When it comes to bringing home a newborn, this is not my first rodeo. However, like my entire pregnancy with Spencer, this kid likes to keep us on our toes. In fact, this also applied when it came to his sleep.
Knowing that this was my second pregnancy, I for some reason never really thought about the entire sleep thing. Funny enough, I never did when I was pregnant with Cassidy either. In fact, I don’t really think I’m that type of person who harps on sleep. Do I enjoy my rest? Yes, of course but if I cant get it or get in as much as I should, I’d rather not talk about it and just get on with my day. However, along comes Spencer and man oh man, I get it now!
So before I go on, let me just give you a little back story. When Cassidy was born, we used a hand-me down Pottery Barn bassinet. I’d swaddle her and place her to sleep, only for her to fuss and wiggle herself out of the blankets. The first nights with her were rough enough that I finally caved and had her sleeping in the Fisher Price Rock-N-Play, the infamous item that has since then been recalled due to safety concerns. Eventually though, after some trial and error, we finally got cassidy to sleep about 4/5 hours a night in a Swaddle Me pillow. Eventually at around 9 months or so, we did official sleep training and ever since have had a wonderful sleeper. She goes down just about anywhere, doesn’t cry, doesn’t wake during the night and in the off chance that she does, she always puts herself right back to sleep without needing mama.
So having that been our experience the first time around, I naively assumed the same would apply for Spencer. But as I said earlier, since day 1, this kid has pretty much been 100% different than his big sister. Spencer wanted nothing to do with a swaddle, the SnuggleMe, or the bassinet. Heck, I even tried the recalled Rock N’ Play in hopes that would somehow work a miracle. He was giving us 45 minutes to an hour between feeds and even though I know that can be normal for newborns, I was seriously struggling. Not only was I finding myself dozing off in the middle of a feed but just the days itself, with having a toddler to keep up with, felt near impossible. Worst of all, I was quick to temper and inpatient. I started doubting myself and even started having a little “buyers remorse” with Spencer. It really was not a fun place to be.
That’s when I started doing my research and stumbled upon the Snoo. I had heard of it before but had never considered it because of its hefty price tag. However, after doing a ton of research and reading blogs like the one I am writing now, I decided to give it a try. So with that being said, lets get into the nitty gritty.
Buying vs Renting
So as I stated above, the Snoo comes with quite the price tag. Without a discount or sale, this piece of equipment can be bought for a whopping $1,300. Yes, you read that correct. However, thanks to some pretty great (and commonly reoccurring sales) it is possible to get this sucker for 30-40% off. Additionally there is also an option to rent the Snoo for a fee of $112 per month, with a one month minimum.
For us personally, we decided to buy the Snoo. For starters, we were able to get in on a discount, which made a huge difference. I am all about saving money! On top of that, we know that we’d like more babies in the future so it just made more sense to buy it and have for the next go around, whenever that may be (although not any time soon, so slow your roll if you are reading this and getting excited). Lastly, with the purchasing option, we had a 30 day trial period. So basically if it didn’t end up working with our baby we could return it and get our money back. All in all, it seemed like a no brainer to me.
The Snoo Itself
When the Snoo arrived, it looked like a coffin had been delivered to my house (I’d love to know what the neighbors thought). The box was big and heavy but this determined mama somehow managed to get it inside all buy herself. It was so nicely packaged and well protected that I almost felt bad dismantling it. After taking it all out, being very careful to not throw out anything (I have been told the return process isn’t easy if you are missing any parts of the box), I got the Snoo all set out in front of me to put together. Surprisingly, for being such a high-tech device, this was super easy to set up. The legs snap right on and the app walks you through the entire wifi process.
Looks wise, this bassinet is absolutely GORGEOUS! It is sleek in design and the crisp white aesthetics are a clean freaks wet dream. Even though you can’t clean the bassinet itself, the mattress sheet and sleep sacks are super easy to take off and wash. Word to the wise, watch your hands if you just applied your makeup because trust me, it will show!
I am no tech guru but I am a millennial so I know my way around. However, when it came to setting up the wifi, the instruction manual walks you through the very simple steps and I’m confident that even those who are new to technology could manage just fine. Of course though, even if you don’t have access to wifi, the bassinet works just the same but instead you would control it manually with the aid of the button, located on the side.
As for the app itself, this is where you can create all your custom settings, track sleep activity and check in on baby. For us personally, we always stuck with all the base settings but once we hit the awful 4-month sleep regression, I had to switch things around and increase the initial start speed and response sensitivity. This is one of the best features, in my opinion. I loved that you can customize the experience to you and your child. Snoo realizes not every baby is the same.
