David Gilbert looks at the smart products aimed at helping parents and children.
Technology is transforming every facet of the way we live and work, and when it comes to raising children, things are no different.
Making products “smarter” doesn’t just mean adding a couple of LEDs and Bluetooth, it means bringing something more useful to the table, and for parents of young children, that typically means two things: Keeping children safe and saving time.
Just adding a sensor or launching a companion app is not enough to make purchasing a smart baby product a good idea, they also need to make your life easier.
Some of the products on this list are updates of products used for decades, but given a smart twist. Devices like the Withings Thermo, a thermometer which connects to your smartphone to automatically record the temperature of everyone in the family. Others are completely new, products made possible because of advancements in technology in recent years. The Mimo Onesie is one such product, made possible because of the miniaturisation of sensors, allowing your baby’s clothes to become smarter.
Here are 10 examples of smarter baby products which aim to make your life better.
Monitoring your child’s temperature is one of the key ways to know if they are getting sick. Traditional thermometers can be annoying for children, but the connected Thermo allows you measure the temperature in just two seconds without even having to touch your child’s skin, with all measurements sent directly to your smartphone.
Baby monitors are one of the earliest baby products to benefit from advancements in technology, and while there are more advanced models available, the Motorola MBP8 remains one of the easiest baby monitors to use, and works just as you would expect it. Simply plug it into the wall and its 50m range means you can go anywhere in your house and still listen out for your child.
Over 80% of your child’s brain growth happens in the first three years of life, and a parent’s engagement with the child during this time is crucial at developing language. Starling, a clip-on device, monitors and counts the number of words you speak to your child and helps you increase your engagement with them.
Swing Time is a precious commodity for any parent and the MamaRoo Swing promises to give you back some of your day by rocking your baby to sleep hands-free. It promises to mimic the parent’s own movements with a range of pre-programmed motions, and with Bluetooth you can control this movement and play music though built-in speakers from your smartphone.
Sensors embedded in Mimo’s onesie monitor your child’s breathing and feed the information back to the small turtle-shaped base unit, which additionally checks skin temperature, body position and the activity pattern. All the data is fed to your smartphone in real time, and you can customise the app to receive alerts for events like irregular breathing or increased temperature.
Along with monitoring your child’s temperature, making sure your baby is putting on weight consistently is key to ensuring your child is developing. If you are worried about this, the Smart Kid Scale from Withings is a good solution, offering a cradle for babies to use, which can be removed as your child grows. A companion app automatically keeps track of your child’s development enabling early stage detection of any obesity or undernutrition problem.
Available from withings.com for €179.95
Trying to give your baby a bath is not the easiest thing to do, and so a product like the Infant Tub could be a perfect solution. It automatically keeps track of the temperature of the water, supports your baby, and makes sure dirty water is dispensed as clean water comes in.
Trying to heat up your child’s bottle when you are on the move can be one of the biggest annoyances for parents. This is where the Iiamo Go Self Warming Baby Bottle comes in. As the name suggests, it heats the milk using a heating element in the base, which uses the natural warming effect of salt and water, requiring no cables or plugs.
If hearing your child sleeping is not enough reassurance for you, then there are multiple video monitors on the market, including the Philips Avent Digital Video Monitor. The camera offers colour video during the day and black and white infrared video at night. You can remotely control the nightlight and music from the handset, as well as remotely panning and zooming the camera for a better view.
Not as something to give to your child, but as an indispensable tool for parents. Your smartphone can connect you to numerous apps, along with late-night calls to the doctor, to help your child’s development, as well as monitor their growth.
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