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For this Snoo review, we spent 30 days with the Snoo Smart Sleeper from Happiest Baby, and meticulously documented the experience – good, bad, and weird. Then, because you can’t have enough info when thinking about the Snoo, we had a second couple test it out and included their review too (keep scrolling). We’ll cover stuff like Snoo rentals, does the Snoo actually work?, and answer the big question … is the Snoo worth it?
In this review, we’ll address these questions and more:
- A video review of the Snoo
- How does the Snoo work?
- Ok, but does the Snoo work as well as advertised?
- Can I really entrust my newborn child with a robotic night nurse*? Does something as simple as a crib really need to be “revolutionized” by the Internet of Things?
- What are the drawbacks?
- How much does it cost?
- What’s with this Snoo rental program?
- Is the Snoo worth it?
- A second Snoo bassinet review
To answer all of these, my daughter Ruby, my wife, and I spent 30 days and nights with the Snoo baby bed. I meticulously documented all of it and distilled it all down into this Snoo bassinet review.
To start, here’s our 5-minute video review of the Snoo
Just what is a Snoo, and how does it work?
Press that covers Apple love to ask hypothetical questions like, “What if Apple designed a refrigerator?” If you’ve wondered something similar about bassinetes or cribs, the answer is, probably something similar to the Snoo bassinet.
The Snoo is like an ordinary bassinet (a small crib-like structure that allows your baby to sleep next to your bed for the first 6 months of life) only it’s equipped with sound sensors, wifi, speakers that deliver varying types of white noise, and a robotic motor that rocks your baby at different levels of intensity in response to any noise (from the baby) the sensors detect. Oh and a swaddle and strap system designed to keep your baby from rolling over (on her back is the safest way for a baby to sleep.
The Snoo bassinet is a collaboration between Dr. Harvey Karp (famous to some parents as the guy whose Happiest Baby on the Block book and videos recommend the “5 S’s” of calming your baby – these are quite effective by the way – and Yves Behar, a renowned industrial designer whose clients include Sodastream, Dyson, and Herman Miller office furniture to name a few.
The result of this collaboration is what Happiest Baby (the company that manufactures the Snoo baby bed) calls “the safest baby bed ever made” and “like a night nurse* for around $7 per night”.
The Snoo works like this: you swaddle your baby with a Snoo Sack (comes with the Snoo). The Snoo Sack has “wings” – clips that attach your baby to the sides of the Snoo sleeper so she can’t roll over (nearly all experts believe healthy babies should sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS and SUID.) Once your baby is strapped in, The Snoo gently rocks your baby and plays white noise through its integrated speakers. This gentle motion and white noise continue all night unless your baby gets upset. If this happens, Snoo recognizes crying with its sensors and attempts to calm your baby with several levels of greater intensity – both in white noise and rocking. Ideally, your baby is calmed and goes back to sleep without you having to lift a finger … or get out of bed.
Happiest Baby notes that you’ll (hopefully this is pretty obvious) still need to feed your baby, and that sometimes your child just needs to be comforted by a human, have a diaper changed, needs a pacifier, etc. But, the Snoo should robotically take care of the rest.
At this point, if you’re a parent who has experienced just how tired you can be taking care of a newborn, you’re thinking “Woah.” or something to that effect. Perhaps with more profanity. If you’re not, it’s because you’re some lucky bastard whose partner did nearly all the work. I’m not judging, I’m one of them – and I was still tired a lot during this phase. You’re also experiencing some degree of serious skepticism. Perhaps some discomfort, confusion, and other mixed emotions thrown in there too. Keep reading, it’ll all make sense soon …
*If you’re not familiar, a night nurse is a caretaker who comes over to your house at night and keeps an eye on your baby all night, calming them when needed, feeding them, etc. Pretty sweet, if you’ve got some serious cash.
Our Snoo review: the awesome, the ‘wish it were different’ and a verdict.
Because this was such a big-ticket, profoundly-different-than-the-alternative item, I’ve included full notes from our 30 day trial at the end of this post. I’m an information junkie, so I would have found this useful before purchasing. But not everyone is, so if you just want the good, the bad, and the verdict, here you go:
The awesome (does the Snoo work?):
The magic moments. There were a number of moments during the course of our testing when I thought, “holy cow if it weren’t for the Snoo, I couldn’t be doing X, because I’d be walking around trying to rock Ruby to sleep in my arms.” For me, “X” was:
- working from home when she was fussy and clearly needed a nap but wouldn’t have gone down without the Snoo
- Spending time with my wife in the evening
Yeah, but … how do you know the Snoo worked? This was an easy one—we spent time without the Snoo before and after, and also took a trip in the middle of our testing. And, yeah … it was the Snoo that did the magic trick of calming Ruby and improving her sleep.
