Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
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Our affordable alternative to the magical SNOO bassinet

Update: see my research and recommendations for updates in 2020 here.

When Otto was brand new, sleeping 1-3 hour chunks all night, I read everything I could find on baby sleep!! (I had more time than usual on my hands for reading and scrounging the Internet--I was up multiple times a night for 1-2 hours at a time!!) This book that a friend gave me was a great starting point and I also discovered some good baby sleep resource sites.

We had this simple bassinet that we put next to our bed, plus a Rock N Play in the living room that Otto took great naps in. He slept longer in that thing than he did in stretches at night. So frustrating. But I read about how the American Academy of Pediatrics' sleep guidelines say baby needs to be on a flat surface, i.e. NOT a Rock N Play or swing seat, for sleep. This is an anti-SIDS precaution plus a way to prevent flat head syndrome, from baby's head always being in the same position on hard plastic.

But I also read comments from parents online saying that the Rock N Play was a godsend and the only way they got any sleep with a newborn! But it's unsafe??

One solution to this problem is the SNOO Smart Sleeper. Invented by Harvey Karp, the author of that great book, it implements 3 of his 5 S's of soothing babies--swaddle, shush, and swing--in addition to being a safe bassinet. It's also very cool-looking, much cuter than all of that plastic-ey stuff on the baby product market. The problem? It's $1,160.

I LOVE the look of the SNOO, and it does sound great that it turns on to rock baby when it feels wiggling, and it contains swaddle wrap on the mattress. And it plays white noise right there. But spending $900 (it's usually on sale) on a bassinet was definitely not an option!!

This post contains affiliate links.

The problem with most swings that rock baby is they are on an incline. Not SIDS-recommendation-friendly. I did some research on swings and found there are a couple that also have the option for baby to lay flat, or at a much smaller incline. 

I found a bassinet that 1) has different incline positions including flat, 2) swings at 6 different intensities and and has automatic shutoff, and 3) plays white noise. We have been swaddling Otto in these velcro swaddles so I didn't need the swaddle feature of the SNOO, and he's still sleeping in our room/right next to my side of the bed, so I'm able to hear him when he fusses and assess if more swinging is the right way to soothe him.
Forgive our un-decorated bedroom. Just moved in!!
Don't know how it got that white paint scuff on it but there are the buttons. Usually we have it facing the other way so they're next to me in bed.

This magical product?? The Graco® DreamGlider™ Gliding Swing. At $180 retail, it's one of the more expensive baby products we've purchased, but much more doable than the SNOO. Most importantly, I do think the swinging and white noise (or music) help him get to and stay asleep, and I don't feel guilty or worried about his incline position. (It comes in a few tasteful, neutral colors, another plus.)

When we started using it, I had it very slightly inclined, since I thought that was part of the help of the Rock N Play. Now he's graduated to laying flat. And now that he's sleeping up to 8 hours in his first stretch and generally only waking up once in the middle of the night, we'll be moving him to his own room soon--first in the swing, then we'll try the crib.
Here it is laying flat. You can adjust the incline with the handle there.

This DreamGlider™ swing works for babies up to 30 pounds!! So we may keep using it in the living room, in an incline position, for awake time when he's a little older. (We haven't installed the cute swinging animals yet, since we want to keep his sleep space free from interesting distractions, but I think they will be fun when he uses it awake later.)

Wanted to share this very successful alternative we found for other new moms out there struggling with sleep. I think it is definitely worth it!!

Here are all the products I talked about in this post! (Updated for availability in 2020) 

Update: see my research and recommendations for updates in 2020 here.

P.S. you can shop our rug here, nightstands here, and lamps here.

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