It’s no secret that one of the biggest challenges of parenting a newborn is the lack of sleep—for everyone in the house. Harvey Karp, M.D., Parents advisor and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, is famous for his trusted (and truly effective) solutions to that problem. His “5 S” method of newborn soothing recreates sensations babies feel in the womb—swaddling, side/stomach positioning, shushing, swinging, and sucking—to help babies relax.
Now he’s taking his methods to the next level with his first consumer product: an infant sleep space that also serves as a night nurse. It’s called the SNOO, and Dr. Karp says it has the potential to add hours—yes, hours—of undisturbed sleep to you and your newborn’s nights. Here are five things you need to know about it:
1. It mimics womb sounds and sensations. Modeled after three of Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s, the SNOO detects your baby’s cries and responds accordingly with rocking and white noise. The white noise increases in volume if your baby gets fussier, and can change pitch depending on her needs. (Softer, rumbling noises help her fall sleep, while louder, higher pitched sounds calm agitation.) The bed’s swinging is designed to mimic a parent’s rocking, and can respond to the urgency of your baby’s cry by slowing down or speeding up. But don’t worry: The SNOO isn’t a total parent replacement. If your baby’s crying lasts for more than three minutes, the SNOO shuts off and it’s your job to step in. This mechanism helps parents learn when their baby is crying because she needs soothing, and when she’s crying because she’s hungry or needs a diaper change.
2. You can control it from your iPhone. The SNOO comes with access to a smartphone app that allows parents to adjust the rocking speed and white noise volume remotely, as well as to program the SNOO to wean their baby off the motion before it’s time to transition to the crib at six months.
3. It’s supremely safe. The SNOO comes with three sizes of a mesh SNOO sack (essentially, a three-second swaddle) that hangs loose around your baby’s legs and is made of breathable organic cotton to prevent overheating. The sack also has wings that clip onto the sides of the SNOO, making it impossible for your baby to roll over. Other safety boons: The SNOO’s low center of gravity makes it nearly impossible to tip over, and mesh sides ensure that your baby sleeps in a well-ventilated environment.
4. It’s crazy stylish. Designed in collaboration with well-known furniture designer Yves Behar and engineers from the MIT Media lab, the SNOO’s dark wood base and white mesh sides are seriously chic. (This may explain—at least in part—why celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johansson, and Zoe Saldana are already singing its praises.)
5. It’ll cost you. This fancy technology isn’t cheap—by any means. The SNOO costs $1,160—significantly more than most cribs! So what do you think—would you dish out over $1,000 if it meant you could (almost) get your pre-baby sleep schedule back?
You can buy the SNOO at happiestbaby.com.
Evin Billington is Articles Intern at Parents. Follow her on Twitter @EvinBillington.