Will I ever sleep again?

If you've been asking yourself this question lately, I'm here to tell you two things. One, you're not alone. And two, yes. You'll sleep again—eventually. And the hard truth is that every single baby is different; their needs are different, they achieve developmental milestones at different times, they gain weight differently, etc. And as vulnerable new parents, we can't fall for the marketing hype of sleep books and products that promise the Holy Grail for sleep-deprived moms and dads. Because the hard reality is that most newborns don't sleep through the night.

So, when can we expect to sleep through the night? "It takes (on average) 17 weeks of life for an infant to develop mature sleep patterns. Yep, that's about four months," said Dr. Ari Brown, an Austin, Texas-based pediatrician and author of Baby 411. Dr. Brown's definition of "sleeping through the night" is six hours of uninterrupted sleep.

In her book Baby 411, Dr. Brown explains that you cannot spoil a newborn.

"They can't settle on their own— and we must do what it takes to get our baby to sleep," says Dr. Brown.

So, what can we sleep-deprived parents do to get our baby to sleep?

In addition to reading all there is to know about newborn sleep, I decided to test the top two smart sleepers on the market: Cradlewise and the SNOO. I was determined (and desperate) to see which one helped our family catch some extra ZZZs.

But before we dive into comparing the two, I know you're all asking this one question: Is it worth it? I get into this towards the end of the article, but I’ll tell you now: Yes. It’s worth it. Since my daughter Zoey was 13 weeks old (she's now almost four months), she's been averaging 6.5 hours of sleep. She is soothed and bounced back to a deeper sleep when she begins to stir, and the smart detection has helped our entire family get precious hours of continuous sleep. Zoey thrives during the day due to her night sleep, and we're grateful to kiss her goodnight knowing she's in one of the safest, most innovative, and most comfortable smart sleepers on the market.

So, which one is my daughter sleeping in? Keep reading to discover which smart sleeper was the smarter choice for our family.

Sarah, Founder of Poppylist, 38 Weeks Pregnant

What is a Smart Bassinet?

The term “smart sleeper” was invented and patented by SNOO, but now many brands have come out with versions of the smart bassinet. A smart sleeper is often similar in appearance to a traditional bassinet yet contains technology designed to detect your baby’s movements and adapt to their needs. For example, a smart sleeper can analyze your baby’s actions or cries and decide what type of motion is best for their current state, whether it’s a soothing rocking or a more active bouncing. Many also offer sound features like white noise.

Some smart sleepers can also adapt based on your baby’s age, varying the intensity of the movements. You can control and monitor the smart sleeper via an app on your phone to keep tabs on your baby from anywhere, anytime. Now that you’re familiar with smart sleepers, let’s dive right into both products.

Cradlewise vs. SNOO: At-A-Glance

Cradlewise and SNOO Comparison Chart

Cradlewise Pros and Cons:

The most immediate pro worth sharing is the bounce feature of the Cradlewise. Yes— it works, and my baby loves it! Since Zoey was 13 weeks, she’s been averaging 6.5 hours of sleep in the Cradlewise. You can learn more about her perfect sleep recipe further below, but we love how the Cradlewise detects an early wake-up and bounces before she starts fussing. When Zoey begins grunting or fidgeting, the Cradlewise begins bouncing before we need to go in and soothe her.

The bounce feature has saved me hundreds of trips of running into Zoey’s room and sticking the pacifier back into her mouth. Fun fact: Cradlewise is the only crib on the market that automatically soothes your baby BEFORE they cry. What’s not to love about a built-in night nurse?

Another pro worth noting is the built-in camera. As an already overwhelmed parent, it was nice not having to research another product since the Cradlewise comes with the built-in baby monitor, a value worth more than $300. Finally, a huge pro is the recommended length of use, which is up to 24 months. That’s 18 months longer than the SNOO. A benefit I know practical parents everywhere will love. So if you’re debating between the two based on cost, then Cradlewise provides a better bang for your buck.

As you noticed in the comparison chart above, assembling the Cradlewise takes longer than the SNOO. While pregnant, you'll likely need to rely on your support partner to help build the crib. Pro tip: Assemble it in the room where you want to have your baby sleep. Another drawback to the Cradlewise is that there's no button to turn on/off the crib completely. So unless you have the bounce & white noise set to auto, you'll need to have your phone nearby to operate the crib's features. Lastly, there is a small light on top of the Cradlewise bar. You cannot turn off this light, it can only be dimmed, so we had to put some electrical tape on the light to ensure complete darkness.

