The Fear of Losing Sleep

The first time I ever found out I was pregnant, the first thing I looked up was newborn sleep. I was only 2 months in, but I was so freaking worried about the lack of sleep I’d only heard nightmares about. Sleep is so important for everyone, in my book it’s right up there with eating and drinking water. I can’t think of anything more important. And I am a damn near diva about it!

For decades I have relied heavily on my own sleep props. First came my addiction to an eye mask. Next, as I grew older and shared my bed with a snoring partner, came my need for ear plugs. Then I added in a sound machine, which I remained dependent on even when I moved out of my partner’s bedroom into my own next door (I love him, but I sleep so much better alone). Eventually I realized I could barely breathe and threw in nose strips. Then my dentist recommended a mouth guard and taping my mouth shut. All this to say, once I walked out of the guest room at my parent’s house when we were visiting and my dad actually gasped and stumbled when he saw me, thinking I was some kind of murderer all taped up like that. 

When I realized I was pregnant and sleep loss was in my near future, I freaked a bit, as some moms might. As women, we are the only ones baby really wants at night, and ironically we are the ones who suffer the most from lack of sleep (our complex hormones just don’t handle it the same way men’s do). Needless to say, figuring out how to get my baby to sleep was top of my list. It didn’t even occur to me to google childbirth tips until 6 months later (!!)—I was so obsessed with the idea of newborn sleep. 

Back then, I didn’t know about the SNOO Basisnet. I think it had just barely been released, and somehow my searches took me to other places. Not with my second babe. Fast forward a few years and with my next little one, I knew what was coming, and yes, I was terrified again. The first time was, indeed, as rough as they say. I had major postpartum anxiety and most of the time felt really scared I was doing it all wrong. Add to that a lack of sleep, and my mental health really collapsed. It was emotional, it was chemical. I did not enjoy it.

In the first few weeks of having an additional child, two things became clear: 1. Everything felt a little better in that I knew what I was doing and wasn’t quite as scared of handling my newborn and screwing it up forever, and 2. I was still losing sleep. Maybe even more than the first time, as my second baby spent many nights up every 45 minutes. Getting a 2 hour stretch was bliss. I was getting desperate. 

I went down the rabbit hole again, and this time every search was flooded with recommendations for the SNOO Bassinet. They said it rocked. They said it worked. They said it would get me at least an hour or two of extra sleep. So this time around I decided to give it a try. 

Does the SNOO Bassinet Rock Too Hard? 

I have to admit I was a little taken aback while watching the SNOO rocking on its highest level. The baseline rocking is awesome, and it rocks gently through the whole night. (Note: the SNOO can be used as a regular bassinet, but if you don’t start the night with it on baseline rocking, it won’t turn on by itself when your baby needs it). The gentle movement really did keep my tiny one sleeping longer, for which I felt very grateful. I would say I did get at least an hour or two of extra sleep. The part that gave me pause was watching the faster settings in action, especially the final speed which is the last attempt to get your baby to relax before the machine gives up and a parent needs to step in (a very wise safety feature). It rocks… like, really rocks. Pretty darn fast. But here’s what the maker’s of the SNOO Bassinet have to say about it on happiestbaby.com:

“SNOO’s motion is designed to imitate that motion. That’s why its highest level—and all levels—are perfectly safe. At the jiggly-est speed, SNOO’s platform only moves ¼ inch back and forth.

In fact, not only is SNOO safe, but many babies require a fast jiggle to turn on their Calming Reflex. This is why doctors recommend parents bounce on an exercise ball or put their baby on top of the drier. These time-tested tricks use jiggly motion to soothe babies and make them sleepy…and so does SNOO!

However, if your baby doesn’t need the fast speed to be soothed or doesn’t seem to like it when SNOO moves faster—or if you don’t feel comfortable with the motion —simply use the App to select the Motion Limiter setting. That will allow the sound to advance in response to crying, but will prevent the motion from going over level 2 (green).”

In addition to the jiggling safety, The Happiest Baby also states:

“The safety of babies is incredibly important to us! We’ve done extensive testing and SNOO meets or exceeds all Consumer Product Safety Commission, Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association, FCC, UL safety standards for bassinets and consumer electronics. SNOO also:

Indeed, the box the SNOO comes in says it’s “The safest bassinet ever made.” And seeing its list of safety precautions does bring on the warm and fuzzies. Since the SNOO Bassinet has been tested for the rocking and comes out all good, I’m all good with the SNOO… Almost. This is where my other concern comes up, which is with the SNOO’s EMF exposure. 

Another SNOO Safety Concern

Now for the disclaimer: I stopped using the SNOO Bassinet when I learned about EMFs, which you can learn more about in this post: Does the SNOO work without wifi?

If you can get past the EMF issue (I could not), then don’t worry about the rocking. It may look fast to watch, but apparently many babies enjoy fast movement, and we know now that it has been tested. While I could see the gentle baseline rocking did help my little one sleep longer, the stronger levels that kicked in when my baby started crying didn’t do much to soothe him. Still, I list my reasons in the post linked above for times when the SNOO might be worth taking the risks of the unknown, and I can see from experience that those extra couple hours of sleep can mean everything when you’re in those crazy rough beginning months.

Good luck for good nights! 

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