From the pediatrician who reinvented swaddling comes the most advanced baby sleeping solution ever. But does it work? The side effects of getting too little sleep can feel a bit like a hangover—or being tipsy, but without the fun and social part. Parents experience a lot of joy, but the first three to six months of raising a newborn can also be a marathon of sleep deprivation on par with Navy SEAL training.
Getting just 15 minutes more sleep can sometimes be a life saver, literally.
On Thursday, the Garden State became the first in the US to launch a universal baby box program in an attempt to reduce infant mortality rates. This was difficult to pull off, and had to be perfect—the tiniest squeak or chunking of a gear would ruin the entire purpose of this device.
Because exhausted parents make stupid mistakes. Of the 3, sudden unexpected infant deaths tracked by the Centers for Disease Control each year, are due to accidental suffocation in bed.
Many of those are the result of exhausted parents who bring infants into their own bed, or worse, fall asleep next to them on the couch.
SNOO, which was released in October, is a smart baby bed, part of the emerging universe of connected devices for your home. But it also allowed her, at times, to stay in bed a bit longer.
A desperately bleary-eyed parent will pay almost anything for a few more winks. SNOO is not cheap: One way to do that is by wrapping your baby up in a blanket, snug as a bug in a rug.
When The Happiest Baby came out in and recommended that parents swaddle their newborns, it was an instant trend. Well into the s, swaddling was a widespread practice until doctors came to believe it was harmful to children because it straitjacketed their mobility. And that remained a an option for pediatricians all the way until gen-Xers were born. Now, of course, your doctor could be put in jail for doing such a thing. With the baby safely strapped to the bassinet, the real magic begins.
But swaddling is back in a big way.
Despite being responsible for this resurgence, Karp has never released a swaddle blanket of his own, until now. The SNOO will not work unless these straps are in place. When you first put a baby into the SNOO and turn it on, either via a button on one end or using the mobile app, it starts to jiggle while making a low shooshing noise. There are four different levels of sound and motion, each lasting about six minutes.
Karp says the motion is probably like what a baby feels in the womb when mom goes up and down stairs. The sound, which comes from a small speaker under the mattress, is similar to rain on a rooftop, but set at a lower pitch. The SNOO glides through each level, down, down, down, until the child is asleep.
The majority of these suffocation fatalities occurred while babies were in bed. If the item you ordered is sold out, not in stock, or discontinued we will not be able to complete the purchase of the desired item as quickly as we would like, because we no longer have your payment information.
Anyone who has dozed off during a plane takeoff, a train ride, or a long road trip can appreciate why this is an effective technique for putting a child to bed. Three microphones around the rim of the sleeper listen to the baby so that when she wakes or cries out, SNOO will increase the amount of motion and volume of the white noise in order to lull her back to sleep.
If the baby makes noise for three minutes, SNOO automatically shuts itself off—it knows that the baby needs more than it can provide. Other than that, it moves continuously all night long. Karp says it will be no harder than breaking a baby of other habits, such as using a pacifier or a dangling musical mobile.
Or perhaps just having a bigger house would have solved things. Still, the SNOO is something of a technological marvel. The real breakthrough is the internal motor. A retired automobile engineer helped the team devise a brushless gimbal that allows the crib to change speed as well as amplitude smoothly and without any gears—a set of rubber O rings run back and forth on a track instead.
This was difficult to pull off, and had to be perfect—the tiniest squeak or chunking of a gear would ruin the entire purpose of this device. And it had to stand more hours of wear and tear than your average baby swing. Those work great but are only made to run for about an hour a day, and go back and forth maybe , times. The SNOO is meant to be used 14 hours a day for six months, and is built to run for at least 2 million cycles.
It can be used to fix minor problems or add new features. The app was initially going to be much fancier, says Karp. In , when his team members began to work on the sleeper, the quantified self was the tech trendlet of the moment. They were going to include a bunch of analytic data points about the baby, primarily to measure sleep. But over time they realized that the data was kind of pointless.
The SNOO itself did the thing that so many IoT products fail to do, which is use data and feedback to provide an actual solution. So the app was simplified to be a fancy remote control that lets a parent stay in bed while adjusting the activity level of a crib that might be in another room.
And there is a weaning feature in the mobile app to help with the transition to a crib that was overlooked. The story has been updated to reflect these changes.
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