Here it is my Happiest Baby SNOO review. Boy have I had a lot of emails about this. Clearly sleep is on every mama + papa’s mind! 😝 I really wanted to wait till Archie was 3 months old before I did my review, I wanted to be able to give an honest reflection and had used it for a bit of time before I gave my opinion. So here it is, I hope you find it useful.
Sleep! It really is a luxury as a parent. This is something I learnt very quickly when I had my first son, Hunter (21 months ago). When I was pregnant with Hunter I did a lot of research on breastfeeding, it was something I was really passionate about and I really wanted to succeed in. All that research paid off and I breastfed for 12months. But that is all I really ‘researched’. I had absolutely no idea about sleep and actually how much as a new parent you don’t get. Hunter was and still is a terrible sleeper. Even now he is still sandwiched between hubby and I (starts out in his bed but ends up with us). I literally tried everything with him. Nothing worked other than co-sleeping (and yep, I was one of those parents who swore to never ever co-sleep! but I did and we do).
So then when I fell pregnant with Archie, my goal was to learn as much about sleep as I possibly could (knowledge is power right?). The biggest thing I learnt is - to LISTEN to your baby and follow your intuition, do what works best for you and your baby. Personally, I am really against crying it out, the health affects are really detrimental to your baby. My parenting style is definately attachment parenting. I believe it is important for baby and mother to be close and to respond to your baby and not to ‘sleep train’ them. So as I share our story I really want to make a few things clear, I am no sleep expert, I am just a Mama of two, learning the ropes as I go along, learning off others and doing my research. Also I truly believe all babies are different and at the end of the day you need to do what works for you and your family. But being informed is really important.
Ok, so I have definately been there and tried that - nothing worked for Hunter. But I didn’t have the SNOO, it wasn’t available in Australia at that time. During my research I came across pediatrician Dr Harvey Karp who wrote the book “The happiest baby on the block” and coined the term 5 s’. I really connected with his philosophy and research. He encourages parents to follow their intuition and not all babies are ‘routine’ babies. Karp’s perspective is very much from the baby’s and helps parents understand what their baby needs. He says that babies are born too early and should really have a fourth trimester. He created the SNOO. The SNOO’s main aim is the imitate the rhythmic sensations of a mother’s womb. It just all made sense to me! I read my reviews, I agreed with his philosophy, I had to give it a go. Once ordered, it came so quickly, within 24hours, so hubby and I were super impressed straight away. Plus it matched our room perfectly!
It comes with three different size swaddles which clip into the SNOO (its wings). The SNOO won’t work unless the wings are clipped in. I was impressed. It claimed to be the ‘safest baby bed ever made’ and it defiantly is. The swaddles that are securely attached to the SNOO ensures the baby from rolling over and guaranteeing the baby stays on its back (safest position for baby). Without the motion and sound, I would just purchase it for this aspect, so we were really excited. It was so easy to assemble and you can manage it through the SNOO app.
Along came Archie....
I will admit, Archie is a different baby to Hunter. His personality and temperament is definately calmer and he was a lot bigger than Hunter was. We stayed in hospital for 3 nights and by the 2nd night I really wanted to get home and put Archie in the SNOO, he wasn’t sleeping very well in the hospital but he was still very fresh. We put him in the SNOO when he was 3 days old. We saw an instant change. He was waking every 20 minutes in the hospital, his first time in the SNOO he did a 2 hour stretch. But we weren’t getting too excited yet. It took about 2-3 days for Archie to really settle in (he wasn’t even a week old). Once he got use to the SNOO, as he cried the SNOO has 4 levels and responds to him crying (just like you would, by rocking your baby or shhh-ing your baby). When the baby has reached all levels the SNOO stops which indicates you need to pick up your baby (feed, change nappy, too cold or hot or just wants a cuddle). So basically, it does what you would do, pick baby up and rock and shhhh - sometimes this works and other times it doesn’t. But having the SNOO do it, it eliminates that for you, if baby is tired. If baby won’t sleep after the 4 levels, it needs something else from you. Now don’t get me wrong, Archie is right next to me, next to my bed. I am there all the time. I think he has gone to the fourth level twice. If he is stirring, it starts just like you would and he always stops. It’s like another member of the family helping out (which is beyond helpful when you have an 18 month old).
Now at 3 months, it barely ever changes levels. He is so calm and truly is the happiest baby. I can say, it has worked for us. We absolutely love it. Archie at 3 months, sleeps through the night and does 9 hour stretches every single night. I never thought this was possible - Hunter slept 5hours straight only when he was 12 months old. I can honestly say, I have never felt like I have had a newborn. From 4 weeks old he was doing 4-5 hour stretches. He is exclusively breastfed which I think is really important to add. Plus he is putting on weight and thriving like a boss! During the day, he has created his own routine which is up for play 1-1.5hours and then sleeps 2 hours. The the big 9 hour stretch at night then a 4 hour. The SNOO quietly plays white noise and gently rocks him all night. He always looks so peaceful.
