As a second time mum, I was aware of the impending sleepless nights, holding my newborn rocking them back to sleep all hours of the night. I was seriously considering hiring a night nurse to help in those first couple of months or engage the services of a sleep expert to help set a routine, so my baby would eventually sleep through the night.
Then I came across something from the US which is now available in the UK & Europe, the SNOO Smart Sleeper. On first impressions I was a little skeptical, how would a ‘smart tech’ cot even begin to assist with my baby’s sleep routine? However very surprisingly, now close to four months in, I can safely say this intuitive smart sleeper equipped with new tech, meant I didn’t need a night nurse, nor a sleep consultant and have managed to sleep through the night and I’ll explain how.
How Does it Work?
Developed by US sleep expert and pediatrician Dr Harvey Karp, it is based on the concept around the 5 S’s to calm babies and ease them to sleep – Swaddle, Side-Stomach Position, Shush, Swing, and Suck. The SNOO gently rocks your baby sleep, emits a calming white noise while doing so and your baby is swaddled in a specially designed sack which clips in on the sides of the SNOO to ensure your baby does not roll over. The motion and noise adjust to your baby’s rhythm and detects if they are unsettled and goes into action by increasing the motion and noise.
The Easiest Swaddle to Use
The first thing I noticed was the swaddle which are specific to the SNOO, known as sleep sacks. A unique design with internal flaps which secure your baby’s arms (or if you prefer, the side openings can unsnap to release arms) and held in place by velcro which then zips up. There is no need for a blanket on top, I put my baby in either a long sleeve or short sleeve onesie depending on temperature and then straight into the swaddle.
The material is also 100% organic cotton and comes in plenty of cute designs (my favourite is the graphite planets and complementing stars cot sheet) and is available in three sizes; small, medium and large. Once in the sleep sack, the clips then secure into the sides of the SNOO, this prevents your baby from rolling over & also promotes a healthy hip position. This secure sleep sack is really fantastic especially in reducing the risk of SIDs and the peace of mind knowing that my baby won’t roll over.
It Does Rock your Baby to Sleep Successfully
Once the SNOO is swaying, the baseline level is a very gentle rocking motion. I would recommend you use the Motion Limiter, to limit the motion to a level 2 especially in those early stages and this can be done via the app. The SNOO can go up to a level 4 in rocking and all levels are completely safe at all stages, however I personally found I did not need this level as yet and have left it at level 2 for now. However, this may change when my baby is older.
I have included screenshots below to illustrate how the SNOO works, and you can see, as indicated in red, where the SNOO jumped up from baseline to a level 1 or 2 to rock my baby to sleep during the night without any intervention from me. If it didn’t, I would have been waking up to do the rocking.
From the statistics on the app I can safely say it does work. Bear in mind you will still need to wake to attend to the nightly feeds and nappy changes and as a backup, the SNOO will stop to indicate that you need to action this also when your baby cannot be settled by the rocking motion. I was averaging a total of 7-8 hours sleep per night in the first few weeks with short breaks for feeding and nappy changes. Fast forward to now, as Luka is close to four months old, I am noticing that I am getting in longer periods of sleep uninterrupted.
App Connectivity and WiFi
The SNOO can be used with or without the app as it has a button on the unit which you can press to turn it on. It is very simple to stop the SNOO at any point, just unlatch one of the side clips and it will stop automatically. I personally have found the information on the app regarding the sleep patterns really insightful. It calculates all sleep and helps you identify sleep patterns to allow you to devise a sleep routine. Bear in mind, as our SNOO is located on one of the top floor bedrooms I mostly use it at night, and use another cot downstairs, however it is recommended you use it for all daytime naps to track all sleep.
I also received a question about WiFi and EMF emittance. All wirelessly connected devices including video baby monitors emit EMF, although not many companies mention this. SNOO have however specifically addressed this to ensure it is not an issue. According to the EMF Academy, SNOO have virtually eliminated any EMF exposure to your baby, as they have built a metal box around the device to act as a barrier between the baby.
Naturally Promotes a Sleep Routine
As mentioned above, the SNOO does assist with naturally promoting a sleep routine. It achieves this in the following ways; firstly you can track your baby’s sleep pattern and in turn predict the sleep cues. Secondly the motion, white noise and swaddle all lead to an environment which is conducive to sleep. Our baby learnt to expect that when these elements came into play, it meant it was time to sleep and there was no struggle in that sense. From my experience, it does set up a calming night time environment which aids in the promotion of a great sleep routine.
Parents can get in some sleep
This has to be the pièce de resistance – the number one reason why the SNOO is worth its weight in gold and justifies the higher price tag. Parents, carers, mum and dads everywhere, will actually get in some sleep with the SNOO. The longer stretches of sleep, due to the SNOO’s ability to rock my baby back to sleep, mean that I’m not up all night rocking my baby back to sleep and I will undoubtedly have a more productive day, resulting in a well rested happy mum and a happy baby.
Sleek Design Fits Most Interiors
When ordering your SNOO, you will notice there is only one design and colour combination however, the modernity and sleek simplicity means that it will fit seamlessly with most interiors. The unit consists of a white breathable mesh wrapping around the base, an elegant dark stained wooden base and white metal paperclip style legs.
The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bay Cot at full price retails for £1,145 and can be purchased directly from SNOO UK HERE. There is an option for a 30 day trial, where you can trial it first to ascertain whether it will work for you and your baby, as not all babies are the same and may not like it.
If you have any additional questions about the SNOO which I haven’t answered please pop them down in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.
Kerstin // Lux Mumma