The safety measures. Happiest Baby markets the Snoo as “the safest baby bed ever made” due to the fact it keeps sleeping babies on their backs, the safest position for most (your baby should be sleeping on her back unless you discuss with your doctor). I felt deeply comforted by this fact, and this allowed me to relax more and rest easier — I’m one of those parents who went into kids’ rooms multiple times a night to make sure they were still breathing. You just might find you’re one of those, too.
The Snoo Sack (swaddle). The swaddle is pretty amazing. In fact, I was inspired enough to leave the following Snoo sack review on Happiest Baby’s website, and it’s not hyperbole: “As a dad who is utterly hopeless attempting to swaddle with a blanket and still struggles to get it right with the other velcro/zipper swaddling solutions I’ve tried, the Snoo Sack makes me feel like a pro! I’m able to get my daughter in it incredibly quickly, she feels secure, looks happy, and doesn’t escape within minutes like she does with other swaddling solutions. Just awesome!” If a Snoo isn’t in the cards for you, fear not—Happiest Baby sells the swaddle separately as The Sleepea. You can find our review of that here.
Integrated white noise. If you believe in using white noise to help babies sleep, and you’ve had a baby, you probably know finding something to deliver consistent, not annoying, white noise for a 12- hour period is actually something of a challenge. So I very much appreciated the Snoo’s built-in speakers.
The customer service. I contacted Happiest Baby a number of times during testing, on questions ranging from, “Isn’t Ruby going to get cold in a swaddle with mesh?” (nope, parents tend to overdress babies, and here’s how to check if you’re worried – touch her ear) to “the app isn’t working, help?” (they’ve since improved the app experience dramatically) to “the rocking at the beginning seems too vigorous” (It probably isn’t — these folks are pros, and thousands of babies have now used a Snoo. But an option for less vigorous rocking is now available via software update – how cool is that? I’d like to think we had a hand in changing this). In all cases, customer service was outstanding. Fast, thorough, and went well beyond my expectations for knowledge and general helpfulness of customer service folks.
The cool factor. Snoo has a serious cool factor. I felt the same feelings I felt as a relatively early adopter of the first iPhone (only maybe in dad form …)
The 30-day risk-free guarantee. With something this expensive, and this new, there can be a lot of angst about purchase. But, Happiest Baby includes a 30-day “worry free” guarantee, meaning if you don’t love the Snoo within the first 30 days of receiving it, you can return it for a full refund (they’ll even pay shipping on the way back).
The wish it were different:
Price. The Snoo costs $1,595. Yep, you read that right, $1,595 for a baby bed. (Before you give up, be sure to check out details of the Snoo rental program below.) This is by far the biggest downside of the Snoo I came up with after extensive testing. A couple of things on price: 1) walk into a high-end store like Restoration Hardware of Land of Nod and you can absolutely spend this much on an ordinary crib. 2) Your child will only be in Snoo for 6 months vs. maybe a couple of years for a crib (and new parents who don’t have a crib will need to buy a Snoo, then a crib too when the baby hits 6 months). 3) The company uses something very expensive – a night nurse – to compare against, and yeah, if you compare against that, Snoo is a bargain, but most of us can’t afford a night nurse. 4) Sleep for you and your significant other and time with each other, for work, for relaxing (the time that you would have spent rocking/soothing) are two things it’s very difficult to put a price on, but they’re worth a lot. I am confident for most babies Snoo would get parents more time and more sleep. 5) Happiest Baby rolled out a rental program that makes the Snoo a heck of a lot more affordable, so it’s worth taking a look. 6) I wouldn’t be surprised if a market for used Snoo Smart Sleepers pops up, meaning you could sell it when done to defray some of your cost. 7) If you plan to have multiple kids, get all accountant on this situation and amortize the cost across both kids. Then pass it on to another family … this thing is built to last.
More information on use. This thing is damn easy to set up and use, *but* given how different/weird it felt at first to be sticking our child in it, I wished there was more info given by Happiest Baby on using it.
Lack of portability. The Snoo is quite heavy and big. We took a weekend car trip during our testing and didn’t bother putting the Snoo in the car for this reason. The company’s sleep expert did point out to me that babies using Snoo do fine when away from it for up to a week, especially if you use the same white noise sounds (available on Apple Music) and the Snoo swaddle while you travel (this keeps things relatively consistent for the baby during travel).
Only one swaddle of each size, one fitted sheet. The Snoo comes with one small, one medium, and one large swaddle (called a Snoo Sack), and one fitted sheet. Extras are available from the website but are $38 each. [Update: the price of additional Snoo sacks has been lowered to $34.95, a small but nice gesture, and fitted sheets are now just $38.50 for a 3 pack] If your child spits up/throws at all and gets the swaddle size they’re using dirty, you’ll need extras/need to do daily laundry. But, probably worth noting, multiple swaddles are something you’d probably buy without a Snoo, and most aren’t that much cheaper than Snoo Sacks … so technically this isn’t an extra cost. Plus, as I mentioned above the Snoo Sack was definitely the best of the many I’ve tried.
