OK, I won’t make you wait to get the answer to this question: your newborn won’t spend all day, every day, in the SNOO! Don’t know what the SNOO is? The SNOO smart sleeper was designed by pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp as a bassinet that uses many of his fabulous Happiest Baby on the Block techniques to soothe your newborn for sleep. It effectively quiets and calms newborns with the touch of a button (almost).
After seeing what the SNOO can do, you may WANT to leave her there all day, peacefully dozing away. That isn’t a reality for most parents. After the first few weeks, and sometimes earlier than that, you will want or need to take your little bundle out of the SNOO and out of your home. You may visit your parents, go shopping, go to the park with older children, etc. Uh-oh! The SNOO can’t come with you! Oh, and by the way, leaving your little one in any device with her head against a surface for too many hours of the day places her at risk for “positional plagiocephaly”. Yes, giving your child a flattened skull. The same cranial bones that are malleable enough to slide through the birth canal can be deformed by letting a child lie in one position too long. So no, you cannot leaver her in the SNOO all day long!
We know that the agitated screaming that is called colic starts on average at 2 weeks after the due date, and peaks around 6-7 weeks of age. For the great majority of babies, serious digestive problems and other medical issues aren’t the reason for all that crying. Babies are often just too little to be able to handle the complexity of post-uterine life in those first few months. Combine individual temperament, limited brain development, and the big shift to the external world’s demands, and their tiny nervous systems get overwhelmed and they end up screaming. Loudly, and often for a long, long time. Parents get exhausted and discouraged. The SNOO does provide the neuro-developmental needs these tiny babies have so they can calm down. But asking the SNOO to solve your baby’s problems all day long is going to mean that you will have to be tethered to it for months!
Thank goodness you don’t have to! Before he developed the SNOO, Dr. Karp created the 5 S’s New Baby? Exhausted? Try The 5 S’s To Pull Things Together. Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s are what will save your sanity when you pop him out of the SNOO and take your show on the road. Knowing how to swaddle, shush, swing, use sucking and the side/stomach positioning (for calming, not sleep) will make your whole day better and more flexible. I teach the Happiest Baby concepts in classes and in individual consultations, and I think that every parent should learn the 5S’s and buy the SNOO.
If the SNOO’s steep price tag has you hesitating, then you definitely need to learn the 5 S’s. Get the video or go to a class. But don’t think that you are a bad parent or that your baby is in trouble because of all that crying. Most newborns are just fine; they just need your help to pull themselves together until they are old enough and skilled enough to do it themselves. Learn to give your baby what she needs, and you all can sleep a little bit better this week!
Looking for more information on the 5 S’s and helping your baby calm for sleep and feeding? Take a look at Successful Swaddling May Take More Layers of Calmness and Why Some Newborns Look Like They Hate To Be Swaddled. As a nationally certified Happiest Baby educator, I love to help parents learn what their little one needs to settle down and make that “fourth trimester” transition!