While your better half owns the market on ‘junk drawers’ in your home (you know, the magic receptacle where random paper clips shaped like pineapples & last year’s tax assessments are housed), it’s safe to say you have sole ownership over the “defunct tech centre” where chargers for devices long-since-lost & remote controls for A/V equipment still packed from the last move all collect in a pile. Rest assured, your future technological purchases are about to get an injection of usefulness thanks to the upcoming birth of your babe-to-be.
Check out these eight hot gadgets that modern dads won’t want to miss!
1. RAYBABY: For the “Can’t Get Enough Stats” Dad
While the device itself may appear slightly eerie at first glance (think a tiny stationary robot with a single giant eye as its head), this virtual baby monitor, recently launched via Kickstarter and is supported by consumer health care giant J&J. The monitor provides ongoing vitals about your new ‘crib mate’ (get it?) including breathing rates, sleeping habits, even the onset of a fever – via a downloadable app. Can’t get enough of your little piece of perfection? Raybaby allows for ongoing selfies you can catalogue daily or delete, ensuring you never miss a moment of those first few precious years.
2. SMARTCUBE: For the “Safety-First” Dad
Marketed as ‘the world’s first Bluetooth enabled portable locking system’, SmartCube is lightyears ahead of the old-school style child-proof safety locks and eliminates the frustrating install experience for those of us normally challenged by home-improvement tasks. This Bluetooth-enabled device attaches itself to any cabinet/closet/drawer and can be unlocked remotely (and discreetly) using your phone as the virtual key. Just when you thought your dreams of being James Bond had finally passed, you now possess a domestic tool worthy of any modern-day spy agency. #Cool!
3. HiSENSE BREATHING MONITOR: For the “Detail-Oriented” Dad
There is such a thing as oversharing (if you’ve been home during your partner’s ‘book club’ night you’ll know what we mean…) but for parents with a particular need or desire to be alert to even the most microscopic details about their child’s slumber, the Babysense 5s is a hyper-alerting-non-touch device that will monitor through a crib mattress, every micro-movement your babe makes while sleeping like a baby (a phrase you will quickly find out is a misnomer!) Should your babe’s normal sleep or breathing patterns change suddenly, the HiSense alerts. Classified as a medical device in Europe and Asia, it may overwhelm the paranoid parent (aka all of us), but for those able to keep their fears in check, this monitor is quite reassuring.
4. OWLET ANKLE MONITOR: For the “Data-Is-Everything” Dad
The NBA and NFL aren’t the only markets where wearable technology is a budding enterprise. Your two-month-old can be on the cutting edge as well. Attached to your child’s ankle, the device tracks all the data any new parent can ever want to know (or thinks they want to know!) including their temperature, heart rate, oxygen levels and sleeping patterns as well as a roll-over alert should your babe end up sleeping face first as opposed to on their back (which is still recommended by pediatricians.) Those game-day stats you follow before the big game? They just got a whole lot more real.
5. HATCHBABY CHANGE TABLE– For the “Never-Want-To-Miss-A-Moment” Dad
Hatch – the baby product company consistently churning out smart, modern and most importantly useful products for babes in arms, just did it again with Grow, their smart, ‘next-gen’ changing pad that goes well beyond being a soft place to land as you diaper your offspring. Grow enables caregivers to track all sorts of vitals for your ever-changing child including a smart scale tracking weight, feeding levels, diaper changes, length and sleep patterns. Connected to an app, it means being able to monitor them remotely, and – for those in-laws who can’t get enough details about their new grandchild – easily share that same data to anyone on the globe.
6. SNOO SMART SLEEPER: For the “Sleep-Deprived” Dad (aka Everyone.)
Once you get over the sticker shock ($1500 CDN for a bassinet they’ll use for six months!), the features that make this responsive bassinet so appealing are hard to ignore. Developed by Dr. Harvey Karp – the beloved – and occasionally derided – author of the Happiest Baby on the Block series of books and videos, the SNOO claims to boost sleeping in the first six months of your infants’ life by mimicking womb rhythms, eliminating the need for cry-it-out sleep strategies and I-am-going-to-lose-my-mind parental meltdowns. The jury is still out, but anecdotal reviews (and company marketing collateral) insist the SNOO can have you all sleeping better within three to seven days. Quite possibly the most sound investment for developing sound sleepers.
7. AWAIR AIR APP: For the “Rarified-Air-Kind” of Dad
Add indoor air toxins to the list of things that might be keeping your babe awake at night (and also the potential cause of eczema, asthma, allergies to name a few.) Awair is small and sleek sensor that sits on any flat surface continuously monitors the cleanliness of your indoor air environment, reading and presenting the status constantly. The Awair app can even connect with other smart devices in your home to help you battle dust, Co2, chemicals, humidity and more. Now, aren’t you breathing easier already?
8. OMNIO STROLLER : For the “Crisis-of-Confidence” Dad
We consider this ‘asset management’ at its finest. Look at your average multi-tasking Dad on a Saturday; pushing a stroller, carrying a diaper bag balancing a Starbucks and a phone while chasing a toddler. If this is filling you with a slight feeling of “Am I ready for this“, relax. Emotionally – we have no idea if you’re up for the task (but history tells us like most Dads, you’ll be just fine!) Physically? You’re all set thanks to the British-designed Omnio – a wearable stroller (yes, really) that folds up into a backpack-sized carrier, leaving you with both hands free to follow your bumbling bundle of joy around (and take the requisite photos) until they are tired and want to pop back into their seat. Perfection.
Go ahead and geek-away over these gadgets, but bear in mind the old-adage about the dangers of having too much information. Babies (and those who parent them – just ask yours!) have survived for years by ensuring just the basics are covered; sleep, wake, eat, repeat.
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This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.