Ask new parents what their chief concern about bringing home a baby is, and they’ll likely tell you it’s sleep—meaning, the impending lack of it. Cue our Snoo review of the hyped smart bassinet that’s meant to help babies fall asleep (and stay asleep) for longer (and it’s one of the most coveted gifts for new moms and dads).
Some background: Even though newborns sleep approximately 16 to 17 hours a day, they usually only do so in one to two-hour increments—and that includes overnight when parents really want to sneak in some shut-eye themselves. So when presented with what seems like it could be a magical solution to mediating the fatigue, it’s no surprise many jump at the opportunity to snag a Snoo—even if the cost is prohibitive. (It typically runs $1,700 but it’s on sale for Amazon Prime Day).
Since its 2016 debut, the bassinet has not only piqued the interest of momfluencers, but it’s also compelled countless editors—including at this publication—to try the bassinet first-hand to see whether the Happiest Baby’s marquee product is actually worth the hefty price tag.
After ushering four kids of my own (including a set of twins) through the newborn stage and tapping a handful of my friends and pediatricians for their own thoughts, I’m here to break down whether or not it’s really worth it.
What is the Snoo?
The Snoo is an FDA-approved smart bassinet designed to lull babies to sleep through white noise and rocking motions. When you put your little one down for a nap or overnight rest, you first wrap them in a Snoo-branded swaddle that attaches to the bassinet to keep your baby safe and secure. Once they’re snug, you power on the bassinet, which has a variety of features—namely, white noise and motion—to soothe baby while they snooze.
If your newborn begins to cry or fuss, the bassinet’s sensors respond by increasing the speed at which it moves, as well as the white noise. The more the baby stirs, the faster and louder the bassinet gets in an effort to soothe the child.
Is the Snoo safe?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has taken a stance against any sleep positioners, also called nests or anti-roll products, because they don’t comply with outlined safe sleep guidelines and can even cause a baby to struggle to breathe and, in extreme and rare cases, lead to death. Although the Snoo does feature a swaddle that secures baby to the bassinet itself, the company assures users this feature is not the same as a sleep positioner.
Earlier this year, the FDA confirmed this, noting that while the Snoo doesn’t necessarily help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), it doesn’t increase the risk either. This designation uses criteria that follow AAP official safe sleep recommendations, says Rebekah Diamond, a pediatrician in New York City, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University, and author of the book Parent Like a Pediatrician. “Generally speaking, because the Snoo is a firm, flat, non-inclined surface, it can be used for official safe sleep if the other criteria for safe infant sleep are followed with its use.”
Do pediatricians recommend the Snoo?
“Pediatricians generally don’t recommend specific products, and tend to focus more on which products can or can’t be used safely,” says Diamond. “When I personally talk about safe sleep and am asked questions about the Snoo, I try to focus on a family’s individual needs to see if this product makes sense to try.” Some families find a lot of benefits from the Snoo and rely on it for better quality sleep for themselves—something that is hugely important; other families find that it doesn’t really work and/or is prohibitively expensive, which is also a real issue, she explains.