNOO Smart Sleeper?
First things first – what the heck is a SNOO? You may have seen them on Pinterest or any of the baby must-have lists, and not known what they were. The SNOO Smart Sleeper is a high tech baby bassinet. It was specifically designed to be one of the safest baby beds on the market. As a bonus, it claims to get young infants to sleep longer. It was created by Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. This bassinet mimics the sound and motion of the womb with continuous, doctor-designed motion and white noise.
As your baby awakens or gets upset, the SNOO automatically responds and increases its motion or level of white noise. Auto soothing your baby back to sleep so you don’t have to. Of course, you’ll need to wake for night feedings and changes. The SNOO claims to add 1-2 hours to your baby’s sleep, with most infants sleeping 7-9 hours by two months old. The 9 hours per night claim is on Pinterest, and the additional 1-2 hours of sleep comes from the website.
Additionally, the SNOO sacks that were designed especially for the SNOO Smart Sleeper help keep baby safe all night long. They actually prevent rolling and unsafe sleep positions. The SNOO sack has wings that slide onto clips in the base of the bed, preventing risky rolling.
SNOO Smart Sleeper Features
The SNOO hot tech is not only embedded in the product, but also in the app that accompanies the smart sleeper bassinet. The bassinet’s white noise and motion are on all night to keep your little one sleeping soundly all night long. SNOO automatically adjusts its soothing sensations to match your baby’s level of fussiness. It’s important to note that if your baby doesn’t settle back down within 60 seconds of the adjustment, she probably needs to be fed or changed. This thing isn’t an actual parent after all. Luckily, the SNOO can even tell you when it isn’t going to be able to calm down your little one. It will automatically shut off after a couple of minutes of crying.
A mobile app to track sleep
The mobile app can control the level and intensity of the SNOO’s movement as well. It also provides a report of baby’s sleep right at your fingertips.
As a new sleep-deprived mom, it’s often hard to remember what you had for dinner, much less how many hours your baby slept. This is a huge bonus if you want to figure out how often and how long the baby is sleeping. The app also has a Weaning Feature. This makes it easy to transition baby out of the SNOO and into a crib. I was definitely hesitant thinking we’d have to go cold turkey at the end of six months. (More info on how simple that is here.)
Smart tech that automatically adjusts soothing levels
There are multiple levels of soothing on the SNOO. A great feature is that it automatically increases it’s soothing based on how upset your baby is. This means less work for you. Alternatively, you can control the soothing levels on your app. At the first “calm” level the SNOO still moves and has white noise all night long. The noise and motion progressively increase when the baby gets upset.
There are also “Leg Lifters” you can add to one side of the bassinet. These lifters raise the head 10 degrees to help with reflux. This angle is what’s recommended for reflux by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Our little lady still spits up fairly regularly even after we raised the head of the bassinet. We did feel like we were helping her a little bit with elevation. Many reviews say to add other items underneath the bassinet legs to get a higher raise, but this is against the manufacturer’s directions. I would only use the leg lifters sold by Happiest Baby to stay safe.
The downside of the SNOO is upfront cost
After reading about all the awesome features I’m sure you’re wondering who wouldn’t want this thing. And you’d be right. But, as with anything, there’s always a downside. From what we’ve seen, the main downside of the SNOO is the cost.
To buy a new SNOO you’re looking at a full retail price of $1295. They ran a 40% off sale for Black Friday and 30% off for the new year. However, it’s still a huge chunk of change running between $777-$906 on sale if you buy one. I’m not sure how frequently they run these sales, but I’d definitely keep my eye out before buying one at full price. You can sign up for their newsletter to be the first to know about any promotions.
Luckily, the great people at Happiest Baby realized that this price makes the item much less accessible for many would-be customers. So they came up with another option.
The SNOO Rental is an awesome lower-cost alternative
If you don’t have the cash to fork over for a $1,300 bassinet (because really, who does?) you can choose the option to rent monthly. The monthly rental is about $118, which boils down to $3.90 per day. While I couldn’t afford a full-time night nurse, if I could have paid less than $4 per day for my first to sleep longer I would have done it hands down.
Sleep can be priceless. I know that $118 per month still isn’t cheap. It’s also out of range for a lot of people, but it’s a huge step up from an upfront cost of $1295. You also have to think about what you’re getting for that $118. For me, extra sleep is worth cutting out the Starbucks, or lunches out, etc.
What do you get with a SNOO Smart Sleeper rental?
With a SNOO rental, you get the fully cleaned and sanitized SNOO smart sleeper bassinet. It also comes with new swaddles (size small, medium, and large) along with a sheet and new mattress. You can keep all those brand new soft goods that come with your rental. Unfortunately, they aren’t really usable outside the SNOO but at least you know yours are fresh.
You control the value and expense with the option to return the SNOO after a one-month minimum period. If your baby is ready to transition to the crib earlier, you can return the SNOO and forego the extra cost.
Are you ready? Order your SNOO rental now!
