Whether you’re about to have your first baby, or in my case, become a mama for the fourth time over, a universal concern for new and seasoned parents alike is sleep. We all need sleep to function, and being deprived of it is something akin to torture. When I was pregnant with my first child I used to lay awake at night — in between nonstop trips to the bathroom, of course — stressing about how tired I was going to be once she arrived.
And here’s the thing: the hype is real. You’re going to be so tired you want to cry and you probably will. What’s behind this tornado of exhaustion? While babies sleep A LOT during the day, they wake every two to three hours at night in the beginning weeks (and months, depending on the baby) of their life. And once baby wakes screaming, you have to get up to feed him or her, change their diaper, and then the rocking begins. I have spent days, even weeks of my life rocking babies in the middle of the night, getting them sound, sound asleep. And as you’re about to lay them down in their crib or bassinet or vibrating chair, you step on a creak in the floor, or your ankle cracks (this is a real thing!), or you stub your toe on the nightstand — and baby’s eyes pop up open. And you have to start the whole rocking process over. I’m exhausted just writing about it.
Needless to say, when I learned that Dr. Harvey Karp — aka the baby whisperer and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block — had designed a “smart” bassinet aimed at boosting infant sleep, and more importantly, solving parent exhaustion, I was ALL IN. Linked to an app on your phone, the bassinet comprises three microphones that listen and respond to baby and increase white noise and motion as fussing turns to crying. “This is the basic concept of the 4th trimester — babies are just not ready for the world when they come out,” Dr. Karp explained to me. “A flat bed in a quiet room is completely off. Babies have constant sound and motion in the womb, and we’ve mimicked those soothing sensations with the Snoo. To make them go cold turkey when they’re born is cruel.”
So, I got me a Snoo. And after using it for nearly 20 weeks, I can say that I’ve never had to stand in the dark, rocking my baby girl. Instead, I wake when she wakes, I feed her, I snuggle her and I lay her back down in the Snoo — which then rocks her right to sleep. Instead of spending 45 minutes with her multiple times a night, we are up and down in 20.
Because the Snoo listens and reacts to crying, there have been many times when it soothed my baby before I even got out of bed to feed her — thus lengthening her sleep pattern in a way I never could. Confession: I’m addicted to the Snoo app. While the bassinet will react to crying, there have been countless times when I’ve been laying in my bed, hear my baby getting restless and have preemptively upped the soothing level before she even started crying. I call this “Snoo-ing the baby.” As in, “She slept til 6 a.m. today because I Snoo-ed her at 4 a.m.” Being able to manually trigger the soothing functions is a Godsend.
When I brought my baby home from the hospital she was waking every two to three hours, after two weeks it was every four to five hours and by month two she was sleeping a minimum of six hours a night. Because this is my fourth child, I know that this isn't standard — and that because of the Snoo, this is the most sleep I've ever gotten with a newborn.
Some critics have said moms are depriving their babies by letting the Snoo rock them — this is, in a word, hogwash. I snuggle, kiss and coo to my baby all day long. Mindlessly rocking her at 2 a.m. while silently begging her to please, for the love of God, go the f--k to sleep is not going to make her feel any more loved. And it certainly isn't going to do anything for my disposition. For me, the elimination of time spent rocking equals more minutes and hours spent sleeping, thus furthering my ability to be a better mom in the morning — remember, I’ve got three other kids to get dressed, fed, and off to school with lunches packed and permission slips filled out. I need every minute of sleep I can get it.
As Dr. Karp also pointed out to me, exhaustion isn’t just about parents being tired. It can lead to depression, weight gain, marital strife, and even infant sleep death. Overly tired parents make careless, even tragic mistakes, like falling asleep while nursing baby or opting to let baby sleep in an unsafe bed condition with parents.
Which brings me to the Snoo’s other major selling point. It’s safe AF. Crass, but true. The only bed that complies with the American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleep recommendation to keep sleeping babies on the back, the Snoo enables this via a swaddle that clips into the interior sides of the bassinet, eliminating any chance of your baby rolling. A staunch supporter of swaddling, I can attest that the Happiest Baby swaddle is A+. It’s design features both a soft Velcro band that tightly secures baby’s arms by their side, and a hip-safe, ventilated sack that zips up to baby’s neck. Knowing that she was swaddled and couldn’t roll over during the night soothed my nighttime anxiety, even if my worries were irrational.
Bonus: When inside the swaddle sack, your baby sort of looks like an astronaut ready for take-off. My husband and I would oftentimes stand over our Snoo-zing girl, entranced by how she looked so peaceful, sweet and hilarious all at once.
Now that I’ve ticked all the reasons why you too need the Snoo, let’s address the elephant in the room — price. It ain’t cheap. The Snoo retails for $1,160, but is currently retailing for $870 on Amazon. Coming to his baby’s defense, Karp says that the Snoo works like a night nurse, but at a fraction of the price. “The Snoo is going to be your 24/7 help, seven days a week for the first six months of your baby’s life,” he says. “That works out to $5 a day — you’re going to spend that on coffee and Red Bull. If you use it for a second child, the price lowers to $2 to $3 a day.”
We’re spending similar amounts on fancy strollers — and those pimped-out rides aren’t gaining us any extra hours of sleep at night. Option 1: Spend less on your stroller and transfer those dollars to the Snoo. Another idea: Register for the Snoo and let multiple friends/family divvy up the cost. My last ditch effort to convert you: Re-sale. Given its effectiveness and that word is starting to get out, moms WANT the Snoo, even if it’s been used. Re-selling it for $400 or $500 is totally feasible once baby is big enough for a crib.
What else do you need to know? Oh, the Snoo’s design is gorgeous. It’s legit the nicest piece of furniture in my master bedroom. Also, Justin Timberlake is an investor and brand advocate. I repeat: Justin Timberlake says you need one. Yup, that's what I thought. Sold!
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