No one has ever said being a parent is easy and that’s especially the case when it comes to looking after a baby or young child. Some seem to take to it like a duck to water, or at least a vaguely competent swimmer to water, while others struggle through months of sleepless nights like zombies. And it doesn’t always necessarily get easier the second or even third time around. Unfortunately, nothing is ever going to mean parenting is a walk in the park but the latest technology in the world can lend a much welcome hand.
The new generation of parents, millennials who embrace technology in every other area of their lives, are also doing so when it comes to parenting. Sleep patterns, or the lack thereof, is often the biggest problem that parents face with babies and toddlers. New generations of smart baby monitors harness machine learning and computer vision to track and analyse sleep patterns. These are fed into an app that then makes suggestions, something that past generations of parents have often paid small fortunes to receive from ‘sleep consultants’.
For a few hundred pounds, smart baby monitors provide ongoing advice relevant to the here and now. They also have the advantage of reading the baby’s signals scientifically and throughout their entire sleep cycles, rather than relying on the parent being able to communicate their empirical observations. With the data of thousands of sleeping babies being gathered, a big data approach is also leading to deeper insights, and better advice.
Rocking a baby soothingly to sleep is another ancient practise that, while it can also be sometimes be relaxing for the parent too, can become a significant time burden. Parents needs a rest too sometimes! Luckily, a helping hand can now be found in the form of bassinets that can rock themselves, and your baby, all through the night if necessary.
Another piece of comforting parent tech is ‘smart socks’ that monitor an infant’s heart rate and oxygen levels, sending an alert if anything is out of the ordinary. Wearable thermometer patches, smart breast pumps and even motion sensors that make sure feeding angles are correct have hit the market in recent years.
Some react in an illogically aggressive manner to babytech and parenting tech. The idea seemingly that parenting should be as Mother Nature intended it. However, those expressing that attitude are noticeably not living in caves and gnawing raw bones. Where the line between what is ‘natural’ and what isn’t, is subjective. Being the best parent possible is being as well rested and relaxed as possible. If that, for you, involves the help of the latest technology out there, go for it!