Human beings have been giving birth and raising kids successfully for millennia, so the latest high-tech gizmo isn’t something you absolutely need in order to parent. But when it comes to taking care of a baby, anything that can reduce your stress as a parent, whether it’s getting a fussy toddler to fall asleep or checking in on your little one from miles away, is welcome. It’s a fine line, however, and it can be tricky to tell which pieces of baby gear are useful and which sound nice but aren’t as helpful as they might seem.
Our picks for the best high-tech baby monitors and baby gear for your nursery are ultimately worth the investment. From baby monitors with next-level features to electronic changing tables to a no-touch thermometer, these are the high-tech products that offer insights about your kid, help you succeed as a parent, and make the entire ordeal less of an…ordeal.
Developed by Dr. Harvey Karp, the dude behind The Happiest Baby on the Block, the Snoo Smart Sleeper uses three microphones to monitor your baby’s 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 motion (slower swing or “faster jiggles”) and speed, based entirely on how agitated or relaxed your child sounds. And to make sure they sleep safely, the Snoo also comes with three organic cotton “five-second swaddles” (in sizes ranging from 5 to 26 pounds) that attach to clips in the sleeper to ensure your baby can’t roll over onto their belly.
Out of the box, Nanit is an HD, night-vision video monitor that live-streams footage of your baby (hopefully) sleeping directly to your smartphone using local wifi or mobile internet. It also measures the temperature and 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 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 read in the morning to keep tabs on your baby’s sleep health.
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 give 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.
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.
Awair tracks a room’s temperature, humidity, CO2, VOCs, and dust, and rates the air quality, which it 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 goals for improvement: allergies, sleep, productivity, wellness, beauty, or pregnancy, so you can improve your air quality for anything your family is going through.
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 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, so you can look forward to you and your son or daughter sleeping through the night.
Unlike jerks in movie theaters, babies respond well to being shushed. The Baby Shusher rhythmically replicates the “shushhhh” 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.
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) 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. It also plays four different sleep-inducing light and sound combinations, promotes sleep hormones with optimized color output, and activates with a cry sensor.
The Pure Cool Link, the latest iteration of the company’s series of oscillating, bladeless fans, keeps the nursery at the proper temperature, automatically measures a room’s air quality, and 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. The fan syncs to a smartphone app that allows you to schedule air purification, set sleep timers, and activate a quieter nursery mode.
It is heartbreaking to see your baby sick and even more spirit-breaking 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. Fingers crossed for 98.6.
Baby swings, rockers, and bouncers are parental godsends that act as modern cradles and 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, making a total of 25 different combinations, as well as four built-in sounds and a Bluetooth connection for your smartphone. 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.
For parents who want to monitor their baby’s cries from the office, or the gym, or Tahiti, the BB-8-looking iBaby M7 syncs right up to your house wifi 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, and in-room temperature, air quality, and humidity. There’s even a built-in moonlight soother that projects the moon and stars on to the ceiling as a sort of interstellar nightlight. The M7 also comes with night vision, two-way talk, diaper and feeding reminders, and tons of programmed lullabies and bedtime stories.
Cocoon is a ‘smart’ baby monitor that lets parents watch live high-def footage of their baby snoozing and tracks their vital signs and breathing using computer vision and artificial intelligence. And it can do both from across the room, without requiring your kid to wear any additional gadgets. Not only that, but when your baby becomes a toddler, the camera’s motion sensor will alert you when she climbs out of bed and tries to make 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 Bluetooth speaker and alarm clock. All for $100.
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 like a bottle warmer and sterilizer.
This baby monitor includes standard features like a camera and two-way audio, but its nonstandard features are what we found so intriguing. Radar sensors track chest movement and sleep states, so you can know your baby’s current state of wakefulness as well as long-term trends, since there’s an app that collects the data. That app will also alert you to irregular breathing and can even make recommendations around sleep training.