So we know the SNOO works, we know he is a champion sleeper, so the next question we get asked is it the SNOO or is he just a great sleeper? Well I can’t 100% answer this because he has been in it since day 3 but what I can say is, when I take Archie to the hair dressers (I am there for 6 hours - life of a blonde ), when he wanted to sleep, he was a little unsettled but as soon as I started to rock the pram just like the SNOO does, he automatically went straight off to sleep without me even having to pick him up. Until he was about 2 months when I was out I still needed to rock the pram, if I stopped he would wake but now he has learnt self soothing and I rarely have to rock it. On Christmas Day he slept all day in the pram and I never had to pick him up (he was 2 months old).
The biggest thing I love is - I put Archie down AWAKE in the SNOO. I never have to rock him to sleep in my arms (that is the only way I could get Hunter to sleep and putting him down just woke him up). Archie is sleepy when he goes into the SNOO and within a few minutes he is fast asleep. I am noticing now, as he gets older and is learning to self soothe after that 40 minute sleep cycle, because the SNOO is already moving and has sound, he wakes for a bit but then falls back to sleep! Oh my goodness the re-settle was the worst with Hunter, but with Archie no problem at all and I honestly think it is because of the SNOO. I honestly think I did what I could to survive with Hunter, but if I had the SNOO I don’t think I would of had half the struggles with him.
We truely love the SNOO so much we even took it away with us on our Christmas holiday. Why not? It is super easy to assemble and why risk a bad night’s sleep? He slept like an absolute champ the whole time (including his 9 hour stretches at night). When we were out at the beach he was more unsettled, he did just want all his sleeps/naps in his SNOO. He is peaceful and happy in there. So it is definately the SNOO, he likes the movement and sound which is exactly what Dr Karp’s research suggests.
So the next stage is weaning him off which we will start at 4 months. There is a ‘weaning’ option in the SNOO so your baby can gradually get used to not the constant rocking and sound so when it does come time to put them in a cot, they won’t rely on it. So we aren’t there yet but I will keep you updated on my Instagram (@storyandco). So far, it hasn’t let us down so I am sure it will be fine and you know, if it is not, I have had so much sleep in the first 3 months - it is worth every penny. Going from a baby that never slept longer than 20 minutes this is truly a dream. Even after I would get Hunter up, and feed him, to then get him to sleep would sometimes take me an hour. I literally feed Archie and put him straight back in the SNOO awake and he falls asleep all by himself which he has been doing this from one week old.
It is pricey compared to other bassinets (see www.happiestbaby.com for latest price) but it is worth every penny, plus the amount of money I spent on rubbish ‘sleep training’ programs and going to sleep school and even people getting nurses in to help at night, this is peanuts in comparison and it works! And because he has all his sleeps in here there is no need for two bassinets or moses baskets. This is the one item ALL parents need. I honestly can say that as an attachment parent style who co-sleeps and breastfeeds, the SNOO is a game changer. I don’t think Archie will ever co-sleep and I honestly think that is because of the SNOO.
We love it and believe it is a game changer for us. Archie was sleeping through (5hour stretches from 4 weeks old and it has only gotten better), and we truly believe it is because of the SNOO.
Here are your questions answered :)
2. Where does he sleep during the day / naps?
Archie has all his sleeps including day time and naps in the SNOO, unless we are out (but as I said I even took it away on holidays).
3. How does it work?
You put the SNOO swaddles in the bassinet and attached the ‘wings’. Put baby in the swaddle and once strapped in, turn the SNOO on and it will gently rock and play white noise. The SNOO will gently rock and play the white noise all night unless your baby gets upset which it responds to as it attempts to calm your baby with several levels of intensity (both motion and sound). Ideally baby is calmed by the SNOO (I would say 9/10) and baby goes back to sleep, otherwise after 4 levels have been reached, the SNOO stops and you have to attend to your baby.
4. Where do you keep the SNOO?
The SNOO is in our bedroom right next to my bed and will stay there until Archie transitions out of it.
5. Do you feel you don’t get to ‘parent’ as much?
It is interesting because I think I parent better. I feel I know Archie better and can read what he wants more. Because the SNOO eliminates if he is tired I can look for other cues like hunger or check his nappy etc. I do miss him not being in the bed like Hunter was, but I wouldn’t change it, I get a full nights rest and I know he is safe which always worried me with Hunter co-sleeping.
6. Do you have any tips?
Follow the advice and suggestions from Dr Karp who says make sure baby has all sleeps/naps in there (not a rocker). Of course if you are out that is ok but use it when you are home. Buy it before baby arrives so they use it from the very beginning. When you are washing the swaddle, use the bigger size whilst the other one dries. Set up the app (so handy). Start to wean at 4 months. Take it away with you!
Good luck and I would love to hear your stories, please comment below.