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The SNOO Bassinet:
The SNOO is a bassinet created by the Happiest Baby on the Block author Harvey Karp. You can strap your baby into its swaddle and it provides motion and sound to soothe your baby.
A Night Nurse/Baby Nurse:
An old-fashioned term for a newborn care specialist, postpartum doula or generally a person that provides overnight care for a newborn. If this person has an actual medical degree [RN, LPN] then they can call themselves a night nurse! If they do not have a medical degree they should go by the title of their training. If they have no training the most popular term is Night Nanny. References to the term night nurse in this article are purely for SEO purposes. Read more about what a night support person does here.
Sleep Safety: SNOO vs Night Nurse
SNOO and Sleep Safety:
The SNOO claims to be a SIDS reducer. This is probably accurate because babies that are laid flat on their backs, in a well ventilated area with nothing else in their crib have lower risks of dying from SIDS. However, there is nothing safety-wise that sets the SNOO apart from any other flat, sturdy bassinet or crib. Babies don’t require to be velcroed into their sleeping position. It’s a fun feature for parents that have fear of their newborns rolling onto their bellies early. However, it isn’t a necessity by any means.
Night Nurses, Sleep Safety and Reducing the Risk of SIDS:
Overnight support will also reduce the risk of SIDS mainly because they should be trained in safe sleep practices and should help parents set up a safe sleep environment. In addition, a well rested, healthy, sober individual in the room with your baby will be attuned to their breathing and other noises that they make, and will be more likely to notice a change.
Cost: SNOO Bassinet vs Night Nurse
The cost of the SNOO is $1495, or you can rent for $129 a month [Plus $89 conditioning fee and $59 return shipping].
A night nanny’s cost VASTLY varies based on your location and their experience. You can expect to pay between $20-$50 an hour for singletons. [As of March, 2021].
The least expensive overnight care would cost $160 a night, which is less than the average cost of renting the SNOO for a whole month. Not everyone can afford a night nurse, but everyone deserves sleep! Renting the SNOO can be a way to have a “helper” to soothe your baby, without actually paying for another warm body to be there.
Quality of Infant Sleep: SNOO vs Night Nurse
How well do babies sleep in the SNOO?
Some parents swear by the SNOO. We have found most of these parents to be online. Most of the parents that we work with don’t actually notice that much of a difference in the quality of their baby’s sleep in the SNOO vs without. SNOO claims that babies don’t get addicted to the motion, and this is simply just not true. Our sleep training department makes a killing helping to decondition older babies off of the SNOO.
As qualified newborn care specialists our job is also to get your baby to get long stretches of quality sleep independently, as soon as possible. Our goal is 12 hours at night by 12 weeks. We definitely use sound machines and the famous “crib wiggle” to achieve this sometimes! However, our methods are individualized to the baby as well as to the current moment/situation. Some night nurses will not sleep condition your baby. They will essentially be a human SNOO who shushes and holds your baby throughout the night.
Do you need a SNOO or a Night Nurse? What we recommend:
If you can afford in-home night nursing support, do it! Especially for the first few weeks, it can be a tiresome and difficult transition. If you have an overabundance of money you want to spend and you want to get the SNOO and have a night nurse, we won’t tell you not to. As an agency that provides in-home overnight support we find that a lot of parents get the SNOO in addition to us coming into their home.
When we are caring for your baby consistently [4 nights a week plus] we do not utilize the SNOO unless directly asked by parents. We will use it as a bassinet with a swaddle but we do not turn it on. Our job is to attend to your body with a caring, interactive human touch as well as avoid creating habits. If we are there less than 4 nights a week we will use the SNOO to mimic how you are utilizing it on your nights so as not to confuse your baby.
If you can only afford to rent the SNOO, I’m honestly not sure if it’s worth the money. They recommend using it for the first six months. Which for a rental would be just over $900. You can buy a lot of swaddles and sound machines for that amount!
Bottom line. If you get the SNOO we recommend keeping it off at night, or on weaning mode. Meaning that when your baby wakes up it wiggles them and shushes them to help them go back to sleep. And/or only keep it on during the first 6 weeks before habits and preferences begin to solidify. We recommend using it as a tool. So if you really need to take a shower or if you need a good night sleep then turn that puppy on!…That being said, the SNOO does not guarantee a baby that sleeps any better than in a plain old bassinet.