So, anytime I post anything on my Instagram about Scarlett sleeping through the night, I’m talking generally 10-12 hours a night now, or anything about the SNOO bassinet I get tons of DMs asking how I do it and if the SNOO is “worth it” – and for good reason ‘cus for about $1300..it certainly ain’t cheap.
First things first let me just say this – no bed, no matter what it claims, is going to magically make your baby sleep through the night without you putting in some TIME AND effort to help teach your baby how to do so.
Secondly, I hate the term “sleep training.” My daughter is not a puppy. I did not train her to do anything. Instead, I am TEACHING her. I am teaching her that learning how to sleep well is super beneficial. For her, for mommy and daddy, and even for that fat golden retriever that sleeps in mommy and daddy’s room with her and is exhausted if he doesn’t get a good night’s sleep. 😂
Third – I am no expert and I don’t claim to know it all or have it all together. I still struggle with many things just like every other mama. However, I do think that I’ve done a pretty good job at teaching my daughter how to sleep and I’m pretty proud of it. That being said, if you are fine with the way in which your child is sleeping regardless of what that means, then great! This is not meant to be a post to compare yourself or your child to and it certainly is not meant to be a post to say that I know all the answers because I DO NOT….no one does when it comes to parenting. I am just sharing what I have learned and what has worked well for us because well, many of you asked! Also side note last night she had a bad night and kept waking up crying! Which was so unusual for her because she’s been sleeping through the night for a while now. But alas it’s more proof that I don’t have it all together at all times and regardless she is still a baby! lol
Okay now that I’ve said my little disclaimers lets get into it.
First let’s start with the SNOO. If you don’t know what the SNOO is you can check it out here. Basically though, it’s a bassinet that was created by a pediatrician named Dr. Karp that rocks your baby and plays white noise to help them fall asleep. He also wrote the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and knows a thing or two about baby sleep (highly recommend the book btw, and it’s much cheaper than the bassinet lol).
Before I even became a mommy I had seen this bassinet circulating around Instagram and really wanted to get it because so many people rave about it. But because of the price I did not and we got the Halo bassinet instead, which is certainly a great alternative. However, due to my lack of sleep in those early days and being desperate to find the magical cure to making my baby sleep through the night, we thought the SNOO was the answer to our prayers.
We got the SNOO and I was so beyond excited to try it out. We got it right when Scarlett was around 4 weeks old, so yes we were still struggling with lack of sleep and waking up every 3-4 hours or so at that point. The SNOO advises you that it will likely take some time for your baby to adjust to this bassinet and they recommend getting the baby almost all the way asleep before putting them to bed so this was what we did in the beginning.
Slowly over time Scarlett began to sleep more and more at night. HOWEVER, I had also just taken the takingcarababies newborn sleep class and was implementing the techniques I had learned from this course. We also began to do a nighttime routine with Scarlett around this time (4 weeks old) and continued to do the same routine every single night so she would learn that these cues meant it was time for bed.
Once Scarlett was using the SNOO and we saw it rocking her side to side when she slept I began to worry that she would become too used to this and need that motion every time she slept. So we set it to the “weaning” mode so it would only rock her if she cried, not just automatically when we put her down in the bassinet. We also set the threshold higher for her crying so that it would allow her to cry for like 30 seconds or so before the bed did anything to try and soothe her. I didn’t want her to NEED these things to fall asleep or fall back asleep.
By 6 weeks old Scarlett was sleeping 6 hours at a time during the night and it slowly built up and up from there until now where she is sleeping anywhere from 10-12 hours a night at 3 months old. What I learned was that babies should be able to sleep for a stretch of hours that matches how old they are.
So what I mean by this is once they are 6 weeks old they should be able to sleep for about a 6 hour stretch. 7 weeks = 7 hours, 8 weeks = 8 hours, etc you get the point. So now that she is over 12 weeks old she should be able to sleep for about 12 hours assuming that she has gotten her caloric needs in throughout the daytime.
The other night I put her down at 7:45 pm and she slept through until 6:15 am….and I forgot to turn the SNOO on so, it really had nothing to do with that. The night before last night I put her down at 7pm and she slept until 7:30am. Last night was an anomaly of her having a bad night and I’m not going to let it ruin the progress we have made – we’ll figure out the issue! I’m blaming the full moon 🤣
Do I think these full nights of sleep are because we have the SNOO bassinet? Honestly, no. I think it’s more so because of the things I did early on to create a routine for her at night AND the things we implemented with her that I had learned from the newborn sleep class. I think the SNOO is great and can help many parents who are struggling to get their babies to sleep, but I don’t think it’s the reason we personally have got her to sleep so well.
