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The Digital Nursery: How Technical Devices are Moving Further into our Children’s Rooms

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Modern technology and digital devices have become an integral part of everyday family life. For some time now, technical progress in the form of cameras, oxygen meters, smart diapers and much more has also found its way into the realm of the little ones. We take a closer look at a few of these products in the following article.

The digital nursery: baby lies asleep in bed and is monitored by camera

Modern baby monitors with camera give parents even more assurance that everything is fine with their baby. (Image: Aleksei Mikhailechko, Getty Images)

No Digital Nursery without Baby Phone

The baby phone is not new in its technology and has long been a classic that is on the list of basic equipment for many young or soon-to-be parents. But the essential nursery accessory has also taken the next step into the modern age:

New types of baby monitors are now often equipped with cameras, so parents can not only hear but also see how their little one is doing. Some models are even equipped with additional features such as temperature monitoring, two-way communication, night vision or motion detection. App-based remote access also comes standard on many models.

This is a great advance that turns the new "video phones" into real everyday tools. But even that is no longer enough for many parents...

The digital nursery: woman with smartphone next to work place

More and more baby monitoring devices can be controlled via app, allowing parents to keep up with their baby anytime, anywhere. (Image: mixetto)

Professional Baby Monitoring for Home

Breathing, heartbeat, body temperature and even sleep patterns of babies – all values that used to be determined exclusively in medical facilities. Today, things are different: The latest monitoring devices that can determine babies' health and routines are now available for home use.

For parents who no longer want to rely solely on the well-trusted baby phone, baby monitors are the next step. These are available in a variety of designs:

• Arm or foot straps

• Clips that can be tucked into the diaper on the belly

• Baby clothes that are equipped with sensors

• Sensor mats

The data collected can be easily read out via apps. If irregularities occur, the monitoring devices sound the alarm directly. Because parents are alerted to potential problems at an early stage, these technical aids can also provide additional reassurance. After all, fear of the unexpected is particularly high in the first few months, causing new parents to sleep uneasily. Thanks to the use of alarming devices, however, it is possible to intervene and react directly in the event of an emergency.

With Smart Cradles and Bouncers to a More Peaceful Sleep

Monitoring baby's well-being and health is one thing. But what if baby can't get to rest and restful sleep becomes a challenge – even for mom and dad? Especially new parents with a so-called high-need or cry baby can use help here.

Motorized cradles that relieve parents of this burden have been around for some time, but now parents can even control their cradles very simply via an app and benefit from features such as an activity sensor, sleep analysis and push messages on all measured data directly to their smartphone. One example of such a smart cradle is smarla from swing2sleep, which was recently awarded the German Design Award 2023.

There are also smart bouncers that provide soothing for the little ones. These are equipped with sensors and motors that simulate an optimal vibration for a gentle sleep. Some smart baby bouncers are also equipped with speakers that can play soothing music or sounds.

Smart Diapers – so Everything is Fine with Baby's Bottom

To pee or not to pee - that's the question here, and the smart diaper can answer it. Yes, there are indeed smart diapers that use built-in sensors to measure the moisture level and inform parents via an app when the next diaper change is needed.

This is especially helpful for infants, who may not be immediately aware of a full diaper. A soggy bottom can lead to skin irritation if left too long, as we all know, which can be avoided with the smart diapers. The sensors and associated apps also offer parents the opportunity to draw conclusions about their baby's digestive activity, for example by tracking all meals and drink intake.

The Digital Nursery – a Blessing for Today's Parents?

Smart baby equipment already has a lot in store for parents, and we can look forward to many more exciting innovations in this area in the future. All these smart devices offer a future of unlimited possibilities, but there are also critical voices: How much monitoring is too much monitoring? Should children really be watched 24 hours a day, or can and should parents still rely on their intuition without fearing that every push message on their cell phone could mean bad news?

Although smart devices can of course provide parents with additional security and reassurance, they are in no way a substitute for parental care and nurturing of babies. They should only be considered as a support, not an alternative. Parents are and remain the first instance when it comes to protecting their children.