It’s no secret at this point that companies attract top-tier talent by offering top-tier benefits, but as different companies grapple with ways to make things like paid time off or family leave a reality, a few companies are offering employees with newborns the Snoo Smart Sleeper, a $1,200 crib that soothes crying babies back to sleep so that their sleep-deprived parents don’t have to.
Dubbed a “smart” crib, the Snoo has a small but devoted following. Since hitting the market in 2016, the crib, designed by Dr. Harvey Karp, the mind behind the Happiest Baby On The Block book, has sold about 10,000 units. Companies like Hulu and Indigo Books and Music are offering them to expecting parents either for free or at a tremendous discount.
For employers, the benefit of offering the crib to employees is clear. While dealing with an inconsolable crying baby is part and parcel of parenthood, the Snoo may cut down on sleepless nights, making employees more productive. According to a report from Bloomberg, the Snoo has been a huge hit with new parents who work for the video-game company Activision Blizzard. In the three weeks since they were first offered to employees, the company has doled out 30 cribs.
The Snoo is equipped with microphones that monitor a baby’s crying. Depending on how severe the crying sounds, the crib will automatically select the kind of noise to play and at what volume to play it. The noises range from ambient white noise to soft heartbeats. The crib also auto-selects the kind of motion that it thinks would best put the baby back to sleep.
Though the Snoo is pricey, the corporate rate for renting one is only about $3.50 per day, a small enough amount of money that the return on investment makes sense from a corporate standpoint.