Cradlewise Built-In Baby Monitor

SNOO Pros and Cons:

Aside from the sleek design of the SNOO, one benefit is the ability to purchase the brand's Leg Risers. These can help ease a reflux baby or assist with congestion. The SNOO is also smaller in size and closely resembles a bassinet. So if your space is smaller or you prefer to have your baby sleep right next to your bed, the SNOO might be a better fit for your family. Another benefit of the SNOO is that your purchase includes three swaddles ($96 value). One less thing to add to your Poppylist baby registry! And finally, it's worth mentioning the stellar reputation and cult-like following of SNOO parents. It's reputable and backed by hundreds of thousands of parents— so you can feel confident that your chances of liking it are pretty high.

A significant drawback to the SNOO is that it never stops rocking, even when your baby is fully asleep. The SNOO's baseline level includes a gentle rocking motion that keeps your baby moving all night long, and there's no option to turn this off without turning off the entire SNOO. In addition, this means that the white noise stops. So, we often found ourselves using the SNOO without motion and a separate sound machine inside our bedroom. You might be wondering— do the SNOO features work without the swaddle? And unfortunately, no. The SNOO swaddles have clips on the sides that must be connected for the motion and white noise to start.

Zoey Inside the SNOO. See swaddle clips.

Cradlewise vs. SNOO: Price

The Cradlewise comes with a built-in baby monitor valued at $300. However, Cradlewise recently rolled out a new Plan Your Purchase program where parents can save up to $600 on Cradlewise by planning their order in advance.

‍The SNOO costs $1,695, compared to Cradlewise, which costs $1,999. That makes the SNOO $304 less than the Cradlewise.

The SNOO comes with three swaddles that would cost an extra $32 each if purchased separately. The SNOO also comes with a lightweight fabric storage bag that you can discreetly store the SNOO in when you’re no longer using the smart bassinet.

Complete Smart Sleeper Price

  • SNOO: $1,695 (includes a bassinet, three swaddles, mattress, mattress protector, and one fitted sheet)
  • Cradlewise: $1,999 (includes a bassinet, crib, baby monitor, white noise machine, mattress, mattress protector, and two fitted sheets)

Resale Value for Both Smart Sleepers

Thanks to Rebelstork, the first baby gear marketplace created for parents, and their AI pricing algorithm REV™, I got an instant and accurate resale offer on both smart sleepers. REV™ let me find out and compare the current resale value of the SNOO vs. the Cradlewise. I entered each brand’s condition as excellent with one year of use or less into the REV™ tool- tada, and instantly it estimated the resale value at around $1,000 for both.  

“This is exactly why we created REV™, to empower parents to make more informed decisions on what is best for their budget, family, and the environment,” says Emily Hosie, CEO and Founder of Rebelstork. “In the first year of a child’s life, the average US parent will spend over $22,000 to build their nest. When you think about two smart cribs that retail for $1,500+ and your baby may or may not like them, it’s smart to know you have a money-back guarantee based on market demand if you choose to invest. It’s also great to know you have a marketplace that will take it off your hands and sell it for you when you are done using it. We love the SNOO and Cradlewise and know the resale market responds quickly to buying them second-hand with another family able to enjoy these innovative and amazing brands.”

Once you decide which smart sleeper is right for your family, you can feel confident knowing there is market demand and a marketplace that will take it off your hands!

Ready to learn more? We're getting smarter by the minute! Let’s continue.

Cradlewise vs. SNOO: Safety

As new parents, our number one priority is safety. Some nights we don't even close our eyes because we've read a terrifying story on SIDS, or our newborn doesn't make a sound, so we check for air coming out of their nose. It's a never-ending battle. When they're asleep, you're worried. When they aren't sleeping, you're stressed. I know— I've been there before, and I'm there now! And when it comes to keeping your baby safe, you can rest assured that both the SNOO and Cradlewise teams prioritize safety as if their babies were asleep in it.