The things to note:
Snoo Guilt. When using the Snoo, I found myself feeling rather guilty sometimes in two scenarios: 1) when I put Ruby in the Snoo when she was fussy and clearly tired, or 2) when the Snoo calmed an upset Ruby. I was letting a machine calm my kid. Was that my job as a parent? Was I missing out on critical bonding moments? I’m confident Happiest Baby would tell me that the Snoo was helping Ruby get much-needed rest, and helping me and my wife get a much-needed break. I tend to agree with them – get rest and be a better parent during the day – but I still felt guilty on occasion, and I wasn’t alone – other Snoo reviews I read mentioned similar feelings.
Wifi Shielding and Blue Light Emission. (For those of you who think about weird things, like me.) I am rather paranoid about exposing my kids to radiation from cell phones and wifi, so I worried about the fact the Snoo had wifi built in. But then I read that the Snoo has a built-in metal shield to protect the baby from any potential radiation. This was one of those, “wow, they thought of everything” moments for me that made me feel even more confident about the attention to detail on the product as a whole. Another of those moments came later when I saw Happiest Baby released “low legs” for the Snoo – designed to lower the Snoo for parents with platform beds who wanted to be able to see their baby without needing to fully sit up – a small but convenient touch (also capped off by an adorable dachshund in their picture of the legs).
I’m also obsessed with removing light (particularly blue light) from our bedroom to try and achieve the ‘sleep in total darkness’ thing, so the blue LED ring surrounding the power button annoyed me, particularly because it’s kind of bright.
Severe Congestion: elevating the Snoo. If you’ve been reading this and wondering, “if this guy liked this thing so much, why didn’t he keep it? Well, here’s your answer. Ruby suffered from severe nasal congestion during our trial (in addition to some complications early on, we live in Denver, she was born in the winter) and as a result, two things happened: 1) frequent middle-of-the-night clearing of nasal passages – more on that soon – and 2) shifting Ruby from the Snoo to the Rock n’ Play. If you’re not familiar, a Rock ‘n Play elevates a child’s head. NOTE: most experts recommend most babies sleep flat, this happened before the Rock ‘n Play recall that occurred in mid-2019. We felt guilty using a Rock ‘n Play for extended periods of sleep, though did get the go-ahead from our doctor’s office. Ruby seemed to breathe easier with her head elevated in the Rock ‘n Play vs. flat in the Snoo. This is probably a rare problem – we live in Denver and when traveling to Phoenix for a weekend this problem magically disappeared, we presume with lower altitude. When I spoke with Snoo’s sleep expert about this he noted they were working on an insert for elevating, and in the meantime, we could try putting tuna cans under the two legs near Ruby’s head. Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to dramatically help congestion, though the idea of using tuna cans to elevate a (at the time) $1,200 bassinet was pretty amusing.
[Update] Those inserts the sleep expert mentioned are now here in the form of Snoo Leg Lifters. They elevate two of the Snoo’s legs (the ones closest to your baby’s head) to create a slight angle and relieve congestion.
The verdict … is the Snoo worth it?
First of all, if one or more of these things is true:
- Can spend $1,595 on something your child will use for 6 months and feel fiscally responsible
- Have a particularly fussy baby or a poor sleeper
- Desperately need more sleep, or, perhaps more importantly, have a partner who badly needs more sleep
You should get a Snoo, hands down. It is just 100% worth it. The Snoo will almost without question save you time by helping your baby fall asleep faster without human intervention, help you get more sleep by helping your baby sleep more, and make you feel like you’ve given your child the safest possible sleeping environment you can, which is a great feeling. [Note: if $1,595 is a lot, check out the rental program – it makes the Snoo a whole lot more affordable – definitely worth a look.]
- Aren’t getting a Snoo for a newborn (your baby will stay in the Snoo only 6 months)
- Have a baby who already sleeps extremely well
- Know that $1,595 will cause financial strain
- Aren’t planning on having multiple kids
Or some combination of the above, it’s a bit of a tougher call. Clearly, parents have survived for millennia without a motorized bassinet – you can too.
If your baby is much older than a newborn, your time with the Snoo is going to be shortened, especially by the time it arrives and your baby fully transitions to the point you both enjoy the full benefit.
If your baby is already a pro sleeper, you may not notice the benefits of the Snoo (other than safety benefits) all that often. Happiest Baby does point out that many babies who are at first great sleepers go through a period of “sleep regression”, during which they have a much more difficult time getting to sleep and staying asleep, and that those babies benefit from the Snoo. Can vouch firsthand for the concept of sleep regression.
