Technology can be wonderful. No, we don’t need the latest high-tech gizmo to care for our kids; we’d be fine, if a bit more harried, without any technology whatsoever. But there are some very nice advancements in high-tech baby gear that help new moms and dads answer questions and serve to lessen the frustrations and anxiety that comes with caring for a new arrival. These things offer insight about your child and just help make the whole new parenting a bit less gross and stressful. Here are 17 that do just that.
Snoo Smart Sleeper
Developed by the dude behind the Happiest Baby On The Block book, Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo Smart Sleeper uses three integrated microphones to monitor your baby’s (but thankfully not your) crying and soothe them back to sleep with an optimal mix of white noise and vibration. It automatically selects the type of noise (soft rain, heartbeats, etc.) and volume level, as well as the type of motion (slower swing, “faster jiggles”) and speed, based entirely on how agitated or relaxed your child sounds. And to make sure they sleep safe, the Snoo also comes with three organic cotton “five-second swaddles” (in sizes from five to 26 lbs.) that attach to clips in the sleeper to ensure the baby can’t roll over onto their belly.
Out of the box, Nanit is an HD, night-vision video monitor that live streams your baby (hopefully) sleeping directly to your smartphone using local Wi-Fi or mobile Internet. It also takes the temperature/humidity in the room, offers one-way audio so you can listen in on (but not talk back to your kid), and sends smart notifications if your baby wakes, cries, or stirs. The big sell though is the camera’s “computer vision,” which monitors how your baby sleeps, noting total sleep time, wake time, and the number of times you come in the room. Then it crunches those numbers using an algorithm and shoots out a report you can scan in the morning on the app.
This electronic changing table with a built-in scale tracks your newborn’s weight before and after each feeding to calculate how much milk they’ve consumed and gives nervous new parents peace of mind. It also tracks things like diaper changes, feedings, and sleep schedule, and syncs it all on a free app because who writes things down nowadays?
This “all-in-one soothing station” is equal parts white noise machine, bassinet vibrator, and nightlight. It includes two levels of soothing and (good, good, good) vibrations, three types of sounds, and an LED starry night ceiling projector. It’s designed for newborns to 2-year-olds and it’s obvious why ⏤ with the controls right on the side of the crib, it’s only a matter of time before your kid starts playing DJ/light tech instead of going to sleep.
Best Air Quality Tracker: Awair
Awair tracks a room’s temperature, humidity, CO2, VOCs, and dust and rates the air quality, which displays beside bar graphs and dots that follow a traffic light pattern: green is good, yellow is fair, and red is, “Didn’t I just spend weeks detoxing this place?” An app lets you specify areas for improvement: allergies, sleep, productivity, wellness, beauty, or pregnancy. Useful for helping your family sleep through the night or avoid the flu.
Best Sleep Tracker: Lully
Night terrors are a specific kind of awful for parents — like nightmares but way more physically violent — that occur when preschoolers and toddlers fall into a deeper than normal sleep. Lully learns your kid’s sleep pattern, and then stimulates them with gentle vibrations at specific times to keep them at a healthy depth of sleep all night. It’s been clinically proven to work, which, sadly, is more than you can say for your hugs.
Best Sound Machine: Baby Shusher
Unlike jerks in movie theaters, babies respond well to being shushed. The Baby Shusher rhythmically replicates the “SHUSHHHHHH” of the womb and matches your baby’s volume if they cry (up to 95 decibels). You can also use the $5 app to record your own shushes. A timer shushes the shushes after 15 or 30 minutes, unlike at the movies.
Health O Meter Grow With Me
You don’t necessarily need one of these if your kid is getting regular checkups, but it can be helpful if you have concerns about their development, whether they were premature, or you just want to make sure they’re eating enough. Grow With Me is accurate, reliable, and converts from an infant tray to a standing digital scale (up to 60 pounds) for when your toddler becomes a badass boxer and needs to make weight.