CRADLEWISE

Our daughter was extremely safe in the Cradlewise. When the crib responds to her fidgeting or fussiness, it automatically begins a gentle bounce up and down vs. the SNOO, which shimmies side to side. Even with the Cradlewise on the highest setting, we never felt concerned about Zoey's safety. We never needed to strap her in, and she never rolled. Zoey started scooting up and down at around one month, and we loved that she had the space to move around as needed safely. She also grunted early on, sometimes for an hour, and having the freedom to twist her body comfortably was essential to us. FYI: We stopped swaddling Zoey at six weeks.

Click here to see a video of Zoey inside the Cradlewise, plus you can view its bouncing feature.

Most importantly, the Cradlewise crib also meets or exceeds all U.S. Consumer Product Safety Corporation safety standards for bassinets, non-full-size baby cribs/play yards, and crib mattresses. Cradlewise is also GREENGUARD Gold Certified, ensuring its crib is clear of 10,000 chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) commonly known to pollute indoor air. Lastly, the electronics that power the Cradlewise Smart Crib are FCC (Federal Communications Commission) certified.

SNOO

The SNOO was the first sleep device that Zoey slept in. We always felt like she was extremely safe. The responsiveness of the SNOO shimmies back and forth when it detects fussiness or crying from your baby. When the SNOO would respond to Zoey, her head always appeared secured despite the SNOO moving side to side. The swaddles hook on the sides, preventing your baby from rolling over. I can appreciate how this adds additional peace of mind for parents who suffer from anxiety. Plus, ​​the breathable mesh walls allow for healthy airflow.

The SNOO has won 22 top honors, including the National Sleep Foundation's Innovation of the Year. SNOO meets or exceeds every baby safety, health, and privacy standard.

Important Reminder: It is not safe to place any blankets, loveys, or toys inside the crib or bassinet with the baby. "All of these are potential hazards for an infant to get stuck on or wrapped up in and increase the risk for suffocation and SIDS," Dr. Emily Wisniewski, a board-certified pediatrician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, explains, adding, "If you are using a swaddle, the blanket should be a thin receiving blanket (nothing fluffy or thick) which the infant is swaddled in, not draped like a blanket."

In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics and various other health organizations recommend that babies sleep on their backs from birth to at least six months of age to reduce the risk of SIDS. According to Dr. Brown, "90% of SIDS cases occur in babies under six months old." Following sleep safety guidelines by AAP to ensure your baby's sleep safety is paramount and taken incredibly seriously by both SNOO and Cradlewise.

Cradlewise vs. SNOO: Sleep Tracker

‍CRADLEWISE

Cradlewise is a self-learning crib that learns from your baby’s sleep patterns. The built-in baby monitor uses 3D image mapping technology that senses movement, posture, and changes in breath rate to understand your baby’s sleep patterns. You can see your baby’s sleep patterns through the analytics on the Cradlewise app. Like the SNOO, Cradlewise tracks your baby’s sleep sessions.

Cradlewise Sleep Tracker
SNOO

The Daily Log is a report in the SNOO App that tracks your baby’s sleep sessions in SNOO. Each log is a 24-hour cycle. You will see the total sleep, naps, and the longest sleep stretch.

You can set your 24-hour cycle to start and end when you prefer. The default setting for daytime hours is 7 AM to 7 PM, then 7 PM to 7 AM the next day for nighttime hours. But you can adjust these start and end times in the settings menu.

SNOO Sleep Tracker

Cradlewise vs. SNOO: Customer Support

CRADLEWISE

When you purchase a Cradlewise, you’ll receive several emails, but the one that stood out to me the most was the one to schedule a one-on-one training session with their team, where they walk you through how to set up and use the crib properly. You can also join a virtual group demo with the brand’s founder, Radhika, to have any of your questions answered. Additionally, you have access to chat with Product Support directly inside the app.

The Cradlewise comes with a one-year warranty, which promises you a free replacement if any malfunctioning mechanical features or electronics are on the sleeper. You’ll also get a risk-free 100-night trial that starts from the day you first place your baby in Cradlewise, so if you don’t like it, you can get a full refund and a free return.

SNOO

The Snoo provides access to the brand’s sleep consultants via online chat seven days a week, so there’s always someone there to help you if you need it. You can also browse an extensive library of video tutorials on Snoo’s website.

With your purchase of the Snoo, you’ll get a one-year warranty that covers defects in “materials or workmanship.” It does not cover normal wear and tear from use. You’ll also get a risk-free 30-day trial—starting the day the Snoo is delivered—so you can return it for free if you or your baby don’t like it.