They also point out that most babies sleep better swaddled, but the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend swaddling a baby for sleep once the baby can roll over as it may increase SIDS and SUID risk. Since the Snoo’s wings physically prevent a baby from rolling over while sleeping in the Snoo, it allows babies who are capable of rolling over to remain swaddled for sleep until they’re 6 months old, thus improving sleep.
A final note on price: $1,595 is a lot of money. Some things that might make it more tolerable are 1) if you plan on having multiple kids, you could use Snoo for two kids and mentally spread the cost across both/all or 2) if you believe there’s enough of a secondary market for the Snoo that you can sell it after 6 months and recoup some of your investment. Based on our research, more people are beginning to search for “used snoo” and the like on Google, suggesting demand for gently-used Snoos. And the fact that you’ll be able to time the date you’ll no longer need the Snoo would give you extra time to figure out how to sell it.
So our overall verdict? This is a badass product. If you can afford it without financial strain, you should buy it – price is the only real downside to this product based on our testing. The Snoo also includes a 30-day money back guarantee if it’s something you feel like you need to try for yourself before committing to. If $1,595 is too much, Happiest Baby has a Snoo rental program – definitely worth checking—and keep reading, more details on that in a moment.
You also don’t need to take our word for it – there are over 2,900+ reviews from verified buyers on Happiest Baby’s website including a star rating and text reviews, which are interesting to read.
Pricing & Rental Program
The Snoo’s price is $1,595. For that, you get everything you need to use the Snoo — the Snoo itself, a mattress with fitted organic cotton sheet, and 3 Snoo Sacks in small, medium, and large – the right sizes to fit your baby as long as she’ll be in the Snoo. As of 2022, you also get access to Happiest Baby’s sleep consultants, 7 days per week.
Optional extras include:
Extra Snoo Sacks – $34.95, or $73.40 for a pack of 3.
Extra sheets (3 pack) – $38.50
And for added convenience, “the Big Bundle” – an extra Sack of each size and two additional sheets for $84.95 (35% savings)
Leg lifters (to elevate the two legs closest to the baby’s head if congestion is an issue) – $19.95
Low legs (lower height of the Snoo for easy peeking in if you have a platform bed) – $64.95
The Snoo rental program
The other reason we didn’t keep the Snoo at the end of our trial period? Price. Like many families having a baby, we weren’t exactly rolling in dough. And, so paired with Ruby’s congestion preventing her from using the Snoo some of the time, the price was a deal-breaker. I really wish Snoo rental had been an option at the time—we would have definitely used it.
The Snoo rental program allows you to (wait for it …) rent the Snoo. There’s no doubt the Snoo is a pricey item, so the rental program was designed to make it more accessible to those without large baby budgets who were also in need of a safe baby bed and extra sleep.
The rental program works like this:
- Head to the Snoo website and select the rental option
- Choose your delivery date (you can select any date up to 6 months out, perfect if your baby isn’t born yet, you can just have it arrive a few days before your due date)
- You’ll pay for the first month of your rental plus a $99.50 cleaning & reconditioning fee up front (shipping is free to you!)
- Each month thereafter that you keep the Snoo, your card will automatically be charged
- When you’re ready to return it, send the Snoo back to Happiest Baby in its original box (return shipping is $59.50). Definitely keep the box, this thing is a beast to ship without it!
- You’ll get a refund for any unused days in your final month
Snoo rental pricing
Right now, the basic Snoo rental program is priced at $159 per month month, with a minimum rental period of 1 month. You’ll pay $258 up front (one month + the reconditioning fee).
If your baby isn’t born yet or is a newborn, and you know you’ll want to use the Snoo for the full 6 months it’s designed for, you can save money with the Snoo rental program’s “Newborn Special”, which is priced at $159/month for the first 4 months, but then drops to just $49/month for months 5 and 6, bringing your total to $893, including the cleaning and reconditioning fee and shipping back to Happiest Baby.
Every Snoo rental includes everything you need to use the Snoo—the mattress, an organic fitted sheet, and 2 sleep sacks. All of this is yours to keep after your rental is over.
Another nice benefit of the rental program is that there’s no commitment beyond the first month. So, use it for 3 months, decide you’ve had enough, and send it back. In that scenario, you’ll pay $636.
You’ll find all the rental program details here on Happiest Baby’s site.
Rent or buy?
As you’ll see by the math above, if you’ve got just one kid who’ll use the Snoo, and especially if you might not want to use the Snoo for the full 6 months (if your baby is already born, or you just don’t think 6 months is necessary — and we think you’ll certainly get value out of 3 months in the Snoo based on our experience), renting the Snoo will save you some serious cash.
