As we’re seeing at CES this past week week, pretty much everything in our homes is going “smart” these days, and your baby’s changing table is no exception. The Hatch Baby smart changing pad isn’t just a soft place for your baby to lay while they get cleaned up. It also collects a load of data (pun intended) throughout the day.
I’m intrigued, but as a mom who didn’t use a changing table at all for baby #3 — a changing pad tossed onto a bed or sofa or kitchen table worked just fine for us — I’m wondering if we really need all the info its offering. That is, if you’re not a medical professional yourself.
The Hatch Baby smart changing pad looks like the digital baby scale you’d find at your pediatrician’s office, but with a nice quilted cover on it. Like the scale, it captures your baby’s weight, but you can also record their length, when and how much they ate (and from which side, if your’e nursing), the contents of their diaper, and even their sleep habits.
I can see the Hatch Baby Changing Pad being particularly great for parents of low-birthweight babies who need to keep a close eye on their child’s growth. Or, if your child gets sick, it would be so convenient to keep track of bouts of diarrhea right there at the changing table, should that be necessary.
You can even email your pediatrician’s office a report directly from the app, which is helpful in terms of parents communicating info accurately — something we’re not always able to do when we’re stressed.
This could also be a helpful tool for working moms and dads who share parenting duties with each other or with a nanny or other caregiver. I remember calling my husband at work to ask when the last bottle was given or diaper was changed; with this changing pad I could just check the app for that info and save the phone calls for more interesting conversation.
However, beware the dark side of too much data. Is it really necessary to compare your child’s growth after every single diaper change to other kids the same age? Don’t get me wrong — the type-A, first-time mom version of me would have loved having all this info right there on my old, flip-up phone. But looking back, I’m not sure this constant opportunity for monitoring and comparison would have been a good thing for me.
Plus, I kind of liked those conversations with my husband. And even my pediatrician. Discussing your baby’s well-being is one of those things that bonds you, creating dialogue instead of just the trading of facts. Something to think about before you buy.
Not to mention, this is just another thing you own as a new parent that seems essential at the time, may or may not lose its novelty quickly, and then very quickly becomes useless and disposable. That’s something we always consider around here when recommending baby products, however cool the technology. And how beautiful the design.
That said, if you are looking for good record keeping on your child and are willing to enter it all manually, I really like that you can give the app a trial run all on its own, before you invest in the changing pad. You may find that it delivers everything you need.
You can purchase the Hatch Baby smart changing pad from their website or at our affiliate Amazon. But note that right now, during the launch, the pricing seems all over the place. We’re finding the best deal directly from Hatch Baby — $199, which is $100 off retail. In the meantime, download the Hatch Baby app for iOS or Hatch Baby app for Android for a test run.