SNOO Was a Crucial Part of This Olympian’s Training
At Happiest Baby, we like to think that SNOO trains babies to sleep like champions…but could it help an actual Olympian champion train too? If you ask Matt Grevers, a two-time Olympian and five-time Olympic medalist (five of which are gold, by the way), the answer is yes.
Matt and his wife Annie know firsthand how disruptive to sleep a newborn could be. Their older daughter, Skylar, routinely required 30 minutes or more of constant bouncing before she would be soothed to sleep. And then, once she had dozed off, her parents had to master the delicate art of transitioning her to bed without rousing her again (a feat that most newborn parents probably consider to be gold-medal-worthy in itself!). If she woke, the bouncing cycle started all over again.
'I remember waking up and thinking I’d wrecked my back from all the bouncing,' Matt says.
So, when Annie was pregnant with their second child, Gracie, the parent testimonials she read about SNOO piqued her interest.
'I think Matt and I both had PTSD from Skylar’s early weeks,' Annie says. 'Going through that again was our number one fear about having another kid, especially in [what was supposed to be] an Olympic year. He really does need 9 to 11 hours of sleep—he basically needs the same sleep as our toddler.'
While exhaustion has serious consequences for all parents…getting a good night’s sleep was crucial for Matt. As an athlete, sleep is an essential part of his training and recovery.
'Sleep is part of my job. Human growth hormone is produced during sleep, which is important for training recovery,' Matt explains. 'As soon as I heard there was anything to help with sleep, I was super excited. If there was an option that we could use instead of hurting ourselves physically and mentally, well, it sounded amazing.'
Sure enough, SNOO made for a very different experience with Baby No. 2. Early on, Gracie would sleep in five-hour stretches, waking just once at night for a feeding. But more than the sleep, it was SNOO’s ability to calm Gracie—no bouncing required—that made such a huge impact.
Even though Matt may rely on sleep the most from a professional standpoint, the extra shut-eye has benefitted the entire family.
'Our entire household’s happiness has increased with sleep,' he says. 'Our 3-year-old needs a lot of attention...you have more patience for your toddler. Waking up refreshed makes everyone happy.'
'One of my mum friends told me that I don’t look tired, and I almost felt guilty,' Annie says. You’re expected to have huge bags under your eyes, but I thought I don’t feel that tired.'
Gracie has since graduated from SNOO, and Matt and Annie say the transition could not have been smoother.
'That was my number one worry about SNOO. I thought she’s going to get so used to this movement, even in weaning mode, but she’s been doing great. The first night in the [cot] she slept exactly the same,' Annie says.
Matt says that SNOO has actually helped train them as well. Because they could rely on SNOO to soothe Gracie, they did not feel like they needed to rush to her at the first sound of fussiness. 'I loved how SNOO let you know that being a little fussy wasn’t abnormal. Sometimes the baby just needs to be soothed.'
The fact that Matt and Annie’s second go-round has been so different from their first experience, might have an even bigger impact on their family long-term...
'It’s cliché, but SNOO is game-changing as far as the newborn days go,' Annie says. 'Matt might be in danger of having another kid.'
'Annie’s done an incredible job. I was two and done after our first child,' Matt agrees. 'I thought, oh I don’t know if we can go through that again. But like Annie said, it’s been so different this time, and so much more enjoyable.'
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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. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.