Snoo Review | Theo Sleeps 8 Straight Hours on Day 22

As expecting parents, C and I were determined to conquer the sleep deprivation rite of passage.

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At some point during my second trimester I began to pick up on whisperings of a magical device for new parents – rumors of a bassinet, a beautifully designed bassinet called Snoo, that could lull a baby into perfect sleep cycles…for a price ($1,200 if we’re being real. I know, laugh a bit, I did).

It sounded like an elaborate Silicon Valley scheme to sell tech-inclined millennial parents something aesthetically in line with their modern life, with unnecessary gadget-y features that couldn’t possibly be worth that kind of investment. It reminded me of that recliner glider from Pottery Barn with a usb port in it for easy phone charging.

I was 100% skeptical, but intrigued. My husband was 100% entertained by the ridiculousness of the idea of spending over $1,000 on a place for our baby to sleep. It wasn’t happening.

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While I loved the concept of being able to snooze peacefully for 8 hours a night with a baby and be a functional person killing it at work the next day, there was no way I was going to drop that kind of money when there were $250 alternatives with fair reviews of their own.

My plan was to purchase the Halo Premiere Series Bassinet.The price point was doable and it seemed to have similar features for noise and motion.

The promise also just seemed too good to be true. Who really gets to skip the ultimate parenthood rite of passage aka the grand sleep deprivation experience? How could a robotic bassinet really give you that?

And then I watched Happiest Baby on the Block.

Justifying the Cost

The $1,200 price tag on the Snoo is a lot to budget for. I can’t remember the last time I spent so much on a single purchase aside from our cars and our home. 

We were able to make it work for us by essentially getting our Snoo for free (learn how we did it here), but even if that wasn’t the case, when I added up all the purchases I would have made if I hadn’t ordered the Snoo, the price difference is a lot smaller than I expected. I didn’t realize how many products the Snoo replaced for me that were essentially hidden costs in creating a safe and effective sleep environment. 

I’ve included a breakdown of everything I was planning to purchase for Theo’s sleep set up before we decided on the Snoo (all of it was heavily researched). The swaddle, white noise machine and Halo bassinet were already in my Amazon cart, ready to be ordered.

I was planning to get a Rock ‘n Play because I’ve heard they help with afternoon naps and I had convinced C we needed to do the Taking Cara Babies sleep course so we could troubleshoot Theo’s sleep from the beginning.

I was also dead set on getting an Owlet Sleep Sock because like most first time mamas, I had read too many SIDS and unsafe sleep stories ending badly. Because the Snoo keeps Theo secured on his back in the middle of the bassinet, I don’t have to worry about him not breathing at night. I also didn’t end up purchasing the baby monitor I had picked out.

The Snoo alerts us if Theo needs us when we are in a different room, so I don’t feel the need to be glued to a tiny screen watching him sleep while I’m trying to work, rest or drink a coffee. 

Baby Products I was going to buy:

I don’t have to buy $984 worth of baby products because I bought the Snoo.

My only regret is spending SO much time researching each of these products to death to be sure they were the best fit for us. Since we didn’t end up with any of them and bought the Snoo instead, it was a bit of a waste, but if you’re interested, I highly recommend reading the reviews on Amazon (I included the links). They’re all great options if the Snoo just isn’t for you.

It’s also worth noting, the Snoo 30 day trial guarantee really helps to make the commitment less of a cliff jump and gives you a safety net to fall back on. I didn’t end up using it because we were pretty confident in the purchase, but if you aren’t a believer yet, you can place and order for your Snoo, choose when you would like it to arrive based on your due date, and have your 30 day trial start then. If it doesn’t work for your little one, you can send it back and enjoy a full refund. It’s also super easy to put together and break down, so there’s really no hassle involved.

Now, justifying the expense to your extended family who think you’re 100% crazy is another story! My best advice for handling this is: Seeing is believing. For our relatives, once they saw us living a pretty normal life, not looking like the walking dead and generally happy and relaxed, they started to think we were onto something.

We bought our Snoo a week later. The verdict? I happily sleep 8+ hours a night, and Theo is just under a month old. Curious? I’ll break it down below.

What is a Snoo?

The Snoo is a bit like the Tesla or iPhone of baby bassinets.

It combines science-based, innovative tech functionality with clean aesthetics to deliver what I like to joke is the baby bed of the future. What a time to be alive, friends.

The Snoo was developed by UCLA rockstar pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp. You’ve likely seen his book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, in your own pediatrician’s office, or near the top of the best book list for expecting parents. He knows his stuff and is well-respected by his peers. That kind of endorsement, from other educated professionals (doctors folks, I trust doctors), goes a long way in suspending my disbelief.