If you plan on having multiple kids, or have a friend who might borrow/share the cost of the Snoo (or maybe buy you a really nice bottle of wine) after your first kid, giving it a good home before a potential second kid, outright purchasing the Snoo will save you money in the long term.
Snoo frequently asked questions
Here are some things we get asked a lot from readers and prospective buyers/renters:
Is the Snoo safe?
Snoo is marketed as “the safest baby bed ever made”, and for good reason: its design keeps your baby on her back, the safest sleep position according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Snoo Sack promotes a healthy hip position and prevents material from covering a baby’s mouth and nose.
Is the Snoo safe for newborns?
Newborns are tiny, fragile creatures. So it’s natural to wonder if the Snoo, with its automated jiggling of your baby and white noise levels, is safe for newborn babies. But, Snoo was designed to be used from day one, and extensively tested for newborn safety. It’s also been around for 5+ years and been safely used by thousands and thousands of families
How long can my baby sleep in the Snoo?
The Snoo is designed for babies up to 6 month old, 25 pounds or less, who cannot yet get up on hands and knees, so whichever of these milestones occurs first means its time for your baby to move to a crib. For most babies, this is around 4-6 months.
Should my baby nap in the Snoo?
Yep. Snoo should be used for naps in addition to nighttime. You’ll likely see your baby’s naps are longer with Snoo than without it. So, it’s possible for Snoo to be your baby’s only sleep spot for a while. That said, if you miss a nap or travel, totally fine.
Does the Snoo ever stop moving?
The Snoo’s baseline level (what your baby will experience most of the time) includes a gentle rocking motion that keeps your baby moving all night long—this is part of the program designed to maximize sleep. You can turn this off with “weaning mode” via the mobile app.
Does the Snoo make noise all night?
Yes, the Snoo’s baseline level (what your baby will experience most of the time), does include a low level of white noise, which is part of the program designed to improve your baby’s sleep.
Does the Snoo automatically turn off?
If your baby begins to cry, the Snoo cycles through increasing levels of white noise and rocking, designed to calm your baby. However, sometimes your baby just needs human interaction (or a feed), so Snoo automatically turns off after a few minutes, signaling it’s time for you to go assist your child.
Where is the Snoo available?
Can you use breathing monitoring monitors like Nanit or Miku with the Snoo?
Since the Snoo employs constant, gentle motion to help your baby sleep, and monitors like Nanit and Miku rely on computer vision to notice the movement of your baby’s chest to determine that breathing is going on, the two aren’t compatible. That said, we’d note that you’ll use a baby monitor for years, you’ll use the Snoo for a maximum of 6 months, so we don’t necessarily recommend choosing your baby monitor based on this.
Snoo vs other bassinets … rise of the knock-offs
As with any awesome, innovative product, other manufactures ask … ok but can we do something like that, and cheaper? Let’s explore the Snoo vs other bassinets (spoiler alert: competition would be a strong word).
Snoo vs 4Moms Mamaroo Sleep — which is better?
The 4Moms Mamaroo Sleep might look similar to the Snoo, have some of the same benefits (moves your baby, built in white noise) and cost you a whole lot less (The Mamaroo Sleep is currently $374.99), but in reality, it doesn’t really compare. Primary differences? The Mamaroo Sleep doesn’t strap your baby into the bassinet, therefore it doesn’t prevent rollovers, a major benefit of the Snoo. Additionally, the Mamaroo Sleep isn’t “smart” in that you can set a timer on the motion patterns (you can choose from 5) but they don’t respond to your baby’s cry, they’re just on or off.
Snoo vs Graco Sense2Snooze
The Graco Sense2Snooze took a cue from the Snoo’s cry detection technology, and can start its vibration when it hears your baby cries. But, this is about where the comparison ends. Again, as with the Mamaroo Sleep, the Sense2Snooze is missing the Snoo’s key feature — the clips that connect your baby to the Snoo and prevent rollovers AND prevent your baby from being moved around the bassinet by the vibration. Again, really not a comparable product.
Snoo vs Halo Bassinet
The Halo Bassinet looks pretty sleek, and has some nice features like the ability to rotate and raise and lower its bed height. But don’t let those fool you—this is not a Snoo competitor. The Halo (like the rest of the competition) lacks the ability to clip your baby to the bassinet bed, thus it doesn’t stop your baby from rolling over. And while it does feature white noise options and vibration, these aren’t ‘smart’ — they’ don’t adjust to your baby’s cries. Additionally, Halo is only designed for babies up to 15 lbs (vs 25 for Snoo), meaning its useful life is going to be pretty darn short.
A second Snoo review: Liz & Arys
With a product like the Snoo, you might want to hear what multiple people thought. So, our Snoo review features two reviews! Here are thoughts from thoughts from Friends of Fathercraft Liz & Arys.
