SNOO Review from an L&D Nurse: Is the Smart Sleeper Worth It?

Hi Mama! Today I’m doing a complete SNOO review to help you decide if it’s worth it for you. This was a baby product I was SO excited about trying after the birth of my second baby – and it did NOT disappoint.

I use it every night with Ryland, from the very first night I brought him home. It’s been a little over three months now, so I decided to put this guide together for you guys.

The SNOO is unlike any other bassinet because it’s super safe and has built in features that mimic the womb environment to promote longer stretches of independent sleep.

Key points of this SNOO review?

  • It has a swaddle that attaches to the sides of the crib that keeps baby safely on their back the whole night
  • I can honestly say it helps baby (& us) sleep longer and better because it imitate the rhythmic sensations that babies enjoy in utero. It’s got a built-in rocking motion, vibration and white nose
  • There’s an awesome app the tracks baby’s sleep that miiiight just be my favorite part

Read on for all the details, pros and cons of the SNOO Smart Sleeper!

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The SNOO Smart Sleeper at a glance

One of the reasons I was so excited about using a SNOO this time around was because it was created by renowned pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp from Happiest Baby. And the whole design is meant to mimic the 5 S’s (more on this below)!

If you’re not familiar with him and his work, he is the author of one of my FAVORITE newborn sleep books, The Happiest Baby On The Block. There’s also a wealth of information based on his work related to caring for newborns and newborn sleep over on the Happiest Baby Blog.

Okay. But back to the SNOO! So what makes this bassinet so special? It’s design is based on Dr. Harvey Karp’s work. He teaches that basically all babies are born 3 months early, and a 4th trimester of womb sensations (soft touch, jiggly motion, snug holding) is just what our babies need as a gradual transition to life on the outside.

The rhythms experienced in womb trigger a calming reflex that keeps babies super chill. This reflex is like an off-switch for crying and an on-switch for sleep.

Of course, if baby is crying for an obvious reason, like hunger or a dirty diaper – take care of that! But if they are generally fussy, fighting sleep, or over stimulated (which is happens more often than you’d think!) he teaches the 5 S’s. The 5 S’s are meant to mimic the womb and calm baby (and SNOO helps with this!).

An overview of the 5 S’s

  • Swaddle: Wrapped babies respond faster to the other 4 S’s and stay soothed longer because their arms can’t wriggle around. To swaddle correctly, wrap arms snug—straight at the side—but let the hips be loose and flexed. Use a large square blanket, but don’t overheat, cover your baby’s head, or allow unraveling. Muslin swaddles work great for this
  • Side or Stomach Position: The back is the only safe position for sleeping, but it’s the worst position for calming fussiness! This S can be activated by holding a baby on her side, on her stomach or over your shoulder
  • Shush: In the womb, the sound of the blood flow is louder than a vacuum cleaner! Incorporating white noise or saying SHHHHH to baby can help
  • Swing: Life in the womb is very jiggly. While slow rocking is fine for keeping quiet babies calm, you need to use fast, tiny motions to soothe. To do it, always support the head/neck, keep your motions small; and move no more than 1 inch back and forth⁠
  • Suck: Sucking is “the icing on the cake” of calming. Many fussy babies relax into a deep tranquility when they suck – whether that’s on the boob or with a pacifier

And guess what? SNOO has super cool features that are womb-like BUILT IN, such as constant motion, vibration, white noise, & snug holding (thanks to the easy-to-use swaddle that comes with the SNOO).

Built by Dr. Karp, the SNOO works by turning on baby’s calming reflex. And I can tell you that after 3 months of use, it totally works for my baby.

SNOO Review: 6 Things I love

1. Eliminated the dance of putting baby down

So right away, this was the first thing I noticed and loved about our SNOO, especially as a second time mom! If you don’t know, there’s often this dance that happens every time you try to lay your newborn down. They’re sleeping peacefully in your arms and bam – the second you try to put them down in the crib they stir, eyes pop open and can’t resettle on their own.

This is problematic because it can take 3, 4, 5 or more tries just to transfer baby to their sleep space! AND it’s easy to fall into the trap of getting them to sleep first instead of teaching them to fall asleep independently/self-soothe.

That’s why I LOVE the SNOO. The whole dance/cycle is eliminated completely and my baby is able to settle himself into sleep with the help of the SNOO’s features. From just a few weeks in I was able to put Ryland down drowsy by awake over 95% of the time! He would stir for a few seconds but then fall asleep on his own.

Now, three months later, I can say this is still the case. The SNOO helps tremendously with combating the sleep-fight and he has gotten really good at falling asleep on his own once all his needs are met (full belly and clean diaper!).

2. Has helped my baby sleep independently

Jumping off of that, all of the practice with being put down drowsy but awake has really set Ryland up to be a super independent sleeper.

He seems to really like the SNOO and it has become a solid part of our bed time routine. He associates the SNOO with sleep time and I truly believe it’s got him on track for healthy sleep habits for life.