Karp developed the concept of the 5 S’s for activating a baby’s calming reflex to help soothe fussing and encourage sleep. We do use these techniques with Theo – shushing, swaddling, side/stomach position, swinging and sucking – and 90% of the time, they work.

Designed to soothe your baby using some of the S’s (shushing, swaddling and swinging), the Snoo does it all AUTOMATICALLY. It’s basically a robot that responds to your baby’s cry to soothe him, increasing the level of white noise and rocking until his calming reflex is activated and he transitions back to sleep.

He is also secured in a perfect swaddle – yes it does look like a mini baby straight jacket (this was my husband’s first thought when watching the tutorial video) that guarantees his safety by reducing the risk of unsafe sleep from rolling or otherwise not keeping baby positioned on his back.

The Snoo has an app (designed to be just as clean and functional as the bassinet) that you can use to monitor when your baby is crying out and how the Snoo responds. The key is allowing the Snoo to transition through all the levels before you step in and intervene. If it can’t calm your little one, your phone will pop up with a message saying “Theo needs you” at which point you step in and offer comfort.

The whole process takes just a few minutes. This is not a “cry it out” method – your baby is being comforted, just not by you, and for a very short period of time before you step in if necessary.

Even after making the investment and buying the Snoo, I don’t think I actually believed it would work until I watched it happen.

The Snoo does not work if your babe needs to be fed or have a diaper change – these are duties only us parents can perform. But for general comfort, as crazy as it sounds, this magical robot machine nails it

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BOSS MOM TIPS

  • Especially the first few weeks, put your baby in the Snoo calm and preferably sleepy or sleeping. He will still be getting used to sleeping outside of mamma’s safe tummy and will need some time to adjust. We made this mistake early on and Theo screamed his head off. I was so worried that he would build an aversion to our sleep savior, he hated it in the beginning. Pretty quickly though he grew to like it and was happy to go in awake.
  • Let the Snoo go through all levels. It is super hard as a new parent to listen to your little one fuss or cry, but lots of times Theo would take it all the way to level 4 and then finally let himself be soothed. The Snoo would then drop down slowly to the base level and he would be happily sleeping.
  • Make sure your baby is plenty warm. One of the first few nights, Theo was screaming like crazy and we couldn’t figure out why. It turned out our little babe was cold. We put a hat and a blanket on him (well below his chin) and he immediately fell asleep. We also readjusted our thermostat to stay at 71.
  • Adjust the settings. We set the base level to be Level 1 and upped the sensitivity. After adjusting, he slept better. All babies are different, so this will need tweaking for everyone.
  • The Snoo is incredible but it is not magic. If your baby is hungry, cold, or needs a diaper change, you have to take care of it. If your baby is screaming through all the levels, then that means they need something from you and the Snoo will send you a message to let you know.
  • Shock your friends and family with how rested you are. We felt basically normal right after coming home from the hospital. This is ultimate baby hack. Your friends and family are going to be confused, but that’s ok, pay it forward and enlighten them about the Snoo.

Theo’s Snoo Experience

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We ordered the Snoo in advance of Theo’s birth so it was ready and waiting for him our first night home from the hospital.

I had a wild 34 hour labor (read more about it here) that started at 6pm, after a full day at work (I’m that crazy person who worked right up until the contractions started), so by the time we got home from the hospital, we were ZOMBIES.

We couldn’t wait to use the magical robot to help our new babe sleep. I was SO nervous. I had a lot of expectations and was relying on the street cred this bassinet had to give me some precious hours of uninterrupted sleep. It sort of felt like Christmas Eve as a kid, lots of hope, a few jitters and some magic too.

The verdict: The Snoo pulled through. Halle-freaking-lujah.

After an initial rocky start because, well, we are new parents and don’t know what we are doing: my milk supply was still iffy and Theo was hungry AND we had our thermostat set too long so he was also chilly, he went to sleep at 1:30am and slept straight on until 5:15 am.

The Snoo performed some lovely early soothing to ease him into sleep and the continuous white noise and rocking kept him blissed out for almost 4 glorious hours, at which point WE WOKE HIM UP. I know, why on earth would we do that, but the little one needed to eat to get back to birth weight. I don’t know how long he would have continued, but we did a quick feed and he slept about 3 more hours, no fuss, and no endless rocking to get him back down.

We felt like we HACKED THE WHOLE BABY UNIVERSE. We were gods. We were winning at this (not at breastfeeding, but certainly at sleep). Damn, it felt good to be a sleep gangsta.

