A baby onesie with breathing and movement sensors.
A smart sock that measures heart rate and oxygen levels of a baby.
A smart crib with microphones and sensors to detect crying and movement.
My grandma would have never believed me if I told her these products exist and that parents actually use them. Her response would have surely been a good, old-fashioned, “What will they think of next?”
During my first pregnancy, I frequently asked my mom friends what their favorite baby products were and what were the must-have items. Most of the answers I received were similar and made sense to me, while some were unique, like the under-the-mattress movement sensor pad that my good friend suggested. I had never heard of such a thing. That was five years ago, and today so many more health-tracking gadgets exist for babies.
Some parents depend on health tracking technology to help monitor their baby’s health while some have never even thought about using it. The practice of parents using tracking or monitoring devices for their babies is being referred to as digital parenting. The amount of these products on the market continues to grow as they are becoming quite popular with new parents who can afford them. There are products that seem convenient and reasonably priced, like pacifiers that can easily take a baby’s temperature.
I can see how health-tracking devices would be helpful especially with newborns during a time when parents are completely exhausted and sleep deprived and trying to get to know and understand their new child. I turned to apps when I was tracking feedings for both of my babies. At appointments, my doctor often asked questions about feedings and it was so convenient to pull up the information on my phone and report it while I was at the appointment.
Who knows what the future holds for digital parents. What they will think of next?
Sarah Cole is a freelance writer and mother of two young children in Colorado. She thought she was pretty fancy and digital because she had video monitors in her baby rooms.