Liz and Arys used their Snoo for 4 months and found it helpful to say the least. They loved the technology that came with the Snoo. The fact that it would turn on motion and white noise in response to their baby crying was so helpful and worked to put her back to sleep many times without anyone ever having to go in the room. Amazing!
They kept the motion set to “limited” the entire time they used the Snoo and felt that was enough motion for a tiny baby.
Liz and Arys also appreciated being able to see how long their baby was sleeping, because life with a newborn is a bit hectic. It was easy to forget what time she actually fell asleep and woke up.
The Sleep Sack was also a bonus that came with the Snoo. Baby Aviana loved being swaddled, so the Snoo Sleep Sack, which acts as a swaddle prevented her from getting her arms out during naps and at night. She had a hard time sleeping anywhere other than the Snoo, so they rented a Snoo when they were on vacation for consistency. Liz said she thinks their trip would have been much less enjoyable without the Snoo.
Liz said the transition out of the Snoo wasn’t terrible, but they stopped using it when Aviana was 4 months old because she was rolling over and their doctor said she should not be swaddled anymore. She does still rely on white noise for sleeping, but how many babies don’t need that?
The Snoo has a very sleek appearance, and they appreciated that it looked nice anywhere they went with it. They liked the look of the Snoo and said it was easy to assemble.
Liz and Arys did not use the Snoo for their firstborn. If you have a “good sleeper,” the Snoo might just get the baby used to “luxuries” that he or she will then need to be weaned off of.
Liz definitely thinks they all benefited from extra hours of sleep that the Snoo provided – what family with a newborn doesn’t want that? She does suggest renting a Snoo before purchasing, or even renting for the 4-6 months that you use it. She rented hers while on vacation and thought it was definitely worth the cost.
Liz and Arys think that the price of the Snoo is justified because the technology is so advanced and it helped them get some much wanted extra sleep with a newborn baby.
The Technology – The Snoo automatically turns on white noise or motion based on sensors that detect if your baby is making noise. This allows the parents to hopefully not even enter the baby’s room unless necessary.
The Snoo app also records the baby’s sleep. This allows sleepy parents to easily access the baby’s sleep patterns.
The Swaddle – many babies love being swaddled as newborns. The Snoo comes with a sleep sack that clips into the bassinet so that babies don’t become escape artists.
The Appearance – the Snoo has a sleek and modern design that becomes an accessory in most rooms. It fit nicely in the space Liz and Arys used it in.
Easy Assembly – Liz reported that the Snoo was very easy to put together.
Option to Rent – the Snoo has a hefty price tag, and you can only use it until your baby can roll over (typically about 4-6 months). Liz and Arys rented a Snoo and found that well worth it while on vacation. On the Happiest Baby web site, the Snoo rental is $159 per month plus a reconditioning fee—check the Happiest Baby site for special offers on rentals—they do pop up.
The ‘Wish it Were Different’ … was the Snoo worth it for Liz and Arys?
The Price – The Snoo costs almost $1,600. While Liz said the technology makes the Snoo worth the cost, she also said she never would have even considered the Snoo for her firstborn who slept well. She said despite the cost, she wouldn’t change anything about the Snoo or the app.
The Snoo is totally worth it if your baby has any issues sleeping, but it’s probably best to rent and make sure it helps. You will only use the Snoo for 4-6 months anyways, so renting for the entire time is probably the way to go no matter what – unless of course you’re planning on a house full of children!
Find more information on Snoo rentals, including the current “Newborn Special” right here.
Wrapping up, additional photos & full notes
Hopefully that was helpful as you consider the Snoo! We’ve included some additional photos of the Snoo below, as well as the notes I took as we were testing it out.
Based on what we saw firsthand of the Snoo, plus the positive reviews elsewhere (we’ve also got a friend of Fathercraft testing the Snoo for us right now–she, too, loved it), we’ve added the Snoo to our newborn essentials list, which covers all the stuff you need for your newborn, plus a few splurge to make your life easier items like the Snoo.
Before we dive into the additional photos & notes, an editor’s note: this post was first published in March 2017 but has been updated with more relevant details and updates to the Snoo over time and republished several times, most recently in April 2022.
Notes from the journey
Below are the notes I took along the way on what we observed, how we felt, etc. I’ve edited them for clarity.
