Rocking Bassinets: Helpful or Hype?

Any parent who has rocked a baby all night, has hoped for a rocking bassinet I loved snuggling with my newborn. Babies smell amazing and I sit and awe at these amazing creatures that my husband and I have created. After a while you realize you need sleep and have responsibilities to handle.

There are two automatic rocking bassinets on the market. The Snoo and the Graco Sense2Snooze Bassinet. Both of these bassinets have the technology to sense when your baby is crying and adjust the rocking accordingly. Keep reading to see what you can expect from a rocking bassinet and which one might be right for you.

The Original Rocking Bassinet: Recalled

My son in the Rock and Play

The Rock and Play was a favorite among many parents. Many parents found that it kept their babies at just the right angle to sleep comfortably.  My oldest never took to it and it was recalled before I had my second son.

This rocking bassinet was recalled due to safety issues. The main issues involved unrestrained infants,. In the picture above my son was not strapped in. If a baby can roll over, or sit up this can lead to an accident.

The Expert Rocking Bassinet: Effective & Expensive

Dr Harvey Karp, author of the happiest baby on the block, invented the snoo bassinet. This snoo bassinet rocks automatically and makes soothing sounds.

The bassinet uses a special swaddle blanket that keeps the baby on its back while in the bassinet. The bassinet also adjust s the intensity of rocking if the baby is crying.

To be honest, the snoo swaddle was my favorite part of this bassinet. It’s breathable, and you can swaddle the baby with one or both of  their arms in or with their arms out.

I purchased the Snoo with the hope of getting some hands free time with my second son. I had high expectations for this bassinet that I could use for 6 months tops. I spent more on this bassinet than I did on my crib which I will be using much longer.

I had unrealistic expectations. I thought I would put my fussy newborn in this bassinet and he would be rocked into a blissful undisturbed slumber…it did not work like that not at first anyway.

The Snoo increases sound and swaying levels to soothe the baby. It will try the highest level for both sounds and swaying for a while but if the baby is still crying after a given time it will shut off.

The first few attempts in the Snoo he cried until it stopped EVERY SINGLE TIME. I was only slightly annoyed. When I picked my son up he normally passed some gas or needed my diaper.

Newborns need lots of attention and for the first 6 weeks. I lowered my expectations. Once my baby was able to go a little longer between feeds, I set my expectations a little higher.

He would go for about 3 hours in the Snoo. Here’s the thing he slept about the same amount of time wether the Snoo was on or off. To be honest my second son is a way better sleeper than my 1st son.

I think the results with the Snoo depends on the baby. It ddn’t add much sleep for my second son but I believed it would have helped with my son. Snoo has a 30 day return policy so you can try it out and see if your baby is one that would be soothed by the Snoo.

Snoo also has a rental program that will allow you to test drive the bassinet. There is a good resale market for the Snoo ….at least in the United States. We plan to sell the Snoo soon, and they hold their value well. They are currently selling for at least 50% of the original price.

If you sign up for e-mail on the Snoo website, they will send you a discount code . Discount codes are valid for a limited time, so I would wait to sign up for the e-mail list until about two weeks before you are ready to purchase. We purchased ours for about 20% off and with a big-ticket item like this it adds up!

Rocking Bassinets : The Affordable Alternative

Graco has developed a bassinet that is flat and also rocks automatically. It is a fraction of the price of the Snoo bassinet.

I did not know this bassinet existed until after I had already purchased a snoo. I’m not sure if I would have purchased it. It’s a little unsettling that this bassinet moves, but there doesn’t appear to be any straps or other mechanism to keep the baby in the bassinet.

On the positive side for this bassinet it appears it can be used with or without cry detection. The Snoo, has an app that may allow you to do this. I tried to connect my Snoo to the app and had a very difficult time, so I’m 100% positive if this is an option with the Snoo.

Babies should be placed in the crib once they become mobile. The guidelines for the Snoo say to discontinue use after baby can get on their hands and knees.

For traditional bassinets, I have read the recommendation that you should not use them after your baby can roll from their back to their front.

Mimi D.

Mimi D is the creator of Dream Plan Smile. An NYC native, she is a wife and mom with a passion for crafting. She holds a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Project Management. In her current role as a working wife and mom, she is getting a crash course in budgeting, planning, & organization.

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