Snuza Hero baby monitor review (ongoing)

Snuza HeroThe Snuza Hero is an attachable breathing and movement monitor for your infant that will nudge them slightly (vibrate,) if they’re not breathing for fifteen seconds and sound an alarm if no breathing or movement is detected for twenty seconds.

Updated 10/22/15 (see bottom)

The plan is this will be an ongoing review of the Snuza, although I expect after about three months there will not be much in the way of updates, which I’ll explain later.

We’ve been using it the past two weeks and two or three days at this point on our newborn Aerin. We used an Angelcare for our firstborn and were pretty consistently ticked off by the false alarms, non-alarms, and level of alarms. So I’ve got a pretty good comparison point thus far.

Snuza Hero week one

After coming back from the hospital we were anxious to try out the Snuza Hero. While it clipped in like you’d expect looking at the box, we struggled to have it make good contact with Aerin as her nasty bellybutton/umbilical cord combo was in the way.

As such we had multiple false alarms nightly for the first week. This was because her size and the angle it just wasn’t making contact like it needed to. I ended up rigging it over her clothes a couple of times, this worked but it was pretty much hit or miss.

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With the Snuza attached to a diaper, underneath a onesie, wrapped in a swaddler, when the alarm went off it meant we were waking up the baby as we struggled to dig through the layers of clothing.

One day the Snuza had turned and was directly on her very gross belly button. That’s when I learned it’s extremely easy to clean.

At the end of week one I didn’t like the Snuza Hero much as I felt it was keeping us up more than it was allowing us to sleep without worry. I anticipated I’d like it more when the belly button issue sorted itself out.

Snuza Hero week two

Started off about the same as before, I stopped using the Snuza most of the time, and when it would go off at night I’d just remove it and rig it on clothing.

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Cord fell off near the end of week two, suddenly the Snuza Hero fits on the belly right. Most of the week I was still annoyed and didn’t care to put it on.

Snuza Hero week three

Snuza Hero in carrying case
Snuza Hero, badly photographed, in carrying case

As of writing, we’re 18 days into the baby, the Snuza doesn’t go off randomly any more as it’s no longer contending with being on at a weird angle. The Hero now fits, works as expected. I’m not sure how much of this is us getting better, but I know a lot of it is having a belly open and available to put the little receptor on without a cord attached.

At week three of Aerin’s life, I like this product. I’ll start an actual “OK” star rating and work up or down from here. I don’t think there was much that could be done with the first two weeks just based on belly topography.

At this point it does what it’s supposed to, doesn’t go off randomly, and so far has not annoyed me for a few days. While that may not sound like a glowing endorsement, believe me, with a newborn who keeps you up constantly as long as I’m not threatening to rip someone’s head off, the product is working right.

Week four

We’re starting week four with a new problem – baby’s belly is now so bloaty occasionally the sensor tip doesn’t touch down right. Gas is evidently a cause for alarm. Moved it slightly over to the side. I never knew a baby could puff up so much from fart juice.

Weeks 5-7

Somehow we managed to pinch baby’s skin with this. We’re at a loss as to how this could happen, but it did. I tried to replicate it on myself, was unable to. As a tech, totally confused as to how. All I know is that where the Snuza Hero was it was irritated and looked pinched.

Worked extremely well for a week or so, baby’s belly has once again reached epic proportions so we’re having to shift it. No false alarms in the past weeks. Not sure if that’s due to us using it better or her growing properly into it.

Weeks 8-9

OK, this is where it works perfectly. I’m not sure if it’s that baby is shaped properly or we’ve gotten good at it, but it goes on perfect, doesn’t false alarm, we’ve had no evidence of pinching (even though there should be no way it could). At this point it does exactly what I expected it to do.

Observations/misc.

  • If you’ll sleep through an alarm clock, you’ll sleep through the Snuza Hero going off. I don’t sleep through alarm clocks, I disarm them in my sleep. As such I’ve come to disarming the Hero.
  • Feels like Baby’s First Pager.
  • Blinking activity light is visible through clothing. Not much of an issue, but you can, in a dark room, watch your baby breathe by looking at the ceiling.
  • SIDS risk is 1 or 2 in 1000, with 90% happening before the first six months. Therefor each alarm you hear you should realize has about a 180,000 to 1 chance of being something to freak out about.

Availability

The Snuza Hero baby monitor is available from Amazon for $119.99

4 / 5 stars