Smart Bassinet Showdown: Snoo vs. 4moms

If there’s one thing I would tell all soon-to-be parents to consider getting, it’s the Snoo bassinet.

Some bassinet background… 

When we brought our son home he slept – from week one – 3 hour stretches at night and then consistently slept one more hour than his age (i.e. at 6 weeks he slept 7 hours at night; at 8 weeks he slept 9 hours). By around 12 weeks we were consistently getting around 10-12 hours of sleep at night.

Obviously this wasn’t all due to the Snoo. He is a good sleeper in general (we only used the Snoo for night-time sleep or during the day if he was very, very fussy) and we set a bed-time routine from day one.

This is what our bedtime routine looked like: we turned on Hatch (basically blasting him with white noise – but at a safe level). Undressed him and got him ready for bath time. He loved a warm bath, which is great to encourage sleepiness. After the bath we did baby massage and a feeding before double-swaddling him in the Snoo.

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That said the Snoo was without a doubt a huge reason why our son slept so well.

Newborns have a different style of REM sleep. They can thrash around, stretch, twitch, and grunt, which makes parents think that they are on the verge of waking up and as a result they rush in to soothe the baby, when actually the baby is simply experiencing normal REM sleep.

A baby who seems to be waking up may, if left alone, go back to sleep very rapidly. Night wakings are a lot easier and less frequent if parents don’t jump to intervening. The Snoo makes developping this habit easy. If baby is waking you know Snoo will work to sooth your baby and if that doesn’t work it will tell you, it’s time for a care giver to intervene – there’s no wondering or sitting at the edge of your bed.

As I mentioned we also used Snoo during the day when our son was very fussy – I often called Snoo our tranquilizer dart. He would be going “nuts” and we’d put him in the Snoo and it would sooth him, nearly always, in about 30 seconds via movement and noise. Snoo is reactive so it adjusts the level of noise and motion based on how the baby is reacting.

The one downside? Snoo is expensive. (though there is a rental service, but that too can get expensive).

So many parents wonder if they can get the 4moms mamaRoo sleep bassinet as an alternative as it cost about a quarter of the price.

When I went to see my parents for three weeks I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to put the 4moms mamaRoo to the test.

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So how does 4moms compare to Snoo?

The motions with the 4moms bassinet feel more dramatic and have very specific motions that I could see babies either loving or hating (same goes for 4moms mamaRoo4 infant seat). Our son liked the “car motion,” but he didn’t sleep as soundly as he did with the Snoo and I’m assuming there are a few reasons for that.

First, besides the movements not being as close to how it feels when a parent manually calms a child when compared to the Snoo, it only continuously moves for four hours. Some babies only need movement to fall asleep and then they can sleep perfectly fine without it, but that’s not all children. You also need to manually adjust the settings. There are five rocking motions, five speed options and four white noise options  – with the Snoo all the work of finding the right motion, speed and noise (and volume of noise) are all taken care of for you, plus they are always switching automatically to adjust to your child’s needs. Snoo also has a weaning mode for when you transition your child to a crib.

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Bottom line: In the bassinet showdown between Snoo and 4moms you are getting what you pay for. Snoo is simply in its own league. That said, that league comes with a price that doesn’t fit every budget. If your budget doesn’t allow for Snoo, 4moms’ version is the best alternative I’ve come across and, in my opinion, worth the price when compared with using a crib for the first few months.

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