Is the Snoo Worth It?
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Have you heard of the Snoo? No, that’s not a typo – it’s the “world’s most awarded baby bed,” according to Snoo creator Dr. Harvey Karp. The Snoo bassinet automatically rocks your swaddled baby to sleep while playing gentle white noise. All of this is supposed to simulate the womb environment to encourage your baby to get extra sleep while staying safe and calm. If you think all of that sounds great, it is! The only drawback, of course, is the price. At $1400, this high-end crib has many new parents asking “Is the Snoo worth it?”
We aim to answer that question by taking a comprehensive look at the Snoo baby bassinet, including how it works and what real customers have to say about it. We’ll give you all the information you need to determine whether this technological marvel of a baby bed is worth the price.
What is a Snoo?
The Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet, sold by the Happiest Baby company, is a baby bed and cradle all in one. Its oval-shaped walls are made of breathable mesh, but the modern design blends smoothly into most home décor. The motor in the base of the bed provides the rocking motion and soothing noise on five preset levels whenever your baby cries or fusses.
Along with the Snoo bed itself, you also get a specially-sized organic cotton sheet, a water-resistant mattress and cover, and three Snoo sleep sacks of increasing size to swaddle your baby as they grow. You can also download an app that will control the Snoo remotely and send you data on your baby’s sleep patterns. Happiest Baby also promises “unlimited access to sleep consultants” to help you improve your baby’s sleep.
Is the Snoo Worth It? How Does the Snoo Work?
The biggest selling point of the Snoo smart bassinet is that it responds automatically to your baby’s sounds, picked up by the built-in microphones. Whenever your baby cries out, the Snoo sleeper will respond by engaging the motor and white noise to soothe them back to sleep. It will start at the lowest and quietest level, and if your baby continues crying, it will slowly increase rocking speed.
The motion and sound will continue for a few minutes until your baby calms or the motor times out. If your baby cries past the time limit, they probably need more attention, like a change or a feeding. The app will alert you to this.
Additionally, the specially-designed Snoo swaddle sacks prevent your baby from turning over onto its stomach, which is a risky position for an infant to sleep in. Once you’ve securely swaddled your baby in the mesh sack, you clip the wings of the sack to safety clips on either side of the Snoo crib. From there, your baby shouldn’t be able to squirm free or turn over. The Happiest Baby website features multiple video tutorials showing you how to do this correctly.
Moreover, the app will tell you if the safety clips aren’t correctly engaged. The Snoo also claims to increase safety by reducing parental fatigue, thus reducing the chance that parents will fall asleep in a regular bed along with their baby.
The “5 S” Approach
All of these features are based on Dr. Harvey Karp’s pediatric research, which he wrote about in his book The Happiest Baby on the Block. He calls his approach to soothing a newborn “the 5 S’s”: swaddle, side/stomach position, shush, swing, and suck. Dr. Karp worked with MIT engineers to design the Happiest Baby Snoo. Overall, here are the claims that the company makes about the Snoo baby bed:
- Adds 1-2 hours of sleep per night
- Calms crying, usually in under a minute
- Teaches the baby to self-soothe
- Swaddling prevents unsafe sleep positions
- App provides daily sleep report and tips
- 1-year limited warranty
Does this all sound too good to be true? You wouldn’t be alone in thinking so.
Ok, but Does the Snoo Really Work?
Despite the price – or perhaps because of it – Snoo bassinet reviews are solidly positive. Out of 2,102 reviews on the Happiest Baby website, the Snoo ranked a 4.3 out of 5. About 70% of those are 5-star reviews, with about an equivalent number each of 1- to 4-star reviews. Google users give it 4.1 stars out of 5. Positive reviews talk about how it really does work, whereas negative reviews state that the reviewers’ infants seemed unaffected by the rocking motions.
Vanessa Hand Orellana’s detailed Snoo review on CNet.com praises the bed, particularly after the first six weeks. She found that it gave her peace of mind about her baby’s safety and got him to sleep faster after late-night feedings. His four-month sleep regression was still difficult, but she concludes it would have been even more difficult without the Snoo.
Perhaps the most serious drawback based on the reviews is that the swaddled sleeping position aggravated some babies’ acid reflux. Happiest Baby sells leg lifters to help with this, but you’ll have to buy them separately.
