What’s A SNOO & How Does This Smart Bassinet Work?
The SNOO Smart sleeper bassinet is a smart bassinet designed by pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp, the “The Happiest Baby on the Block” author.
Sold by Happiest Baby on happiestbaby.com, the SNOO is marketed as a “24/7 babysitter.”
The Snoo works by offering soothing sounds, a gentle rocking motion, and a “5-second swaddle” that can reduce risky rolling while the bassinet is rocking.
The SNOO sleep sack was designed by Dr. Karp to help reduce your baby’s fussing, keep them calm, and increase their hours of sleep. It’s also for your peace of mind.
This smart bassinet might even help improve your baby’s sleep patterns, rock them back to sleep should they wake up in the middle of the night, and reduce sleep deprivation (including yours).
Are SNOO Bassinets Worth It?
With a price tag of $1,695, the SNOO is several times more expensive than products from most brands (because you can actually buy a bassinet for as low as $100 to $250.
Also, a bassinet has limited use, and your baby typically outgrows this at around six months of age.
Still, some new parents find the SNOO bassinet worth their money because of the following:
Reduced SIDS Risks
Approximately 3,500 sleep-related deaths are reported annually in the US, particularly due to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and accidental strangulation or suffocation. (1)
To reduce SIDS risks, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) released the Safe Sleep guidelines: (1)
- Put your little one to sleep on a firm, hard surface, such as a baby bassinet, crib mattress, or baby bed with a fitted sheet.
- Never put toys, crib bumpers, pillows, loose blankets, and other items that could obstruct the airflow and possibly increase suffocation risks.
- Never let your baby sleep for long in a stroller, inclined sleeper, rocker, car seat, or other products that have an incline of over 10 degrees. The inclination might increase suffocation risks, especially in younger babies, because they don’t have control over their neck muscles.
- Swaddling isn’t recommended for babies who show signs of rolling.
The SNOO bassinet meets these guidelines and can offer better sleep for your little one, which means you can also sleep well.
Boosts Postpartum Recovery & Reduces Mood Disorder Risks
This smart bassinet can be helpful, particularly during the challenging first month of postpartum recovery when your body still needs to recover from giving birth.
The Snoo attunes to your baby’s cries and helps rock them back to sleep, so you and your baby can have longer hours of sleep.
In 2017, the NSF (National Sleep Foundation) chose the SNOO as the “Innovation of the Year.” (4)
The awarding body explained that Happiest Baby’s product won because of its best features, including: (4)
- White noise generation
- Adjustable and automated rocking motions
- Various safety and comfort measures
SNOO Bassinet Review: Everything You Need To Know
Buying A Brand-New SNOO
A brand-new SNOO costs $1,695.
You get free shipping to addresses in the continental US if you buy this product on Happiest Baby; shipping charges might apply if you get it from retailers.
Buying A Second-Hand SNOO
A used SNOO can be cheaper, but check the product’s condition and possible safety risks before buying.
Renting A SNOO
If you opt to rent, Happiest Baby also offers a rental program for $159 per month (basic subscription), including a mattress, an organic cotton sheet, and two organic SNOO Sacks ($100 value) that are yours to keep.
If you pick the Newborn Special, you can rent the SNOO for $159 per month (for months one to four), then for as low as $49 per month (for months five and six).
Note that you must pay $59.50 for return shipping charges back to Happiest Baby after the rental period ends. This rate applies to states in the contiguous US; extra charges apply for shipments from Alaska and Hawaii.
Which Is Better: Renting Or Buying?
It depends on your needs and preferences.
You can save around half the cost by renting the SNOO, but some parents prefer a brand-new baby product for their peace of mind. Also, buying one means you still have something to use for future babies or to lend to a friend.
Renting also lets you save space, especially if you don’t have plans to have more babies soon but already need to move your baby to a regular crib.
This product is sold on Happiest Baby and several online retailers such as Amazon, Pottery Barn, Dillard’s, and Target.
The 10 Best Features & What Makes It Stand Out
1. Safety Measures
The secure swaddling using the SNOO sleep sack prevents risky rolling to an unsafe position while your baby is asleep.
The product also features breathable mesh walls for healthy airflow and reduced suffocation risks.
SNOO’s special leg lifters can elevate your baby’s head by 2.5 degrees, but this number is well below the maximum 10 degree-angle allowed by the federal government.
