Help Me Decide! Happiest Baby SNOO or 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet
Help Me Decide! Happiest Baby SNOO or 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet
March 21, 2022

Help Me Decide! Happiest Baby SNOO or 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet

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Help Me Decide! Happiest Baby SNOO or 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet.
Help Me Decide! Happiest Baby SNOO or 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet

Ever find yourself stuck between two products and you just can’t make up your mind? Baby registry decision fatigue is real—so Babylist’s Help Me Decide! series is here to help.

The bassinet has gotten a major upgrade in the last few years. What used to be a scaled-down version of a crib is now packed with smart, tech-forward features like motion, sound and even automatic responsiveness to your little one’s cries.

Happiest Baby SNOO and 4moms mamaRoo are two of the most popular smart bassinets among parents-to-be. How do they compare to each other? And which one is the best fit for your family? We put them to the test to find out.

THE SHOWDOWN

Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet

If you’re a new parent or even a parent-to-be, odds are you’ve heard of Dr. Harvey Karp, pediatrician, author and baby sleep whisperer. Dr. Karp’s infamous “five S’s” (swaddle, side position, shush, swing and suck) have helped thousands of parents comfort crying babies over the years. SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet is Dr. Karp’s bassinet brainchild. This beautifully modern bassinet is just as stylish as it is smart. It’s designed to automatically respond to a baby’s cries and fussing with various levels of motion. There’s also a built-in swaddle that ensures baby remains safely on their back. SNOO promises to add one to two hours of sleep per night and help sleep train your little one with minimal crying.

4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet

You’ll likely recognize the 4moms brand from their popular mamaRoo Baby Swing—a parent favorite that moves like you do to rock, swing and comfort your baby. The mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet was designed with the same concept. It features five unique motions that mimic the way you move (car ride, wave, kangaroo, tree swing and rock-a-bye) and five different speeds to gently soothe and calm your little one to sleep throughout the night. You can control everything either manually or via an app and there’s a motion timer to help establish a bedtime routine.

Help Me Decide! Happiest Baby SNOO or 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet chart

THE LOWDOWN

What’s the same?

  • Built-in motion. Both SNOO and the mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet take your everyday baby bassinet up a notch with built-in motion. While the motion activation is different for each bassinet (SNOO automatically responds to your baby’s cries, while the 4moms bassinet requires manual activation—but more on that later), both bassinets offer motion and sound to help soothe your little one when they’re crying or upset. This can help your baby fall asleep and/or stay asleep longer, depending on how you use these features.

  • Modern aesthetic, breathable design. While SNOO delivers a bit more on the minimalist aesthetic, both bassinets have clean lines, neutral colors and a modern feel to them and will fit in with most decor rather than detract from it. Both bassinets also have another important design feature: breathable mesh sides. Besides looking nice, the mesh provides breathability and visibility, two things parents (and safety experts) love in a bassinet.

  • Size and age recommendations. Most bassinets have similar lifespans, and SNOO and mamaRoo are no different. Both can be used from birth until about six months of age or until your baby starts getting up on their hands and knees. Both also have a 25-pound weight limit.

  • Ready to use right out of the box. Few things annoy us more than baby gear that takes two hours and a 50-page instruction booklet to put together. We’re happy to report that assembly for SNOO and the mamaRoo is quick, easy and doesn’t require any tools. (Or any yelling and throwing of said tools.) Another thing to love? Crib sheets are included with each bassinet, making things even more convenient.

  • Mobile app. SNOO and the mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet each have apps you can download right to your phone or tablet. You’ll be able to adjust each bassinet’s motion and sound (among other things) via the app, which comes in handy if you’re in bed or in the other room.

What’s different?

  • Price. We realize we’re pointing out the obvious here but, so be it. Both of these smart bassinets are expensive. One is really expensive. At over $1,500, SNOO is one of the priciest baby gear items on the market. (The mamaRoo Smart Bassinet is also expensive, but more in line with the costs of other comparable smart bassinets.) Is the price worth it? More on that below. But there is one caveat worth noting: SNOO’s rental option. The basic package will cost you $159 each month. There’s a one-month rental minimum, and the price goes down if you rent for over four months. Certainly not a bargain, but a lot easier to stomach than the bassinet’s full sticker price.

