Renowned pediatrician and author Dr. Harvey Karp has built a career on helping parents and newborns get more sleep. His latest project, the culmination of nearly five years of research and development, was created with the help of Swiss designer Yves BĂ©har of Fuseproject. The result of their teamwork is called SNOO, the first-ever smart, responsive crib that offers not only a stylish aesthetic, but can also help respond to some of a fussy newbornâ€™s most basic needs. The SNOO crib has built-in sensors to monitor a babyâ€™s crying and adjust its movement and sounds in an effort to soothe a fussy baby who just needs a little help getting back to sleep. Karp and BĂ©har designed this smart crib from the inside out, starting with a brand new drive train -- and the whole thing is packaged in a beautiful bassinet that would fit into the decor of just about any home.
Many parents are already familiar with Karp as a respected pediatrician and the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, which aims to help parents tackle the most basic of infant careâ€”sleepâ€”in a gentle way. He also developed â€śThe 5 Sâ€™s,â€ť a five-step technique for soothing and comforting fussy babies in order to help them sleep. In partnering with BĂ©har, Karp translates his advice into the language of design and technology, in the form of a crib that promises to run interference for tired parents of newborns.
The SNOO crib is the result of nearly five years of research, development, and design work, all focused on addressing one of the top complaints of new parents: lack of sleep. Karp recognized that sleep deprivation can trigger marital problems, postpartum depression, and even child abuse, so he theorized that developing a high-tech response to the common issue could improve the lives of babies and parents at the same time.
The SNOO crib sports a new drive train specifically designed for this product, which creates a rocking motion that can endure millions of cycles, which is substantially more than the typical infant rocker swing. The cribâ€™s movements are designed to help train a babyâ€™s circadian rhythm earlier, which leads to better sleep for both baby and parents in the long run. In conjunction with its gentle movements, the SNOO crib also plays a variety of white noise specific to the amount of the infantâ€™s crying: a low-pitched white noise helps a tired baby fall asleep, while a higher pitched white noise may calm a fussy infant.
The SNOO also helps promote safe sleep with a special sleep sack (included), which allows the infant to be swaddled (which helps most babies feel secure, similar to their time in the womb), and is then clipped to attachment points in the crib to prevent the infant from rolling while sleeping. A shielded WiFi connection lets parents control the cribâ€™s movement and sound from afar (or just across the room), although no interaction is necessary for the smart crib to do its thing.
There are some high-tech infant rockers on the market that already possess some of the features that SNOO boastsâ€”namely the 4moms remote-controlled rocker with numerous settings and options. However, no existing product is designed to sense and respond to an infantâ€™s movement and sounds the way SNOO does. Those skeptical of robots taking over for parents need not worry, as the SNOO crib does not promise that babies will magically sleep through the night or cease to need their human parents in very real ways. What it does, however, is provide a little extra encouragement for babies during restless times, and potentially help parents catch just a tiny bit more shut-eye. Because the SNOO cribâ€™s responses are subtle, itâ€™s easy to imagine thatâ€”over timeâ€”the crib might even help little ones learn to fall back to sleep on their own, without any assistance.
The SNOO crib sells for $1,160 and is available online at Happiest Baby for shipping to US addresses. The high-tech crib is designed for use from birth to around six months, or until the child is able to get into a crawling position.
Images via Happiest Baby