We’ve received so many questions about the Snoo—particularly about price and safety—so we asked one of our community members to give it a try and report back.
By Brittany Andrews
New parents lose 44 days of sleep a year, according to studies. It’s no wonder there’s so much talk about infant sleep—and what magical products can help.
Take the Snoo for example. Parents all over the country are paying upwards of $1,000 for this robotic bassinet, because they swear it helps baby (and their parents) get the shut-eye they so desperately need.
But does it work?
And—just as importantly—is it safe?
We’re going to break it all down for you here.
What is the Snoo Bassinet, and How Does It Work?
In short, the Snoo is a “responsive” bassinet.
When you put baby to bed, you swaddle them with the Snoo branded swaddle, then strap them into the bassinet via clips. While baby sleeps, the bassinet rocks and plays white noise.
Baby in the Snoo Bassinet
But here’s where things really get interesting, if baby cries or begins to stir, the bassinet senses this and responds by adjusting the level of the rocking and the white noise. The more agitated baby gets, the faster the bassinet rocks and the louder the white noise gets.
Why? The bassinet is meant to imitate the calming sensations of the womb. If you think about it, baby is used to being in a snug space (your belly), the loud ambient noises of your body, and constant movement from your activity.
Check out the Snoo!
Desperate for some sleep?
Why We Hesitated to Use the Snoo
For our third child, we were excited about the prospect of trying out the Snoo. For our first two children, we went the traditional route, using normal swaddles and a standard bassinet.
But we were admittedly a little nervous about how much sleep we’d be getting with three children ages three and under in the house. We decided we needed all the help we could get maximizing our sleep.
We set up the Snoo before our due date, but we delayed using it in the early newborn days, because our baby was sleeping 16-plus hours a day in the hospital, swaddled and in the hospital bassinet. That wasn’t something we wanted to mess with!
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Plus, We Wondered: Is it Safe for Baby to Move All Night Long?
I have to admit: This was a significant part of our hesitation in using the Snoo. As “experienced” parents, we were very surprised—and frankly, concerned—to learn that the Snoo gently rocks the baby and generates white noise at all times (even if the baby isn’t fussy or awake!).
We wondered if this could be harmful to our baby or if this could create a dependency on the bassinet. Would the Snoo make our lives easier now, but harder later when it came time to wean the baby from it?
We eventually received a Dr. Karp e-mail on the subject that eased our concerns. It described the weaning process, plus provided more information about transitioning to a standard crib. When we did some more digging, we also discovered the Snoo’s website has more information about the safety related to the movement. It says:
“Its highest level—and all levels—are perfectly safe. At the jiggly-est speed, SNOO’s platform only moves ¼ inch back and forth.”
This was all very helpful and, ultimately, made us take the plunge, but it would have been nice to have all of that material upfront. If there’s one thing new parents don’t have, it’s time to dig.
And What About EMFs?
The bottom line is that any wirelessly connected device—whether a smart bassinet or a video baby monitor—emits EMFs. Still, many companies that manufacture these devices never mention any of the potential dangers associated with that.
The Snoo is a bit different. The company specifically addressed this issue during the manufacturing process: The Snoo has a special metal shield that the company says blocks 99.9% of WiFi radiation. They also say the bassinet has been tested with three independent labs to ensure the accuracy of this claim.
So Does the Snoo Actually Work? My Honest Review
But as our newborn came out of those hazy first few weeks, we started to get less and less sleep. Equipped with more information about the product’s safety, we decided it was time to give it a try. Here’s what we thought:
The Pros of the Snoo
Sleep, sweet sleep!
Of course, you can’t expect to get a full night’s sleep right away. A newborn still needs to be fed every couple of hours! But we did get more sleep than we would have otherwise.
Before using the Snoo, before or after nighttime nursing sessions, my husband would diaper, swaddle, and rock the baby back to sleep before placing him in the bassinet. A big plus of the Snoo was cutting down the time that was needed to put the baby back to sleep following a nighttime feed. With the Snoo, the rocking and white noise “stepped in” for Dad in these instances, and helped calm and reset (a now well fed baby!) back to sleep, allowing mom and dad to get back to sleep faster after each night time feed, in the first month or so. Basically, post feed, all dad needed to do was swaddle, burp, and clip the baby into the Snoo.
Baby in the Snoo Bassinet From Afar
And, over time, we’ve had some nice “longer” stretches of six to eight hours using the Snoo.
Setup is simple
I was glad to discover that setup was really a breeze. You simply snap the legs on and plug the bassinet in. You really can’t get any easier than that!
I will note, though, the bassinet is a bit heavy. I wouldn’t recommend a pregnant woman lift it alone.
Cons of the Snoo
The benefits aren’t immediate
From everything we’ve heard, we expected instant benefits with such a young baby, but we found it takes some time for the baby to get used to the Snoo (through naps and night sleep).
