Posted by on 10/22/2016 to Health
It’s a sound new parents know all too well: The middle-of-the-night wailing of an unsettled baby who needs to be cradled, rocked, cooed and lulled back to sleep for, they hope, a few more hours. For the fussiest babies, it is a ritual that can happen multiple times per night.
A Los Angeles pediatrician fears that’s causing an exhaustion epidemic among new parents and has developed a technological fix that he claims could give them more precious shut-eye. Snoo is an electronic bassinet that gently rocks from side to side and emits white noise to help ease a baby to slumber. The smart crib can also hear when a baby cries in the night and automatically adjust to quiet them back to rest without a parent’s intervention.
The rocking motion and rhythmic sounds of the crib are meant to mimic the womb, a familiar environment for newborns that causes them to relax and fall asleep, said Harvey Karp, who co-founded smart-tech company Happiest Baby with his wife, Nina Montée Karp. He has written several parenting guides, including “The Happiest Baby on the Block.”
Snoo is meant to be used during the first six months after a baby is born, before they are able to crawl and potentially escape its low walls. Unlike human-propelled cradles, Snoo plugs into an electric outlet and moves steadily throughout the night and emits the sound of either soft rain or the womb. Three built-in microphones detect when a baby begins to cry, triggering the bassinet to pick up speed and increase its volume in an effort to calm the baby.
It also comes with a “Snoo sack” that swaddles the baby and clips to the bed, preventing the little one from rolling onto his or her stomach, which Karp said can be dangerous. Karp says the crib does not claim to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, a condition in which an otherwise healthy babies dies in his or her sleep for often inexplicable reasons.
The bassinet has been vetted by product safety regulators but has not been reviewed medically, Karp said. It is being displayed for other physicians for the first time this weekend at the American Academy of Pediatrics national conference in San Francisco.