Every baby in the NICU and nursery is unique, and their individual needs and
vulnerabilities need to be considered before using any intervention.
SNOO’s motion and sound are safe for normal infants and premature babies (4 lbs.
min. weight). It can be used to approximately six months of age (25 lbs. max and/or
able to get up on hands and knees).
However, we do not recommend using SNOO for infants whose condition may be
worsened by the bed’s back and forth motion. For example, we would suggest
restricting use for babies with neurological or spinal defects, bleeding tendency
(hemophilia, anticoagulant therapy, intracranial bleeding, etc.), hydrocephalus, or
SNOO’s platform is designed so that it cannot move more than one inch back and
forth during the low levels and at the higher levels the motion is capped at 0.25
inches (0.5 centimeters), which is similar to what a baby might experience being
driven on a bumpy road.
SNOO’s white noise sounds are specifically engineered to soothe infants by
mimicking womblike sensations. The sound on the blue level is ~68dB (measured at
the baby’s ear), and its highest volume at the pink level is ~85 dB, which is
significantly less loud than a newborn’s own cries, which measure 100-110dB.
There is minimal evidence that extreme quiet (sound levels below 50dB) is
physiologic for premature infants or full-term babies. In fact, it may be considered a
subtle form of sensory deprivation. Intrauterine sound levels have been measured at
72-95 dB (1). Additionally, sound has been shown to reduce infant crying from painful nursery procedures (2). A small study evaluating the sound used by SNOO demonstrated a reduction in hypoxemic and bradycardic events in preterm infants (3).
It’s absolutely true that there’s still a lot to learn about the impact of noise
environments on neonates, but rest assured knowing that the shushing white noise of
the SNOO is designed with scientific principles in mind, and that our sounds are
distinct from high-pitched alarms and alerts that many hospitals are seeking to
(1) Smith CV, et al. 1990; Walker D, et al 1971.
(2) Harrington, 2012; Setiyorini & Wulandari 2014; Martiningsih & Setijaningsih 2015.
(3) Parga, et al. 2017