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How to Move Your Baby Out of the SNOO and Into the Cot

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It’s not to smart make generalisations, but when it comes to new parents, I feel comfortable talking in absolutes, because the outliers are rare. All new parents worry about their baby, and all new parents aren’t getting enough sleep. This is why the SNOO has been such a successful, beloved, and, frankly, worshipped newborn tool. It’s the safest baby bed ever made, and it helps new parents get more sleep by helping to settle your baby. For many parents, it turns what could be hours of shushing, bouncing and rocking into rest, so the idea of moving them out of it can be pretty daunting. “What the hell will we do without the SNOO?” is a text I have received many times from parents with a baby approaching six months. I have also done it myself and been similarly worried that when the SNOO left the building, so would sleep. While all babies are different, moving out of the SNOO should not be a trigger for alarm. Just as wearing your glasses isn’t going to make your eyesight worse, and using the SNOO isn’t going to make it harder for them to go to sleep in a cot, but it is an adjustment of sleep routine, which can be disruptive. Ahead, a guide to setting up their cot and sleep space to make the transition as smooth (and SNOO-like) as possible.

Before They Leave the SNOO

When your baby is 5 - 6 months, or they have started to get onto their hands and knees, it’s time to start the transition. The SNOO app will alert you to soon transition your baby to sleeping with one arm out. The shoulders of the SNOO sacks have snaps that make this conversion easy. If you try it, but your baby is startling themselves awake with the free arm, no worries. Pop it back in and try them again in a week. Once you have a few good nights with one arm out, you can move to two. The SNOO app will also prompt you to engage “Weaning Mode”. This is when the white noise plays but the SNOO doesn’t rock when your baby is calm (Level 1), only when settling (Level 2 and up). Keep in mind, you don’t need to be doing this for weeks before you move them to the cot. One week is ample time to get them used to a still bed. Before then, use the SNOO to its full capacity and enjoy it.

Cot Set Up

Whether the SNOO move is also coming with a bedroom move or not, you still want to ensure you’re creating a sleep-centric area, here’s the key elements:

  • A dark room. Older babies are more sensitive to light, so you want to ensure you can make things nice and dark, particularly for day naps summer nights when they may be going to bed before the sun’s down.
  • A cosy sleep bag. Moving on from the SNOO sleep sacks, you’ll want something equally cosy. Arms out and with room at the bottom for a blanket-like feeling.
  • White noise. A plug in option is best so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery in the night.
  • Night light. Something you can see easily with in the night, but isn’t going to startle your baby or wake them up.
  • A baby monitor. If you’ve been using the SNOO app to let you know when your baby is awake or need you, it’s time to plug in a more traditional style baby monitor (don’t worry, there are some with motion sensors, 4k video and just as many bells and whistles to satisfy the sleep data craving the SNOO has created.

Bedtime Routine

Everything you’ve been doing before SNOO should stay the same. Bath, book, bottle and bed (or however it works at your house). When you turn on the white noise, make sure it’s close and loud, like it is in the SNOO. If your baby often is unsettled for a while in the SNOO before they fall asleep, know that this might be the same in the cot, and it might take a little restlessness before they fall asleep. Give them a chance to settle themselves.


Rolling Around the Cot

By 6 months your baby is probably very ready for a bit more freedom while they sleep. Having been used to them being strapped into place, this could seem a little daunting. Always place your baby in the cot on their back, but don’t worry if they are moving around in their sleep, or roll onto their side or stomach. Rolling is a natural progression for babies this age and as long as you have a safe sleep environment with a good firm mattress and no blankets, pillows or other soft or loose objects.

Extra Aids

If you would like make the transition even more gradual from SNOO to cot, there are a few new innovations that can do this. The SNOO Bear plays white noise for 30 - 60 mins and then “pays attention” for a further 3 hours and will kick in when it senses your crying. The Rockit Zed is a tool that is placed on the cot mattress and sends vibrations to give the soothing sensations of being in the car. It is also a night light. Win win. Then there's the Baby Shusher to help you out when settling your baby.

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