(Pocket-lint) - The Happiest Baby Snoo cot is a responsive baby cot that uses rocking and white noise to aid a baby's sleep.
Created by Dr Harvey Korp - the author of Happiest Baby on the Block - and based on science, the Snoo Smart Sleeper claims to give new parents peace of mind and a few hours extra sleep. Does that make it worth its huge price tag?
We've used the Snoo Smart Sleeper for six months with our second little one to see if this smart cot is the cot of your dreams.
Beautiful modern design
- Dimensions (with legs): 908 × 483 x 819mm / Weight: 17.4kg
- One colour option
The Snoo Smart Sleeper's design is absolutely beautiful. You could put it in the middle of a five-star hotel lobby and it wouldn't look out of place.
Oval in shape, the Snoo is narrower and smaller than the likes of the Chicco Next2Me, but it's much more elegant in its appearance. There are cream breathable mesh sides for airflow - which don't drop down - a dark wooden base offering a very premium look - as you would expect for the price - while the angled white metal legs deliver a very modern finish.
A thin - but not too thin - mattress with fitted sheet sits over the plastic base of the Snoo covering the speaker and technology inside, while clips for attaching the Snoo Sack are positioned either side of the mattress.
On the underside there's a Wi-Fi button and a power button, while the function button for switching between levels is positioned at the bottom end. The button has a light ring around it for indicating the level - different levels have different colours - and power.
It's worth noting those clips can't be moved, which we found started to become problematic for our little boy from around five months - despite only being the 25th percentile - as we needed him to be positioned further down to fit in the Snoo comfortably. But it was just about big enough to get us to six months. His hands did hit the mesh sides when he slept though, sometimes waking him up.
We didn't need to fold the Snoo down at all during the six months we used it, but it's not possible even if we had wanted to. It's also very heavy so not at all practical for carrying up and down stairs if you wanted it downstairs for naps and upstairs for bedtime.
What about the Snoo Sack swaddle?
- Small, medium and large
- Two-way zip
- Different colour options
The Snoo Sack is an excellent bit of design and one that certainly helps with peace of mind. There are three sizes - Small, Medium and Large. Small is designed for up to two months, medium for two to four months, large for four to six months - but this will depend on your baby. We found the sizing pretty accurate, though we did typically jump up to the next size about a week before the recommended size guide.
Mesh inserts are designed to keep your baby cool and stop them from overheating, while thicker padded cotton stretches across the back in the middle with loops on either side that slide onto the clips, keeping your baby on their back and secure when the Snoo moves. The Snoo Sack has to be attached in order for the Snoo cot to move.
There are poppers at the top of the Snoo Sack to enable you to free your baby's arms if they don't like the full swaddle, or if you are weaning them off the swaddle and a zip makes it easy to get the Snoo sack on and off. It's a two-way zip so you can unzip the bottom but keep the top zipped up. The inside part of the swaddle is Velcro so very simple to use.
We had our baby's arms out straight away as he didn't like the full swaddle. We also unzipped the bottom and allowed him to have his legs out when he was around five months as he seemed to prefer this and we unzipped the top by about an inch as we found it a little too high for our little one.
We love the design of the Snoo Sack and its simplicity compared to other swaddles, though there were times when we would have liked to be able to turn the Snoo on when the sack wasn't looped onto the clips - something that isn't possible at all.
How Snoo works
- Five levels
- Automatically increases
- Different settings available through app
The Snoo Smart Sleeper is really smart. And not just in its design. It will automatically respond with specially designed white noise and motion when it detects your baby is fussing, starting off at baseline level and climbing to level four in an attempt to soothe your baby.
Each level sees an increase in noise and motion, but if your baby doesn't stop crying in five minutes, Snoo will stop and the app will tell you your baby requires your attention - though you'd probably have figured that out for yourself by that point.
Level four appears quite alarming the first time you see it. Your baby will be moving quite rigorously in the Snoo on this level and you might think it's too much. The Snoo Sack keeps them in the same position so they are secure, but their head might be moving from side to side quite a lot.
It is possible to set a limit on the movement through the Snoo app though, which we did as we found our little one was soothed by the louder white noise at the higher levels but less by the motion. Every baby is different of course so you have to figure out what works for you and your little one. The point is there are options if the standard settings don't work for you.
When Snoo is on - which it needs to be to respond automatically to your baby when it fusses - there is a level of white noise and continuous movement. This is one of the few criticisms we have of the Snoo as it means you will be sleeping with noise all night and your baby will sleep with some level of movement all night.
White noise is said to be beneficial for sleep but there will be some - adults we mean here - who find it irritating to hear continuously. In the weaning mode the movement stops at the baseline but the white noise is still present. We'd love to see the option to have no noise or movement but the Snoo still respond when the baby starts to fuss.
Features and app control
- Daily, weekly and monthly sleep logs
- Various volume controls
- Weaning mode
- Motion limiter
There are a whole host of features offered by Snoo. It's possible to use the cot without the app - but the app offers so much more control and so many features that we aren't sure why you would want to. If anything, the accompanying app and its features just about justify the price.
There are daily sleep logs, along with data on progress, number of night pick ups, longest sleep, day sleep, and total sleep. Charts show you weekly and monthly progress so when things seem really bad, you can look back and remind yourself that they were probably worse a few weeks before.
There are also a range of different preference options. You can set what volume you want the white noise to start at - with very low, low, normal, high, and very high as options - as well as what volume you want the white noise soothing volume at.
There are also different options for the starting level of motion and how responsive the Snoo is to your baby's cry - with very low, low, normal, high and very high as options.
There is also a weaning feature that Snoo recommends you turn on a couple of weeks before you plan to move your baby into their big cot, turning off the motion but keeping the white noise.
Other features include a toggle to say whether your baby is premature or not, with different and gentler settings then applied if that's the case. As you would expect, you can also start the Snoo Smart Sleeper from the app and pause it, as well as change the level, rather than having to use the physical button on the Snoo itself.
There is no denying that the Snoo is an expensive device, especially when you consider you only use it for around six months of a baby's life. That said, it is a fantastic bit of technology that not only offers peace of mind for parents but our little one really took to it and we believe slept better as a result. He's now in his big cot and is - for now - a great little sleeper.
The design is absolutely fabulous, the Snoo Sack is great, and the accompanying Snoo app is brilliant thanks to so many great features and control elements that you can really tailor the experience to suit both your and your baby's needs.
There are some irks though. Having to have the Sack engaged to turn the Snoo on is a little bit of a pain at times. We'd have liked the option for no movement and no white noise but for the Snoo still respond to our baby when it fussed. And it would be nice if the design on the whole was a little more portable.
Other than those complaints, however, the Snoo is brilliant. It's a big investment but there's probably not much parents wouldn't do for the peace of mind. In our experience the extra few minutes or hours of sleep that we got as a result of the Snoo Smart Sleeper is something we cherish. We used the Chicco Next2Me for our first baby and we'd definitely choose the Snoo if we were to ever consider a third baby.