Many parents are familiar with the popular book and accompanying DVD The Happiest Baby on the Block. But now there's another tool in the Happiest Baby collection aimed at helping babies (and parents) get much-needed sleep. Invented by Dr. Harvey Karp in collaboration with designer Yves Béhar, the SNOO Smart Sleeper is an infant bed that uses smart technology to soothe a crying baby and a patent-pending swaddle system that keeps babies on their backs at night.
The main feature of the SNOO is its ability to respond to a baby's crying by increasing the volume of the white noise sound and the speed of rocking over four levels. (It takes five minutes of crying before it changes to the next level.) It will automatically decrease the sound and motion once a baby calms. If the SNOO doesn't soothe your baby back to sleep, then you'll know your baby really needs something from you, such as a diaper change or a feeding. (The motion and sound will completely stop if the baby cries for more than three minutes.)
Parents can manually increase the level of sound and motion by pressing and holding the power button on the front of the SNOO until it changes color or by using the free SNOO app on a smart device. The app would especially come in handy when parents are ready to move baby from the SNOO into a crib because they could easily wean the baby off of the motion.
The second feature of the SNOO is the SNOO Sack, which is a swaddle made of organic cotton that keeps babies sleeping on their backs at night, which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Not only does the SNOO Sack use inner bands that Velcro over a baby's arms and an outer zipper that can be opened from the top or bottom for easy middle-of-the-night diaper changes, but this swaddle also has elastic wings on both sides that attach to safety clips inside the SNOO Smart Sleeper. This prevents babies from rolling over onto their sides or tummies. And the SNOO Sack has two mesh panels to keep baby from overheating.
The side of the SNOO is made of open mesh to allow for full ventilation and visibility. And the SNOO must be plugged into a wall outlet to work.
The fact that this infant bed listens and responds to your baby's crying is pretty ingenious. It's sort of like having your own night nurse. The idea is to help babies sleep better, and if babies sleep better, then parents sleep better.
Now, this isn't a substitute for adult supervision. As stated in What It Is, if the SNOO can't soothe your baby, then yes, you'll have to get up at 2:00 a.m. and do a diaper change or make a bottle. But for those times when your baby just needs a bit of soothing to fall back asleep, that's when the SNOO comes in handy.
The swaddling system is also handy. Strapping your swaddled baby into the SNOO might seem kind of strange, but the reason for doing it is actually pretty sound. Babies like to be swaddled because it provides comfort and can help them sleep, but once babies start to roll over, you can't swaddle them anymore. What does that mean for sleep? With the SNOO, you get the comfort of the swaddle with the safe sleeping of baby being on his back.
Yes, this infant bed is pricey, but you are getting a lot of technology, and for tired new parents, you can't put a price on a good night's sleep.
The SNOO Smart Sleeper is for babies from birth until 6 months of age, or until the baby can get up on his or her hands and knees. The maximum weight is 25 pounds.
Assembly is required but is easy to do.
The SNOO Smart Sleeper comes with three organic cotton SNOO Sacks in small, medium, and large sizes; an organic cotton fitted sheet over the mattress; and a power adapter. The SNOO Sacks and the sheet are machine washable.
The free SNOO app is available for iOS and Android devices.
The SNOO can only be used with the SNOO Sack. Three SNOO Sacks are included with the SNOO Smart Sleeper.
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