2. Longer Sleep Time
The brand claims that the SNOO can add as much as 1-2 hours of extra sleep per night, thanks to the product’s soothing sound and the womb-like rocking motion.
3. Different Motion Levels
The SNOO baby bassinet has five specially designed sound and motion levels to soothe your baby and boost sleep. These levels have increasing speeds from baseline.
You can also set it to level lock and motion limiter for a gentler motion.
4. Crying Detection & Adjustments
Even when you’re sleeping, this bassinet can automatically pick up sound cues and respond to your baby’s cries or fussing to make adjustments that help them go back to sleep.
The brand claims this smart product has an advanced algorithm that can differentiate your baby’s cries from room noise.
5. Built-In Swaddle: The SNOO Sack
Swaddling helps your little one feel secure because it resembles the snug feeling of being in your womb. (5)
The combination of sound, movement, and swaddling can effectively soothe fussy, crying babies. (5)
However, swaddling isn’t recommended when your baby begins to roll over because the swaddling blanket can restrict their movement and increase their suffocation risks. (1)(5)
Still, having a built-in swaddle helps your baby sleep better in the SNOO, and they’re likely to be old enough to stop using this smart bassinet by the time they begin to roll over at six months. (5)
6. Built-In Sleep Training
The brand claims this product has built-in sleep training features that can automatically train your little one to sleep independently.
7. White Noise
This smart bassinet plays white noise to soothe your baby. You can even control white noise levels remotely using the SNOO app.
8. SNOO App
Aside from controlling white noise and motion levels, the SNOO app also lets you view your baby’s sleeping patterns to check for sleep regression (a period when your baby experiences poor sleep after sleeping well for some time).
The app also saves data and lets you access the SNOO sleep logs for daily, weekly, or monthly progress.
This mobile app also lets you control other settings.
9. Wi-Fi & Data Shielding
Considering the growing risks of data breaches and radiation concerns, some parents might not be comfortable that the SNOO is connected to the internet.
Although that makes it easier for you to control the product and receive notifications through the Wi-Fi network, you have the option to turn this feature off.
Tap the switch with the Wi-Fi logo on the bassinet’s underside to turn off the Wi-Fi.
10. Customer Service & Access To Sleep Consultants
Every SNOO purchase or rental gives you unlimited access to the brand’s customer service representatives or sleep consultants for seven days a week.
- Material: Organic cotton fabrics, wood base, and steel frame and legs
- Dimensions: 35.75” × 19” × 31” (with legs)
- Product Safety: Free from toxic chemicals
- Certifications: GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), a certification given to organic products free from toxic materials
- Sleep Trial: 30-day sleep trial
- Breathable: Yes, the mesh fabric is breathable
- Waterproof: Yes, the product comes with a water-resistant cover
- Machine-washable Cover: The SNOO Sleep Sack and bassinet sheets are machine-washable (make sure to close the zippers and attach the Velcro together)
- Warranty: One-year limited warranty
What’s included in the box:
- The SNOO smart sleeper
- Three (small, medium, and large) SNOO sleep sacks made with organic cotton
- SNOO bassinet sheet made with GOTS-certified organic cotton
- Bassinet mattress
- Water-resistant cover
Cons: Why Is The SNOO Controversial?
Some pediatricians and parents have expressed concern over the SNOO. (6)
Philadelphia pediatrician Gary Emmett doesn’t recommend this product. He explains that babies need to be held and talked to, not taken care of by a machine. He believes that the SNOO takes babies away from human being’s touch and language. (6)
Nikole Feliciano, a parent from Long Island City, isn’t happy with the motorized bassinet because she thinks that it can become “aggressive” at times. (6)
Although you can set the motion limiter to lock the level, Feliciano claims that it doesn’t work all the time. She shares that there were times when the machine went from the gentle 1-2 levels to 3-4 by itself. The faster rocking motion at level 4 would make her baby cry. (6)
Aside from these, the following are also concerns raised about the SNOO:
Do Babies Get Addicted To SNOO?
Happiest Baby claims the product doesn’t make babies dependent on being rocked to sleep. The brand explains that babies can sleep without rocking by 5-6 months. They recommend weaning your baby off motion around this time.
According to the customer service team:
“Once they get to 5-6 months of age, they magically become mature enough to sleep without motion and swaddling!”
