The Eldridge Family

Tech for Your Newborn Baby

April 30, 2018
Brett
Baby, Tech, Newborn, Philips Hue, Spotify, Baby Monitor, Apps
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Does a Newborn Really Need Tech Gadgets and Apps?

Yes!
Well, not directly, but there certainly are some great tech items out there to make life easier for new parents.

I didn’t go too crazy with tech items for my new son Ashton, but I did buy some tech that I thought would be useful. Now that he is 9 months old, and the tech has been put through its paces, I thought I would share my thoughts.

Here are some of the tech items I bought for my son, and my thoughts on them.
Please note, this post is NOT sponsored, I actually bought and used these items.

Baby Monitor with Camera

I can remember talking with my wife about the need for video. We wondered if it was worth the extra money, or did we even need it? YES, it is worth the extra. In fact, I could not image how different things would be without it.
Tech - Oricom Baby Monitor
What is it?: Its a baby monitor that wakes when there is noise in the baby room. The one I used is the Oricom Secure 710, pictured. You can also view the camera on the monitor any time you like. At night, the camera uses infrared so you can still see whats going on. This monitor has the ability to add cameras, and you can scroll through them on one base station. It also has other features, like the ability to talk to the baby, and play lullabies, but personally, I don't use any of that.

My thoughts: A must have. When there is a noise, or the baby cries a little, having the monitor allows me to see exactly what is going on without having to go in there. Another great use, is when I put my son Ashton to sleep, I can see what he gets up to. EG, he just started standing in the cot, and likes to fall backward and hit his head. I can see if he is in a bad position, and go in there. If you are not sure if you need a camera, my advice is to pay the extra and get it, you wont regret it.

Sleep Sensor

Hands down, the most valuable piece of tech I had for my newborn was the sleep sensor.
Baby Technology - Breathing Sensor Monitor
What is it?: A sleep sensor, usually comprises of two sensor pads/discs that are placed underneath the cot mattress and are connected to a battery powered alarm that is attached to the outside of the cot. You simply press a button to turn it on when you put them in the cot, and press the same button to turn it off when you take them out. It detects the breathing of newborns, and if it doesn’t detect any breathing, the alarm sounds. It doesn’t stop S.I.D.S. but it alarms you if it happens, and gives you a resuscitation opportunity. Another feature is the built in LED that flashes on each breath. That’s awesome because it’s so hard to tell if they are breathing sometimes, and it lets you know the device is on and working correctly.

My thoughts: The sleep sensor gives me peace of mind, and is well worth the money. I thought it would be tough to remember to turn it on each time, but it became a habit very quickly. I do have a few "S**t, is it on" moments in the middle of the night, and I have to go in and check, but these can’t be avoided. We went with the Oricom Babysense2. Here is my Oricom Babysense2 Review. My tip would be to face the alarm LED toward your monitor camera so you can check it on the baby monitor instead of running in there. I was concerned about how long 4aa batteries would last, but was pleasantly surprised. I used Duracell NiMh rechargeables, and get around 3 months per charge. This is a must have item in my opinion.

Smart Lights

Smart lights in your home may seem like a bit of a novelty, but, smart lights in your baby nursery is a very practical application.
Baby Tech - Philips Hue
What are they?: Smart lights are light bulbs that connect to your home network over Wi-Fi, and you then have the ability to control them remotely. These lights can also be controled via apps, which will do things like scheduled on and off.

My thoughts: I use the Philips Hue lighting system, and I have used the full color bulbs in the nursery. I also use the Hue Tap Switch by Philips, which I have placed on the wall and is used instead of voice activation or using the app. If my lights had a dimmer, I may not have such a need for this, but they didn't, so the smart lights allowed me to use the lights in the room as a nightlight. I had 3 main light settings, all available on the tap switch: Lowest (Nightlight), 30% (Breastfeeding during the night) and 100% (Wake up time, and general room use). And now that my son is a little older, I have his bedtime and wake time scheduled and it changes brightness accordingly.

Smart Swing

I did not plan on buying one of these smart swings. But my son cried a lot and it didn't matter what we did, he cried (He was medically ok, we checked). One day, after 7 hours of crying, I did some research online, and went straight to the shops to get this. Life was bliss in no time!
Tech for Baby - Smart Swing
What is it?: The Ingenuity 2 in 1 Smart Swing is what we ended up with. This is multi function unit, but primarily we used the swing. It swings the baby either forward and backward or side to side whilst playing music, spinning the mobile and vibrating.

My thoughts: My son, after crying for 7 hours fell asleep in this after just 1 minute. I really can't explain how appreciative I was for this smart swing after that. We only used it for daytime sleeps, and most of the time, we turned all the bells and whistles off when he fell asleep. We only used it for 3 months, the day my wife went back to work, I vowed to get him to have all of his sleeps in the cot, and I was successful. I will be dusting it off soon for baby number two though.

Read More: My Review of the Ingenuity 2 in 1 Smart Swing

Record Keeping App

No need to guess how much sleep or food your baby has had. There is an App for it!
Baby Tech - Sprout Application iPhone iPad
What is it?: We used Sprout: Baby. It is an app that you use to keep track of your baby and their daily activities like sleeping and eating. You then see this data in easy to understand graphs. You can also track milestones and medical records.

My thoughts: My wife found this app, and it was very easy to use and I found it very useful. Especially when my wife went back to work. I didn't use it for milestones or medical records, but just to track food qty and sleep qty. This app allowed us to use multiple devices for the one baby, so we both had the app on our phones and the data would just sync between them. At the end of each day, it would graph my day and week, and I can see if I am doing everything correctly, and that my son was getting enough food and sleep. We only recently stopped using this app, as his routine is much more simple now.

My Full Review: Sprout Baby App Review

Spotify

What is it?: You know what it is... A music streaming service.. Or, as I like to call it, a white noise streaming service.

My thoughts:
Sometimes white noise was the solution to get him to sleep, and Spotify provided just that. I was actually shocked how much white noise audio there was in the library. We didn't get Spotify just for this, but it was a welcomed bonus.

Please let me know about the tech devices and gadgets you used for your newborns. My wife and I are due again in August, so your tips would be appreciated.

See Also: Tech Onesies for Babies
Related: Oricom Digital Thermometer Review
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