Preparing for the arrival of a new baby faces you with quite a few purchasing decisions for the gear you’ll need. Choosing a bassinet or crib is one of them. The SNOO bassinet option has grown in popularity in recent years. It provides the option of a bassinet that helps you soothe baby through motion and noise, two of Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s. While this sounds like an attractive alternative to waking throughout the night with your baby, there are some downsides to the SNOO to consider.
Consider the Pros and Cons
The two most attractive features of the SNOO are the soothing sound system built into the sides of the bassinet and the ability for the bassinet to rock baby back to sleep. It is also quite lovely that the SNOO connects with an app that tracks how often baby needed assistance to soothe during their sleep. While motion sleep often does help baby to sleep longer and deeper – think car ride naps and babies nodding off in the swing – it can also become a sleep crutch for a baby as he grows. Babies will need to learn to sleep in stillness so conditioning a baby to sleep while in motion can be problematic when he outgrows the SNOO and needs to transition to a crib. Some babies can make the transition easily while others fight the stillness and protest this change.
Using the SNOO for Success
If you have a baby suffering from colic, motion such as rocking, bouncing, and vibrating tends to bring great relief. If this is the case in your home, using a SNOO bassinet might be an excellent answer for your family. However if your baby really doesn’t need to sleep in motion, the benefit the SNOO brings in the beginning might not be worth the struggle to transition out of it later on. The best way to use the SNOO is to enable the Motion Limiter, lock the motion level on the lower baseline setting, or use the Weaning Feature from the start. The Weaning Feature makes it so motion is only enabled when needed for soothing but not constantly throughout the sleep session. Using these features allows parents to benefit from the advantages of the SNOO without baby relying on constant motion to sleep.
As with many baby products, the SNOO is not necessary. If you use it mindfully it may help your family enjoy more sleep in those early months. Keep in mind though, if the bassinet is rocking your baby back to sleep they will be unable to learn how to self-soothe, which is a necessary lifelong skill. If you are interested in learning more about healthy sleep habits, try Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny’s online course, Sleep Coaching 101.
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About The Author
Courtney Poirier is a Newborn Care Expert with Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. She has many years of experience with sleep conditioning and coaching in daycare & home settings. Prior to working with babies, she was an elementary school teacher. She has two sons of her own, one of which had colic.