Had To Share

collage for a review of the snoo smart sleeper bassinet

Yes, The Ridiculously Priced Snoo Really Did Save Our Sanity

And, you don’t have to pay full price to reap the benefits.

The 2023 New Parents Issue
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My first baby was born in 2017, when the best infant sleep option for us was a regular old swaddled-baby-in-a-crib situation. When my daughter was born in 2021, the Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet had been on the market long enough that it had gone from, “Hey, look at this unhinged bassinet that costs $1,700, seriously, who is going to pay that?” to “You’re bonkers if you attempt to bring a newborn baby home without a Snoo.”

Aside from all of the baby-soothing motion and white noise features that are built into the Snoo, what appealed to me most about the “smart bassinet” was that it is designed by Happiest Baby on the Block’s own Dr. Harvey Karp to keep your newborn baby asleep on their back. Both of my kids were frank breech babies, meaning that they spent their last few months in my uterus folded up with their feet touching their heads and their knees pressed into their noses. When they were born — butt-first, via C-section — they needed a little time to unfold. Even tightly swaddled, they still had sort of an “L” shape, with their legs sticking up in the air and a (terrifying, to me) tendency to roll onto their sides. “Back to sleep” wasn’t really a natural option for them. With my first, that meant he ended up sleeping in a (now-recalled) Rock ’n Play.

With my second child, I knew I needed a Snoo because it promised to hold her securely in the middle of the bassinet on her back, zipped tightly into a special, Dr. Karp-approved swaddle.


  • Price: $1,695
  • Size: 35.75” L × 19” W × 31” H (with legs)
  • Colors: The Snoo comes in just one color: white mesh with a mid-century modern brown detail.
  • Who it’s for: Newborn babies and their exhausted parents. You can use the Snoo from the time you bring baby home until they reach 6 months of age, weigh 25 pounds, or can get up on their hands and knees.
  • Pro-tip: Get around that shock-inducing price tag by buying a Snoo secondhand, or choosing the Snoo rental option from Happiest Baby.

The features

The Snoo is a robot crib. At least, that’s how my husband and I described it to our parents and our curious child-free friends. Put another way, the Snoo is a smart bassinet designed with SIDS safety precautions and parental exhaustion in mind. It can detect when your baby is crying or fussing and respond with gentle motion and white noise to soothe them back to sleep (and give their sleep-deprived parents just a little more time in bed).

Critics of this smart bassinet have said it can soothe too well, causing newborns to sleep through overnight feedings they should be getting. Fear not, fellow worriers: The Snoo will only try to work its soothing magic for a few minutes at a time, and it will shut off if your baby has been crying for too long (i.e. more than a few minutes). You will absolutely still be getting up with your newborn many, many times a night to feed them, change a poopy diaper, replace a binky, help them burp, or all of the above. But the little fusses and gurgles and stirrings that happen between feedings? You might get to ignore those a little more easily as the Snoo’s rocking and white noise keeps your baby feeling all womb-y and calm.

How it works

Once your Snoo is set up, it’s ready to use for naps and bedtime. You’ll do your little bedtime routine or, if it’s your first few weeks and you don’t have one of those yet, you’ll just probably feed your baby to sleep. Then, you’ll gingerly zip them into the Snoo sleep sack, which makes them look like the world’s cutest little larva. The Snoo sleep sacks have little clips on each side, and when you lay your baby in the middle of the bassinet, you’ll stretch those clips and slide them onto corresponding hooks in the bassinet.

It’s this system that sold me on the Snoo. The tight, zippered sleep sack is held in place, perfectly in the middle of their bassinet, with your baby held securely on their back, unable to roll onto their face.

With my first baby, I was constantly checking to see what position he was in, where he was in the crib, and where his face was. Is he too close to the edge of the crib? Is there a sheet that’s somehow crumpled up by his nose? Is he busting out of his swaddle again? With a Snoo bassinet, your baby is tightly nestled in a small, soothing, womb-like environment, cozy in their swaddle and firmly on their back. It was a huge weight off my mind to not feel like I needed to double or triple check my baby’s position after tucking her in. Just zip, click, click, turn on “baseline” mode — which you can do with either the Snoo app or using a button on the bassinet itself. Then crawl back into bed to try to catch a little sleep yourself.

A Reddit user shares images of a Snoo sleep log. The one with all the red shows a night with many wakings.

The science

Do pediatricians recommend the Snoo bassinet?

Obviously, every pediatrician is different. Anxiety-ridden adult that I am, I spoke to our pediatrician a lot about where our baby would sleep (particularly because I was determined to not repeat our dreaded Rock ’n Play misstep). I really love and trust our pediatrician, and she OK’ed the Snoo. Actually, she more than OK’ed it: She asked me to let her know what we thought because she was curious about it and had “heard good things.” Your pediatrician should ask you about where your baby is sleeping, and it’s not a bad idea to chat with them about the Snoo, as well as any specific concerns you may have.

One note: Happiest Baby sells leg lifters for the Snoo to place it at an incline. The website states they’re intended “for babies whose doctors recommend elevating the head for mild colds, stuffy noses, or acid reflux.” However, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safe sleep guidelines state babies “should sleep on a firm, flat, non-inclined surface” to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Be sure to discuss using leg lifters with your pediatrician before you purchase.

Does the Snoo help prevent SIDS?

As of April 2023, Happiest Baby received De Novo approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizing the Snoo as a groundbreaking medical device because of its ability to keep sleeping babies safely on their backs. However, despite the many implications of this approval — many hope that it may mean that insurance may ultimately cover the cost of a Snoo — the FDA did not explicitly recognize the device as one that prevents SIDS. Dr. Karp and the team that developed the Snoo have said that SIDS prevention is a goal of the Snoo’s many safety features.

