If you plan to have the smartest kid on the block, better set them up in the smartest nursery. Nowadays, there’s no shortage of integrated, interconnected, Wi-Fi-enabled, high-tech e-crap that’ll take care of your kid for you … er … help you take care of your kid. No, you’re not completely off the hook, but you can at least sit in the other room and have a beer while a smart device tracks your kid’s movements, heartbeat, breathing, air quality, sleep, and development. Then, you can use the data to make improvements in your kid’s quality of life (and, transitively, yours) or simply bask in the incredible job you already knew you’ve been doing. Because a smart nursery and smart kid all start with a smart dad.
This smaller version of the above-mentioned Awair has the added benefit of a built-in nightlight. Glow plugs into any outlet in your house, syncs to your smartphone over Wi-Fi, and tracks/reports all the same elements (humidity, temperature, CO2, chemicals, and dust) in a color-coded air quality score on the accompanying app. Not only that, but it also understands the difference between pointing out a problem, and actually doing something about it. Plug a fan, air purifier, humidifier (de- or otherwise), portable heater, air conditioner, etc. into Glow’s power outlet, and as soon as the air quality dips into the danger zone the appliance will turn on. You can also customize it use a motion sensor or set a timer — just like that lamp that lets criminals know you’re on vacation.
Awair Glow ($99)
Wi-Fi Monitor: Knit
Knit doesn’t just live stream footage of your baby sleeping straight to your phone, it stares at them in a non-creepy way and studies their sleep behavior. Knit tracks and analyzes everything from what time your baby falls asleep, to how often they wake up, to their ideal sleeping conditions (which includes room temp and humidity, as well as light and noise levels). That’s all great, but what most new parents really want is to know if the kid is breathing — and Knit has patented technology that actually displays their breathing pattern and chest movement with a pulsing green circle right in the middle of the screen. You feel better already, don’t you?
Knit Sleep Monitor ($249, Pre-order for April 2017)
Wearable Monitor: Owlet
Owlet is a home version of hospital technology that monitors oxygen levels while babies sleep, but in adorable sock form. It also tracks heart rate, skin temperature, and rollovers, then pipes all that data directly to your phone. No service? The base station bleeps and bloops if something’s up. Great for those who are concerned about their newborn’s O2-levels. Bad for those who are anxious or compulsive. Or, as they’re commonly known in psychology textbooks: Parents.
Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor ($250)
All-In-One Soothing Center: HALO SnoozyPad
This “all-in-one soothing station” is equal parts white noise machine, bassinet vibrator, and nightlight. It includes 2 levels of soothing and (good, good, good) vibrations, 3 types of sounds, and an LED starry night ceiling projector. It’s designed for newborns to 2-year-olds and it’s clear why; with the controls right on the side of the crib, it’s only a matter of time before your 18-month-old starts playing DJ/light tech instead of going to sleep.
HALO SnoozyPad Bedtime Soothing Center
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. You know, little things.
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.
Sound Machine: Baby Shusher
Babies, unlike a-holes in movie theaters, respond well to being shushed. It’s called white noise and it has proven benefits! Baby Shusher rhythmically replicates the “SHUSHHHHHH” of the womb and matches your baby’s volume if they cry (up to 95 decibels). Or you can use the app to record your own shushes — although you don’t get the fun rocket shape. A timer shushes the shushes after 15 or 30 minutes, unlike at the movies.
Baby Shusher ($35)
Baby Shusher App For iOS ($5)
Changing Pad: Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad
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, aka you, 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?
Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad ($250)
Scale: 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.
Health O Meter Grow With Me 2-In-1 Baby To Toddler Scale ($50)
Night Light: Suzy Snooze
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 4 different sleep-inducing light and sound combinations, promotes sleep hormones with optimized color output, and activates with a cry sensor. So all you’ll hear on that monitor is, “ZZZZZzzzzzz.”
Suzy Snooze (Pre-Order)