Smart gadgets: Technology for tots
Jittery, perpetually worried and nervous—these are just some of the ways to describe how a lot of new parents feel most of the time. While parenting earlier may have relied on instinct and experience shared by elders, things are perhaps now a bit easier for parents, thanks to smart gadgets that can help at every step—put the baby to sleep with gentle swaying, raise an alarm when the child has rolled over, or monitor the quality of air around the newborn, for instance. These gadgets allow you to track changes in the baby’s activity and general behaviour pattern. We look at some of the best baby-friendly technology out there.
Car seat: Chicco cosmos
Car seats for babies are a must, even for a short ride. The Chicco Cosmos, which adheres to global safety standards, can be attached to the seat using the seat belts in your car. The seat can be reclined in four positions, from sitting to sleeping, and there are colour-coded indicators for adjustment. It can be attached in the car to face the front or the rear, and offers great padding all round. Good for babies up to three years old.
Smart thermometer: Nokia thermo
If a child is unwell, it is important to keep a log of the temperature readings. Nokia’s smart thermometer does that, with the Nokia Thermo app (Android and iOS). It takes the reading from the temporal artery, readings from which are considered the most accurate. The Thermo, which can make profiles for up to eight family members, has a digital display and uses HotSpot Sensor technology that is good for over 4,000 accurate measurements.
Video monitor: Nanit
$299 onwards; Nanit.com
The Nanit video monitor offers HD-quality livestream on your phone or tablet. You place the camera in the room where the baby is sleeping, and the Nanit app (free for Android and iOS) lets you monitor your baby and also automatically logs the critical moments every day. It uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand your baby’s habits over time (movements, sleep time, etc.) and notifies you if it detects anything out of the ordinary. It has night-vision capabilities, so you can see the baby even when the lights are turned off. Every morning, you get statistics like how long the baby slept the previous night, the quality of sleep derived from the baby’s movements, how long it took for the baby to fall asleep, and the time spent awake while lying on the bed.
Bassinet: Snoo smart sleeper
The Snoo Smart Sleeper is a smart bassinet for your baby. It has what is called a Snoo Sack, in which the baby is wrapped; it is then clipped to a safety mechanism which prevents the baby from rolling over. Three integrated microphones monitor your baby’s sleep and movements. If it detects broken sleep or crying, it alters the white-noise sound generation, which has a calming effect on the child. The Snoo Smart Sleeper can be configured for gentle rocking to put the baby to sleep, or for faster rocking when it is agitated. It has dual mesh walls and comes with three Snoo Sacks made of organic cotton. It is good for babies up to six months.
Movement tracker: Sense-u
The Sense-U is a monitor that carries out a couple of very critical tasks. This tiny accessory can be clipped to the waistband of the baby’s diaper, and connected to your smartphone using the Sense-U Baby app (Android and iOS). It constantly monitors the baby’s breathing, and notifies you if it finds the abdomen movement too weak or too heavy. Second, if the baby rolls over on to its stomach, the Sense-U will immediately notify you. This is ideal to use till your baby can naturally turn and roll over while sleeping.
Air quality monitor: Laser egg 2
Bad air in the room is a strict no-no. The Laser Egg 2 by Kaiterra is a smart air quality monitor that detects volatile organic compounds, including gases such as formaldehyde, which are quite common in household products such as personal care items, drycleaned clothes, adhesives, etc. The Laser Egg 2 connects with your phone and the home Wi-Fi, and sends critical notifications while updating useful information such as outdoor air quality and weather.