Is a smart sleeper worth it overall?

Our Cradlewise vs. SNOO comparison review begs the burning question: Is it worth it? For our family, purchasing a SNOO was not worth it. Here’s why. For $1,695, you’re paying for a product you can only use until your baby is six months old. That’s roughly $283 per month, or ~$9 a day.

The better alternative to buying the SNOO would be renting the SNOO. A SNOO rental is $159 per month— saving you $124 per month. But the best alternative? Purchasing the Cradlewise.

The Cradlewise smart crib grows with your baby for up to two years. If we compare numbers against the recommended use, that’s roughly $83 per month, or ~$3 daily. You can’t put a price on adequate sleep for tired parents, but $3 a day is pretty darn good if you could.

Zoey's Sleep Recipe at 3 Months Old

‍Around two months, Zoey started having longer stretches of sleep, and most recently, she had her longest stretch of sleep for 9+ hours at night from 9:45 pm - 6:45 am. Since Zoey was 13 weeks, she’s been averaging 6.5 hours of uninterrupted night sleep while sleeping in the Cradlewise.

Click here to see a video of the Cradlewise soothing Zoey to sleep in 4 minutes.

At three and a half months old, Zoey feeds about every three hours and has one-hour wake windows. If she’s awake for longer than an hour, she gets extremely fussy, starts arching her back, and turns away when we offer her a bottle. So we try to lay her down in the Cradlewise before she shows these symptoms. The "Super Gentle Bounce" setting on the Cradlewise is always enabled for the first 20 minutes. Super Gentle Bounce reacts to your baby’s sleep state but caps the bounce level to the bare minimum. We don’t have it turn back on during naps and only enable the automatic bounce during the night— this helps ensure everyone gets longer stretches of sleep. During the day, her naps range from 30 minutes to an hour, with her longest nap being in the evening before bedtime. Here’s Zoey’s perfect sleep recipe for a 9+ hour night:

7:00 PM: Feeding, Bathtime, Jammies

8:00 PM: Ensure Our Preferred Cradlewise Settings are Enabled

  • Auto Mode: On
  • Sound: Medium Volume Limit
  • Sound: White Noise Always On
  • Sleep Track: Deep Sleeper
  • Super Gentle Bounce Enabled
  • Crib Sensitivity: Medium (crib sensitivity refers to how quickly and often the crib responds to sleep disturbances)
  • Always on Bounce: Off (only turns on when she begins to stir)

8:10 PM: Lay Zoey in Cradlewise Awake, but Drowsy

9:45 PM: 5 oz. Dream Feed

  • Before we offer Zoey a dream feed, I change her diaper, so she’s barely awoken, and then offer her the bottle. 50% of the time, she takes it. The other 50% of the time, she doesn’t wake up enough to eat, so I lay her back inside the Cradlewise to continue sleeping.

5:00-6:30 AM: 5-6 oz. Morning Feed (she usually wakes up sometime between this hour)

  • Zoey typically falls right back to sleep after this feed, and our day begins once she’s up around 7:30 am.

A Hopeful Future for Extra ZZZs

I'm still in the thick of it, putting the final touches on this article, having been up since 4 AM with my toddler and then Zoey. If it's not one of my kids, it's the other! And on days when it doesn't feel like you can't walk through the thickness of the newborn sleep fog, I'm here to tell you it gets better. We'll be out of the woods near the four-month mark. And in the meantime, a smart sleeper can truly help you regain a few hours of sleep that you desperately need— and deserve.

So, which one do you think makes the most sense for you and your family? A friendly reminder that you can add the SNOO or Cradlewise to your Poppylist baby registry and be on your way (SOON) to better sleep.

And one last reminder— you got this.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Poppylist LLC is for general informational purposes only. All information on the site is provided in good faith. Our team wrote this article without any compensation or agreement from either brand. You can feel confident knowing it's an unbiased and honest review from a real mom.

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Thank you to our co-contributing author Amanda Tarlton. Amanda is an editor and writer with nearly 10 years of experience in digital media and service journalism in the lifestyle and commerce space. She has previously had her work featured in USA Today, Reader’s Digest, Taste of Home, Fox News, Girls’ Life Magazine, MindBodyGreen, and Scary Mommy. Amanda is also an RYT-200 yoga teacher and NASM CPT personal trainer.

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