Why wearables for babies? After all, hundreds of generations of offspring have managed without them.
A point well made, but the latest series of smart sensors can take hassle and worry away, tracking your child's vitals and helping you to ensure they're comfortable, which as any parent knows, makes for happy parents, too.
This new trend is called digital parenting and while - largely unfounded - safety concerns may put some off, it's on the rise. We've sourced a variety of new and soon-to-be-launched models of baby tech and connected baby monitors, rounding up the leading lights of this new wave of tech for parents.
Snoo smart crib
The Snoo smart crib from California startup Happiest Baby is a collaboration with Yves Béhar (of Jawbone, Hive, XO fame). It's aimed at newborns to six month-olds, and has a super stylish wood base and white textile mesh sides so you can see in.
Here's the smart bit: Microphones and sensors embedded in the robotic crib detect when a baby is crying or moving and the Snoo then begins to rock to a set speed. The whole thing does run over Wi-Fi but worried parents will be glad to know there's even a Wi-Fi shield between the baby and the radio module. The companion app lets parents monitor sleeping patterns but the real benefit here is not having to get up and rock the cradle every time your baby wakes up.
Owlet Smart Sock 2
Owlet's second smart sock monitor uses the same pulse oximetry technology used in hospitals and can monitor heart rate and oxygen levels to make sure your little one's breathing and sleep has been uninterrupted. The second edition offers an extended Bluetooth range of 100 metres and what Owlet says is a more accurate sensor placement for fewer false alerts.
The Smart Sock 2 comes in three different sizes, up to 18 months, to ensure a snug fit and charges up via a small base station. It pairs with a companion Connected Care app via Bluetooth with an Android version expected in the coming months. This will keep you updated on your baby's status during the night to complete the ideal remote monitoring set-up. It's designed to identify all sorts of things including sleep irregularities, RSV, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, chronic lung disorders and even heart defects.
The Wi-Fi connected Mimo is a practical peace-of-mind solution for any parents worried about dreaded SIDS and other infant-related conditions.
Developed by MIT graduates, the Mimo is comprised of two parts, a stretchy, washable cotton onesie fitted with two breathing sensors, a removable movement sensor and a charging station that streams valuable data like respiration patterns, sleep activity, skin temperature and body position straight to your iOS or Android device.
The system also captures the sound in the baby's room so parents can listen in on their phone or tablet like any standard monitor. You buy one sensor and choose the amount of 'kimonos' that you want.
Willow smart breast pump
Something to consider, this smart breast pump proves connected breastfeeding can be about more than convenience. For the money (it's more expensive than electric pump) you get two tear-drop shaped pumps. which fit inside the mother's bra.
These are hands free, wireless and quiet, connecting to a smartphone app which creates a timeline for milk volume to help you manage your schedule. So, for instance, based on your body's milk production, it can automatically switch to expression phase.
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Project Nursery SmartBand
The Parent + Baby SmartBand promises to keep tabs on baby and parent health during those critical early months. The splash and sweat-resistant device features a touchscreen display and packs an impressive 30-day battery life, which means you'll be charging it a lot less than most fitness trackers.
You can log important events such as breastfeeding and bottle feeding, pumping, pre- and post-natal vitamins, medications, diaper changes, foetal movements, child weight, and naps. It'll also track parents' hydration weight, diet exercise and sleep while doubling as an activity tracker to record steps, distance, calories burned and activity time.
The Withings Home was crowded out of the smart security camera space by the big names such as Nest and Netatmo so, instead, has rebranded as a connected child monitor with extras.
It's a bold move, but one that works well thanks to the 2-way communication (with push-to-talk) functionality and the nightlight / lullaby music modes. It records and streams in HD and the infrared vision wide lens makes it a great option for bed time. For extra security, the Home camera also monitors air quality.
Kinsa Smart Thermometer
This FDA approved thermometer goes straight into your smartphone's headphone jack to provide a precise temperature reading in less than 10 seconds.
It works three ways - orally, under the arm and we'll let you guess the other one. Once a temperature is read, it's displayed on the companion app and can even be saved to a family member's profile - along with symptoms and ailments.
Pacif-i smart dummy
Temperature is a key pointer to the health of a baby; it's the first thing a parent checks when their child's feeling or looking poorly. Well, wouldn't it be handy if someone developed a dummy with a built in thermometer that not only reads a baby's temperature for periods at a time but then streams those readings on a regular basis to a Bluetooth-equipped Android or iOS phone or tablet?
The Pacif-i does just that. No need to worry about losing it either, as it has a built-in buzzer that sounds when activated by a smartphone. Very clever.
Why settle for a mirror when technology can help? That's the thinking behind this connected cam from Garmin, which syncs up to your existing Garmin satnav to provide a live feed of your reverse-facing little one.
The best thing about the Babycam is Garmin's description of one of its features: "Helpful alert reminds drivers to check for passengers before exiting the vehicle." Never forget your baby again.
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