With products like Jawbone and Fitbit and dozens more that are ushering us into a new era of wearable tech, it seems only natural that wearable tech for babies is next, right? But a wearable baby monitor that can sense, learn and predict your baby’s behavior? That almost sounds too good to be true–yet that’s exactly what the folks at Sproutling are claiming their revolutionary baby monitor will do for new parents.
Since this is newfound territory, let’s start with the quality of the technology itself. It was created by former Apple and Google engineers alongside a team of child pediatric specialists and Ph.D scientists–how’s that for street cred? The Sproutling baby monitor is designed to be sensitive enough to detect subtle differences in heartbeat, movement, body temperature and more. I was fortunate enough this week to see a first-hand demo of just how accurate the Sproutling monitor is and I have to say, it was impressive enough to make me want to pre-order one for my own baby number two on the way.
Small enough to wrap around your newborn’s tiny ankle, the wearable baby monitor gathers 16 different measurements every second from your baby and your baby’s environment to help new parents understand things like when your baby is most likely to wake up; when your baby’s heart rate is higher or lower than usual; what position your baby is sleeping in; whether the room is too loud or the right temperature; and even what mood he or she is in when they wake up.
The goal, as Sproutling explains, is to help new parents adjust to life as a new family and to let you know when you have a few extra minutes to catch a few more zzz’s, get up to speed on your favorite shows or spend some quality time with your partner. Ideally awake, I presume, if such a thing is possible.
Suitable for use on babies ages 0-2, but probably most suitable for infants, the Sproutling baby monitor includes a sensor and wearable band that comes in three different sizes to grow with your infant, a smart wireless charger (shown above), and then the mobile app that can be synced on multiple devices allowing you to see updates on the baby’s data and track changes.
The band itself is hypoallergenic, as you might imagine, and it’s comforting to know it’s manufactured without chemicals or toxins. It’s also safe for the washing machine once you remove the sensor which would be one of my first questions–I’d hate to think that one accident could ruin it.
Now the Sproutling baby monitor does not have video or audio, which might make some moms and dads extremely anxious. I admit to obsessively keeping an eye on my son via video monitor those first few months of uncertainty, so I can understand how some parents might be turned off by the idea of no video or audio. However, as someone who will personally admit to hunching over my son’s crib to hear and see him breathe despite the fancy video monitor I had at my disposal, I think it’s fair to say that it can be difficult at times to tell how your infant is doing just from traditional baby monitors. So as with all things revolutionary, Sproutling will take some getting used to.
And when you think about it, if I could have been reassured that my baby’s heart was beating by looking at an app, I think that could have put me way more at ease than looking at a dark room through a monitor.
So what exactly does the Sproutling wearable baby monitor mean for new parents? Will our newborns start sleeping through the night at four weeks old? Will we all suddenly know when to transition our babies from three naps to two? Until we’ve tried it ourselves, one can only hope. But I think what the Sproutling baby monitor will definitely offer new parents is more knowledge. Personalized insights into your baby’s individual well-being can be way more powerful than simply comparing some vitals to “averages” of the general public, which we all know can be varied and complex. After all, how many times have you said yourself that “every baby is different”?
The Sproutling wearable baby monitor is available for pre-orders starting today and will begin shipping in March 2015. It retails for $299, but a promotional price of $249 is available at sproutling.com while limited supplies last.