Now that Jack is 3 months old I am really focused on getting him on a sleep schedule. This is so much harder to do with a toddler! Most days we are ready to get out and about around 10am, right when Jack would love to go down for a nap. I hope that in the end it makes him a more chill baby who can sleep anywhere (unlike Charlie who is alllll about the crib sleep).
I mentioned it before but I use this baby awake time chart to figure out when Jack is ready to go down for a nap/sleep. Basically from the moment that Jack wakes up I note his awake time and make sure he is back down for a nap or bedtime 5 minutes before his allotted awake time. This includes feedings and activity. I know it may seem limited (like right now Jack is only awake for a max of 1.5 hours at a time!) but it really does prevent him from getting overly tired and fighting sleep. I also believe that a well rested baby sleeps better at night so getting those daytime hours in is important! Here is Jack’s rough schedule right now…
*note his first and last nap are usually pretty short, only about 45-60 minutes! He also feeds more frequently in the mornings because he is sleeping longer at night so he wakes up hungry!
8/8:15am down for a nap
10:15am down for a nap
1:15pm down for a nap
4:15pm down for a nap
6:30pm feed again (I like to top him off!)
(with one feeding in the middle of the night, usually around 3am)
Ok, now this is an ideal schedule. Sometimes he naps for 20 minutes and cluster feeds at night, sometimes he falls asleep during activity time and we let that be a cat nap, sometimes he sleeps more during the days, sometimes he wakes up twice in the middle of the night, sometimes he skips a nap and I feed double the amount he normally would get in an allotted time before finally getting him to sleep and sometimes he wants to eat all day long. It depends! I’m just trying to go with the flow and always be aware of his awake times. It makes for a much more pleasant baby! It doesn’t always go as planned but if I can get it to work, it works every time.
If you follow me on instagram you know that Jack has been sleeping in the SNOO and we are slowly transitioning him into his own room wearing the Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit. I’ll keep you guys posted on the transition! I’m going to give it a week or so. Now to my review of the Happiest Baby SNOO smart sleeper…
(I die for this little face!)
Let me start by saying that the SNOO is amazing. It pretty much does exactly what it promises and is basically everything you need to get your baby to sleep successfully in one product. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the SNOO, it is a smart sleeper bassinet created by Dr. Harvey Karp who wrote The Happiest Baby on the Block. I read this book when I was pregnant with Charlie and it teaches you his method of soothing crying babies with the 5 S’s – swaddle, side, swing, shush, suck. Imagine the power of these techniques (minus the sucking!) in one sleeper! That is the SNOO.
It is a beautiful bassinet that comes with its own removable swaddle which attaches to the bassinet (the SNOO will not turn on unless the swaddle is attached). There is an app you download on your phone to control the rate of soothing and there are 4 levels to soothe an upset baby. The first level is a gentle swinging motion with a subtle white noise machine. If your baby wakes up and becomes agitated, the SNOO can read your baby’s motion and adjust the level of soothing accordingly. You can also set the SNOO to not soothe, turn off after a few hours, etc. It is all controlled by the app!
I’m going to answer your questions about the SNOO and then give my honest opinion at the bottom of the post. Read on!
Does the SNOO actually work?
Short answer, yes! It is an amazing bassinet! Long answer, I think a lot of bassinets can get the job done, too. I think if I had used it with Charlie it would have been a different story. Jack is a great sleeper and extremely calm baby. Charlie cried all the time. I think the SNOO is appealing for 2 parts of sleep. Getting your newborn down for sleep when you know they are tired/fighting sleep and getting them to go back to sleep after waking up. Basically meaning you’re not using the SNOO to skip the nighttime feedings or those instances when they need to wake up. If you don’t have the time to rock your child to sleep or are too exhausted in the middle of the night to put them back down then yes, the SNOO saves you! It basically does the rocking and holding for you. There were countless nights with Charlie when he just wouldn’t sleep. I have a vivid memory of one night where he literally didn’t fall asleep until 5am and I almost lost my shit. The SNOO would have been a godsend on that day.
Did you use the motion function with the SNOO?
