I consider myself fairly tech-savvy. I mean, I have an iPhone, an iPad, a Kindle, and several gaming systems. I cannot live without my FitBit and would kill for an Apple Watch, but the Snoo self-rocking cradle: this … this is something I cannot seem to wrap my head around. (Though, admittedly, I am intrigued.)
The man behind this “high-tech madness” is Harvey Karp, a pediatrician and best-selling author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. According to Karp, he developed the Snoo because, well, cribs haven’t changed much over the last several thousand years:
“If you look at the design of baby beds,” Karp told Wired, “they haven’t changed in probably 3,000 years. They’re really just boxes you put babies in to keep the rats away.”
While Karp’s analogy may not be the best, he is right: cribs and bassinets haven’t changed that much, but do they really need to change? If you ask Karp — and engineers from the MIT media lab — yes, yes they do. Because our cribs, cradles, and bassinets have been missing one important thing: technology. Technology which has the power to help us parent and to help our little ones develop in the best and most natural way possible.
And while cribs don’t need microphones and motors, regardless of my skepticism, the premise is pretty darn cool. Why? Because the bassinet uses microphones, motors, sensors, and speakers to determine when a newborn babe is upset or stirring and responds to said cries with a gentle rocking motion and a soothing shushing noise. And this is important because the swivel motion, coupled with the shushing sound, actually mimics a womb-like environment — which Karp believes is integral for newborn development.
“This [bed] takes babies’ sleep into the 21st century.”
The downside? The price. In fact, since the Snoo comes in just under $1200 — $1160 to be exact — it is an unreasonable purchase for most parents. However, I will say this: if I could have given someone $1200 for an extra hour of sleep every night (or more), I would have sold all of my aforementioned gadgets years ago. So while the Snoo may seem gratuitous, it is certainly an investment worth considering.