Suzy Snooze provides a reassuring, soothing orange glow while looking all cute with her little sleepy face. Connect the BleepBleeps app, and Suzy becomes an audio monitor that lets you to listen to your baby from up to 150 feet away. She also plays four different sleep-inducing light and sound combinations, promotes sleep hormones with optimized color output, and activates with a cry sensor.
Best Fan/Air Purifier: Dyson Pure Cool Link Air Purifier
The Pure Cool Link, the latest iteration of the company’s series of oscillating, bladeless fans, not only keeps the nursery at the proper temperature but automatically measures a room’s air quality, and then eradicates any allergens and pollutants it finds. The fan’s filtration system is said to trap not only 99.97 percent of .3 micron small germs and particulates (including mold, bacteria, pollen, and pet dander), but also such gasses as Formaldehyde and Benzene. So there. The fan syncs to a smartphone app where you can schedule air purifying, set sleep timers, and even put it into a quieter, nursery mode.
Braun No-Touch Forehead Thermometer
It is heartbreaking to see your baby sick. It is spirit breaking to try to take the drippy, fussy creature’s temperature with a normal thermometer. This smart temperature-taker solves that issue. Simply press it onto your child’s forehead or as far as two inches away from it and it provides a fast, accurate reading.
4moms MamaRoo 4
Baby swings, rockers, and bouncers are parental godsends that act as modern cradles, offer safe spaces for the kid to rest while you sit on your favorite, non-bouncy seat. The mamaRoo4 is one of our favorites, bouncing and swaying just right to soothe an infant. The smart seat has five unique motions (i.e. “car ride” and “kangaroo”) and five speed options (that equals a total of 25 different combinations) as well as four built-in sounds and a connector for your Mp3 player. Don’t take our word for it: the mamaRoo4, which is available in a variety of colors and patterns, is used at more than 300 hospitals to help soothe premature babies that like to feel as though they’re still in the womb. Honestly, if they made an adult-sized version of this, we’d be first in line.
iBaby Monitor M6s
For parents who want to monitor their baby’s cries from the office, or the gym, or Tahiti, the BB-8-looking iBaby M6S syncs right up to your house Wi-Fi connection ⏤ so instead of using a dedicated handheld receiver, you watch all the action on a smartphone app. It offers impressive 1080p HD video (with record function), a 360-degree view with 110-degree tilt, and an array of high-tech sensors including motion, sound, in-room temperature, air quality, and humidity. The only thing it seemingly won’t do is fix your X-Wing fighter. Although it makes up for it with night vision, two-way talk, and 10 programmed lullabies and bedtime stories, to which you can even add your own voice.
Cocoon is a ‘smart’ baby monitor that not only lets parents watch live high-def footage of their baby snoozing, but also track their vital signs and breathing using computer vision and artificial intelligence. And it can do both from across the room, without requiring the child to wear any additional gadgets. Not only that, but when your baby becomes a toddler, the camera’s motion sensor will alert you when they’ve climbed out of bed and are making a run for it.
The beauty of the Remi is that it starts as a ‘smart’ baby monitor ⏤ with two-way walkie-talkie, adjustable nightlight, and speaker to play lullabies or preprogrammed music ⏤ that also tracks an infant’s sounds at night and produces a daily report on their sleep. For toddlers, it’s a sleep-trainer that uses colors and facial expressions to let kids know when they can get out of bed. And for older kids, it’s a Blue-tooth speaker and alarm clock. All for $100.
Nanobébé Breastmilk Bottles
Nanobébé’s breastmilk bottles have a hemispherical shape that spreads the milk into a thin layer, so it cools twice as quickly and stifles bacterial growth that makes the milk less nutritious and immunological. The domed shape is also stackable, and easier for babies to hold when they’re ready to self-feed. The entire bottle separates into three dishwasher-safe pieces, and works seamlessly with accessories such as a bottle warmer and sterilizer.
raybaby Baby Monitor
This baby monitor includes standard features like a camera and two-way audio, but its non-standard features are what we found so intriguing. Radar sensors track chest movement and sleep states, allowing you to know your baby’s current state of wakefulness and, because there’s an app that collects of the data, long-term trends. That app will also alert you to irregular breathing and can even make recommendations around sleep training.