I know I tell this story to most people who look at the Snuza, but I don’t think it really gets the point across. With permission from my friend Kelly, I am going to tell her story and share with you the reason I bought a Snuza, and why I carry them in my shop. This story IS upsetting, and it is not for the faint of heart. Rest assured that it has a happy ending, but have your tissues handy.
What is a Snuza?
Snuza Go! ($90)
Snuza Halo [new version: Hero] ($120)
Snuza Halo [the company has recently changed the name to 'Hero'] detects even the slightest movement and will alert you if your baby’s movements are very weak or fall to less than 8 movements per minute.
If no movement at all is detected for a period of 15 seconds, Halo will vibrate gently. Often this vibration is enough to rouse the baby, and Halo will revert to monitoring mode.
After three vibration/rouse incidents, the Rouse Warning will alert you to the fact that your baby’s movements have stopped for 15 seconds on three occasions.
If no further movement is detected for another 5 seconds, an alarm will sound to alert you.
- small – fits onto baby’s diaper
- vibration stimulation after 15 seconds
- Rouse Warning
- audible alarm after 20 seconds
- Movement-rate Indicator to warn about weak or infrequent movement
The Snuza Go! is basically the same, except no vibrate function.
Kelly is a friend of mine from my online pregnancy/birth group. Her son, Jacob, was born just 2 days before D. She is in an 80s band (which I love!) with her hubby, and Jacob is their first baby. We have a connection. In fact, our whole group has a very strong connection.
Kelly and Jacob (4 months)
In our early days of mommyhood, all us first timers are pretty lost. In all honesty, first time moms are pretty easily influenced and gullible when it comes to protecting our babies. Kelly had found this movement monitor online and ordered it immediately, even paying for overnight shipping. I thought it was a great idea, A didn’t. He thought it was a waste of money and a gimmick. Who can blame him really, though? There are plenty of gimmicky products out there to terrorize new mothers into buying junk they just don’t need. So we moved on.
I feel there needs to be a little more back story on how Jacob was doing at this point. Kelly had had a breast reduction years ago which inhibited her ability to produce milk, so breastfeeding didn’t happen for them. Baby Jacob was on formula, as many babies are, but was having reactions, which included severe acid reflux. After all was said and done, it was determined that he was allergic to dairy and corn which are main ingredients in many infant formulas, and it took a lot of trial and error to find what worked best. During that time of trial and error, poor Jacob was in a lot of pain and spent many hours crying, and not many of them sleeping.
July 25, 2011 was one of those days. Jacob was having a very rough time, and so was his mommy. As we all do from time to time, she put him safely in his crib so she could walk away for a few moments and collect herself. She put the audio monitor on with the sound turned low and laid on the couch to watch the lights on the monitor while she composed herself. Exhausted, she fell asleep. She still doesn’t know how long she dozed off, but she awoke suddenly and turned the volume up on the monitor to check in on the baby. What she heard sent her heart into her throat. The Snuza alarm was going off.
She flew into Jacob’s room where she found a mother’s worst nightmare. Her beautiful baby boy was not responding to her attempts to rouse him. She called 911 while she performed infant CPR and waited for the paramedics to arrive. She has given me permission to share the recording from that call with you.
On our mommy board, everyone was in a frenzy. On their way to the hospital, Kelly shot off a text message to one of the girls to tell the group that Jacob had stopped breathing and they were on their way to the hospital. 142 mommies with babies the same age as her sweet Jacob, hugged their babies extra tight and were praying, sending good thoughts, or whatever suited their beliefs, to save that baby boy’s life. We didn’t know what had happened, and we didn’t know if he was ok. I still get upset remembering being glued to our board waiting for an update.
It wasn’t until later that night that we received an update from Kelly telling us that Jacob was fine and that his Snuza monitor saved his life. Without it, she would not have known that something was wrong, she would have assumed that he had fallen asleep. What we all learned after the fact, was that while crying, Jacob had refluxed so hard that it triggered a reflex that closed his throat (laryngospasm). While she administered CPR, he was struggling and trying to breathe (you can hear her telling the 911 dispatcher on the call).
Jacob the night they got home from the hospital
Needless to say, we all went on the hunt for a Snuza monitor that night. I posted on my Facebook wall asking for prayers (or whatever) for Jacob and A rushed upstairs to ask me if D was breathing. He of course gave me the green light to buy a Snuza then.
I couldn’t find one in Canada! I searched and searched, and I eventually found 1 place out west selling them online, for an arm and a leg, plus an arm and a leg for shipping. I saw that as a HUGE problem. This monitor just saved my friend’s baby and I can’t get one easily in Canada? I immediately contacted the company to find out what was needed to sell the monitors. I felt that I had the opportunity to do something. Another member of our group also decided to do something and became the distributor for Canada.
Jacob – June 2012 (15 months)
The Snuza is my one and only baby “gadget”. I used my Go! on D until he was able to remove it himself. There were a few false alarms, but I would much rather a false alarm than the alternative. The huge advantage to the Snuza over other movement monitors is that it is portable and goes where baby goes. It fits in the palm of your hand and comes with a travel case to protect it when not in use. We used it for naps and night time, then down to just night time, then not at all. Needless to say, Kelly used hers 24/7. Even with that rigorous use, she has only replaced the battery a couple of times (only a $10 battery btw, not like a phone battery that costs more than the phone lol).
If you are looking at the millions of baby monitor options like I did, you are probably completely overwhelmed at this point. Video? Audio? movement detection pad?
The Snuza plus a standard audio monitor will have you all set. You can get some much needed sleep knowing that the alarm will rouse you if something happens, and save yourself hours of lying awake wondering if baby is ok and thinking about going in to look at them, or save you from spending a lot more money on a video monitor that will have you staring at the screen for hours on end instead of sleeping or taking care of yourself.