TW: Pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum discussed
It’s no secret that I had a rough postpartum with my second baby. After 41 weeks of hyperemesis, symphysis pubis dysfunction, multiple pandemic lockdowns, a house move and a toddler following me around the house asking me why I was ‘coughing’ into the toilet so much, I was done. I had an intense, spontaneous labour that despite all of my calm birth training and previous labour experience, I was totally out of control of. It ended up with a shoulder dystocia, ventouse delivery and I sprained both of my arms by gripping the bed handles through too many rounds of 7 in 10 contractions. I was then handed a 4.6kg baby boy, and it all made sense as to why he was so stuck. It was a packaging issue for my deliciously chubby baby.
My birth, despite being challenging and NOT what I was expecting, was not traumatic for me. I was well supported by my midwifery and medical team. I was informed, safe and action was taken fast to keep me and my baby safe. My postpartum experience, however, was traumatic.
I was alone in the hospital due to having just given birth in the peak of the Omicron wave of this pandemic. I was discharged home within 24hrs, which I had always known was the plan. O was born on the Saturday, I was home on the Sunday and my husband went to work on the Monday. Looking back, this was the worst planning we have ever done. You see, my first postpartum experience was a dream, so I think we just anticipated that I’d go in, have my baby, come home and crack on. HA!
My body was so physically injured from head to toe, that I remember trying to bake a cake while 2-day-old O snoozed in his bassinet. My fingers and arms were so badly sprained from labour that I couldn’t turn the knob on the oven to turn it on. I would get stuck sitting on the couch because my coccyx was in such bad shape. My clinical oversupply had me diagnosed with bilateral mastitis in the first few weeks, and I leaked through every top I and my husband owned multiple times a day. I had daily chills and shivers and my feet ached like never before. This all went on for months. You can imagine how hard it was for me to lift a 4.6kg baby up.
If all of this wasn’t hard enough, it turns out that O had broken his collarbone during his delivery, although I didn’t discover this until he was about 6 weeks old. He was the saddest baby and so tricky to settle. Like a lot of newborns, he needed to be close and rocked and on me. However, my body just couldn’t sustain that, especially as I was on my own so much. I had baby wraps and carriers and tried my hardest to wear him all of the time, but with a toddler in tow and a broken body, I just couldn’t physically do it. I was devastated and confused.
Enter, the SNOO
In the middle of the night, my superpower of being a pragmatic and expert problem solver kicked into gear. I could see that I was not thriving, which meant none of my family were thriving, and we had almost no support or help – I even told my husband we may as well be living overseas for the lack of help we had. That night I lay in bed and booked a psychology appointment for myself, ordered a meal service for the family, booked a lactation consultant to try and get this oversupply under control and I hired a Snoo.
Now, I’ll be the first to say that when I had my first baby, I knew of a few people with a Snoo and wondered why they needed it. Don’t you just settle your baby to sleep and put them in their bassinet? Well, look who’s laughing now. Well, not laughing. I was mostly crying.
My Snoo arrived 2 days later and the moment I put O in, he was gently rocked to sleep, thanks to its smart technology. The Snoo, designed by Dr. Harvey Karp, was like all my dreams had come true, and I could finally rest my body and/or spend some time with my daughter. You see, the Snoo is your extra pair of hands, helping 24 hours/day, 7 days/week! It soothes your baby when you shower, cook, do Zoom calls… or get some sleep. It automatically responds to fussing – with soothing sound and motion.
That first miraculous settle was not how it always went down with the Snoo and baby O, though. Remember, he’s a human, not a robot, AND unbeknownst to me, he had a broken collarbone. So, things weren’t always smooth sailing.
However, here’s what the Snoo did for me.
- It gave me a moment to have some space to myself, play with my daughter, rest my body, go to the toilet, or heaven forbid, eat something!
- I could stop attempting the impossible mission of transferring an already asleep, yet easily woken baby into the bassinet.
- It gave me peace of mind that he was safe even though he wasn’t in my (sprained) arms, thanks to the Snoo Sleep Sack.
- It helped him re-settle in between sleep cycles more often than not, and if it couldn’t, then I knew to just get him up.
- It meant my husband could put him down for a nap.
- The Snoo App alerted me to him being awake or asleep, so if I was outside with my daughter or if I had made it to the supermarket, I could check on my beautiful boy.
It would be interesting to see how the Snoo goes for families with an ‘easier’ baby. I know some clients I have worked with have described it as an overpriced white noise machine. Do I agree? No. But I can see how some would think that, particularly if you are a bit gun shy with the rocking motion. It’s all in how you use it and how realistic your expectations are.
Will this miraculously stop your baby from fighting sleep, make them have long naps all day every day, and prevent any kind of sleep regression all while folding your washing, making you a cappuccino, and toilet training your toddler? No.
Will it help to settle your baby, give you a break, support your baby between sleep cycles, and help facilitate weaning out sleep associations? Absolutely yes.
At 15 weeks old, O decided he knew how to self-settle for all naps and bedtime. I had played around with the weaning functions but never went hard on them. He also discovered his thumb, which was a game-changer. I transitioned him out of the Snoo and back into his regular bassinet, and to this day, he is still a wonderful independent sleeper. Demonstrative and vocal? Yes. But I wouldn’t change that for the world.
Would I do it again?
If I were to ever have a third baby I would do a LOT of things differently. Gee whiz the list is long. I wouldn’t change hiring a Snoo though. I would probably start with a regular bassinet again, but I would not hesitate in going with one. It was wonderful for us and our circumstances. So much so that I now love having phone consults with families who are looking for sleep advice with the Snoo. Not only that, but I became an affiliate of Happiest Baby on The Block (the company that makes the Snoo), so that I could help more families access this through a discount, because let’s be honest – a Snoo is not cheap.
The Snoo Smart Sleeper bassinet comes with a fitted sheet made of organic cotton, ensuring a comfortable and safe sleep environment for your baby. Their customer service is also top-notch, making it easy to get help if needed.
I hope this review gives you a glimpse into the real life of a sleep consultant – it’s not all perfect naps and 12hrs of sleep by 12 weeks old. I also hope it gives you the confidence to take action if you need it, whether that’s proactively or reactively. Buying a Snoo from day 1 is a wonderful idea, as is starting with a bassinet and knowing that hiring one is an option if you ever need.
The Snoo bassinet is an excellent addition to any sleep-conscious family looking to improve their baby’s sleep patterns, provide a safe sleeping environment with the Snoo Sleep Sack, and make use of the smart bassinet’s features like weaning mode and the Snoo App. While it may not be a magical cure-all, it can certainly provide invaluable support and peace of mind for parents in need of a helping hand.
So, if you’re considering a Snoo for your baby, weigh the benefits against the cost and decide if it’s worth it for your family. For many, the investment in better sleep for both parents and baby can be life-changing.