Ultimately, though, it seems there are some babies that just don’t respond to the rocking and white noise. If this happens, you may be out a lot of money on a technologically-advanced crib that you don’t need. It could very well be a life-saver, but you won’t know until your baby gives it a try.
Snoo Bassinet Rental
If you’re sold on the Snoo from Happiest Baby but not on the price, you do have the option to try it out without buying. You can get a free Snoo return for the first 30 days. However, you might always find that it works very well for your baby, but you still can’t afford the purchase price. The good news is that you can now rent a Snoo.
Happiest Baby itself will rent you a used Snoo at the price of $129 a month for a minimum of one month. That’s about $4.25 a day, and if you use it for the full 6 months, it only comes out to $774 dollars – a little more than half the price of purchase. This makes rental an excellent choice for those who are unsure or parents who aren’t planning to need it for more children.
Also, there’s always the possibility that the technology could improve. If you buy it, you get the current Snoo, but if you rent in the future, you might be able to rent a potential Snoo 2.0. The current Snoo is lacking some features that users want, like a built-in baby monitor.
Alternatives to the Snoo
Of course, the Snoo isn’t the only smart crib on the block. The Graco Sense2Snooze has similar cry-sensing technology with three speeds of rocking and two vibration settings, but costs only $300. The levels of soothing aren’t as sophisticated, and it doesn’t have the built-in swaddle safety clips. Of course, you can always swaddle your baby separately. However, you can’t control the motion and sound manually from a mobile device.
The Halo BassiNest Swivel Sleeper is another luxury crib to rival the Snoo. Although it doesn’t have automated functions, it does have soothing sounds, two vibration settings, and a nightlight that you can use manually. Moreover, it can swivel around a full 360 degrees and lower one side automatically to make it easier for you to pick up your baby, especially after a C-section. At $400, it’s also much less expensive. A Snoo vs. Halo comparison depends on whether you want automation and smartphone control.
For me personally, I couldn’t live without the motion/rocking. My youngest used the automated Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play, which is no longer made. However, if I were to have another baby, I would definitely purchase the Snoo; the calm motion alone would be worth it for me.
Is the Snoo Worth It?
After carefully weighing the options, we conclude that the Snoo Smart Sleeper by Happiest Baby is definitely worth the price of rental. You only have to commit to a month at a time, allowing you to save money while still getting the benefits of the “world’s best baby bed.” You also might not need a Snoo rental for the full six months, since newborns tend to outgrow a bassinet more quickly than you may think. If you find that it’s every bit the miracle it promises to be and you plan to have more children, you can always buy one after the first month of use.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Until You Know if Your Baby Doesn’t Like the Snoo?
Happiest Baby says that most infants adjust to the Snoo within about 3-7 days. However, you can return your Snoo for a full refund within the first 30 days after purchase.
How Long Does a Baby Use a Snoo?
The Snoo baby sleeper is recommended for the first six months or until the baby weighs more than 25 pounds.
Which Fitted Sheets Fit the Snoo?
Happiest Baby sells extra fitted Snoo sheets for $19.95 each or a pack of 3 for $38.50. However, some third-party sheets will also fit.
Can You Use Snoo without the Swaddle?
Of course, you can simply put your baby in the Snoo without swaddling it first, but this negates one of the primary safety features of the crib – keeping the baby from turning over. Happiest Baby’s FAQ page provides help for parents of babies who don’t seem to like being swaddled. Dr. Karp contends that some babies just need time to get used to it.
Do I Need Extra Snoo Sacks?
Users definitely recommend buying extra sacks in case of diaper blowouts or leaks. If there’s an accident in the middle of the night, you don’t want to have to wash and dry the sack before you can re-swaddle your baby. Many also recommend buying an extra fitted mattress cover for the same reason.
How Can I Get a Discount on the Snoo?
Happiest Baby itself sometimes offers Snoo discount codes if you join their mailing list. They also offer discounts for military families and healthcare professionals.
Is the Snoo worth it? Definitely! If it works for your baby, great! If the automatic rocking motions don’t help your baby sleep better, at least you won’t be stuck with an expensive purchase.
For more on the latest technology for new parents, check out our review of the Best Breast Pumps of 2020.
About the Author
Monica is a mom to two boys and creates content to help other moms, particularly those who are raising newborns and toddlers.