My thoughts on the Snoo...
I get several questions each time I do a Q&A about my thoughts on the SNOO. Unfortunately, Instagram only gives you 15 seconds to respond to questions and that’s definitely not enough time to answer this one.
I want to first preface this with saying that I did not personally use the SNOO for my first child and I will not be using the SNOO for my second when he’s born. So, if you’re looking for a review based on personal experience, I totally understand that this may not be the one for you.
My review is based on my experience working with babies coming from the Snoo and what I see as a Pediatric Sleep Consultant.
What is the SNOO?
The SNOO is a Smart Sleeper bassinet designed by Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the Happiest Baby on the Block. He based the design on the premise of the Five S’s and used swaddling, swaying and shushing when soothing the babies in the SNOO bassinet. When the baby cries, the bassinet responds by using the above techniques to get the baby back to sleep.
This sounds pretty appealing to a new parent for sure! But, there are some things that I don’t love about the bassinet that really set me back when seeing the overall appeal.
What don’t I like about the SNOO?
Dependence on sleep props by baby: The SNOO markets their product as “The answer” to your baby’s sleep. But, it’s really only the answer for a few months. Once baby grows out of the SNOO, it can be difficult to transition to a crib. I’ve worked with several babies who slept in the SNOO at first and it takes them a lot longer to get used to all of the props being taken away at once than a baby who was not sleeping in the SNOO.
Now, I know there is a weaning mode, but most families don’t use it the way they say to in the instructions. And truthfully, I don’t blame them. If your baby is sleeping these long, beautiful stretches at night, I wouldn’t exactly be motivated to changing that up and scaling back the reasons that the baby is sleeping so well either! When we teach our babies to learn how to sleep, we want them to do this without needing a ton of props to get back to sleep. With the SNOO containing a lot of props, baby really has no idea how to get to sleep on their own.
Dependence on props by the parents: I feel as though it is especially important for parents to get to know their baby’s sleep patterns, needs and preferences as soon as they possibly can. I’m not saying that the SNOO doesn’t allow that to happen, but it definitely isn’t giving parents the full scope of what their baby’s sleep needs are. By relying on the SNOO to help baby back to sleep, many parents can feel lost when it’s time to transition to the crib. Especially when they have a baby who has grown dependent on multiple props.
Safety: I am a big advocate for keeping babies safe. While I never want you to feel judged for using something or doing something that isn’t deemed as safe, I also want to educate on safety so that we, as parents, never have regrets! Now, that’s not totally possible. I know, as a parent of a toddler, I’ve went to bed plenty of nights regretting how little patience I had that day or how much the TV was on. But, I never want to regret doing something that could jeopardize my children’s safety. That’s not the type of regret that I want anyone to live with!
With that being said, the SNOO seems like a safe place to lay your baby to sleep. It’s flat, firm and breathable. However, according to the FDA, there is an investigation to determine if the swaddle aspect of the bassinet is considered a sleep positioner. Sleep positioners are considered unsafe to use by the AAP.
Another aspect that concerns me for its safety is the WiFi capability. Personally, I try to avoid EMF radiation around children the very best that I can. While it’s extremely difficult to shelter them from any form of EMF, I do my very best to keep it out of their sleep spaces. According to Baby Gear Lab, a study they performed showed high levels of EMF exposure in the bassinet, even though there is a shield plate in the design to help protect baby. Based on their findings, they stated that the shielding “is insufficient”. (1)
The price: The SNOO is $1495 when purchased new! While I love baby products and testing things out that will make life as a new mom easier, I don’t think a bassinet that baby will be in for 6 months is worth that much money. You can buy my Newborn Guide to help you learn about your baby and their sleep, which is 20 times cheaper than the SNOO! AND! The skills you help your baby develop by using this guide will be ones that they carry with them as they get older.
So, am I totally anti- SNOO?
I’m not completely against using it! If you have one or you want to try one, I think that the best option is to go into using it with the mindset that you will use the wean mode and put a time on when you’ll start. Then, hold yourself to it to make sure that your baby will have a smooth transition out of it.
Also, I feel that the SNOO is a safer option than other survival modes that parents use when it comes to sleep. I would rather see the baby sleeping in a SNOO than Mom or Dad sleeping in a rocking chair while holding the baby.
Do I feel that the SNOO will make sleep after bassinet life impossible? No. But I do think that it adds a little more difficulty when teaching independent sleep skills. If you’re cool with that, so am I! And I will be here to help you when you need it! If you’re set on using the SNOO, I don’t want my opinion to deter you!
As with all things do to with parenting, use your parental instincts and never let anyone else sway you a different way! Do your research and make an informed decision based on your findings!
*Picture from this blog is from the Happiest Baby website