It’s a good idea to introduce a thing or routine for sleep association as a cue to your baby that it’s time for them to sleep. (7)
However, it becomes a problem when you can’t keep up with rocking as your baby grows older, yet they only associate sleeping with rocking. At this point, they can be “addicted” to rocking, and it might be difficult to wean them off motion when it’s time to move them to a steady, motionless crib. (7)
Does SNOO Cause Developmental Delays?
Occupational and physical therapists from Carolina Kinder Development warn that the SNOO might cause developmental delays. (8)
They explained that although infants should be placed on their backs for safety, they should be free to move independently by three months. (8)
However, the SNOO hinders movement with its harness system, which might also delay crawling and exploration when your baby is awake. (8)
High Price Tag
At close to $1,700, many parents consider this bassinet too pricey, especially considering that a baby only needs it up to six months of age.
You can’t continue using this expensive bassinet when your baby is older because it can pose serious fall risks and other dangers.
Bright Indicator Lights
There are indicator lights around the power button to show the smart bassinet’s rocking level or the errors encountered. For example, blue is used for the baseline mode, purple for level 1, green for level 2, and orange for level 4.
Although these lights help show the rocking levels without manually checking the button or display screen, some parents think the lights are too bright.
The SNOO is larger than most bassinets and doesn’t fold, making it less portable. It isn’t likely to fit the trunk of most cars and would take up a lot of space in your vehicle.
Also, it doesn’t have handles to make them easier to carry.
There are only a few accessories that you can get for your SNOO: sleep sacks, bassinet sheets, leg lifters, sky mobile, mosquito net, and a white noise lovey (soft toy).
Parenting Issue: Guilt Over SNOO Use
The SNOO is designed to soothe your baby and help them go back to sleep when they wake up at night.
However, some parents explained in product reviews that they feel guilty that a machine soothes their babies to sleep.
That’s why pediatrician Dr. Emmett doesn’t recommend this product because he believes that the SNOO takes babies away from human being’s touch and language instead of the little ones being held and talked to by their parents. (6)
Digital Privacy Issues
The SNOO connects to the internet via Wi-Fi, which some parents might be concerned about.
With so many horror stories about hackers accessing baby monitors, doorbell cams, and other internet-linked products, these parents could be right about voicing their concerns. (9)
In 2019, cybersecurity firm Red Balloon pointed out the vulnerability of the SNOO to digital privacy after hackers were able to play loud sounds and make the bassinet shake. (10)
This was possible because the product connects to the internet and has a speaker, motor, and built-in microphone. (10)
The brand understands parents’ concerns over the matter and the serious security risks. These vulnerabilities were quickly patched up in their program. (10)
Happiest Baby claims that they put multiple firewalls to ensure internet security and integrity in all SNOO bassinets. They also comply with the US CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) and Europe GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
However, as long as the bassinet is connected to the internet, the risk of getting hacked remains possible. If you’re concerned about that, it’s probably best to just turn off the Wi-Fi mode for this smart device.
What Customers Say
“We got the SNOO a week after being home and within the first night it knocked our daughter out cold. No crying, no fussing. She slept between every late night feeding. If you’re dreading the sleepless nights like my wife and I were, stop reading this and order the SNOO right now. You won’t regret it. You cannot put a price on sleep.” – Reviewer on Happiest Baby.
“This thing is expensive, but works. After going 48+ hours with no sleep from birth to recovery at hospital, it was amazing to come home and have the baby be quickly soothed by the Snoo. It took me hours to calm his wailing at the hospital recovery ward. The Snoo soothes him I’m about 30 seconds or less. After some sleep deprivation, I would’ve paid twice as much for the results this thing achieves! If you can afford it, you must buy this!” – Reviewer on Amazon.
“If you’re wondering if it’s worth the money it is. Our baby slept anywhere from 5 up to 8 hours at night in her snoo early on in the first month. She is currently 2 months now and still going strong only wakes up once in the night/early am. We never let it go to the highest level bc we know if she is awake she is hungry.” – Reviewer on Happiest Baby.
“I really wanted the SNOO to work after finally caving and buying one after an all nighter with baby but I am left disappointed. My baby whimpers and whines and doesn’t cry until she is very, very upset and there is no going back. The SNOO doesn’t pick up the whimpers even on the most responsive setting so I am having to manually level it up myself. She also calms down best on level 4 which means every two minutes I am having to manually make it go to level 4.” – Reviewer on Happiest Baby.
