Smart Baby: Gadgets for the Connected Nursery

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In a house where everything is connected, from your auto-dimming lights to your auto-adjusting thermostat, there are ways to make parenting “smarter” too. We recently checked out some gadgets that new parents can use to track your child’s safety and development and maybe most important to new parents everywhere: get more sleep!

Every new parent can tell you about the first time their baby slept longer than expected. You’d think this would be a happy experience where everyone wakes up refreshed. But inevitably it actually produced anxiety: “oh gosh, is she sleeping better than usual or is something wrong?”

Enter the Owlet Smart Sock.

In its third generation, the Owlet Smart Sock tracks baby’s pulse and oxygen levels through a small sock that fits on your baby’s foot while they sleep. When everything is fine, the base station glows green, allowing new parents to go back to sleep more quickly and not wake a sleeping baby to confirm all’s well. If baby’s readings leave preset “safe” zones, you’ll receive a notification on your phone that’s impossible to ignore.

The latest version offers fast, wireless charging and addresses some of the connectivity issues mentioned by users of earlier generations. Hundreds of parents credit Owlet with helping them to identify heart and breathing issues that may otherwise have resulted in tragedy, and anxious parents everywhere love the peace of mind, especially when your baby has a cold, respiratory issue or asthma.

94% of Parents report better sleep with the Owlet Smart Sock

According to a study of nearly 50,000 Owlet users. That piece of mind starts at $299.

All new parents can tell you that babies do primarily 3 things: eat, sleep & dirty their diapers.

Parents that use formula in their baby’s feeding plan now have a great tool to speed the bottle making process: the Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced Baby Formula Dispenser.

It’s like a Keurig for formula, but it works with your formula and your bottles. They offer two versions: the Formula Pro Advanced ($160) and the Formula Pro Advanced WiFi ($280). Both versions automatically make a warm, formula bottle at the press of a button.

Settings are fully customizable, offering 3 temperature settings, 1 oz dispensing between 2-10 oz, and supporting virtually all formula brands and bottle types.

The WiFi version lets you use the free Baby Brezza app to start a bottle by simply pressing “start” on your phone.

Imagine waking up to your baby fussing, pushing a button on your phone and having a bottle ready by the time you reach the kitchen. Not only do you avoid sleep-deprived bottle mistakes (“did I add one scoop or two?”), but you and baby get back to sleep sooner. Win-win.

Another path to improving sleep and the aligned health and wellness benefits – for you and your baby – is the Pampers Lumi Smart Baby Monitor and Sleep Bundle.

The little blue sensor attaches via velcro to your baby’s diaper. It tracks your baby’s sleep and sends the data via bluetooth to the Lumi app where you can get a complete picture of baby’s sleep with personalized recommendations to improve sleep quality and duration. Predictive reporting lets you see the most likely time your baby will wake and sleep.

The Lumi app tracks sleep and diaper changes, and you can manually enter feeding data so that when your doctor inevitably asks you for a chart of data reporting how many times a day your baby is eating, sleeping, etc you can actually pull out a cool chart and look like you have it all under control.

You also gain access to video tutorials from pediatricians and baby sleep experts. These coaching videos are designed to carry you through all the sleep issues you’ll encounter from newborn to 16 months.

8 out of 10 parents say they improved their baby’s sleep with Lumi

The smart sleep system is $109 or you can purchase a bundle including a Logi smart monitor and a starter pack of diapers for $298.

The monitor offers night vision, 1080p HD resolution, an ultra-wide 180° view, two-way audio and room temperature and humidity tracking. Video is sent to your phone via an encrypted, secure video feed so you can keep an eye on your baby wherever you are – home or away.

A favorite in this nerd family’s home is the Hatch Rest, a smart night light and sound machine described as “a magical all-in-one device that’s part sound machine, part night light and 100% a dream for parents.”

The cylindrical nightlight offers a color wheel for infinite color choices and 11 sounds (such as wind, ocean, lullabies, or white noise) that you can combine in whatever versions you and your baby prefer.

The device is touch controlled to scroll through up to ten pre-set favorite sound and noise combinations, or use the app to remotely control the light and sound from outside the nursery. And I know what parents of kids that like to play with everything are probably thinking and Hatch has you covered: there’s a toddler lock function to disable touch controls if you need to.

Set schedules with one-touch programs for bedtime, nap time and wake up, and program the optimum setting to allow for low-light late night feedings.

Perhaps my favorite feature is the “time to rise” function. Anyone who’s toddler has popped up swearing “I slept!” after being in bed for 10 minutes will relate to the sanity-saving nature of a time to rise light.

Your toddler can’t tell time. When you tell them they need to nap for at least an hour, you might as well be telling them to stay in bed for 5 minutes or 2 days. However, they can understand that they need to stay in bed until their Hatch turns green. Program the time to rise on the fly or with a pre-set schedule to dissuade your little one from standing by your bed at 5am asking for breakfast.

The Hatch Rest is available for $60, while the Hatch Rest+ ($90) adds an on-device analog clock, Alexa Control, Audio Monitor & Backup Battery.

Anything that helps moms and dads get more sleep gets our hearty endorsement.