- Sticker shock
- Ordering process very much like interacting with a modern tech company. Mobile ordering worked well, well-designed emails
- Disappointed b/c the website noted if I ordered before noon PST it’d be shipped that day, it didn’t ship until the following day
- Nice series of well-timed emails preparing me for Snoo delivery – setup and use emails came on the day the Snoo arrived
- As someone who likes to read lots about products before I buy them, I found myself wanting more. Snoo has a list of questions from prospective customers and answers in the reviews section, but it wasn’t very robust. A bit more information lived in blog posts, but this wasn’t obviously accessible
- Most of the 3rd party sites I found when searching for Snoo reviews were actually just press the company received when launching
Day 1 (12/30/16)
Unboxing and Setup
- Very easy to put together. Loved the fact no tools were required. Legs snapped in with a very satisfying click and the double hand-tightened bolts made me feel like they were very secure
- The unboxing experience felt much more like unboxing a new iPad or MacBook than a standard piece of baby equipment
- Only trouble was trying to get the power cord to stay in the small channel along a leg
- Really heavy
- Jamee remarked the sack’s straightjacket like effect and the all-white design made it look like Ruby was in some sort of institution when we laid her down in the Snoo
- Actually turning it on was quite easy to do, just the push of a button. Ruby started to cry and the Snoo cycled up through higher levels of rocking and white noise, which sound like rain, a vacuum cleaner, and a washing machine at higher levels
- This was noticeable but didn’t prevent me from falling asleep
- The rocking is quite vigorous. Ruby’s head rocked back and forth in a manner that was close to alarming at higher levels of intensity. Jamee asked if I was certain the Snoo knew how old Ruby was and was rocking an appropriate amount
- The 3rd level of Snoo’s white noise/rocking combo calmed Ruby and stopped her crying and she slept for a while in the Snoo but seemed more restless than she has in her Rock ’n Play, which has been her previous bed. This certainly could be a familiarity thing and since I’d read Snoo’s tips for transitioning to the Snoo (can take a few days for babies to get used to, up to a week for older babies) it made me less anxious the Snoo wasn’t going to work
- After about an hour and a half in the Snoo and another feeding, we decided to resume Snoo training the next day during naps and returned Ruby to her Rock ’n Play due to restlessness in the Snoo
- Put Ruby in the Snoo Sack when she was getting tired after some play, rocked her to sleep in our arms and put her in the Snoo. The transition went well and Ruby slept peacefully for about 45 minutes while the Snoo gently rocked her.
- I realized after the initial “purple” level the Snoo’s rocking slows down and white noise quiets down as it transitions to a “sleep” level marked by a blue light. Rocking and white noise continues at some low level the whole time Snoo is on.
- At 45 minutes, Ruby got hungry and the Snoo cycled through its levels as she started to cry. I decided to pull her out before it went through the full cycle since I knew she was hungry
First full night in the Snoo
- Successfully used Snoo to calm down Ruby when nothing else was working, get ourselves 15 precious minutes to eat dinner
- Pulled Ruby out of the Snoo around midnight when it wasn’t calming her down, but then was able to put her back in. Pretty much a normal night, Jamee was too tired to give her thoughts but I slept well
- Ruby got fussy after being in the Snoo before we went to bed and wasn’t calmed by increased motion and white noise. Pulled her out, which instantly calmed her and tried again.
- Repeated this process several times. She seemed to be having gas pains and seemed to be calmed when her head was elevated, which we accomplished by holding her and putting her in the Rock ’n Play. It was hard to tell whether the Rock ’n Play was actually better at keeping her calm during the gas pains, we alternated between Rock ’n Play and Snoo throughout the night.
- Note here: it’s really hard to tell with kids whether one thing is working better as you can’t try both simultaneously
- Ruby fell asleep in my arms the early evening for a nap and I thought about sticking her in the Snoo, but then thought about the extra few seconds it would take to stick her in the Snoo Sack and then the Snoo, and that she might wake up, and ended up just using the Rock ’n Play
- Peacefully down at night in the Snoo, a few minutes later she vomited all over the Snoo Sack, mattress, and through the mesh onto the floor. Since there were only one small sleep sack and one fitted sheet, we put her back in directly on the mattress and in the medium sleep sack, which seemed to fit fine.
- Really, only one sheet and one sack of each size? Price of extras felt exorbitant
- Down awake in the Snoo
- Jamee read about Snoo winning awards as we lay in bed after the incident
- Put Ruby down in the Snoo. About 15 minutes later I was reading out loud when she got fussy. We decided to get see if the Snoo could calm her. She cried for the first 2 levels (2 minutes). At the 3rd level, she calmed and then went to sleep. Wow. I would have had to get out of bed to rock her in my arms for who knows how long if it hadn’t been for the Snoo.
- Ruby was fussy when we got her ready for bed and in a Snoo Sack for the evening around 10:15. Jamee suggested I put her in the Snoo instead of trying to rock her calm/to sleep. I did. She calmed pretty darn quickly. Woah, that was pretty sweet. Almost made me feel guilty.
- 15 minutes later, fussy again, calmed at orange level.
