Our Favorite High-Tech Bassinets for Cantankerous Tots

We’ve recommended the Snoo for several years. It’s the only true “smart” bassinet, designed by Harvey Karp, who is best known for his books on the “5 S’s” for getting kids to sleep. He described the Snoo to me as an extra pair of hands to rock a baby back to sleep and believes it can add an hour or two of slumber to an average baby’s night. In my experience, his claims check out.

The Snoo listens to your baby and reacts. Motion starts off as a slow side-to-side sway with a subtle waterlike sound that’s meant to mimic the womb, then gets more vigorous if they start crying. The most intense phase is a Jello jiggle, accompanied by more white noise. It has a straightforward app for iPhone and Android phones that records sleep patterns and lets you tinker with how the bassinet responds to your baby. If your baby’s distress reaches Level 5, it automatically stops after a minute or so and sends you a notification. I liked to lock it to a low level and tinker with its sensitivity a bit. 

Unlike every other bassinet, it requires a special sleep sack that connects to its sides and keeps babies on their backs. If the sack isn’t hooked up right, it won’t operate, which the company claims makes it “the safest baby bed ever made.” Stomach sleeping, overheating, and co-sleeping are all possible causes of SIDS

At $1,500, it’s pricey, though you can also rent it for $149 a month. It looks the price, with a clean, modern metal-and-mesh aesthetic. But it’s not perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t react fast enough, and other times it seems too aggressive, particularly as your baby gets smarter. I also wish it had a cover to block some light. And since my child spit up a lot, I was sometimes short on sacks. (Be sure to get a couple extra.) The Velcro on the sacks could also stand to be a bit stronger. Finally, any internet-enabled product comes with some risk, and the Snoo is not invulnerable to hacking. You can turn the Wi-Fi features off, though if you do, you won’t be able to tinker with the settings.

This bassinet should work “from birth to 6 months (or when baby can get on hands and knees).” Read its User Guide here.

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