Chloë Collyer and new baby Arlo test out the wifi-enabled SNOO Smart Sleeper cot to see if it’s worth the price tag.
Of the many things to get excited about when planning for your baby’s arrival, lack of sleep is perhaps not at the top of your list. However, this might be where the SNOO Smart Sleeper cot from Happiest Baby can help. Or at least, that’s what I was hoping.
I’d read a lot about the SNOO. Branded as ‘the cot that does it all’, SNOO was created by Dr Harvey Karp, author of Happiest Baby. Needless to say I (now we) was very keen to give it a go. The SNOO Smart Sleeper has been designed to follow his theory of the 5 S’s of Swaddle, Side or Stomach, Shush, Swing and Suck; ideas Dr Harvey Karp has developed to mimic the baby’s experience in the womb, helping them transition from third to fourth trimester, from womb out in the world.
As a first time parent I don’t have any other babies to compare it to, but I do, or did, know what a good night sleep felt like. I also knew this was an expensive piece of kit compared to other newborn cots, so would it be worth it?
For a very technical cot, the SNOO was incredibly easy to put together. Even the packaging is impressively well thought through. It feels like a lot of effort has been put into ease of use – very much appreciated by any sleep deprived parent. It’s not light at 20kg, but it’s very easy to set up. You just need to attach the legs which is an easy one person – even pregnant person – job, then plug it in and install the app. Wrap and zip up your baby in the provided sleep sack and you’re good to go. And as I discovered unexpectedly when we moved house and the internet connection was delayed, to use the app you need wi-fi, but thankfully you don’t need a connection to activate the SNOO, there’s a simple on/off button on the base – phew!
The SNOO Smart Sleeper detects when the baby is connected to the cot with the sleep sack wings, and at the press of a play button, the white noise is activated and it gently rocks your baby to sleep. And that’s it. The SNOO has a base level, and goes up to level 5, although we’ve still got it set to the restricted newborn levels, level two has so far been enough to calm Arlo whenever it’s been needed. We don’t like to put Arlo down, or leave him, when he’s crying, so we find it perfect for that in between stage, when he’s stirring, or if he’s struggling to stay asleep. You can control the different levels of rocking from your phone, but this smart cot even detects when you’re baby needs extra settling and raises and lowers the rocking ante to match.
There are a number of accessories you can buy in addition to ensure the SNOO works for you. It doesn’t have a drop side like some beside-the-bed cribs have, but you can get shorter legs which will make it easy to look over into depending on your height and your bed height. Our little boy was struggling with a stuffy nose and straining for a while so we added on the leg extenders to one end which doesn’t look to be a dramatic difference, but seems to have eased things a little for him.
One of my favourite things about the SNOO is that it complies with all of the safe sleeping guidelines meaning I can sleep a bit easier, not feeling the need to constantly check on him during the night. It has a firm mattress for him to lie on, and with the clips it will keep your baby sleeping on their back, even when they’re starting to roll. Breathability is well considered with the SNOO too, as it the sides are exclusively mesh. The sleep sack also has the breathable mesh panels to allow for no overheating, plus the top of the sleep sack can be opened at the sides for your baby to sleep with their arms out once they’re ready.
The app isn’t just a remote for the cot though, it tracks Arlo’s sleep and not only monitors how long baby has been sleeping, but also what is his longest sleep session and when he’s had to be soothed, plus for the first month it provided almost daily hints and tips including how to make the most of the SNOO, and ‘checking in’ to make sure you know who to contact in case you need any extra help.
After an unexpected c-section arrival for Arlo, I wasn’t as spritely in those first few weeks as I’d expected, so the SNOO felt like a great assistant.
The SNOO looks amazing. With the smooth curves of the wooden base, modern legs and mesh cream sides, it would not look out of place on any Modern House listing. Rather than looking like it has been designed for the baby, it’s been designed for the parents, which is exactly what you want as it’s recommended that your baby sleeps in your room for the first 6 months.
Now the look of your baby when you first zip it up in the swaddle sack was slightly more comical. Looking not dissimilar to a burrito, with head perched atop, and Buzz Lightyear style wings (to connect to the cot) at the back of the swaddle, it’s easy to question if this is what your baby really wants. But from the ease of reaching the land of nod, Arlo seems pretty content with it.
Arlo sleeps like a dream. In fact he seems quite happy zipped up in the SNOO even if the white noise and rocking isn’t activated. As Arlo is my first baby I admittedly don’t have a huge amount to compare to, but I know that if he’s stirring early in the morning and it’s before he’s due a feed, by upping the level he’ll be rocked back to a snooze until he wakes when he’s hungry. He’s able to move his head freely so we have no worries about him being stuck on one side for any flat head issues, and even though the swaddle holds the baby in place, the shape of the sleep sack doesn’t constrict the legs leaving him plenty of space to give his hips full free movement.
The SNOO Smart Sleeper: Final Verdict
I couldn’t be more thrilled with the SNOO. Arlo is able to follow his natural sleep cycles and so far only wakes up when he’s ready for his next feed.
It also brings such a huge sense of confidence to myself and my partner. We don’t have to worry about him rolling over or any loose bedding, so we feel we can catch up on some sleep ourselves.
And in case you’re concerned about your baby getting too used to being rocked all the time, we’ve gone away for a few nights (and not taken the SNOO) and every time Arlo has slept well, which we believe is predominantly down to the good sleeping patterns he’s learned from sleeping in the SNOO.
We’re only a couple of months into our SNOO journey, but so far, it seems to be worth every penny.
The SNOO Smart Sleep cot comes with three different size SNOO sacks to take you from newborn to 6 months, a mattress with waterproof cover, an organic cotton sheet, plus on top of the help within the app it gives you unlimited access to their sleep consultants 7 days a week.
SNOO Smart Sleeper RRP, £1,145.
To shop the SNOO collection and for more information about the Smart Sleeper, visit www.happiestbaby.co.uk.
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