Cue the chorus, it’s finally here… the long awaited SNOO review! I know I’ve been promising to get this up for several weeks now, but what can I say, newborn life ain’t easy. Best laid plans are often quickly thwarted by poor napping days, toddlers with sniffly noses, or even a stroke of good luck like a 50° day… in Chicago… in January… and you just have to put the damn laptop down and get outside!
But, with all distractions now checked off and moved aside, I’m happy to bring you some highly anticipated thoughts and answers on all of your questions regarding the Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Bassinet. If you’re not aware on what a SNOO is, take a few minutes to watch this video and get acclimated — it’s an intelligent bassinet that rocks and soothes your baby on demand with the goal of longer sleep for baby and less interrupted sleep for mom and dad.
The last time I published a post on newborn sleep, it was this blog on Blake – my now 2.5 year old son’s – nighttime routine and sleeping habits. He was just three months old then and successfully sleeping through the night, an elusive achievement to many a sleep deprived mom and dad out there! I had been asked for some tips and tricks on how we were making it happen with our little guy and shared a four step process that was our evening regime for quite some time and worked like a charm. Two and a half years ago, the SNOO had just made its way on the market and was still a very new technology. I had asked my night nurse about it at the time and her opinion was something along the lines of, “Oh, you do not want that thing!” “A baby would become so dependent on that movement and you’ll never have a baby that will just sleep on his own.”
So with that advice, I avoided the SNOO and went about tactics in a more ‘old school’ way and guess what? We got there. Quickly. We had a baby that slept through the night at 7 weeks old and has continued to do so to this very day.
While you’ll continue to read on about my experience this time around with the SNOO, and how much we love it (spoiler alert), I also refer back to the words I said in that original post about Blake 2.5 years ago…
“The biggest factor is personality. Some babies just will not sleep through the night in their early stages no matter what you do. You can do everything right and if it’s just not who the baby is, it won’t happen.”
I still stand by that 100%, and although I hope my SNOO review will help those who are looking to make an informed decision on the product, ultimately every baby is different and what works for us may not always be the best route for others.
And with that, on to answering all of your questions about Happiest Baby’s SNOO!
Did you receive your SNOO sponsored or for free?
OMG! I wish. And I’ll be honest, I tried! I did reach out to the company back when I was still pregnant and asked if they might be interested in partnering with me and unfortunately, they declined. LOL! I mean, a girl has got to try, right? Apparently SNOO’s sell themselves, however, and many parents (present company included) take to social media anyway to share their experiences. They are getting tons of free advertising and are getting more here, now. Parents love sharing their SNOO review and success stories and even though I am not working with Happiest Baby in any formal capacity, I’ve been inclined to share because I want to, not because I have to.
Did you rent or buy your SNOO?
We opted to use the Happiest Baby rental program and rented our unit. Since we did not use a SNOO with Blake, and I had no idea how we would like it or how the baby would take to it, it seemed the most logical way to go. The fact that you can rent these units now directly from the company is such an incredible and affordable option! You get the unit sent directly to your door for $112/mo, and it comes with a BRAND NEW: mattress, fitted sheet, and three of the sleep sacks that hold baby in the SNOO. Those are all yours to keep and are new in brand new packaging (i.e. nothing used ever touches or comes near the baby). Compared to the SNOO’s retail purchase price of $1,295 the rental is a no brainer… the company suggests you transition the baby out of the SNOO around or before 6 months of age. Do the math, even if you kept the unit for that long, you’re still only paying $672 total. The only instance where buying versus renting would make more sense is if you’re planning for more kids and would use the unit again at a later date.
Are you nervous the constant movement will make your baby dependent on moving? Won’t transitioning to a crib be harder?
In full transparency, yes, I am actually a little nervous. As I write this, Eli is only 10 weeks old and we aren’t yet close to weaning him off the SNOO so I’m still unsure how it will go and have my apprehensions. The Happiest Baby team answers this question in their FAQ and seems to have some solid tips for how to handle the transition smoothly. I’ve heard mixed things from parents who have weaned, so again, I think this is a lot about baby personality and perhaps not so much about equipment, but we will see and I’ll update as we go.
Do you think Eli is sleeping better with the SNOO? How much sleep is he giving you?
Ah, great question! Having been through this with another baby previously who was not in a SNOO, I do somewhat have a good basis of comparison on life with versus without. Of course, they are different babies, so it’s not comparing apples to apples, but here are my thoughts:
There are some major differences, but they mostly chalk up to personal effort. The SNOO rocks the baby for you and that alone is worth its weight in GOLD. Back in the day when Blake would start to stir or cry during sleep, we would have to manually rock his bassinet or bring him out and hold him in our arms, walking him around the room. Sometimes this went on for 10 minutes, sometimes an hour… and in the middle of the night, on little sleep, I can attest, it was fu**ing exhausting! With SNOO, when it hears the baby start to stir or cry, it jumps into action adjusting various factors and working through several soothe “levels”, changing noise types (from shushing, to ocean waves, to a very hearty womb simulation) to try and lull your baby back into a restful sleep. If you’re lucky, SNOO will do the trick and baby is back to sleep and you’ve never even left your bed or lifted a finger. If the soothe levels do not work, it usually means that baby needs a feed, or has a wet diaper, and in that case SNOO alerts you to go grab little one and attend to his/her needs. It’s all very convenient, yes?
Now, regarding the sleep. Eli has been doing really well in the SNOO and at around the 7 week mark started giving us some relatively consistent overnight stretches of sleep spanning anywhere from 6-8 hours. While that is awesome, and we’re super stoked about it, if you read my post on Blake’s non-SNOO sleep routine, we were getting the exact same output of of him, at this same age, 2.5 years ago with NO SNOO! So… is the SNOO? Is it the babies we make? Is it coincidence? I have no idea, but I do know that I far prefer not having to manually rock a bassinet in the middle of the night over and over while trying to settle my fussy baby who isn’t hungry or wet, but just needs a little of that jiggle-jiggle goodness.
Is the baby moving at all times or are there adjustments you can make?
The SNOO is really customizable for all types of needs. It has a ton of settings that you can control. If you want the machine to be more or less sensitive to your babies cries, for example, or not increase the sound above a certain level, or start with no movement at all… those are all options you can select. In the beginning, I was concerned about the machine’s movement at its higher levels and got really nervous at how much it was shaking Eli. I called the Happiest Baby team immediately (their customer service rocks!) and they walked me through a function called “motion limiter” that a lot of parents to newborns utilize. It ensures the machine doesn’t go above a light jiggle versus a rigorous rocking, and made me much more comfortable. But yes, those are all settings you can control.
I see you share Eli’s sleep logs a lot, what app are you using to track that?
I use the SNOO app. It pairs with your individual SNOO and tracks babies sleep, how many times you pick up baby for rest, average longest sleep, and a bunch of other stats.
Do you recommend SNOO to others?
I do! Ultimately, I’m really happy with the product thus far. Eli has been doing really well in it and I know it has saved us a ton of rocking hours over the last 2.5 months. Being a unit with a built-in noise machine and sleep sack has also eliminated our need for those extras, and baby is, in fact, doing some pretty amazing sleep. At 10 weeks old, he did over NINE HOURS last night! Even Blake wasn’t do that long of a stretch yet at that age. I’m not sure if he’ll be doing that consistently, but it’s a great place to be in for now.
Well, that’s a wrap… it looks like that answers all of your questions. I hope you found this SNOO review helpful and informative, and if I missed anything you were hoping to know, don’t hesitate to drop me a line below. I always love chatting with you guys!
Sending sleepy wishes and happy dreams to you and your little ones!