Why This Doula Mom Swears By SNOO at Work and at Home
Heather Delaney knows a thing or two about babies. Not only is she the mom to four kids (ranging from 5 months to 8 years), but she’s also the owner and CEO of Maryland State Doulas. In her nearly 8 years of practice as a doula, she’s helped more than 200 families—and it was actually through work that she first learned about SNOO.
“I rented one to see what the fuss was about because we had a lot of clients who were using them. I wanted to get my hands on one and see what it was all about,” she says.
At the same time Heather was checking out SNOO for professional reasons, she had personal interest: She was pregnant with her fourth child, and her second and third children were terrible sleepers. “I knew that this was our last child, and I knew that we really didn't want to do that again,” she says.
It didn’t take long before she became sold on SNOO herself. Her husband took a little longer to come around.
“My husband was a huge skeptic. He was like, We don't need this thing. You just want to have the coolest new gadget. I don't really know how this is going to help at all,” Heather recalls. “But I think the two of us really benefited from it from the first week we put my son in it.”
Heather’s son flew into the world, surprising the family by being born in their bathroom after a mere two hours of labor—from start to finish. His dramatic entrance came just days before Thanksgiving, which Heather hosted (fortunately, she did not have to cook!).
Needless to say, after her guests left, Heather was exhausted. She remembers putting her son in SNOO so she could take a much-needed shower. “I was totally prepared for him to wake up and start crying, and sure enough he did,” she says. “I did that thing where you put your head outside the shower to listen for phantom cries. I could hear the SNOO going, and it had gone up to like the third level.”
But the crying had stopped!
“My husband came to the bathroom and was like, he’s not crying!” Heather says. “We looked at each other and were just like yes! We have something that can comfort our son if we have to take a shower or put our toddler down for a nap!”
Seeing firsthand how well SNOO works has helped her educate her clients about how it might help them too. Many families that Heather works with want overnight support but worry that if they have someone come in three nights a week to implement soothing techniques, then they’ll be lost on the nights when they don’t have support, she explains.
“What I'm really excited about is being able to say, there’s this amazing sleep-shaping tool that will create very early positive sleep connotations and expectations for that baby. So, when parents start putting the baby down drowsy but awake and we’re not there helping, they’re still getting some guidance in soothing their baby in the same way a person would do.”
SNOO’s safety features are another big selling point for Heather’s clients. “That helps them rest, which helps our postpartum doulas support them too.”
And this is something that has appealed to Heather as well. “I’ve always been a huge swaddler,” Heather says. “I’m a huge fan of the 5 S’s.” But even though Heather had successfully used swaddling to soothe her three oldest children, it always got to a point where it made her nervous.
“My kids needed to be swaddled longer than it was safe to swaddle them because they were rolling or finding a way to get out,” she says. “I wouldn’t be able to fully get myself into a deep sleep because I’d worry.”
Fortunately, SNOO Sack’s unique design, which secures babies on their backs, put Heather’s mind at ease. “Knowing we were able to safely swaddle my son as long as we were was really comforting for us and helpful for him…he just wasn’t ready to get out of that tight confinement.”
Heather has since used the weaning feature to transition her son to the crib, and she says that to this day, he’s a great sleeper. “I can't imagine what life right now would be like if he wasn't sleeping. Just thinking about it makes me shudder down to my soul,” she says.
And while Heather’s son has graduated from SNOO, she’s looking forward to continuing to use SNOO with her clients.
“The walls are closing in around a lot of our postpartum families, especially right now, and they just want support. They want a solution, and they want something that's going to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she says.
“Postpartum doulas can support families throughout the entire first year, but one of the things that's really important to us is that we get to the point that they don't need four to five nights of overnight care…and they feel confident. I feel like us having this tool that we can bring into homes and show families how to use is really helping us guide them.”
(You can read Heather’s SNOO review on the Maryland State Doulas blog!)
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