There are certainly many great things about the SNOO:
- It plays white noise right underneath her head – newborn babies are used to noises like this because when they were in the womb, blood rushing through the placenta was very loud and sounded similar to this loud whooshing noise that a white noise machine can make.
- I like that the swaddle that comes with the SNOO actually attaches to the side of the bed and prevents her from moving around at night. This was actually an issue we had with the Halo bassinet – we would wake up in the middle of the night and she would have some how wriggled herself down to the bottom of the bassinet and her feet would be sort of smooshed against the end. It also gave me peace of mind that she wasn’t going to somehow end up with her face pushed against the side of the bassinet and not be able to breathe (though most bassinets these days have some sort of mesh siding to them so that if this does happen the baby can still breathe).
- Many times in the beginning it did help her fall back asleep with some light rocking from side to side. It certainly does help with what it’s supposed to help with and if your baby continues to cry it will shut off all together and alert you that your baby likely needs help – i.e. they are hungry or need to be changed, etc.
- It looks nice. If you care at all about a visually appealing bassinet, I think this one certainly does look very nice. However there are definitely other bassinets out there that can look nice in your bedroom for a lot less money if this is something you really care about.
The downside of the SNOO:
- Obviously first and foremost – the price. To be honest it’s pretty ridiculous to have a bed for a baby that costs so much money. We certainly will keep it and use it for our next baby but in the end I’m not sure the price was worth it just because I do feel that the other things we did are really what helped her become such a great sleeper. We were fortunate enough to have it gifted to us by a family member.
- Because I worried that she would get too used to the SNOO and the movements of it etc, I went right to the weaning mode from the beginning. However, this could potentially be an issue for some parents when you transition the baby to a crib and they are too used to what the SNOO does. They do have some info on their website about how to ween them out of the SNOO. We haven’t done this fully but I have been putting Scarlett down for naps in her crib almost every day to help her get used to her bedroom and her crib so that when the time comes to make that transition, it will hopefully be much easier. In the beginning she was only napping 20-30 minutes at a time in her crib, but since I have stuck with it, I have gotten her to take naps anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours now!
With all of that being said you might be thinking – well okay Emily if it wasn’t the SNOO, what are these things that you did to help her sleep through the night then?
First I am going to say – I don’t want to share everything I learned in the takingcarababies newborn sleep class because I just think that’s kinda rude and morally wrong. The woman that created this class worked very hard to do so and I don’t think it’s right for me to “spill” everything I learned in that class. I think if you’re struggling to get your baby to sleep then you should head over there and check out the classes she offers and purchase one if you’d like to (she has more than just the ones for newborns FYI). I’m not sponsored by her or anything LOL I just really believe in what she teaches.
I also know that it is not solely the SNOO that helps her sleep so well at night because we recently traveled for Thanksgiving and because we implemented the same things we do at home to help her sleep well, she still slept through the night (about 7pm to 6-6:30am). Every night. In her Uppababy Vista bassinet.
I will share with you a few bits and bobs about what I am personally doing – some things from her class, some things just from my own research and what’s work for us – to help Scarlett sleep well through the night:
- Feed your baby every 2-3 hours during the day. This was the main thing I learned from the newborn sleep class. This might seem pretty obvious but after taking the class I paid much more attention to the time I fed her and when I would need to feed her again. Granted I was mostly doing this before, but now I really pay attention to it and I do NOT let her go more than 3 hours, occasionally 3.5, between feedings. Yes, even if that means waking her up from a nap, we do it. The thing I learned from her class was this: think of your babies tummy as a gas tank. If the baby’s tummy gets filled up enough throughout the day, then there will be no need for them to wake up in the middle of the night to feed! (Of course please listen to your pediatrician, if your baby is struggling to gain weight or they are telling you that you need to wake the baby up in the middle of the night to feed them, you should do it – I’M NOT A DOCTOR!) Also this means by the time they are like 6 weeks or so they should be able to sleep 6 hour stretches at a time without eating and it only increases from there the older they get like I stated above.
- Create a bedtime routine. This was something I had learned previously and knew I wanted to do with Scarlett before she was even born. Just from having nannied and worked with children for so long in my life, I had seen first hand how the babies/children that have a set nighttime routine that is followed almost every night, usually sleep much better than those that don’t. Granted there are some nights it doesn’t go exactly the way you want or something comes up that disrupts it – you still have to live your life, but trying to do the same routine pretty much every night really helps. For us this means:
- Daddy gives her a bath every other night.
