Industrial designer Yves Béhar has joined forces with pediatrician and author Harvey Karp and a team of MIT engineers to tackle the ever-present problem of baby (and parental) sleep.
The team is behind the new Snoo sleeper, invented by Karp, the author of the much-read Happiest Baby on the Block and creator of a popular approach to calm crying. Its promise: to comfort fussing from fatigue — often in under a minute, say its creators — for the price of US$1,160.
Inspired by what Karp has called the “calming reflex,” a response he says is activated through a series of steps that imitate the environment of the womb, Snoo creates gentle, broad movements and white noise, with a robotic system that senses when babies need soothing.
Sounds change volume and pitch depending on whether the aim is to promote sleep or calm an upset baby.
Designed for babies up to about six months in age, one of the crib’s main features is a “five-second swaddle” that attaches to the sleeper and prevents a baby from rolling over. Three “Snoo Sacks” in small, medium and large are included along with an organic cotton fitted sheet.
Parents can control Snoo from a distance with a mobile app and can choose to wean the baby from all-night rocking to facilitate transition to a crib.
The minimalist, wood-panelled design features sides made of breathable mesh that allow for visibility.
“It had to be easy to use, provide a sense of trust and comfort and fit beautifully into the context of any home,” says Béhar of the design.
Snoo is the first in what is to be a series of smart products carrying the Happiest Baby name. It is to begin shipping on November 1 — in the US only — and is currently available for pre-order. A 30-day money-back guarantee may encourage some sleep-deprived parents to take the plunge.