“Baby girl cries every single time within minutes. We make sure she is fully fed with a clean diaper prior to putting her in. We swaddle her before her feeding to prevent her from being too awake before putting her in the SNOO. We’ve tried having her in there drowsy, fully awake, and dead asleep. We’ve tried elevating one side with tuna cans. We’ve tried putting her in her own swaddle and then swaddling her in the SNOO Sack. We’ve tried just the SNOO Sack alone. We’ve tried putting a heating pad on the mattress part to make sure the mattress is warm before setting her down. All with no success.” – Reviewer on Amazon.
“Every baby is different, but our baby did not love the Snoo. In fact, it was like a waking nightmare. We put her down and the rocking and white noise kept increasing (as it should) to soothe our agitated newborn. Since we received two months as a gift (but the gift card balance doesn’t allow for application for the refurb fee or return shipping – annoying) and are unlikely to receive a refund, we’re just using the Snoo as a stationary bassinet for our first floor.” – Reviewer on Happiest Baby.
Brand’s Other Baby Sleep Products
Happiest Baby only has the SNOO for its bassinet options, but they have other baby sleep products:
- Sleepea 5-Second Baby Swaddle – $32.95 (not to be used with the SNOO)
- SNOO Sleep Sacks (3-pack with different sizes) – $104.85 (for use with the SNOO)
- 100% Organic SNOO Sleep Sack (one pack) – $34.95
- SNOO Organic bassinet sheets (three sheets) – $59.85
- 100% Organic cotton SNOO bassinet fitted sheet (one pack) – $19.95
- Shoo mosquito net – $79
- Sky mobile – $89.95
- SNOO leg lifters – $19.95
- SNOO low legs – $64.95
- SNOObear 3-in-1 white noise lovey (soft toy) – $59.95
- The Happiest Baby on the Block Book – $9.95
- The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Dr. Harvey Karp – $9.95
- Soothing White Noise Sleep Sounds (MP3) – $7.95
- Super-Soothing White Noise CD – $9.95
- Happiest Baby DVD + Soothing-Sounds CD – $14.95
- Happiest Baby DVD – $10.95
Using The SNOO Bassinet
Assembling The SNOO Bassinet
This smart bassinet arrives with most of the parts already assembled. However, you still have to set up and secure the legs.
You can follow the following steps:
Carefully unbox the bassinet. If you’re renting it, make sure you don’t damage the box because you’ll need it to return the item after the rental period.
Remove the plastic packaging. You can use this as a sheet to protect your bassinet during assembly. Lay it on the floor.
Carefully turn the bassinet upside down on the plastic sheet.
Remove the legs from the box and insert them into the designated spots at the bottom of the bassinet. Check that the leg arrows match.
Make sure the legs click into place. Once you hear the click, you can tighten the bolts using your hands.
Insert the power cord into the designated hole in the middle of the bassinet base, then connect the adapter.
Flip the bassinet and plug the power cord. The power cord holder helps keep the cord in place to reduce trip hazards.
Turn the bassinet on by pressing the power cord. You can opt to connect your SNOO to the SNOO app so you can control it remotely and also monitor your baby’s sleep patterns.
Using The SNOO: Newborn To Three Months Old
Every baby is different, so you should consider your little one’s size, possible medical condition, and other important factors.
Still, most parents can use the SNOO as follows for newborns up to three months old:
- Swaddle your little one in the SNOO sleep sack. Secure the armbands and leg flaps.
- Fully zip the sack, but make sure the neckline is below your baby’s chin. You can choose the next size if this becomes tight.
- Put your baby in the SNOO, with their feet at the end closest to the power button.
- Secure the sleep sack using the “wings” by sliding the loops on each wing onto the safety clips on each side.
- Turn on SNOO. The product won’t turn, or the light won’t stop blinking if the wing loops aren’t secured correctly on the safety clips.
- If the wings are secured, the SNOO will begin playing white noise and rocking gently.
- The product is designed to let your baby try to self-soothe for a few seconds if they become fussy. If your baby continues crying, the smart bassinet will increase the rocking motion and make the white noise louder.