At first, we found ourselves frustrated that the Snoo would be in full on “womb/heartbeat,” with the highest white noise escalation and rocking, but not calming our screaming baby.
I could see some people abandoning ship at this point, with the assumption that the product simply doesn’t work for their baby. But, with a little bit of time and patience, we found that our baby took to it very well.
Now, it very rare that the Snoo “intervenes” to its highest levels, but at first, some encouragement from the Snoo app or Dr. Harvey Karp emails would have been helpful.
We’re still nervous about weaning…
We are still using the Snoo, so we can’t speak to the weaning process just yet. But it’s something I’m still really worried about. Despite the product’s dedicated weaning function, I still worry that our son will be addicted to the movement and only be able to sleep with movement.
Note: We will update this section once we actually dive into the weaning process for all you curious mamas out there!
The app isn’t intuitive
Screenshot of the Snoo App on a Good Night
Screenshot of the Snoo App on a Bad Night
Given the technical nature of the product, I was really surprised by how poorly the app functions. The default start time for each sleep log is 7 AM, but an evening start would make much more sense. Further, you can’t click on a stretch of sleep to see more details, such as how long the sleep was, when/if the Snoo had to intervene, at what time it had to intervene, etc.
The swaddle sizing seems off
All of the product literature explains how vital it is to have your baby in the correct swaddle size for safety reasons. But the medium swaddle spans a wide weight range, which makes it a little tricky to get the right fit. Though our son is just about the right weight, the velcro chest strap— even at its tightest possible fit—is too loose and he’s able to get his arms free.
Overall, we have a love-hate relationship with the Snoo…
The Snoo is very helpful in the early months. I firmly believe we got more sleep than we would have otherwise. We’ve been using it for nearly three months and plan to do so through the weaning process when we transfer our son to a standard crib. And I do recommend it to other new parents.
But, as I mentioned, we do have fears about the weaning process and there’s part of me that can’t wait to say goodbye to the Snoo.
Check out the Snoo!
Desperate for some sleep?
How Much Does the Snoo Cost
Despite the wonders of the Snoo, it is a financial commitment.
If you purchase the Snoo outright, it costs $1,295.
They do occasionally have sales. At the time of publish, the Snoo was on sale for 25% off, which takes the cost down to just over $900. While this is a huge discount, it is still a definite luxury product.
Worried About Cost? Here’s Another Option
In 2018, the company started a new rental program to help make the bassinet a little more attainable for the masses.
For $112 per month (or about $3.70 per day), you can rent the Snoo on a monthly basis.
This is what we did—and we wouldn’t do it any other way if we had to do it all over again. Here’s why:
Everything is like new
Though it might seem weird to rent such an intimate item for your baby, I was stunned to find the product looked brand new when it arrived. I did some digging, and found out that the Snoo gets some serious cleaning and sanitization between customers.
- First, it’s vacuumed using a high-powered vacuum to remove any fine dust or small particles.
- Then, it’s sanitized using baby-safe, hospital-approved products (chosen for nurseries and newborn intensive care units).
- And, finally, the inner and outer mesh is steamed using ultra-hot steam.
Also, the soft goods—the mattress, the mattress cover, the fitted sheet, and the swaddles—are all 100 percent new for each person.
It’s ideal for small-space living
I love this option, because I don’t have to find a place to store a bulky bassinet. Once baby transitions to a regular crib, we simply ship the Snoo back.
If we decide to have another baby, we’ll simply rent another Snoo!
The one downside: shipping is kind of a pain
Snoo is incredibly particular about how the product is shipped. It makes sense, given how valuable each bassinet is, but it makes the whole shipping process a little stressful.
- First, the box is incredibly heavy. I wouldn’t recommend any pregnant woman try to wrangle it herself.
- Second, the Snoo requires you keep the original box the product came in for return shipping. This sort of counteracts that whole “good for small spaces” thing, since you have to store a giant box.
They do provide detailed instructions for collapsing the box, but there are still a lot of parts to hold on to. And, if you lose any of the original packaging, it costs about $50 to replace it.
The company also has videos that show you how to repackage the Snoo for shipping when you’re ready to send it back, but again, it’s still a little tricky. And the company is very firm about reminding you that you’re responsible for any damages during shipping if you package it incorrectly or use another box to package the bassinet for shipping.
Overall, I found this process to be time-consuming and a little stressful. I really wanted to do it right, as I didn’t want to be on the hook for a nearly $1,300 bassinet!
Check out the Snoo’s rental program!
Can’t imagine paying full price?
I would—and already have—recommend the Snoo to other parents. It’s a really great technological advance that certainly can help sleep-deprived parents get a little bit more rest.
But is it perfect? Definitely not!
If you’re going to give the Snoo a try, I highly recommend the rental program. It’s a great way to test it out. You can find out if you’re comfortable with it and if your baby will respond to it without having to spend the full ticket price.