Our First Couple of Weeks
I have total mom brain writing this but I want to say that Spencer was about a month old when we finally got the Snoo. Knowing we had 30 days to try it out and see how he’d fair, I was eager to get him in it. To be honest, I kind of wanted it to not work. I hated the idea of spending so much money on a device. However, after a short period for Spencer to get used to it, the magic of the Snoo didn’t fail. Only a couple of days in and our little guy went from sleeping 45 minute stretches to 3-4 hours straight. That may not seem like a big deal but trust me, those couple of hours made a HUGE difference. Eventually, this then only continued to increase to about 8-9 hours. Well, at least that was the case until the dread 4-month sleep regression hit. Things got a little wonky after that but I will expand on that more below.
Now let me address a common concern I often hear. No, the snoo will not interfere with your baby naturally waking up when they are in need. If they are hungry or need changing, the Snoo will do all it can to soothe them but once it reaches the highest level it will shut off and tell you to step in. Instead, the Snoo is more for those random moments of sleep disruption that babies often have. It works to help soothe them back to sleep just like you would do except that you can ditch the countless minutes of pacing and instead sleep during. Think of it as your night nurse.
Traveling Without the Snoo- **Spoiler Alert, We Didn’t**
So as the title states, when we traveled to California back in January we did not go without the Snoo. Spencer was 3.5 months old at the time and probably would have been fine but I didn’t want to chance it, especially knowing there was a time change I’d have to contend with. So before you think we are actually crazy, we didn’t ship the Snoo or anything. Instead we went through Babyquip.com and rented one from a local provider. While we did have to pay a little for this, I thought it was 100% worth it because Spency boy slept great while we were there and I didn’t feel like a zombie. Total win, if you ask me!
Now I understand that not everyone can do this so I will say that based off what I have been told and have read, it is totally possible to travel without the Snoo. In fact, since this is a common concern, Dr. Karp offers his tips for doing this on his website but to sum it up, he recommends that while you’re away that you stick with keeping the room dark, maintain swaddling and play the white noise.
Transitioning From the Snoo
So now that Spencer is almost 6 months old (what the what?!?), I am happy to report that for the past week, he has slept in his own crib and best of all, he has slept the ENTIRE NIGHT! I’ll admit here that the process of weaning Spencer from his Snoo lasted longer than planned but to no fault of the Snoo. It was all me holding up the process. Ever since the 4 month sleep regression, he never really got back to a good sleep schedule and for that reason, I liked the convenience of having him close to me for middle of the night feeds. I also have to admit that I also really just liked having him by us. I wasn’t ready for that chapter to close but after seeing how terrible he started sleeping before moving (the kid probably hated the close quarters), I realized how badly he needed this next step.
Now like many other parents/owners of the Snoo, I shared the same concern that the Snoo would make it hard to transition to the crib. However, now that we successfully got through it, I will say that the Happiest Baby’s tips on how to easily transition were actually spot on and very helpful in getting Spencer to his crib. Instead of writing them all out, I will link them here for you to read. We followed them almost to a tee, except we lasted a tad bit longer when it came to using the weaning feature. Again, that was all me holding on.
Lastly, I decided to try Spencer in the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit and I definitely think that has helped in the final stage of moving to his crib. I found that even though he could turn to his belly, he hated it and still needed a little bit of that swaddle feeling to help keep him on his back. All in all, like I said above this move to his crib was so needed for both parties. Spencer needed the space the crib provided and ever since we moved him, he has slept the best he has in months.
So after almost half a year of owning the Snoo, do I think it was worth it? 50% YES. I didn’t have this device with Cassidy and we DID survive and eventually had a wonderful sleeper so its not the be-all and end-all. However, as a second time parent with 2 under 2, the first couple of weeks were really tough. Tougher than I think I had ever envisioned. On top of helping me function from gained sleep, the Snoo was the extra pair of hands I sometimes needed so I could tend to my toddler, take a shower or even simply fold laundry. It was the closest thing to being literally two places at once, which let me tell you is an invaluable feeling. Lastly and probably best of all is that with this bassinet, I knew that my baby was 100% safe. That aspect alone had me sold.
So with all of this wonderful stuff being said, I have to say this. The Snoo is not a miracle worker. To this day, Spencer is not a great sleeper. We get good nights but then we have nights where I’m up multiple times. The Snoo can only do so much and soothe to an extent so at the end of the day, it really boils down to your own child.
So with all this said, I want to hear your experiences with the Snoo. Love it? Hate it? Tell me it all. Or have any questions I can answer? Comment below, let’s chat!