Who is the SNOO Smart Sleeper for?
Everyone. Or anyone with sleep issues.
No seriously, the SNOO is amazing. To be fair, we’ve been using it since about day 4 or 5 – right after our daughter went through an insane growth spurt when we came home from the hospital. Those first few nights we were literally up ALL NIGHT. No 2 hour stretches of sleep. Just near-constant nursing and an inability to put the baby down. We started using the SNOO as she exited the growth spurt, so I don’t have a direct comparison of the SNOO vs. Pack N Play today. Based on our experience, it’s been worth every penny. More on that to come. BUT, if you happen to be in an even more challenging sleep situation, this bassinet is definitely for you.
If you’re dealing with sleep issues, or the dreaded four-month sleep regression this could be the answer you’re looking for. Based on the amount of sleep (or lack thereof) during the early months, I’d suggest you get the SNOO earlier. However, if you were blessed with a sleeping baby early on and have now had a huge sleep setback – it might be a good time to get on the SNOO wagon.
Anyone with space for a bassinet
Do you have the space for a full size bassinet in your home or apartment? I’m guessing most people (even those living in tiny apartments) can find the space for a bassinet. Especially if they will eventually have a crib.
However, I’d be remiss not to call out that this is a sturdy product (~38lbs.) and it’s 30” long. It’s not as small as some bassinets you can buy.
Dimensions from the website: 30” L × 16” W × 32” H. If you don’t have space in your room or separate sleeping space for the baby that can accommodate a bassinet this size by an outlet, you’ll be in a bit of a pickle.
Anyone who can fit it in their budget
Per the full section on budget above, the SNOO smart sleeper is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. The rental option is a fantastic way to make it more affordable, and they do have frequent sales. It still seems like a stretch for most people.
I typically wouldn’t recommend anything this expensive since I have a natural tendency toward frugality with big purchases. However – this bassinet is truly a game-changer. I’ll talk about our experience below, but I’d recommend this to anyone who can make the finances work.
Who should probably look for other sleep options
If you have a baby that sleeps like a rock and easily goes for four-hour stretches within a couple of weeks home from the hospital, you might not need a SNOO. This is pretty unlikely, but I don’t believe in buying things you don’t need. If you want to hold off and see how your baby sleeps, by all means, go ahead. I don’t recommend it based on how our first weeks went, but it’s an option.
However, since babies change their sleep patterns at around three months, you might go through a regression where the SNOO could really help you out even if you don’t need it in the first two months. It’s important to note that by 2 months, babies have adjusted to their sleeping environments for the most part, so getting them to adjust to SNOO when they’re in the middle of a sleep regression at 3 months won’t be easy.
Our experience with the SNOO Smart Sleeper
I’ll admit, I was a little worried about using the SNOO at first. I mean, this thing literally rocks and shushes your baby all night long. I was terrified I’d never be able to put her down anywhere else, and that she’d never nap in a Pack N Play or crib. Or that we’d never be able to travel without the bassinet. I didn’t want to trade an early problem for an even bigger problem later on when we were transitioning, or on vacation.
I still worry about the transition out of the SNOO, but after a few totally sleepless nights I just wanted something that worked to help me sleep. There is nothing quite like the exhaustion of the first couple of weeks with a newborn, and we needed help. Also, the SNOO has been around for 3 years now (they launched late 2016) and there have been many generations of SNOO users who share that transitioning to the crib wasn’t an issue.
Would I recommend the SNOO Smart Sleeper?
As part of my quest to truly find the best products to recommend to my visitors, we used both a regular pack n play and the SNOO during our baby’s first week home. I know there are some parents who get those freakishly good sleepers, and I didn’t want to recommend something that costs over $100/month if my baby was just going to go ahead and sleep in a $100 pack n play (PNP).
So, in service to the cause, we used both products. And as of the time I’m writing this (our baby is four weeks old), the SNOO was definitely worth the price. Her sleep stretches in the Pack N Play were shorter than the SNOO. If we put her down in the PNP she has to be totally out. We can put her down in the SNOO and if she’s only lightly asleep she will still go down. Even if her eyes flutter open while we zip her in, we can usually just increase the level of soothing and she’ll stay asleep.
Our baby also grunts a lot, especially in her last stretch of sleep, somewhere between 4-7 a.m. Many times we’re able to just shush her with the SNOO and stay in bed. Even if we’re only sleeping two hours, not needing to get up every thirty minutes can make you feel 100x more rested.
Does SNOO work for the long haul?
I’ll be updating this review with more details as we go through the first six months and transition to a crib. I am especially interested in the claim of 7-9 hours by two months old. I also want to know how it helps with the four-month sleep regression. For now – this is a must get!
I hope this review of the Snoo Smart Sleeper helps you get a better understanding of the product, its features, and whether or not it’s a baby item you want to prioritize. If you have any other questions about the SNOO or our SNOO journey, feel free to leave me a comment below.
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Wishing you a great night’s sleep!
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