You can begin quantifying your child before you’ve even conceived thanks to wearables such as the Ava 2.0 fertility tracker (£249, avawomen.com), which identify the optimum time to procreate. Updated with better sensor performance, it claims to be able to identify when a woman is going to ovulate (rather than when she has ovulated) via a mixture of resting pulse rate, skin temperature and breathing rate, instead of the traditional basal temperature method.
Once that bun is in the oven it’s over to Baby-Scan, due later this year. This lets expectant parents track the development of their baby’s growth safely at home via ultrasounds, with live 3D scans delivered to an accompanying app. This isn’t meant to replace medical scans, of course, but rather offer a front-row seat to a baby’s development.
Also offsetting parental anxiety is the Owlet Band, which can track a foetal heart rate and count tiny kicks from 24 weeks using passive ECG technology. The stretchy band, due for release later this year, sends contraction alerts and health reports detailing the mother’s sleep position and baby’s heartbeat to an app. It even allows parents to listen for peace of mind.
As many new parents will attest, one of the biggest stresses — apart from being responsible for a tiny human — is the lack of shuteye. To help parents rest easier is Nanit’s Breathing Wear. This works with its existing Plus smart HD baby camera, which already tracks a baby’s breathing, sleep movement and patterns by analysing motion. The specially designed breathing band and swaddle, due in March, take the motion analysis to the next level thanks to special patterns of squares that allow the overhead crib cam to track a baby’s breathing rate and alert parents when no breathing motion is detected.
Keep track of important feeding data with this smart sleeve from Bluesmart Mia 2 (£77, bluesmartmia.com), which connects to any baby bottle to automatically track portion measurement and feeds, temperature, duration, angle, expiration and baby’s schedule with the help of an app. The app also allows you to set feeding goals alongside suggestions and tips to get rid of any guesswork.
Then there’s Nurture by Imalac (£230, available June, imalac.com), a breast-massaging bra that works with attachable cups to mimic hands-on pumping, all while transparent tubes extended from the device produce milk into two attached bottles. According to Imalac the device can cut pumping time by more than 70 per cent and increase the amount of milk expressed by 30 per cent.
With the amount of new-fangled tech inside next-gen baby monitors, it makes you wonder how any of us survived early childhood without systems analysing our every move.
Take the Bluebell Baby Monitor (£299, pre-order March 1, bluebell.io), which the company is calling ‘a smart monitoring system like no other’. A waterproof monitor with a hypoallergenic casing and strap attaches to a baby’s clothing to monitor breathing rate, skin temperature, crying, activity level and sleep/awake status. Wrist-based alerts are delivered to a smartwatch-style parent wristband that also makes noise if breathing movement isn’t detected or baby rolls on its tummy. Sleep, step and activity tracking keep an eye on parent wellness too.
The third piece to this baby-monitoring puzzle is a noise- and temperature-monitoring smart hub that creates an ideal sleeping environment by playing lullabies with an accompanying night light. And, of course, it wouldn’t be complete without an app to speak to baby via the hub, track feeding, sleep, nappy changes and bath time, and give a gentle nudge for medication reminders.