For the next several days I was scared each night that we had gotten too cocky and it was all a fluke. C, on the other hand, was sure we were in for night after night of blissful rest.

Turns out, he was right. I’ve never been so happy to share that publicly.

We are 16 days in and each day is a little better than the last. By day 11 using the Snoo we were getting two 5 hour stretches a night punctuated by a quick feed in the middle. We couldn’t handle that much sleep, so we woke before the baby and enjoyed lattes on the couch together and just kind of looked around like, what do we do with all this quiet?

Now, with him being well past birth weight and it being safe to let him sleep, we are getting a very respectable 8 hour stretch of snoozing every night and a happy babe in the morning.

Want a full breakdown of our nightly Snoo life? The next section is full of my nightly notes.

DAD’S TAKE

The Snoo is ridiculous.

When I first heard about it, I was dumbfounded. There was no way we were getting one. $1200 for a bassinet? I was not prepared to throw that much money at a robotic baby bed that may or may not work.

It wasn’t until we watched the Happiest Baby film that it all clicked. Harvey Karp (founder and creator) is a genius and this wasn’t some sort of gimmick. Alex and I scoured reviews all over the Internet and couldn’t find anyone claiming it did not work for their baby when they followed all the instructions. I had been warned how fussy babies could be, but the last thing I wanted was to shell out money for something that Theo would reject and gather dust.

If it wasn’t for a hack we found to get one for free, we still wouldn’t have taken the plunge and made the purchase. Anyone can use the hack and if you’re curious, you can read about how we pulled it off HERE.

As Alex got further into her 3rd trimester, I was really worried about our sleep.

I have a friend that is a former Marine Recon Sniper and a new dad and a few months before Theo was born, he told me very seriously, “I know sleep deprivation, but this is something else.” His experience (they hired a private sleep consultant who put together a 12 page report), combined with hearing about my brother’s 10 month old who wakes up every hour or two for a feeding, made me determined to crack the sleep code.

Alex and I both read the book, Bringing up Bebe, which gave us a few tips and tricks to help get our baby to sleep, but it seemed like there was no way to entirely avoid the dreaded parental right of passage. So we bought the Snoo.

The crazy thing is, we have basically been sleeping normally since the day we got home from the hospital. We got 7 hours the first night. It was in 2 stretches, with a feed in the middle of the night but it was still 7 hours with a newborn. We were normal functioning adults…it’s not supposed to work that way and our friends and family were totally shocked.

After our actual home, the Snoo is by far the best purchase I’ve ever made in my life.

I would have easily paid full price for it knowing what I do now. Alex and I both run a business and being able to function well enough to handle work life and baby life is priceless. Getting our Snoo for free is just icing on the cake and made it a no brainer.

Nightly Notes

Night 1

Night No. 1 | Theo took a lovely 2 hour and 45 minute afternoon nap in the Snoo not long after we got home from the hospital. This was glorious.

At bedtime, after a rocky start because we’re idiots and didn’t realize that 1) The baby was still hungry and 2) The baby needed more layers and the heat turned up (68-72 is the ideal, so we keep it at 71 now), the Snoo performed just as described. Theo slept without interruption from 1:30am to 5:20am when we woke him up for a feed and then from 6am to 8:40am to top us all off. As Snoo newbies, we didn’t remember to turn the Snoo off for feeding time, so the log looks a little off.

Night 2

Night No. 2 | We tried for an afternoon nap but kiddo was struggling with the breastfeeding and wasn’t having it.

This was a rough night for us. Theo wasn’t getting enough from my breastmilk and we hadn’t quite realized it even though we were feeding him a minimum of every two hours. He slept for an hour from 12:45-1:45am, fussed off and on with some sleep in between for 45 minutes and then we fed him again from 2:45am-3:10am. He then slept pretty soundly until 7:10am (a 4 hour stretch) with light fussing in between. Finally a half hour nap from 7:40am to 8:10am.

This was a hard night for us because he wasn’t getting enough to eat and we also hadn’t dialed in the Snoo settings to best suit him yet. This night made me question whether it was really going to work. Luckily, things got a lot better.

Night 3 

Night No. 3 | This night Theo had some initial trouble falling asleep, but we realized he preferred a higher level of movement and sound as a starting point, so we adjusted the settings to start off at Level 1 instead of the standard base level. This worked SO well for us (more on this in the Dad’s tips section).

Theo ended up sleeping from 12:10ish until 3:00am when he woke for a feed and then 3:45am until almost 8am (about 7 hours total for us!). He fussed lightly during that last stretch, but the Snoo soothed him back to sleep.

