Swaddling smart-crib 'Snoo' grabbing local parents' attention

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Parents of newborns have a lot to juggle and a new smart-crib is promising to help get crying and fussy babies to sleep with ease.

The SNOO Smart Sleeper was designed by renowned pediatrician and author Dr. Harvey Karp along with engineers at MIT.

It matched the age-old swaddling technique with a crib that rocks and plays white noise.

The Happiest Baby product has a video that's showing up on local parents' social media feeds. Reviews are mixed. Some are stating the crib is a lifesaver. Others are questioning whether it's a good fit for babies.

The Snoo Smart Sleeper is certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association along with other regulatory agencies.

Happiest Baby said the Snoo Smart Sleeper also passed independent third-party safety evaluations.

Cleveland 19 News showed moms at The Little Gym in Shaker Heights a promotional video for the SNOO Smart Sleeper.

"It looks cool," said Whitney Forsythe, who has a son who's now 18-months old. She said her son was never swaddled. "He never liked being swaddled," she said. "It seems like a lot of people I talk to are like that. If they (baby) weren't swaddled from day one, they don't like it."

Forsythe thinks the Snoo Smart Sleeper may be the answer to some parents' prayers.

"If they're really desperate for something to get their children to sleep—it's an option," Forsythe said.

Kaitlyn Rabinovitch is also the mom to an 18-month-old. When showed the video of the Snoo Smart Sleeper she jokingly asked, "Do they make an adult version."

Rabinovitch said she's a fan of swaddling. However, she does't like the smart-crib's rocking motion.

"I followed the premise you should not rock a baby to sleep, because then they're always going to need to be rocked to sleep," Rabinovitch said. "So, I wouldn't use this strictly because of the rocking motion."

The Snoo Smart Sleeper costs about $1,000.

"I feel like parents are willing to pay for as much as needed to make it easier on them," Rabinovitch said.

Online reviews and comments on social media question if the swaddle sack is too tight and if the rocking motion is too strong.

Happiest Baby told Cleveland 19 News, "The safety of babies is our primary concern too. SNOO mimics the bouncy motions of the womb. That's why so many parents dance with their fussy babies, bounce on yoga balls, go for quick walks, or go on a car ride and try to jiggle their baby by hitting every speed bump and pot hole in sight. For many babies, the jiggle is key for calming their upset!  SNOO's gentle jiggle has been engineered for safety and the bed platform only moves about 0.25 inch back and forth."

Dr. Erin Frank, a pediatrician with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital offered this advice.

"One of our challenges as pediatricians is that as new products come on the market it's really hard to say what the safety testing for things are," Frank said. "But we also recommend that if you're having a baby swaddled in any kind of sleep environment that you make sure that they're safest on their back and really work early on getting them adjusted to a normal sleep environment."

Dr. Frank said swaddling is meant for babies up to about three months of age. "But any time a baby is showing evidence that it may roll you really need to get them out of the swaddle," Dr. Hunt said, because it can increase the risk of the child having a sleep related death.

Dr. Hunt said when it comes to swaddling- space is key.

"You want to make sure that you can at least insert a couple of fingers between the swaddle and the chest- that it's not too tight that it can affect their breathing in any way," Dr. Hunt said. "We also want to make sure the swaddle isn't too tight around the babies hips. Make sure that they're able to  sort of bend their knees and flex their hips at the bottom and move around."

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