Parenting today is changing rapidly. Some may think it's more complicated, but I think it's more connected. At GearBrain, we have been testing and writing about these new baby devices with new parents for the past few years from nursing apps to smart baby wearables, and recently got to test a smart sleeper called the Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet. We wanted to answer this question: Can a connected baby device really improve on what's been around for years?
Strap your child in using the SNOO Sack which clips on to the bassinetGearBrain
What is a SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet?
Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet is exactly as it sounds — a responsive connected baby bassinet that helps your baby sleep. It gently rocks as white noise plays to soothe a baby who is swaddled in a sleeper attached to the bassinet. Created by Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo was designed to recreate the calming sensations a baby experiences while in their mother's womb.
According to Snoo, its smart bassinet is designed to add one to two hours of sleep each night for your baby with continuous, calming rhythms. The device can also keep your baby from rolling to an unsafe position while sleeping.
The primary feature, however, is its ability to sooth an upset baby without waking parents. The sleeper does this by responding gradually to a baby's cry with increasingly more motion and sound from inside the bassinet. This responsiveness is handled by Snoo automatically, but it can be overridden by parents using Snoo's free mobile app via Bluetooth connection. There are five settings for Snoo: (-2) less responsive, (-1) less responsive, (0) neutral, )+1) more sensitive and (+2) most sensitive. You can also control white noise sound levels — increasing it up and down — as well as limit the amount of motion.
Control levels of SNOO Sleeper in the appGearBrain
Snoo's free app is available on the App Store (iOS) or through Google Play (Android). Within the app, you can set alerts, use as a remote control, customize the motion and white noise settings and track your baby's sleep every day. You can set up daily sleep reports and if needed, get tips from Dr. Harvey Karp, the founder of Happiest Baby, Inc., and the maker of Snoo, and who is known for his insights into child neurodevelopment.
Snoo is recommended for babies from birth to six months, when a child weighs more than 25 pounds, or until a child is able to get on their hands and knees. When you are getting ready to move your baby from Snoo to a crib, there is a weening mode. In this mode, the Snoo is on — but it will not move until it hears a sound, and even then only moves a limited amount, and plays just a bit of white noise.
With the Snoo smart bassinet comes a smart sleeper which measures 30" L x 16" W x 32" H and weighs 38 lbs. You also get three 100 percent, organic cotton white Snoo Sacks (sizes S, M & L), one 100 percent organic cotton fitted sheet, one mattress and water resistant-cover. Each sack has safety clips which you attach to the Snoo mattress — and the device will not turn on until your baby is clipped inside.
You can also pick up Snoo swaddles, which are transitional and effective in calming your baby. You put the swaddle, which have zippers, on your baby, which buttons up by the shoulders. These can be unbuttoned so you take your baby's arms out when they start to move around more.
How To Set SNOO Smart Bassinet Responsiveness www.youtube.com
How much does it cost?
The Snoo is available on the company's web site in the U.S. and United Kingdom for $1,295 — not an inexpensive purchase. The Snoo can also be rented, though, for $118 per month, with a one-month minimum. There is also a $45 reconditioning fee for cleaning the Snoo when you return it, along with a $175 security deposit, making your first month's total $338. Then, every month you have Snoo, you'll pay $118. When you return Snoo, the company will refund you for the days you did not use the smart bassinet. When we returned our Snoo, it was the second week of the month. Since we had already paid for that month, Snoo prorated the days, and refunded our security deposit, plus the number of days left in the month from after the day Federal Express scanned our shipping label.
Setting up and taking apart the Snoo are both rather easy. It took us a little longer to set up the Snoo since we were not familiar with the process. Overall, we spent about 20 minutes putting Snoo together, while taking it apart took just five minutes. If you are renting SNOO, make sure you save your box and all of the packing material. You will need both when you return the bassinet or you will be charged a fee. If by chance you throw out or damage the box, you can contact Snoo who will send you shipping materials — but expect to pay $28.80, plus shipping and handling. The total cost would be a little less than $50.
If you are renting SNOO, make sure you save the box or you will be charged a fee when you return the smart bassinet. And yes, the box is big.GearBrain
I remember those long nights when my children would wake up screaming. A smart bassinet to soothe them back to sleep would have been great — especially for us. But sometimes letting children cry a little bit can be important. Often kids wake up crying not because they're upset but because they're hungry. Snoo, of course, cannot feed the baby, at least not yet. But in our tests, Snoo effectively calmed the baby down while she was restless during nap time, or as she was getting to sleep at night. But parents do need to be aware when their baby cries — it may not just be because they want to be held
It's also important to point out Snoo's sleep log is limited, tracking only when your Snoo is on and it hears a sound. Your baby could be awake and moving around in the middle of the night, with Snoo still tracking this time as sleep. It would be nice if Snoo had either a sensor in the mattress or partnered with a company like Owlet, that makes a wearable, so the bassinet could then also react to a baby's heart rate and oxygen levels, while also monitoring their sleep.
One unique feature that Snoo does offer is its ability to keep a baby from rolling over while sleeping Over the years, doctors have flipped back and forth on whether to put a baby down on their stomach or their back when going to sleep. Today, experts say to place a baby down on their back, and Snoo can keep a baby in this position.
SNOO Sleep Log Daily View
Daily View in app
SNOO Sleep Log Trends
Trends View in app
SNOO Sleep Log Stickies
Stickies View in app
After testing Snoo for three months, we found this smart sleeper bassinet effective in calming our newest baby tech reviewer (or granddaughter.) She responded to the white noise, and the back and forth rocking. We liked how you can set a baseline for the motion level you prefer, as we found Level 4 or the highest motion level, could be rather scary for new mothers. The weening mode was very useful as well, preparing her as she moved to the crib. We also appreciated how you can get an alert (i.e. a notification) saying, "Baby needs care," when the Snoo has been on the highest level for a period of time. And our new tester is out of Snoo and in a crib now. However, all of this comes at a price.
Snoo is not cheap. To help put things in perspective, a typical crib costs between $250 to $600 depending on the size and materials. Another smart bassinet called the 4moms mamaRoo, costs only $349.99. Our three-month Snoo rental for comparison was $390. Although we found our experience with Snoo worth the money, all new parents have to consider what they're comfortable paying.
We do recommend renting, as opposed to buying Snoo, unless you plan to have several children over the next few years. We also would also like to see Snoo integrated with a smart baby monitor to better track a baby's sleep, as well as helping parents understand if a baby is fussing because they're hungry.
Overall, Snoo is an effective smart sleeper bassinet. It works as advertised, and our new tester was ready when she moved into a new bed. We do recommend buying extra swaddles, because, honestly, your newborn will have many accidents — and it's never wrong to have a spare swaddle.
- Can rent
- Secures a baby from rolling over
- Automated responsiveness and weening mode
- Transitional swaddles
- The device is expensive
- Incomplete sleep tracking
- If renting, you need to save box which is big.
SNOO Smart Sleeper by Happiest Baby