- Calmed Ruby in my arms before bed and put her in the Snoo. She got fussy upon being put down but calmed as the Snoo went up a few levels
- Snoo app updates. Pretty cool to have a baby bed that gets smarter with software, just like your iPhone or a Tesla
- Had discussions with Jamee about just how useful this thing really was. On the downside, it didn’t work when Ruby had stomach pains. However, at other times when Ruby was tired but just seemed to want to be carried around, we put her in the Snoo and it gently rocked her while she was calm and went to sleep. We started to realize this probably saved us 30 minutes a night of walking her around while she fell asleep
- The Snoo was a huge help today while working from home. It was clear Ruby was getting tired but wouldn’t sleep in the Rock ’n Play and was fussy even when I held her. Put her in the Snoo for two naps and she conked right out both times.
- Experiment day.
- Put Ruby down for a nap in her crib while she was asleep. She woke herself up by vomiting, put her back down after a change of clothes and she went back to sleep in the crib
- We tried again at night. Ruby was fussy in her crib. After about 5 minutes Jamee asked, I wonder what would happen if we put her in the Snoo. Would she calm down right away? I wholeheartedly agreed. We did and she calmed instantly, even though she was still awake. Jamee, “this is how they hook you. What wouldn’t you pay for your child’s happiness?” Me, “and your own” Jamee, “it’s win-win”
- another experiment with putting Ruby down in the crib for the night. She’s fussy and we give up after approximately 5 minutes, put her in the Snoo, and find she’s perfectly calm and goes to sleep
- We begin to wonder if Ruby is addicted to the Snoo. Is this now just her comfortable place?
- Time to make a decision.
- Here are some things we consider: 1) The Snoo absolutely calms Ruby and puts her to sleep in the evening and for naps. 2) We have no way of knowing whether, if we hadn’t gotten a Snoo, whether Ruby would have trained herself to fall asleep in the crib just as she did in the Snoo, 3)The Snoo has absolutely saved us some evenings of walking her around while she falls asleep, 4) Unless you have twins, you can’t really run an experiment on your baby to see how effective something is or isn’t. Even with twins, small sample size, 5) Other than her congestion and stomach pains, Ruby seems to be a good sleeper. There haven’t been any instances where Ruby woke up in the middle of the night (other than to feed) and the Snoo calmed her back to sleep. 6) Ruby’s reflux (we assume it’s that) is causing her to be majorly congested at night. We end up trying to clear her nose 1x per night, and also finds that she seems to breathe easier in the Rock ’n Play so we end up transferring her there with frequency. This makes the Snoo less useful, though we’d both rather have her sleeping flat if possible. 7) There have definitely been some ‘miracle/night-nurse moments in the evening as we were getting ready for bed where Ruby was fussy and only calm when we walked her around, we got exhausted, tried the Snoo, and she calmed right down as if we were holding her and walking 8) our first daughter was an excellent sleeper. Maybe Ruby would be too without the Snoo? (She didn’t start out that way, but maybe she just needed time?)
- We determine the only way to really determine how effective this thing is to put her back into the crib for a period of 7-10 days. This should give her enough time to get used to the crib – it took almost a week for her to adjust from Rock ’n Play —> Snoo
- I email the Snoo people and tell them we need to return the Snoo as our 30-day trial period is almost up, the reflux/transfer bit, and that we’re not fully convinced this thing is “night nurse” level
- They email me back right away with a very nice message saying that they’re very sorry to hear the Snoo hasn’t lived up to expectations, are happy to process my return, but before they do would I want to talk to their Sleep Expert who has 30 years of experience
- after getting back from a long weekend where Ruby was in the rock n play (lack of portability), we put Ruby in the crib. She lets out the occasional annoyed squawk for about 20 minutes while falling asleep, but does go to sleep without interference from us
- Ruby is relatively alert when bedtime rolls around, and we rock her to sleep in our arms for a total of about 15 minutes. While I’m doing my portion of this, I think “I am basically a human Snoo” and ask myself questions like, “is this time when I’m bonding with my daughter, and therefore something I *should* be doing? / as a busy parent, should I not have to feel guilty about doing this rocking for me?”, “What would I rather be doing? What do I have to do?”, “If I spend this amount of time each night for the next 4.5 months, how much time will that be? And what would the Snoo be worth on a per-minute basis to save my time?”
- About half an hour later, Ruby starts to be unsettled and crying a bit. We give it a couple of minutes then I go in there, hold her while walking her around and walking for about 5 minutes. Put her back and she goes down again
- Middle of the night snot clearing. Out Ruby down in the crib after and she got fussy. Had to pick her up and rock her for 5 min. Wanted to attribute not being able to fall asleep after this to rocking, not sure if this is fair – Ruby was fussy again, got fed, was congested, I put her in rock n play
Editor’s Note: this post was originally published in 2017, but we’ve updated it numerous times along the way with new information and a new review. It was last revised April, 2022.