Having your newborn sleep in a Snoo in your bedroom is also in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep guidelines, in that you put them to bed in their own sleep space, on a flat surface, on their back.

If having a Snoo helps you follow the AAP safe sleep guidelines — like room sharing, not bed sharing — that’s probably a good thing. Personally speaking, SIDS was a huge fear of mine, and this bassinet helped me worry less about it because of the design of the sleep sack. Whether or not that’s rooted in any actual, factual harm-reducing powers of the Snoo or just my own gut-level feeling that my baby was safer, I can’t really say.

How long do babies stay in the Snoo smart sleeper?

Karp and the Happiest Baby folks say that your baby can sleep in the Snoo until they’re 6 months old, at which point the primary worry is that they’re big enough to try to climb or crawl over the side of it. We moved our daughter into a crib and a normal, arms-out sleep sack at 16 weeks. She liked to have her hands to chew on, so we’d had her in a Love to Dream sleep sack inside the Snoo sleep sack for a while (thanks r/snoolife Reddit friends for the hot tip) and so it didn’t feel too dramatic to shift away from arms-in swaddle to an arms-out. (Plus, we were crying-it-out anyway because she had started waking up every 90 minutes and we were over it, so we dropped all sleep “crutches” at the same time.)

Still, I’m grateful for the more restful 16 weeks that the Snoo gave us. It got us through the most stressful, peak of SIDS months, which is what I really wanted it for. Once we were through that, I felt great about passing it on to a new family.

How to rent the Snoo (or buy it used)

We bought our Snoo used from a good friend, and I cannot recommend that approach highly enough. They bought it from their friend for $800, and sold it to us, with a ton of extra Snoo sleep sacks, for $600, and I was able to resell it for $600. We had to monkey around with transferring the ownership to use the Snoo app (which you must use to control the settings and access your daily logs), but it’s worth the slight hassle because, again, we paid $1,100 less than we would have for a brand new Snoo). You only use the darn thing for a few months (and if your baby hates it, even less than that), so you don’t need it to be new or pristine. You’ve got 40 weeks to track one down; odds are you can find someone who is ready to part with theirs.

The author’s children with the Snoo.

Baby Nellie dreaming peacefully in her Snoo.Courtesy of author.
Nellie’s big brother, Griffin, checks out her sleek new Snoo.Courtesy of author.

To me, renting a Snoo is probably the second best way to go. The the rental costs $159 per month, and if your baby hates it, you just send it back and you’re out maybe $300. However, if you plan to have multiple babies, it may make sense to buy one, as you will hit the price of a new Snoo after 10 months of renting.

Pros & cons


  • The Snoo will buy you more time in bed. If you’re like me, you’ll still wake up when the baby wakes up. You’ll hear the fuss. But instead of peeling yourself out of bed, you’ll then hear the Snoo start to do its soothing thing. The value of an extra five or 10 minutes in bed to the parent of a newborn baby cannot be overstated.
  • Your baby cannot roll onto their stomach, or into the sides of the bassinet. It simply can’t happen, so you don’t have to worry about it.
  • It’s pretty attractive. Not-ugly is a big deal when it comes to baby gear, and the Snoo is more than not-ugly, it’s downright sleek. It looked super cute in the corner next to our rocker, and — like any good bassinet — it didn’t take up too much floor space in our small bedroom.


  • It’s extremely expensive. Even though I bought my Snoo used, I still shelled out $600. However, I was banking on being able to resell it for close to what we paid after we sleep trained at 4 months, and I was able to do that, so it was a wash.
  • It can be hard to tell right away if the Snoo is working for your baby or not. I highly recommend asking for advice from the members of the r/snoolife Reddit group. They will dive deep with you and analyze your screenshots of the Snoo app’s daily log.
  • I don’t think the Snoo helps anyone sleep train. Yes, you might feel slightly more confident about putting your baby down awake and letting the bassinet soothe them to sleep with its rocking motion and white noise. However, you’ll eventually have to wean your baby off the Snoo’s motion, so it could still become a maladaptive sleep association that you’d have to deal with by actually sleep training. When we were ready to sleep train at 16 weeks, we moved our daughter to a regular crib to cry it out.
  • There’s a bit of a learning curve with the settings: figuring out which ones you like, which ones your baby prefers, and so on. However, being in a steep learning curve is also just par for the course with a newborn at home, so it’s not too terrible.

The final verdict

Imagine, you and your spouse are lying there playing chicken to see who’s going to get up with the baby. Then, the robot crib starts doing its thing — the shushing and the womp-womp sound (sort of a womb-like heartbeat) and rocking the baby back and forth — and slowly the baby’s fuss starts to peter out and, well, that’s all you remember because you all went back to sleep.

Is the Snoo worth it? Yes, even with all of the many pennies it costs. I slept better because we had a Snoo. Have you ever taken care of a newborn? “I slept better” is a huge deal! I slept better because I felt like my baby was safer and I didn’t have to check on her as often as I did with my first. I slept better because the Snoo soothed her back to sleep sometimes in the middle of the night so that I didn’t have to get up. If you’ve got the money or a relative that would like to give you a splurge-y gift that they know you’ll be grateful for, get a Snoo. You will not regret it.


The bottom line is that your baby will probably sleep better in a Snoo than in a regular bassinet or crib. It rocks them gently, it responds to their fussing, it comes with white noise, and it swaddles them tightly. It mimics the womb. Yes, of course, there are cons. But anything that all but promises that your newborn will sleep more is worth it.

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