  • Automatic response. This is the other main difference between SNOO and 4moms’ Smart Bassinet—and it’s a big one. As we mentioned above, both bassinets are motorized, so you’ll get movement with either option you choose. But…
    • SNOO takes soothing your baby to the next level. It automatically responds to your baby’s cries and fussing, gently rocking and shushing with motion and sound. It moves through increasing levels of white noise and motion (there are five activity levels in all) depending on how much comfort it determines your baby needs. Once your little one calms, it reverts back to the gentle baseline level. If your baby cries for more than a few minutes, motion stops altogether. There are also multiple custom settings you can implement with SNOO, including a Motion Limiter (lets SNOO respond to cries with all four levels of sound but blocks the two most jiggly levels of motion, perfect for the first month), a Level Lock (locks in level one or two motion all night long for motion-loving babies) and a Responsiveness setting that makes SNOO more or less sensitive to your baby’s sounds. The app also keeps a log that tracks and reports your baby’s sleep and progress. There’s even a weaning mode when it’s time to transition your little one from SNOO to the crib.
    • The mamaRoo Smart Bassinet has five different types of motion and five speed options. But, unlike with SNOO, you’ll have to turn these on manually or via the app. (You’ll also need to toggle between them manually or through the app.) While you can set a custom timer, the motion will max out at four hours then automatically shut off. This isn’t an issue during the first few months as most newborns aren’t sleeping in more than four-hour chunks, anyway, but can become one if your baby relies on motion for soothing and starts sleeping in longer stretches.
  • Motion. And while we’re on the topic of motion, SNOO and the mamaRoo both have variable motion settings; however, the type of motion on each bassinet differs. SNOO has one basic motion: side to side rocking. While you can adjust the intensity of the rocking, you cannot adjust the motion itself. The 4moms bassinet, on the other hand, has five unique motions: car ride, wave, kangaroo, tree swing and rock-a-bye. Each is a distinct movement pattern. If your baby isn’t particular about motion, this may not be a factor. But keep in mind that some babies can be quite choosy about which type of motion they prefer, and you won’t know until, well, you know. So it’s something to consider.

  • Swaddle. Swaddling can help your baby sleep better and longer. While you certainly can swaddle your little one in the mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet, SNOO features a unique swaddling system that’s built right into the bassinet itself. SNOO Sacks are easy to get on and attach directly to each inner side of the bassinet. They prevent your baby from rolling into an unsafe position during sleep while simultaneously helping them feel snug and secure.
    • One thing to note here. There are some pediatricians and physical and occupational therapists who recommend either a specific usage window for SNOO (usually around two or three months, tops) or skipping it altogether. That’s because while the built-in swaddle does prevent rolling, it also limits babies’ movements, potentially leading to developmental issues down the road. We recommend speaking with your pediatrician about SNOO to address any questions and concerns.
  • Sleep tracking. While you are able to control both SNOO and the mamaRoo via an app, SNOO’s app takes things an extra step, offering sleep tracking capabilities. You’ll be able to view how long your baby slept and how often they were being soothed via SNOO’s app. This isn’t an option with the 4moms app.

  • Product weight. This isn’t a biggie, but it is worth a mention. SNOO is almost ten pounds heavier than the mamaRoo bassinet. This isn’t a huge deal if you plan on keeping your bassinet in the same spot (which most families do), but is something to consider if you think you’ll be a bit more mobile.

THE VERDICT

Recommending which of these popular smart bassinets is right for you isn’t cut and dry. Both bassinets are luxury items and well over budget for many families. And SNOO is in a league of its own when you consider the cost. Keeping that in mind, here are a few things to consider as you’re making your decision.

SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet may be the right choice if:

  • Price isn’t an issue for you. If you’re interested in the benefits of a smart bassinet and budget isn’t a concern, SNOO is a great choice. Yup, it’s expensive. And while the rental option is more affordable, it’s still not cheap, and it can quickly add up. But. SNOO was first to the game in the world of smart bassinets and automatic motion response, and it shows. It’s a high-quality, well-made bassinet that, for most families, delivers on its promise of helping you and your baby get more sleep. So although you’re paying top price, rest assured that you’re getting a top product.

  • You’ve got a fussy baby who just will not sleep. Time for some real talk. Are there things you can do to help your baby sleep longer? One thousand percent yes. But anyone who’s parented multiple kiddos will tell you that some babies are simply hard-wired to sleep better—or worse—than others. And if your little one falls into the latter category, SNOO may be the answer. Sleep deprivation takes a toll, and even if you’re someone who doesn’t need a ton of sleep, night after night of sleep disruptions can negatively impact you, your mental health and your relationships. Is SNOO a magical sleep cure all? No. But, for some babies, SNOO can definitely help.

    • Note: this is where we recommend taking advantage of SNOO’s rental option. If you can’t or don’t want to purchase SNOO outright, start with a simple, basic bassinet and see how your baby does. Little one sleeping okay? Great. You just saved yourself a lot of money. But if that isn’t the case, try renting SNOO for a month and see what happens. It’s a great way to try it out without forking over thousands of dollars.

You should consider the 4moms mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet if:

  • You’re interested in a smart bassinet at a more affordable price. There are a few motion bassinets on the market, and the 4moms mamaRoo lines up in price with many of them. But it’s definitely the best. Although it lacks the automatic cry response of the SNOO, it’s still really effective in helping soothe and comfort most babies and in helping them to get more sleep. We love that you can choose the unique motion that works for your baby and that it’s not all that more expensive than many standard bassinets on the market.

  • You want sleep help…but not too much. There’s no shortage of resources around on how to get your baby to sleep. While some sleep experts praise SNOO, others think it reinforces the dependence on motion + sleep and makes it even tougher to break when the time comes to move your little one to a crib for independent, unassisted sleep. The mamaRoo is a good choice if you want the option of motion to help soothe your baby but not an all-night motion buffet. And because the bassinet isn’t responding with motion every time your baby fusses, the eventual weaning process may also be easier.

Don’t want to splurge on either of these bassinets? Don’t stress. Lots of babies sleep really well in simple, non-motorized bassinets that you can get for about a hundred bucks. A smart bassinet is a great option but by no means is it a must-have.

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