Most parents know babies need to wake and eat every few hours during the first weeks of life. They then expect stretches of sleep to get longer and longer, until they can finally “sleep through the night.” But the reality is that most babies go through rough patches or sleep regressions, even in SNOO.

The great thing is that SNOO was designed to improve infant sleep during these rocky times—the Happiest Baby App has several settings you can customize to give your baby the comforting they need.

Why Sleep Struggles Happen to Newborns

When should a baby be able to sleep through the night? Four months? Six months? Actually, this is a trick question. The answer is never! In truth, babies never sleep through the night...and neither do adults!

At night, we cycle up and down—between light and deep sleep—punctuated by 2 to 4 drowsy wakings. If everything is fine, we dive back into sleep and don’t even remember rousing. (Learn more about sleep cycles.) But if something is wrong, we may wake up fully.

Your baby enters light sleep every hour or so. And, if something has changed since they fell asleep (their nose is stuffy, they're a little hungry, gums are sore, they're hearing noise from the TV or the street), your little one may pop awake. Not to mention growth-spurt-related sleep regressions that commonly occur in infants! (When to expect infant growth spurts.)

Another common struggle is the dreaded 3- or 4-month sleep regression. Around this time, babies LOVE to chat, flirt, and smile with their beloved grownups! When they wake up, they may call out for their BFFs to come cuddle or just “hang out.” It’s like your little social butterfly is saying, “Hey, you! Come back and play!”

That’s why families get the most benefit when they use SNOO for 6 months…you don’t want to wean too early. SNOO can help babies quickly recover from these ups and downs and return to solid slumber. There really is no rush to transition to the crib before your baby is 6 months/can push up to hands and knees—even if your baby is big for their age. SNOO was designed to fit a baby up to 33 pounds—which leaves lots of wiggle room for the average 6-month-old (who is usually well under 30 inches and 25 pounds, according to the World Health Organization).

How to Adjust SNOO to Lessen Sleep Struggles

Now, here’s the good news: If your baby’s sleep has suddenly dipped, you can try these tips to get your baby back on track:

  • More milk: If your baby is suddenly hungrier at night, offer more breastmilk or infant formula during the day. Wake your baby to eat if they're napping longer than two hours, alternate your breasts every 5 to 7 minutes during a feed to boost the calories, and try a dream feed. (If your bub can't concentrate during their daytime feedings, feed in a room away from distractions with some strong white noise in the background.)

  • Good swaddling: Your baby is stronger now after all of her growth! If her arms wiggle free from the bands, try this swaddling trick.

  • More jiggle/shush: Babies who wake because of sleep regressions often need a few weeks of rocking/shushing on a higher level. (Think of it like driving around with your baby all night, but safer, easier, and less polluting.) In the Happiest Baby Ap, go to Settings > My SNOO > SNOO Starts pick a higher baseline.

  • More jiggle/shush 2: Another way to give more soothing sensations is to “lock” SNOO on the purple or green level using the Happiest Baby App. This is great for babies who need a bit more oomph, but don’t like when the bed revs up too much. Like your car’s cruise control, locking provides a more robust level of motion all night. When SNOO is running at the motion level in which you’d like it to stay, press and hold the “Play” button for 3 to 5 seconds until you see the “Pause” symbol appear. Note: SNOO will not respond to your babies cry while "locked" on the selected level.

Babies who do better when SNOO is locked higher (or the baseline is raised) usually need it for a while. After two to four weeks, trying the lower level again will let you see if your child’s sleep pattern is back to normal.

SNOO Helps Those Baby Sleep Regressions

Sleep disruptions happen. Fortunately, SNOO’s customizable womb rhythms can often be like a magic wand turning cranky babies into solid sleepers.

And one final thing—we love to help! So, don't hesitate to reach out! Happiest Baby’s smart and friendly specialists can answer just about any sleep question you might have.

About Dr. Harvey Karp

Dr. Harvey Karp, one of America’s most trusted pediatricians, is the founder of Happiest Baby and the inventor of the groundbreaking SNOO Smart Sleeper. After years of treating patients in Los Angeles, Dr. Karp vaulted to global prominence with the release of the bestselling Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block. His celebrated books and videos have since become standard pediatric practice, translated into more than 20 languages and have helped millions of parents. Dr. Karp’s landmark methods, including the 5 S’s for soothing babies, guide parents to understand and nurture their children and relieve stressful issues, like new-parent exhaustion, infant crying, and toddler tantrums.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.