Whether you rent or buy, the SNOO is a big investment. Since Emmie was born, I have had a lot of friends ask me what we’ve thought of it.
I wanted to wait to give my full review of the SNOO bassinet until after we were done using it because one of the big claims is that the SNOO by Happiest Baby naturally teaches your baby how to be a good sleeper. I wanted to see if that was truly the case!
Since we have now successfully transitioned her out of it, I thought I’d walk through our experience with the SNOO in case anyone else is considering it!
We did not use the SNOO with Charlotte, and she was kind of a difficult newborn. She woke to nurse a handful of times per night until we sleep-trained her at four months and had an extremely hard time with naps. I was very tired, lol.
We knew that with our second baby, there would be little margin for error. Having a toddler means there is no catching up on rest during the day, so we needed to get our nighttime sleep situation locked in FAST.
What is the SNOO?
Happiest Baby’s website has tons of helpful articles and an FAQ page a mile long, so if you are considering it, definitely spend some time perusing there.
But to sum it up, the SNOO is a “smart” bassinet that provides light motion and sound to keep the baby calm while they are asleep. The bassinet is completely flat and comes with a swaddle that attaches to the sides so the baby is secured as it moves. This means it is completely safe. The SNOO can sense if the baby needs additional motion or sound to help soothe them and adjusts accordingly.
Basically, if the baby starts to fuss, the SNOO can lull them back to sleep unless the baby is actually needing to eat, in pain, etc. It’s not replacing the mom/parent by any means but more so teaching the baby good sleep habits and helping them learn to stay asleep unless they are actually hungry, if that makes sense.
The SNOO soothes the baby back to sleep if they are waking up unnecessarily, and that’s the magic of it.
If newborns had it their way, they’d sleep on mom or dad all night and for every nap (let’s be real, if newborns really had it their way, they’d crawl back up into that womb). The SNOO isn’t a quick fix right away. It takes a tiny bit of practice and getting used to.
But overall, our experience with the SNOO was extremely positive and worth EVERY penny.
Emmie did great at night pretty much right away. She got her nights and days sorted within the first few days of being home from the hospital and woke to nurse only twice a night from the beginning. I attribute this to the SNOO, Taking Cara Babies newborn course, and her being a “good” baby. (I truly think it’s an even split between all three!).
Naps took more practice but we eventually figured that out too.
One of our favorite parts about the SNOO was the accompanying swaddle (The rental comes with one in each size and two sheets). It’s unlike any other swaddle I’ve tried–and I’ve tried a ton between my two kids. You secure the babies arms first with two wrap-around wings and then zip the baby into the sack.
My best tip for the SNOO is a double swaddle situation. I learned this from a Taking Cara Babies Consultant who offhandedly mentioned this during my $75 therapy session about wake times.
She told me to secure the swaddle to the SNOO first and turn on the motion before she was even in it. She said to wrap Emmie in a “normal” swaddle first (my favorites for this purpose are from Lou Lou and Company), rock her for a minute or two, and then set her down gently into the already moving SNOO. Then, wrap the wings around her, zip the swaddle, and then back out of the room slowly. Once we had that little song and dance down, naps were a total breeze.
(I suggest ordering a couple of extra swaddles and sheets, especially if you have a baby who likes to spit up every 5 minutes. No offense, Emmie).
Also, even if you do not choose to go with the SNOO, I HIGHLY recommend the Sleepea Swaddles from Happiest Baby–they are the same idea with the arm wings. Life-changing even without the SNOO, in my opinion.
Transitioning out of the SNOO
Babies can sleep safely in the SNOO until six months, which is when most parents transition their babies to a normal crib, it seems.
We, however, knew we wanted to have Emmie totally transitioned from the SNOO by Christmas, right at the five-month mark. We had some family travel planned and wanted her to be able to sleep well in a pack n play.
Normally, and according to the SNOO website, parents can slowly transition their baby out of the SNOO–first by unswaddling one arm, then two, then turning the motion off, etc. I got the impression that the whole process would take several weeks, if not a few months.
Emmie hit the four-month sleep regression right around the time we got her reflux under control (I swear having a baby is just a constant game of whack a mole).
She was very attached to her pacifier, and if it fell out, she would wake completely up. We’d run in and give it back and the SNOO would lull her back to sleep, but this started happening SEVERAL times a night. It was getting obnoxious and tensions were high, lol.
We could tell she was ready to learn how to sleep on her own, and the timing made sense for our original plan of transitioning her out of the SNOO before Christmas.
We pulled the plug (literally, ha!) on the SNOO, took her out of the swaddle, and moved her into her own crib all in one night. I’m a cold turkey girl, through and through, so we also pulled the pacifier. It was a little rough those first couple of nights but she got the hang of things pretty quickly. Since then, she’s been going down for naps and nighttime all on her own and sleeping HARD.
We still do a “dreamfeed” at 10pm and probably will do so for at least another month while she catches up on gaining weight. She sleeps 12 hours besides that and is napping way longer than she was before. Sleep training is really my only parenting tip so far, lol.
Cost + Ordering timeline
We decided to rent the SNOO. The monthly rate is $129. We knew we’d only want to use it for the first 4-5 months, so renting made the most sense for us (the retail price is almost $1400). They also prorate your monthly fee, so you can send it back any time of the month.
I think the only reason we would have purchased the SNOO is if we had had the foresight to get it before Charlotte. (I’ve seen people resell them for $700-800 on FB Marketplace).
The SNOO ships relatively quickly, so we decided to have it ship about 10 days before my induction date, just in case she came early. You can choose your delivery timeline when you place your rental order, which is so nice.
Even though we transitioned her out of the SNOO more abruptly and sooner than most families do, I would still rent it again in a heartbeat if (IF) we have another baby.
It is a newborn *essential* and saved us those first few months. You really can’t put a price on being well-rested, in my opinion.
Using the SNOO helped nudge Emmie towards a more predictable daily rhythm early on and helped set the stage for her to form healthy sleep habits. She’s been out of the SNOO now for about 6 weeks and is an amazing sleeper, truly.
Please let me know if I missed something in my review of the SNOO bassinet and/or feel free to DM me directly with any questions if you’re on the fence! I’m obviously not an expert–just a new mom who needs a solid 9 hours if you know what I mean. That counts for something, right?