We do not make babies that automatically sleep well. Our first baby, we also were gifted with prolonged colicky phase and total cluelessness from ourselves and our childcare providers about any form of sleep training. She did not sleep through the night until 15 months of age. At which point, I promptly got pregnant with baby #2. This one was a bit easier and happier and we were blessed with a nanny who helped us with sleep training at about 5 months old. She was then a great sleeper. I was bound and determined to get it right, sooner this time around and started researching everything I could to give us a fighting chance at baby #3 sleeping better.
I’m a big fan of The Happiest Baby On The Block by Dr. Karp. His 5 S’s of soothing a baby and sleep philosophy is probably the most recommended advice from doctors. When I heard he made a self-rocking bassinet, I started checking it out immediately. It turns out, this magical sleep center does 3 of the 5 S’s: Swaddle, shush and swing for you. The bassinet has an escape-proof swaddle that attaches to the base so baby is super-safely on their back to sleep. The bassinet makes white noise and sways back and forth for the other 2 soothing components. But, here’s the kicker…. it shushes and swings RESPONSIVELY to baby’s cries.
Yes. I’m serious. When baby starts fussing, the SNOO has a sensor that starts swaying back and forth more vigorously and turns up the white noise progressively. It has an app that you can track and control the motion through your smart phone as well. It also has a super cute Scandinavian style that goes with any nursery decor.
Why would anyone not buy one, you ask?? Well, they cost $1,295.00 and you only use it for the first 5-6 months of baby’s life. Wowza. That was not in the (credit) cards for us. I had planned instead to rent one which you can do for about $100/month. We ended up getting one on Craigslist for $600 which was the same as renting for 6 months and I figured I could resell it for at least part of that. WINNING!
Baby Torin was born and followed in his sisters’ footsteps, not wanting to sleep more than 45 minutes at first, longest sleep stretches were about 1.5 hours and always being held. We didn’t start using the SNOO at first because it was kind of loud when it started the soothing white noise and we had to have the baby in our room since we had family staying with us to help out. By week 3, having tried alllllll the different swaddles, the bouncer chair, the swing, the bassinet, the safe co-sleeper and having still not had the baby sleep longer than 2-3 hours, I was motivated to get him in his own room and Snooing (see what I did there) longer stretches.
At first, Torin was really fighting the swaddle. He would get mad as soon as I started strapping his arms down. Fortunately, Dr. Karp and his team anticipated this. They have helpful advice that pops up in the app including how to help teach your baby to stop fighting the swaddling. I did as I was told and lo and behold, he did learn to tolerate and then love the swaddle – hooray! Also important to note – the baseline settings include a VERY vigorous (near violent) swinging action at the top level of soothing. It seemed too extreme to me, so I put on ‘motion limiter’ which keeps it to the level below that.
At first, we were still only getting 3 hour stretches of sleep – but much more consistently. After ab out 4 days, however, we started getting 4 hour stretches. Then 5 hours a few days later and a GLORIOUS 6 hour stretch after that. It keeps track of the sleeps and wakes so you don’t have to try to log it in your middle-of-the-night-zombie-mom state and puts it in a nice visual format for showing your partner how much they should appreciate you if they’re not waking up with the baby.
By 9 weeks old, Torin was consistently sleeping at least one 6 hour stretch and usually an 8-9 hour stretch. Other than my boobs being full to bursting, we basically entered a state of parenting bliss. The SNOO soothes the little wake-ups without me having to go into the nursery and when Torin actually needs attention, it’s a quick feed and right back down. Now, we also have been more consistent about doing eat-wake-sleep cycles a la Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. And, we started Evivo probiotics which seemed to make his tummy much happier. So, I can’t say it’s been all the SNOO. I can say with confidence, he doesn’t sleep long stretches without the 3 S’s the SNOO does for us.
It’s recommended to also use the SNOO for most naps, which we haven’t really done consistently. With 3 kids, it’s been hard to get him on a regular daytime nap schedule that doesn’t involve some carseat naps, some swing naps and some naps in my arms because I just LOOOOOOOVE himmmmmmmm. He usually does 1-2 naps there in the day happily. We will be starting the built-in weaning program soon, but he already naps well without swinging so I’m hopeful that won’t be too bad – I will be sure to update you all when we get there!
- Safest swaddle because baby can’t roll over
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Helps to sleep-train baby through soothing not just cry-it-out
- App tracks sleep-wake pattern
Bottom line is if we have another baby, I will for SURE be using a SNOO and from earlier on. Highly recommend if you can make the budget work.
Dr. Annie is a family doctor and mom of 3 in California. This is not sponsored and not personalized medical advice, just my honest opinion as a mom 🙂