Night 4

Night No. 4 | Sleep was really smooth by night 4! Theo had some initial fussing, but the Snoo was able to handle it and he fell asleep within about 5 minutes. The first stretch, he was in from 11pm until just after 2am. We did a feed for about an hour and then he slept easily from 3:15am until 7:20. Overall, we enjoyed a solid 7 hours with a feed in between.

Night 5

Night No. 5 | Theo took a lovely 2 hour nap in the Snoo during which time we were able to catch a nap for ourselves! For nighttime sleep, he went down around 11:15pm until 2:30am and then again from 3:00am until 6:45am. This was not our longest stretch of sleep, but we still enjoyed over 6 hours.

Night 6

Night No. 6 | Theo was cluster feeding here so the sleep pattern is broken up more. Overall, we slept over 8 hours! He did have multiple night feeds, and a diaper change, but no trouble falling back to sleep afterward, which is such a win.

Night 7

Night No. 7 | Another great day with afternoon napping! Napping is winning, friends. We got some work done from 3:45ish pm until 6:00pm when we woke him up because we felt like he needed to eat.

He had an exceptional night of sleeping without any fussiness at the start from 11:30pm to 3:15am and then 4:00am until close to 7:45am, which means over 7 hours of sleep again.

Night 8

Night No. 8 | We tried for a Snoo nap, but Theo wasn’t having it so it was pretty short lived. He does take other naps during the day but we love to hold him, so he doesn’t always get to go in the Snoo.

His nighttime sleep pattern is pretty similar to the night before, a little more business but otherwise, just over 7 hours.

Night 9

Night No. 9 | We did get an afternoon nap in for almost 3 hours. We eventually woke him up because we wanted to make sure he was fed regularly, but kiddo was totally out.

Bedtime was a little rough, turns out Theo was still hungry. We supplement with formula and also breastfeed and we are still getting the hang of how much he needs. It also varies based on whether he’s going through a leap or not so it can be tricky. He did go down from 11:30pm until 2:30am and then again from around 3:00am until 6:00am. We did a quick morning feed and then he slept again from 6:45am until 9:30, when WE WOKE HIM UP. I know, we’re crazy, but we were up, couldn’t sleep any more and we wanted him to eat. Overall almost 9 hours for this one

Night 10

Night No. 10 | This is one of our best days and you can really see the magic of the Snoo here. Theo took a perfect nap from 2:20pm until 5:00pm when we woke him up.

At night, he went to sleep instantly around 10:45pm until 4:15am when we woke him up (I know, we are crazy people), but it had been 5 and a half hours and we were again worried about food intake. He slept again after that from 5:30am until 9:30am when we had to wake him up because he was just too damn cozy in his Snoo. Overall, 10 hours of sleep, which is just insane. We couldn’t believe it.

Night 11

Night No. 11 | We had another long stretch of early sleep here from just after 11:00pm until 5:00am, when we woke Theo up for a feeding. He went back down again around 5:45am until 10:00am when we woke him back up to eat again.

Overall, he slept over 10 hours. We couldn’t sleep that long, so we got up, had lattes and talked about how great Snoo life is.

Night 12

Night No. 12 | Theo had an afternoon Snoo snooze from 3:15pm until 5:30pm when it was time to be woken up by mom and dad for another feed. Life is rough.

Bedtime was around 11pm and Theo slept on with just a little early fussing that the Snoo soothed until 4:15am. We did a feed and then he went back down from 5:15 until 7:45, which is a pretty short stretch for him. He fussed on and off a lot before we ended up picking him up, just small grunts and whimpers that would stop and start, no real cries. Overall, about 7 and a half hours of total sleep.

Night 13

Night No. 13 | This was a fairly typical night, Theo went down at just before 10pm and slept until he woke up on his own at 2:30am. He was back in the Snoo by shortly after 3:00am and slept until about 7:45am. Total sleep was just about 9 glorious hours.

Night 14

Night No. 14 | Bedtime was 10:15pm, Theo fussed lightly for a few minutes, but the Snoo took care of it and he was out until around 2:30am. After his middle of the night feeding, he went back to sleep from just after 3:30am until 7:45am. He did wake around 6:30, but the Snoo comforted him and he fell back to sleep pretty soundly. Overall sleep time was 7 and a half hours.

Night 15

Night No. 15 | Theo had another successful afternoon nap, he went in calm and happy, no fussing or crying and slept until it was time to eat again around 2:30pm. Those afternoon sleep sessions are so helpful because we can grab a 20 minute snooze but also have time to catch up on a little work, throw in a load of laundry and make sure the house is picked up.

