The Snoo Smart Sleeper promises a lot, and when you're a sleep deprived parent you start to believe all manner of marketing spiel and personal recommendations. That's why we recruited trainer and new mum Emily Pointer (and her baby Olive) to give her honest review of the super snazzy bit of kit.
If you scroll through my new mum Whatsapp chats, sleep (or lack of) dominates around 87% of what we talk about. Among the baby photos and moaning about partners there are never ending discussions about the sleep aide choices out there. Do I go Dockatot or Moses Basket? Snuzpod or Chico Next To Me? There are no guarantees – for anyone who swore by Ewan the Dream Sheep, I'm here to counter.
So, enter the Snoo. The Snoo Smartsleeper was created by paediatrician, Dr. Karp, whose focus is on the 5 S’s: Swaddle, Side or Stomach Position, Shush, Swing and Suck.
So far, so alliterative.
After posting about the Snoo on my instagram, I was inundated with people saying how much it saved their baby’s sleep, how much they wanted one and how Beyonce has one in every house she owned.
Well, if it’s good enough for Beyonce…
What is the Snoo Smart Sleeper?
It is quite literally an all-singing, all dancing crib. It soothes your little one through white noise from built in speakers while rocking them to sleep to mimic the womb. It has 5 levels, from simulating a car journey to being in a train carriage, and it increases as your little one needs that extra level to settle. The purpose of the cot is to take on the endless rocking and settling that comes with being a parent so you and your baby can both have more sleep. It also helps your bub one become more independent at sleeping which should make your life easier.
Inside the Snoo, they have their 5 second Sleepea swaddle. It looks a bit like a straightjacket which really unnerved me as Olive writhed around, however she and I soon got used to it.
Also, did I mention it looks good? (Quite rare with the baby cribs I find).
The big question is, can you put a price on sleep? In the US they have a rental model however that’s yet to come to the UK.
That said, they do have a 30 day trial period which does offer a chance for you to give it a go.
What does the Snoo come with?
- 3 swaddles (0-2 mths, 2-4 mths, 4-6 mths)
- Base Sheet
- The Snoo Bassinet
- Mattress and waterproof cover
- Unlimited access to Snoo sleep consultants 7 days a week
Is the Snoo dangerous?
One thing I was concerned about was hip health as some experts suggest that swaddling isn’t great for hip development, however Happiest Baby advised that the swaddle has been designed with this in mind by having mesh and enough room for the knees to drop outwards.
The swaddle is connected to the Snoo to prevent any rolling so babies can be swaddled for the entirety of using the Snoo (up to 6 months). This felt a bit weird for me as I’d transitioned Olive to a sleeping bag, and it felt like a step back, however as I was reviewing it, I might as well do it by the book.
The shaking seems a tad unnerving to begin with, but when you think about all the movement in daily life that gets a baby off to sleep, i.e walking in a carrier, it makes perfect sense.
Is the Snoo easy to set up?
It took 10 minutes max, including opening the box! It’s literally a case of screwing on the legs and plugging in the power cable.
Following this, you link up the app with the Snoo by scanning the barcode and you’re done. Definitely a plus point.
Is the Snoo really worth it? My review
At the time of getting the Snoo, Olive was just over 5 weeks old. Sleep wise, she’s actually a dream at night, but during the day was another story with well over an hour trying to get her down.
Now, it’s a different story.
She goes down for her first nap of the day and more often than not, a second with the remaining naps on the move (not ideal but pram walks are life for mums in lockdown).
On initial impressions, I really didn’t like the strait jacket vibes (for want of a better phrase) of the swaddle and the fact they recommend you swaddle arms in until 5 months. After setting it up, I soon realised you had to have it moving and playing white noise all night.
It felt a bit extravagant and could we sleep with that going next to our bed? After turning down the volume to the lowest setting, it was pretty inoffensive. To the point where my husband asked if it was still playing. Now I think I’m going to miss the soothing white noise sending me to sleep at night!
Having gone through 4 Leaps (and 4 month sleep regression) with the Snoo, I know it’s not a magic pill that will make Olive sleep automatically whenever she goes into it, however, more often than not it’s been a massive saviour.
I’m not going to lie, it does feel like cheating. Is this really parenting when I let a machine soothe my baby? (Maybe that's just my mum guilt talking!)
That said, on speaking to many other mums, putting a baby down after a night feed with the press of a button is pretty ideal. It apparently gives an extra 1-3 hours of sleep a night for parents and babies. Also, we’ve found that if she wasn’t happy, we’d soon know about it!
As Olive is our first, it’s hard to compare but when considering other babies in my mum groups, she’s one of the best sleepers (sorry to be “that mum”). She’s really good at self-settling and it’s not something we’ve had to directly work on as the responsive nature of the Snoo did it for us.
It’s handy as when she’s stirring, I can leave the Snoo to settle her back down while I carry on with whatever I’m doing. I cannot express how great that is and how much extra time it’s given me in the day - especially with going back to work already.
However, to be clear, it’s not a magic fix all. If she really doesn’t want to sleep, she won’t go to sleep. Point proven in fighting the illusive late afternoon nap and the 4 month sleep regression.
Yes, it's a lot of money, but if you’re clever, the resale value remains quite high, or a friend of mine actually rents hers out. Nevertheless, if you tot up the amount spent on night nannies, sleep guides, sleep experts and late night online shopping, you’ve probably spent more than the difference.
And what’s most important is that I’m fairly well-rested which means I can be a better version of me for Olive and personally I find that invaluable.