Of course, I’ll know AFTER I transition him to his crib as he gets older (and I’ll definitely put an update here!), but just judging by how well he does in the SNOO, I have a feeling we are going to be good!

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3. I LOVE the app

Okay, okay, this miiiiiight be my favorite part! If you’ve been around here (and read some of my other techy baby gear reviews, like the Willow Pump) then you probably know I’m super visual and LOVE data and numbers.

The app that goes with the SNOO Smart Sleeper is SO WELL DONE! It lets you see baby’s sleep schedules, how long he’s slept, number of wake-ups, stretches of sleep, the whole nine yards! Plus you can control the bed inside the app too (like speed and volume).

The other cool thing is that the app also has tips, tricks, and articles to help with sleep.

4. It’s totally adjustable

So if you remember all the features I talked about above, I love that all of these things are totally adjustable and customizable.

You have the ability to adjust baseline settings, volume of white noise, and lock certain settings as needed (so that features like rocking stay steady instead of gradual stopping or slowing down as baby falls into a deeper sleep).

If I know Ryland is having a particularly tough day, sometimes I will lock him on a level 1 or 2 rocking motions, so he’s rocking a bit faster! It also has a weaning mode to help prepare your baby for their transition to the crib which I think is genius!

5. There’s an option to rent

The price is probably the biggest con to the SNOO (more on this below) and I TOTALLY hear that! This has a steep price tag.

But a HUGE, HUGE pro is that you can rent one directly from the company! They offer a monthly rental rate that is a fraction of the cost. Head to their site to learn more.

6. SNOO has an official Facebook group

I love a good virtual community, and I really like that SNOO has an official Facebook group for people who own their product.

It’s great for advice related to your SNOO and how to use it, but also just nice to have a forum of like-minded mamas who are all in a similar stage of motherhood as you.

I actually use the Facebook group quite a bit! Especially as we were deciding when to start transitioning Ryland to an arms-out swaddle position in the SNOO.

Potential drawbacks: SNOO cons

1. The price

This is by far the biggest con, it’s $1400 for a bassinet and I know that is a really high price tag. But remember, this bassinet does things that no other bassinet can do! And having used it for 3+ months at the time of publishing, I can honestly say it’s worth the price tag if you can afford it.

We are getting more sleep as a family and I can tell it is setting my baby up with healthy sleep habits from day one.

2. It’s pretty heavy

I will say, I have traveled with the SNOO – I love it that much. We went to the beach for a few weeks and while it was travel-able, it is definitely heavy.

So if you travel frequently, know that it’s doable to bring the SNOO but not ideal. I don’t think this is a huge issue for most parents, but figured I’d mention it since it was something we experienced.

At the end of the day, dealing with the weight was worth it to have it on vacation with us, hah.

3. There’s no storage

This is the only thing I wish I could change about my SNOO. I wish it had storage underneath for diapers/wipes/random baby stuff. Luckily, I have a drawer in my bedside table where I keep this stuff, but it could be nice to have a little shelf with space for a caddy underneath.

4. It doesn’t work for all babies

I’ve heard from a few of you that you’ve tried the SNOO and baby just didn’t like it. This happens, and there’s unfortunately no way to determine if your baby will ultimately take to the SNOO or not. I wanted to include it in this list to keep things real.

I will say I think the MAJORITY of babies do take to it. Especially based on all the positive reviews out there. This is especially true if you can use it right from day one. But there are always exceptions to everything.

If you purchase a SNOO they do offer a 30-day no-risk trial that starts on the day of delivery! Be sure to check out all the details related to that before purchasing.

Additionally, if you do invest in a SNOO and find that baby isn’t adjusting well, there are customer care specialists available 7 days/week to answer questions and provide tips for the adjustment!

The bottom line on the SNOO

Even though it has some cons (I mean, everything does!) I can honestly say that I am a HUGE fan of the SNOO after using it for 3+ months with my second baby, Ryland.

I absolutely love it. It’s an essential part of our sleeping routine and if it’s in your budget, I whole-heartedly recommend it.

Head on over to their site to learn more!

As for the future? Right now, Ryland is still in our room, and I will probably move him out soon but keep him in the SNOO to help with this initial transition.

I think by moving him up to his room we will both get more sleep. He’s suddenly so much more aware and I think separate rooms is the right move for us right now!

Then at around 5-6 months we will start weaning him off the SNOO and into his crib, and we will be graduated from the SNOO.

Happy Sleep, Mama!

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Liesel Teen, BSN-RN
Founder, Mommy Labor Nurse

Meet Liesel Teen

Hi there. I’m Liesel!

As a labor and delivery nurse, I’ve spent countless hours with women who felt anxious — even fearful — about giving birth. I want you to know it doesn’t have to be that way for you!

When you know what to expect and have the tools to navigate the experience, you’ll feel confident and in control.

I believe you deserve a better birth — no matter how you deliver.