We did another earlier bedtime at 10:30pm. Theo had a little wake up around 2:00am where he fussed, but instead of picking him up right away thinking he needed to eat, we let the Snoo run through all the levels, and sure enough, it transitioned him into his next sleep cycle and we got another hour or so of rest before it was time for him to nurse. I can’t stress enough how important it is to trust the Snoo and let it run through Level 4 before intervening. Sometimes Theo fusses when he transitions through sleep cycles, but doesn’t really need to be woken up. After eating, eh went back down from 4:30am until just before 8:00 am. Overall, we got about 8.5 hours of sleep time for the night.

Night 16

Night No. 16 | We did a quick afternoon nap before waking Theo up to head to his grandparents’ house for his Uncle’s 23rd birthday celebration. He was well-rested but continued his nap int he carseat and through part of an early dinner.

He had some trouble transitioning into sleep, which has been unusual for him. We think this might be because we cut back on the number of nursing sessions in the early evening so we may experiment with adding these back in. Sometimes, he gets so sleepy that it’s tough to get him awake enough to latch. He did sleep from about 11:00pm (we probably needed to put him in an hour earlier) until 3:00am and then again from almost 4:00am until 8:00am. Total nighttime sleep was about 8 hours.

Night 17

Night No. 17 | This was a great night for us sleep-wise. Theo didn’t fight bedtime, just relaxed into the soothing of the Snoo. The first stretch, he slept almost six hours, from 9:45pm until about 3:45am. He had a little fussing in the middle, but was pretty quickly comforted by the Snoo and no-one needed to leave the cozy comfort of the bed. We did his feed at 3:45 and then put him back down from about 4:30am until 9:15am when I woke him up for a morning nursing session. Overall, he slept just over 10 hours and I was able to fit in a couple hours of work in the morning before waking him.

Night 18

Night No. 18 | Theo had a great afternoon nap while we did a little laundry, prepped meals and I took a quick bath. He went in without fussing and we woke him up to eat and to keep him from getting too much sleep. 

He slept even longer in his first stretch tonight than the night before. We put him into the Snoo after a feed around 9:45 and he slept straight on through, no fussing, until 4:15am, almost 6.5 hours! We did a feed and then put him back in at 5:00am until about 8:30am when he woke on his own, ready to eat and start the day. He did fuss just slightly after we put him down for the second stretch, but not much and the Snoo was able to help calm him. Total sleep was about 20 minutes shy of 12 hours!

Night 19

Night No. 19 | We did a failed nap in the afternoon that Theo just wasn’t having. I think he may have had some gas and just needed a little extra snuggle time until he was able to work it out and feel some relief.

Bedtime was just before 10pm and he slept until about 4:30am when he fussed until we woke up to do his feed. We put him back to sleep at 5:15am, which he resisted a little, but the Snoo soothed him and he was able to sleep with just a quick fussing session until just after 9am, while I was able to pound a quick latte and answer a few work emails. His total sleep time was almost 10 hours, which seems heavenly, even with the early morning wake-up call to nurse.

Night 20

Night No. 20 | No nap today! 

Theo had a little trouble transitioning to sleep and accepting bedtime tonight but he eventually did allow the Snoo to calm him and he fell asleep from about 10:15am until just before 3:00am. I think pushing his bedtime back threw off his schedule a bit and he didn’t sleep as well in that first stretch. After his feeding, we put him back down from close to 3:15am until about 8:15am, which is a pretty long second stretch for him at 4.5 hours. Overall sleep time was down slightly to 8 hours, 15 minutes with no nap.

Night 21

Night No. 21 | Theo snoozed in the afternoon for over two hours when we finally woke him up to nurse. 

The first stretch he slept almost 6 hours, from 9:15pm until 3:00am. He had a lot of fussing about a half hour before we all got up to do his feed and I think he was feeling a bit dry, we bought a better humidifier afterward and it has helped tremendously. For his second stretch, we put him back in the Snoo just after 3:45am until almost 7:45am, which is a nice 4 hour stretch. The total sleep time for the day, including his nap was almost 11 hours. 

Night 22

Night No. 22 | This was a special night! Theo slept for a glorious 8 hour stretch before fully waking for a feeding! He fussed lightly on and off shortly after we put him down just after 9:45pm, but wasn’t fully crying and was eventually soothed by the Snoo. He also fussed randomly around 4:00am and then just before we got him up at 5:45am. We could hardly believe it when we looked at the clock in the morning and saw that it was almost 6:00am! Is this even real life?! After that, he fussed as soon as we put him down so C held him on his chest for a 2 hour nap to celebrate him sleeping that crazy 8 hour stretch. 

 

 

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