- Then we go into her room (which is also very important because you want them to get used to their bedroom for when you transition them to their crib) which is all set up and ready for her: that means the lights are low, just a lamp is on and not the overhead lights, her jammies are out and ready and her diaper is ready too. We put lotion on after every bath all over her body and face, brush her hair, put on a fresh diaper, and then move on to the next step. If she doesn’t get a bath that night then we skip the lotion and brushing her hair but still do everything else the same.
- Then we go into our room which again is all set up for her bedtime: lights are off, white noise machine is on, and just a dim nightlight is on (her hatch baby rest that has the nightlight and noise machine – definitely a must have). And yes we have this white noise machine in addition to the one that’s built into the SNOO. Then one of us will then give her a bottle.
- Then we put her in her swaddle, kiss her, give her her binky, maybe sway back and forth for a minute, and put her in her bed. She is not asleep when we put her in her bed. This is because if you wait to put them down until they are fully asleep it actually creates more of an issue. It doesn’t help teach them how to put themselves back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night (like every single human being does even if you don’t remember it). It usually creates an issue because they fall asleep in your arms and then they wake up in their bassinet which is a completely different place and it sort of scares them. So we always make sure to put her down when she is sleepy but not fully asleep just yet!
- We started doing this next step when she was about 2 months old (should have started it earlier) but we aren’t doing it anymore. However when they are younger and need to eat more it’s a great thing to do. We would wake her up again when we go to bed around 10/11ish to give her another feeding, sometimes called a dream feed. This is especially helpful when they are younger (and still need to eat more frequently) because we realized that we could either allow her to keep sleeping and she would wake up around 3/4 am for another feeding OR we could feed her again around 10/11 and she would stay asleep until 6ish instead. So for us this worked really well. Also side note – as she gets older we will add in reading to her every night too, something that I think is so important to do! We will probably start doing this around 5/6 months. Right now I try to read at least one book to her most days during the actual day.
- Keep working on naps. In the beginning of her life, even when she began sleeping better at night and started sleeping 6, 7, 8 hour stretches at night, she wasn’t a great napper. BUT, I always kept trying. She would only sleep for sometimes 20 minutes at a time but every day I kept trying to make those naps last longer and now she is becoming a much better napper! It’s super important to not only pay attention to how often they are feeding, but also how frequently they are napping. We make sure we at least offer a nap every 1.5-2 hours (and more frequently when she was younger) otherwise she gets overtired. This means swaddled, white noise machine one, and curtains pulled so it’s dark. More sleep during the day does NOT mean they won’t sleep at night and we are living proof of that!
Anyway, there are likely other little things we do that have helped her become such a good nighttime sleeper, but again I don’t want to share everything I learned in that class because I just don’t feel like it’s right. The class I took was $75 and SO worth it. Ask for it for Christmas or save up for it, I promise it’s worth it in my opinion! She also offers a 3/4 month class (which if you have done the newborn class, I have heard it’s pretty similar to that) and a 5-24 month class which I have heard really great things about. If we get to a point where we are struggling again I will likely purchase the 5-24 month class.
The last thing I want to say here is this: just remember this all takes TIME. I didn’t get Scarlett to sleep so well automatically and I wasn’t just “lucky/blessed to have a baby that sleeps well.” She, just like any other baby out there, did not know how to sleep well in the beginning and so I took the time and put in the effort to help teach her how to do so. Basically, its taken almost 3 months to get her to sleep as well as she does now for 12 hours a night! She also, just like every other baby out there, would not have been able to sleep for long stretches of time in the beginning of her life because when they are that young they do need to wake every few hours or so to eat and therefore grow. Every baby is capable of sleeping 12 hours a night by the time they are 3 months old. If you don’t agree with me on that, then so be it. What you choose to do with your baby and her sleeping patterns is your choice. I’m just sharing what I have done and learned because this mama wants to be able to sleep and have her sanity. So, just remember that if you’re struggling with getting your baby to sleep and you want him/her to sleep better, you’re going to have to take the time and put in the effort to make that happen, they don’t just learn this on their own. Things may change for us when she transitions to her crib fully and that’s okay. I’ll share those phases with you guys too but I also know that I’ll just keep putting in the work to help her learn how to sleep because I know she is capable of it. Just like anyone else, we also still have our days where she just won’t nap very well or is fussy or whatever it is, regardless, she’s still a baby after all.
I hope this was helpful for anyone out there considering the SNOO or struggling to get your baby to sleep at night! Feel free to comment down below with any questions or as always you can send me a DM on Instagram! (@thebeautyintypeone)
Thanks for reading!