SNOO: An NCS Viewpoint

When I first heard about Happiest Baby’s Snoo I must admit, my knee-jerk reaction was “Well, there goes my job!”. The reality is as a former Nanny and now Newborn Care Specialist only a small fraction of what I do pertains to settling babies to sleep, but it’s an incredibly valuable skill and frankly I’m damn good at it. Ultimately, I do believe my reaction was largely fueled by the fact that, natural instincts aside, a decent amount of what I practice in my technique is taught by Dr. Harvey Karp, CEO of Happiest Baby, himself. Dr. Harvey Karp is also the author of the best-selling book “The Happiest Baby on the Block’. If you haven’t read the book, you still may have heard of its’ big take away: “The 5 S’s'' in which Dr. Harvey Karp describes 5 key points (swaddle, side/stomach, shush, swing and suck) for helping a newborn become adjusted to the world of sleep by taking the approach of “recreating the womb” postpartum. That said, this approach has proven to be essential and if there was anyone who could create a mechanism sure to automate the process effectively it would be him! 

I couldn’t wait to check out the Snoo for myself, so the day I began working for clients who had chosen to use the Snoo felt like Christmas! However, my very first impressions of the Snoo left me feeling slightly underwhelmed. This was supposed to be a hot ticket tech item and at first glance it looked a lot like any other standard bassinet on the market. The Snoo swaddle closely resembled the many swaddles I had encountered over the years with one exception: It had wings that allowed it to be clipped directly onto the sides of the bassinet itself, ensuring any infant using the Snoo would remain sleeping safely on their back. I remember, at first, fumbling with the loops made to slide onto the side clips resulting in a rush of adrenalin I hadn’t experienced while placing an infant down for sleep in quite some time. Would I have been better off placing the baby in an already clipped swaddle? This feature alone was enough to reignite my curiosity. 

Upon that first use in tandem with Snoos’ very own app, it quickly became apparent the Snoo was most definitely not your standard bassinet after all. I immediately found the app relatively easy to use and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of control and customization it offered for its bells and whistles. The Snoo allows five variations of white noise and horizontal rocking motion patterns specifically designed to help sooth your baby at various levels of fuss and crying. It detects these various levels by using microphones built into the bassinet and what’s particularly great about it is the ability to adjust the sensitivity levels for which the Snoo automatically responds. You can of course override and control these responses in real time via the app.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Snoo is the daily log feature within the app. It gives you a visual representation of sleep stretches as well as the time it spends soothing your baby back to sleep within a 24-hour period. As a Newborn Care Specialist, I know that a more advanced element to successful infant sleep is the ability to analyze your baby’s patterns, using them to help guide adjustments as your baby’s sleep needs change. I have yet to encounter an app that helps display the data needed to do this as effortlessly as the Snoo app does. With that in mind, is the Snoo going to put myself and other NCS out of business? Absolutely not. If anything, it’s a very useful tool that helps support parents and caregivers alike, and personally I’m happy to have it in my right hand any day of the week.
For parents, I leave one important tip for getting the best use out of your Snoo: Be sure to purchase plenty of extra fitted sheets as well as swaddles. I recommend three of each size to cover your bases for your baby’s growth and tackling those often unexpected yet inevitable laundering adventures.

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