- Depending on your baby’s fussing and your setting, the bassinet will continue increasing the level until your baby stops crying or fussing.
- If your baby still continues to cry for several minutes, the SNOO might “time out.” This can be your signal that your little one might be hungry, need a diaper change, or wants some extra comfort.
You can also override the settings manually or with the SNOO app.
Using The SNOO: From Three To Six Months Old
By three months of age, you can begin weaning your baby from the SNOO by gradually limiting the rocking motions.
Some parents also stop the rocking motions and just use the product as a regular crib with white noise.
Still, the weaning mode can also be handy while training your baby.
Stop using the SNOO once your baby turns six months old. Your little one should start sleeping in a regular crib or baby bed with a firm, hard surface by this age.
Can My Baby Sleep In SNOO As A Bassinet?
Yes. The SNOO is a modern bassinet with an automatic rocking feature. It provides a firm, flat surface for your baby to sleep on.
However, it’s best to take note of the following concerns:
Is The SNOO Bassinet Safe?
It can be a safe place for your baby to sleep, but there have also been issues about possible developmental delays with SNOO.
However, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s limits and recommendations.
You can also weigh the pros and cons listed above to determine if this product is ideal for you and your baby. It’s also best to discuss your concerns with your pediatrician.
Is The SNOO Bassinet Safe For Newborns?
Yes. With its flat, firm surface and built-in swaddle, the SNOO can be safe for newborns.
How Long Can My Little One Sleep In The SNOO Bassinet?
It’s designed for little ones up to six months old or up to the time when they start to roll.
Does The SNOO Really Work?
Many parents claim that the SNOO really worked for their babies and made their lives easier.
Are There Times The SNOO Doesn’t Work?
Yes. Like any device, it can’t be expected to work at all times. Also, sleep regression can happen at around four months of age. (11)
The device might have challenges dealing with the changes in your baby’s sleeping pattern due to sleep regression.
Can The SNOO Stop Moving?
Yes. The rocking motion can be turned off using the weaning mode.
Does The SNOO Bassinet Make Noises All Night?
Yes. The bassinet includes a built-in program that includes playing white noises, which could help improve your baby’s sleep.
Can The SNOO Automatically Turn Off?
Yes. If your baby continues to cry and doesn’t respond to the automatic changes in rocking levels, the bassinet is designed to shut off as a signal that your baby might need to feed, get a diaper change, or receive human comfort from you.
Weaning & Transitioning From The SNOO
How To Wean Your Baby Off The SNOO
Most parents might choose to wean their baby from SNOO by gradually decreasing the rocking levels and duration.
Others find the cold turkey method better. This involves simply stopping all rocking motions altogether or moving your baby to a regular crib.
Is It Hard To Transition From A SNOO?
It depends on whether your baby prefers rocking and has associated motion with sleep. If that’s the case, it could be hard to transition from using the SNOO.
If you decide to go cold turkey, your little one might experience crying bouts for several days because they might seek the comforting rocking motion they were used to while they sleep.
You can also find help from a sleep consultant or ask your pediatrician for advice to help make the transition easier.
Why Is The SNOO So Expensive?
For $1,695, this “smart” bassinet has plenty of modern features you can’t find in most bassinets and cribs.
SNOO Alternatives & Knock-offs
Here are some less expensive SNOO alternatives you can try:
- Graco Sense2SNOOze with Cry Detection technology – $319.99
- Halo Vibrating Bassinest – $349.99
- 4Moms Mamaroo Sleep – $449.99
Do Pediatricians Recommend The SNOO?
Pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp designed the SNOO Smart sleeper bassinet.
Still, other pediatricians don’t agree with his recommendations on the product.
For example, Philadelphia pediatrician Dr. Gary Emmett doesn’t recommend it because he believes babies need human touch and language for soothing, not a machine to care for them. (6)
SNOO Bassinet FAQs
Can I Use A Breathing Monitoring Device (e.g., Nanit Or Miku) With The SNOO?
No. Breathing monitoring devices are designed to track your baby’s breathing by monitoring their chest movement. Because the SNOO keeps on moving, the bassinet isn’t compatible with these breathing monitors.
What’s The Best Way To Clean The SNOO?
The mesh isn’t removable. However, you can clean it using a damp cloth.
You can use a steam cleaner for a deeper clean, but be sure that water doesn’t get into the platform because that can damage the motor.