Human beings have been giving birth and raising kids successfully for millennia without the help of high-tech baby gear. And though most baby tech is not actually a prerequisite to modern parenting, it does make the job easier. And when it comes to taking care of a baby, anything that reduces parental stress is welcome, whether it’s a smart crib that can get a fussy toddler to fall asleep or monitor that allows parents to check in on children from miles away. It’s a fine line, however, and it can be tricky to tell which pieces of baby tech are useful and which ones sound nice but do nothing more than raise your credit balance and boost your anxiety levels.
These select pieces of baby tech are ultimately worth the investment. From baby monitors with next-level features to completely customizable smart cribs and bassinets, these are the high-tech gadgets that offer insights about your kid, help you succeed as a parent, and make the entire ordeal less of an…ordeal.
This brilliant sleep training clock is also an audio baby monitor and sound machine in one. For less than $100, it does (nearly) everything you could want: It's a sound machine, a color-changing night light, a time-to-rise clock, and a two-way audio monitor. The one thing missing: Video.
This easy-on-the-eyes bassinet has five motions to soothe your kid and is Bluetooth-enabled. This good-looking smartphone-controlled bedside bassinet has a timer and five motions: Car ride, rock-a-bye, free swing, kangaroo and wave.Parents can choose among five speeds and there's also a vibrating option, plus four white noise options. Mix and match the movements, speeds and sounds to figure out the perfect smart bassinet cocktail that gets your kid to fall asleep and stay asleep. You can use it until your baby is 25 pounds.
For something more portable, this bassinet has built-in nightlights, four soothing sounds, and two levels of vibration. Suitable for babies up to 20 pounds, HALO's new bassinet swivels 360 degrees, has a lowering bedside wall so you can get your baby without getting out of bed, and a melange of vibrations and sounds to help with bedtimes. The bed can be used on and off the base, so it's also portable, which is a bonus.
The Owlet baby monitor lets you observe your baby from anywhere, and the monitor's 1080p video lets you see your baby in clear detail during the day and night. There's a 130-degree wide angle lens, so every bit of the nursery is visible. So you're at work and jonesing for a glimpse of your infant? Owlet to the rescue. The video monitor let you stream sound and video via its own app. It has night vision, for those late work dinners. And it streams video via secure, encrypted WiFi. You can talk to your baby from anywhere and listen to your kid while you're on your phone.
The SmartConnect Deluxe Soother is part night-light, part bedtime guru, and totally worth it. Getting your kid to sleep is easy, right? Bad joke. Very bad. That's where this gadget comes in handy. The SmartConnect Deluxe Soother lets you customize and control everything with the SmartConnect app. This means you can adjust the lighting effects and music from anywhere in your house, without disturbing your baby. Plus, you can create a personalized bedtime routine. It also plays soothing music and sounds.
It's powerful. It's quiet. It's lightweight and portable. And it has a closed system that keeps the breast milk separate from pump parts, reducing the time spent cleaning out tiny tubes.
Speaking of breast pumps, here's one of the quietest ones you can buy; it's about as a loud as a whisper. This ultra-portable breast pump has a single or double pumping option. You can customize it to your specific needs. It has a nice backlit LCD screen for midnight pumping, plus a built-in nightlight with three settings. The closed system keeps the tubes clean. And it has a 45-decibel hum, which won't wake your baby. Plus it weighs a measly four pounds.
So brilliantly simple: A glow in the dark pacifier. So when your kid loses one in the middle of the night ... you find it right away.
This infant car seat alerts you if you accidentally leave your baby in the car. It can happen to anyone and when it does, it's horrific beyond measure. This car seat, while not foolproof, will also let you know if your child unbuckles themselves while the car is in motion, via an app.
Think of this as a barista for your baby bottle: This formula dispenser mixes, heats and doles out your formula. If you feed your child formula (and there are absolutely no judgements here), this can be a lifesaver. Especially for middle of the night feeds. It's compatible with all baby bottles.
This smart baby thermometer lets parents monitor temps from afar, thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity. Your baby has a wearable device that tracks his or her temperature. This thing will even track when gave your baby medicine, and will remind you when your child is due for another dose via text or email. And you'll be alerted if the fever spikes. It's either immensely smart, or immensely crazy-making.
There is no proven therapeutic value to weighted blankets, but anecdotally, they do help people sleep better. Made of soft, breathable cotton, this sleep sack has a weighted pad on its chest, and it can feel reassuring to babies.
Developed by Dr. Harvey Karp, 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. The Snoo Smart Sleeper 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.
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.
The mamaRoo4 is one of our favorites, bouncing and swaying just right to soothe an infant. 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 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.
The iBaby monitor even has a built-in moonlight soother that projects the moon and stars on to the ceiling as a sort of interstellar nightlight. 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. The M7 also comes with night vision, two-way talk, diaper and feeding reminders, and tons of programmed lullabies and bedtime stories.
This smart camera helps detect and alert you when your newborn's mouth or nose is covered by something or when they get stuck rolling over. As they grow, it can be used to monitor danger areas like stairs, and alert you if baby enters them.
This smart bassinet automatically responds to baby's cries and rocks them back to sleep. The built-in speakers detect fussing and prompt the bassinet to rotate through three speeds of rocking and vibrating, ten songs and white noise until baby is calm again.
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