The Internet of Things... parenting edition
There’s a smart device for parents at any stage, from newbies to grizzled veterans, from the chilled-out laissez-faire parent to the eek-I-scheduled-too-many-activities frazzled parent. Internet of Things (IoT) technology brings peace of mind, better organization options, and life-changing safety gadgets into your home, saving you time and sanity.
When you have a family, keeping track of all the moving parts is a juggling act. With a few smart devices in your home, life can be a little smoother, a little easier. Maybe one of these will save you from a temper tantrum (yours, not theirs).
Smart changing pad
No more spreadsheets and white boards! This smart changing pad can be used to monitor baby’s growth for you. Hatch Baby’s Smart Changing Pad is a traditional diaper changing pad with a built-in, wireless smart scale. Anxious new parents will find peace of mind with options to track baby’s weight and diaper changes to be sure he is thriving. The product automatically syncs to the Hatch Baby app, on which parents can record nursing sessions, sleep, pumping amounts, and more. It takes the guesswork out of those first few critical months.
4moms smart car seat
At roughly $500, the 4moms Smart Car Seat sounds pricey. However, considering that the lush Maxi-Cosi® Pria™ (which looks like a tiny leather recliner) cha-chings in at $200 more than that, and doesn’t include the smart features, it’s not bad at all.
Most sources say that at least half of all parents install car seats incorrectly, which can lead to serious injuries in a crash. The 4moms car seat installs itself (whoa!) correctly by automatically leveling and tensioning. It also verifies the installation before every ride on the app, and then continuously monitors it during use. What price for peace of mind, indeed?
FOR PARENTS OF A SLIPPERY TODDLER
Yes, the Pacif-i can take your baby’s temperature via their patented pacifier. However, what’s even more appealing for the parent of a wandering toddler is that it also features a built-in proximity sensor. That means if your little one wanders out of range (up to 65 feet away) an alarm will be triggered. And much like the “Find my iPhone” feature, if you or your child has hidden or lost his pacifier, a buzzer alarm can be activated via your smartphone app.
Kinsa Smart thermometer
This thermometer – available in a smart stick or ear device – not only takes a child’s temperature, it offers guidance on next steps, tracks fever, symptoms, medications, and diagnoses. It has the capability to send your health details and photos straight to your doctor, and alerts you if fever is cause for concern. It remembers details for you such as when symptoms began, fever trends, or when to give another dose of medication. You can also share data with your spouse, a caregiver, or your doctor.
It’s kind of like having a call-a-nurse available online full time.
FOR PARENTS OF BUSY SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN
Amazon Kindle Fire for Kids
Tired of sharing your tablet with the kids? The Fire Kids Edition Tablet is the answer. The 7-inch screen is just the right size for them, and includes software that blocks access to social media, email, and in-app purchases, and limits YouTube to approved content. Parents can set screen time limits for games, age-appropriate content access, and even education goals for digital reading.
Shipped with a two-year guarantee, if anyone in the house breaks the Fire Kids tablet, Amazon will replace it for free, no questions asked.
Ready to move your grocery list from a paper notepad to a smart device? This little gadget costs $59 on Amazon and is incredibly simple to use. Hiku lives in your kitchen, either standing up on its flat edge or as a magnet on your refrigerator; it operates with one button so anyone in your family can contribute. It scans barcodes and uses voice recognition to share your shopping list to your phone so you’re always up to date.
Even better, save yourself the trip and connect hiku to a grocery shopping service like Instacart, and your supplies will magically appear at your door on command.
FOR EMPTY NESTERS
You made it: it’s finally your turn to sleep. You’ve made it through the newborn no-sleep stage to the preschool I-just-need-another-drink-of-water stage to the OMG-it’s-curfew-and-she’s-still-not-home stage. Marketed as the first “smart bed” in the world, ReST Dash™ has sensors inside the bed to monitor your body’s pressure and every movement to help you better understand how well you slept and make improvements. Best of all, you don’t have to wear any kind of device – you sleep on it. Zzzzzzz.
Short-term memory can be a casualty of years of parenting; finding things like your car keys, phone, or wallet is aggravating. Trackr is tiny – about the size of a quarter – and can be affixed to just about anything. When an item is missing, just pull up the app on your phone and activate the beep.
Now that the kids are out of the house, you can attach a Trackr tag to your pet’s collar and he’ll be easy to find when he wanders around the neighborhood. Why didn’t they have these to track the kids when they were little?