Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher use $1,160 robo-crib to get baby to sleep, and it's dividing opinion

'I’m eternally grateful to the Snoo'

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Tuesday 27 February 2018 11:41
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Most parents with a newborn baby would give anything for a good night’s sleep but many will tell you that being woken up every hour, the bloodshot eyes and dazed expressions are all implicit with becoming a parent.

However, one company has invented a gadget that promises to put a stop to parental exhaustion with a robo-crib that rocks your baby to sleep for you.

And it has a long roster of celebrity fans including Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.

Speaking on a recent episode of the podcast “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard”, Kutcher revealed that the Snoo Smart Sleeper changed the couple’s lives.

While he admits that getting their eldest child, three-year-old Wyatt, to sleep was a struggle, he explains that the Snoo helped their second baby, one-year-old Dimitri, settle with little-to-no trouble.

“For kid number two we got one of those Snoos,” said Kutcher.

“It’s an oscillating bed…it has a sensor in it so the louder the kid cries, the faster it goes and puts the kid back to sleep, it’s incredible.”

The actor added that the robotic crib helped Dimitri sleep for a full six hours on the third day of life.

“I’m eternally grateful to the Snoo for that.”

So, what exactly is it?

Invented by Dr Harvey Karp, a paediatrician and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, the $1,160 (£830) crib is designed to mimic his famous sleep strategy called "The 5 S’s” – which means swaddle, side or stomach position, shush, swing and suck.

The Snoo comes with a swaddle that clips into the sides of the bed, securing the baby on its back and responds to a baby’s cries by emitting white noise and rocking to soothe them.

If the baby does not calm within a minute, the machine stops, alerting the parent that the baby needs more attention due to hunger or discomfort.

But while it might sound like a miracle cure for many sleep-deprived parents, the Snoo has been faced with criticism online.

Taking to Facebook, critics have been quick to accuse parents who use the Snoo as being lazy and, despite assurances that it is completely safe, share concerns that the swaddle and rocking sensation could cause harm.

“If you’re this lazy you can't pick your child up to sooth him or her should you even have children?,” one person wrote.

Another added, “So basically a sleep prop for until baby outgrows it, then guess what? You'll still have to learn how to sooth your baby.”

However, others jumped to the gadget’s defence insisting that it could prove invaluable to parents who suffer from exhaustion as a result of trying to settle their children and that it’s not designed to be a replacement parent.

“Maybe some people here have no idea what it's like to have a baby that constantly cries with no let up. Just 10 minutes to get a bath would have been a godsend. You guys have no idea,” one parent wrote.

Parenting is a completely personal thing, and what works for one family might not work for another, it’s all about finding what feels right for you and your baby.

As such, if the idea, or more likely the cost, of the Snoo doesn’t appeal to you there is lots of advice out there on how to help your baby sleep.

"Although I understand why the Snoo has been developed as it is, my feeling is that parents can do much more for their baby to help shape their sleep so that they do not become dependent on the crib itself," Heidi Skudder who runs The Parent and Baby Coach - a consulting business specialising in helping parents to get their baby sleeping well - told The Independent.

"The money would be better spent employing a baby sleep Coach to help the parents learn and understand their baby’s sleep patterns, and set up good sleeping habits from the very beginning.

"There are so many things you can do even from the beginning to shape your baby’s sleep such as - providing a mini routine before baby settles to sleep to help them understand bedtime is coming for example feed, story, swaddle, song and then down to bed; ensuring baby is not awake for too long before sleeping so that they don’t become overtired (for example an eight week old baby should only be awake maximum of 1hr 30 at a time before sleeping again), and setting up a calm sleeping environment, with little distraction and a slightly darkened room, perhaps with white noise to like the environment to the womb."

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