Honestly, not that much. The first setting is great for when they aren’t quite 100% tired and need a little push into la la land. The other settings get intense! Jack hated when the SNOO would speed up and it honestly almost looked uncomfortable for him (although I know it is 100% safe and probably effective if I had let him go). I think I also got too caught up in worrying about weening him from the motion. As I type this, Jack is actually napping (after fighting a nap all morning) with the first motion on so it all depends! But for the most part, we used the SNOO without motion and a separate sound machine on in our room. So basically it was a great bassinet with an amazing swaddle – ha. Jack is also a great sleeper. Most days and nights he goes down in his swaddle with a pacifier and without a fight. I think that made me feel like the motion was not as necessary. The general motion of the SNOO is subtle, calming and great! Once the speed picks up the sound machine changes, the speed picks up and it is more of a jerking sway. Jack wasn’t soothed by this motion but I’m sure a ton of other babies would be! There is a reason it was developed the way that it was.
Does Jack take all of his naps in the SNOO?
Yes! We are JUST beginning the transition into his crib but I am not totally strict about it yet. However, Jack has solely been in the SNOO since night one. Unless he had a cold and in that case I let him sleep in the Rock n’ Play to keep him elevated or we were traveling.
Do you feel the SNOO improved Jack’s sleep quality and quantity?
Not really. I’m a firm believer that a child is either a good sleeper or not. Some babies are born sleepy and some babies need to be taught how to sleep. Jack is kind of in-between! As long as he is full at night, he could sleep 6-8 hours straight, whether he is in the SNOO or in a Pack n’ Play when we travel. Charlie was a terrible sleeper. Dave and I laugh now because at the time we thought Charlie was an amazing baby and that it was just parenthood and how it was! Jack has taught us that that was not the case. Charlie was born a week before his due date and Jack was a week late. It took Charlie 1 week to get the hang of breastfeeding and Jack latched within 2 minutes of exiting my body. Babies are just different and I personally don’t think the SNOO kept Jack asleep longer or gave him better sleep. Maybe I’m saying that because we didn’t utilize it to the best of its ability? But I think that millions of babies before the SNOO were good sleepers and soothed by their parents. Your baby will sleep. Maybe the SNOO is the future of less hands on more efficient sleeping? I don’t know.
Is the SNOO worth it?
If we hadn’t been generously gifted the SNOO, then we probably wouldn’t have invested in it with baby #2. BUT, if it were my first rodeo and this was for Charlie I would have definitely paid the money! I think knowing that my baby will eventually sleep just fine and actually enjoying those nighttime feedings and rocking Jack to sleep, I don’t feel the SNOO is necessary. Jack has been such an easy baby (Dave and I keep looking at ourselves like “when is this going to end?” and it doesn’t!) that actually being able to rock him to sleep feels so enjoyable. Charlie had to be rocked at all hours of the day/night and I think if that were the case, the SNOO would be my best friend.
If you’re genuinely debating I think there are a few factors you have to think about…1. know that here are plenty of bassinets out there that will keep your baby safe and warm and happy. I think soothing your baby is a part of motherhood and it should be experienced rather than replaced. I can say that now that I have a baby who is happy and not crying all the time 😉 2. The SNOO is incredibly safe. I do have more peace of mind with the SNOO and don’t worry about leaving Jack in there without a monitor, etc. I love that it is super heavy because there are plenty of times where Charlie has grabbed on to peek his little head over the frame to check on Jack and thankfully the SNOO doesn’t move. It is stable and sturdy and super safe. 3. It costs a pretty penny so I say if it is in your budget and you want what it has then go for it! If you know that you’re the type of woman/mom who needs the security of sleep then maybe the SNOO is a good investment for you! Will it save you an extra 30 minutes of rocking your baby to sleep at night? Probably. I really haven’t had to do that once with Jack! Do I think you will have a happy and healthy baby who gets enough sleep without it? Yes. Will you as a mom get sleep without it? Yes.
If you are a seasoned veteran then I’m going to say that you’ve got this, mama!!
I will say that I LOVE the swaddle that comes with the SNOO and you can buy it separately to use in whatever you prefer! Charlie hated being swaddled and was always freakishly strong and broke out of everything we tried. Jack loves this swaddle! I’ll be interested to see how he transitions to the Merlin.
Did I miss anything? If you have any specific questions or want me to go into more detail, feel free to email me directly: [email protected]. Always happy to help clarify or answer any of your questions!!