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I was 6 weeks postpartum and I could not stop crying. Everything had gone the opposite way of how I wanted: My son was born via emergency C-section, we never figured out how to properly breastfeed and he was having weight gain issues—all of these factors led to me having postpartum anxiety.
On top of that, I was barely sleeping more than two hours at a time, either because my baby was crying (he was hungry all the time) or because I was worried that he was going to wake up soon so what was the point of sleeping anyway?
I texted my friend who had had a baby weeks before me. You need a SNOO, she said. A what? I replied. She promptly sent me an email with all the information I needed to know to convince me to give this thing a try.
Looking back, it's funny that I hadn't heard of the SNOO before, given the copious amount of research I did on baby products and what I needed to have at home before the important arrival of our new family member. This smart bassinet wasn't as widely known as it is now.
But for my family, it was a life-changer. I don't say that lightly. The SNOO changed my whole perspective on being a mom because it allowed me to rest and be better every single day that went by.
But before I tell you how it changed my life, let's get into what the SNOO actually is.
What is the SNOO?
Created by famous pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp (you might have read his bestselling book Happiest Baby on the Block), the SNOO is a smart, responsive bassinet that helps babies sleep better and longer—and even claims to sleep train without the tears that usually come with that process.
The bassinet gently rocks your baby while playing white noise. If your baby cries or wiggles, the bassinet responds by upping the rocking and noise one level to help the baby fall back to sleep. It has five different levels of sound and motion, which intensify as they get more restless. However, if your baby needs you because they are hungry, dirty or they've already had enough sleep for that rest period, the SNOO will send you a push notification to your phone that your baby needs your attention. Then it will shut down—it won't continue to rock them if they are really, really cranky.
Why the SNOO works
The SNOO combines four out of the five S's from Karp's book: swaddling, shushing, swaying and optional sucking if your baby is into pacifiers, which—in my experience raising three babies—will calm anyone down. The motions and sound imitate life inside the womb, which helps babies get through the fourth trimester as they wake up and discover the world they now live in.
Extremely. Babies should always sleep on flat surfaces, on their backs and swaddled at the beginning of their life. The SNOO comes with the extra layer of safety of having babies clipped onto the bassinet to prevent accidental rolling on to their bellies while they are swaddled. Plus, the whole bassinet is made of breathable mesh.
Why I love it
I genuinely recommend the SNOO to every single soon-to-be parent because it changed my life. I went from sleeping in 2-hour chunks to almost six hours the first night we put my son in it. When I gave birth to my twins, we had two SNOOs waiting for us at home. Given that they were born during a global pandemic and my husband and I were outnumbered, the SNOOs turned into an extra set of "hands" that could hold one of the twins safely while we catered to the other ones' needs. All three of my children were sleeping safely through the night at 9 weeks of age, which allowed me to get some rest and begin to peel off the curtain of anxiety, slowly but surely.
Frequently asked questions about the SNOO
Do babies get used to being rocked to sleep?
Not really. The bassinet comes with a weaning mode that stops the rocking but keeps playing the white noise, to get your baby used to sleeping in a regular crib. None of my children have ever had any issues transitioning to a crib once I followed Karp's steps in doing so.
What if my baby doesn't like being swaddled?
In my experience, I've found that it is more related to how you swaddle them, but if your baby really does not like being arms in, the SNOO swaddles come with the option of having one or both arms out so that the baby can learn how to self-soothe.
It's expensive, what if it doesn't work?
Yes, it's expensive compared to other more basic bassinets, but if you think about all the things the SNOO actually is (sheets plus swaddle plus sound machine plus bassinet plus a night nurse, basically) on top of how long you can use it (six months) it's actually not that bad. And now there is also the option to rent a bassinet to test out and use it for however long you need.
I have also found that, like anything in life, there's a learning curve for the SNOO and it's not just magic. You also need to make sure your baby is well-fed and burped before putting them down, and that they are not too hot or cold. It's also important that they've had enough awake time for the sleep pressure to build up. And for all the questions you may have, The Happiest Baby support team is there to guide you along the way. For example, my twins had terrible reflux and while the SNOO can't cure that, getting leg raisers for their heads to be a little bit elevated really helped them out.
Bottom line: The SNOO is absolutely worth it to me. It helped me be a better mom and also to learn my children's sleep patterns and needs so I could support them in every regression and transition they had way past bassinet life.