Is The Snoo As Good As It Sounds?
I know you are all going to get mad at me about this, but…let’s talk about the latest trend in infant sleep, The SNOO.
The SNOO is marketed as “the smartest baby bed ever made.” The baby is placed in a tight swaddle blanket that is strapped into the bassinet. Whenever the baby cries, the SNOO starts rocking and using white noise to encourage the baby to go back to sleep.
The ads states that The SNOO “soothes fussing – often in under a minute” and that it “adds an hour or more to your baby’s sleep”. Sounds great, right?
We are going to look at why this can actually be problematic, but first let’s look at why this product is so popular.
I wanted to show this ad for the Snoo because I think it’s a great example of excellent marketing to parents for “Sleep Solutions”
When it comes to sleep products and sleep “consultants”, there is little to no regulation in the US.
Anyone can call themselves a sleep consultant. And any company can create a product and market it to parents as a way to help them get more sleep.
The reason why these sleep products sell so well is because the companies know that there is a severe lack of education on what normal infant sleep looks like, and they are also preying on parents who are vulnerable and not making logical decisions well due to exhaustion and sleep deprivation.
Instead of trying to make society fit around a baby’s sleep needs, these consultants and products promise to make their baby’s sleep fit around society.
This ad for The SNOO does the same. It promises more sleep for the parents. It promises the SNOO is the latest breakthrough in infant sleep. It also has a sleek design that parents like, and it taps into many parent’s fears around SIDS by promising the SNOO will keep their babies sleeping safely on their back. In fact, their website states the SNOO is the “smartest and safest infant bed” and compares the SNOO to a “24/7 babysitter”
This marketing allows them to sell the SNOO at the astronomical price of $1,495
Drawbacks of The SNOO
It is the biological norm for babies to wake up at night. Waking at night allows babies to get in the calories that they need to grow and is protective against SIDS.
Babies have reflexes that allow them to cue that they are hungry or have other needs. And with the SNOO’s special tight swaddle, movements, and white noises, those reflexes are suppressed and the baby encouraged to go back to sleep, sometimes without having their needs met.
I’ve worked with many families where the baby starts to lose weight or drop off on growth curves due to use of the SNOO.
Many parents also find the SNOO hard is to wean from. A device that rocks and shushes your baby to sleep all night long, whenever they fuss, is providing a lot of stimulation that they then rely on to fall asleep. The SNOO states it has a weaning mode, but many parents I have worked with state that it is really hard to wean from, even with the weaning mode.
These are just some of the issues with the SNOO. Some professionals believe the SNOO contributes to flattening of the babies head and also prevents babies from integrating other their reflexes like they should.
But I Love Our SNOO!
That’s great! I don’t think there are evil tools and products out there, but ones that can be easily used inappropriately.
If you decide The SNOO works well for your family, here are some tips:
- Try to use the lowest setting possible.
- Make sure your young baby is waking up every three hours to eat. That means setting an alarm and waking them up if they are sleeping longer than three hours in The SNOO. Remember, it is the norm for babies to feed at night.
- Keep your baby unswaddled and off their back as much as possible during the day. Give them lots of opportunities for Tummy Time and movement. This will offset the tight swaddling and limited movement from being in The SNOO.
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