With a baby on the way (due September!) I’ve been brainstorming different ideas for setting up their nursery with smart home products. The options are endless, and it’s easy to get carried away with grand plans. Anyone who has kids knows how hard the newborn period can be, especially with the little amount of sleep you get each night, so choosing smart home products that are simple to use or completely automated is key.
Following are some of my top picks for home automation in the nursery.
Smart Security Camera
I’ve read a lot of baby monitor reviews and they all seem to have lots quirks and limitations. Instead of buying a regular baby video monitor, I’ve decided on the the Nest Camera Indoor security camera. The Nest Camera is a smart security camera with 1080p HD video quality, 24/7 video recording, and full room night vision. However, the key feature is the motion sensor which opens up a lot of options for automation. I’ve had a couple of ideas including logging sound and movement to a Google Sheet, or turning on smart switches and smart lights.
The other benefit is rather than having to remember to carry around the video screen from the baby video monitor, we can just open up the app on a phone, tablet or computer. Plus, when they are all grown up we can just use it as a smart security camera elsewhere in our clevrhome.
Smart Lighting System
I’m up in the air deciding between smart light bulbs, or smart light switches.. I’ve already got LED downlights which are extremely energy efficient, however there are limited options for smart light switches which also have dimming – and they are expensive!
Perhaps the best option for lighting is a lamp with a smart light bulb such as the Phillips Hue LED Bulb or LIFX Smart LED Light Bulb. The benefits of using a smart light bulb are the ability to set different colours (such as red, which is conducive to sleep) and also dimming (so it doesn’t wake the baby!).
Babies can’t talk – so unfortunately they can’t tell us if they’re feeling unwell.. while fits of crying could mean a multitude of different things, the best way to check if they are sick is to check their temperature.
The Kinsa Smart Thermometer does just that.. but where it gets smart is by providing real-time guidance of what to do next. The phone app can also be used to track fever readings, symptoms, diagnoses and medication information for everyone in the family with individual profiles.
Smart? Baby Shusher
While it’s not specifically a smart home product and may seem like a bit of a gimmick, my brother has one and swears by it.. and he should know, as their baby hated sleeping. The Baby Shusher was the only thing that worked for them to calm their baby and help put them to sleep.
The Baby Shusher uses a thoroughly tested technique which breaks the baby’s crying spell and engages their natural calming reflex. The shushing is a reminder of being inside the womb where they experienced loud in utero noises.
Oh, and if I was to get carried away?
If money was no object there’s a lot of different smart home products I would be very keen to get my hands on, including:
- Austin Air HealthMate Jr. – the best air purifier on the market. Austin Air products are the only manufacturer who produce medical grade air purifiers proven to reduce asthma attacks and assist with other respiratory problems through medical trials.
- Mimo Smart Baby Breathing & Activity Monitor – it’s never too early to introduce smart wearable technology. The Mimo monitors breathing, body position, and temperature and racks it all in the Mimo app so we know exactly what our baby is up to when sleeping.
- Withings Smart Kid Scale – usable up to 25kg, so it will work until about 6 years old. The Withings Smart Kid Scale is accurate within 10 grams, and tracks everything to the app which includes development charts and comparisons. Unfortunately the app is only available for iOS, so I’ll have to use my wife’s iPhone to connect it.
- Project Nursery SmartBand – a first-of-its-kind smart wearable technology band created specifically for parents. The Project Nursery SmartBand lets you track and schedule feed times, nappy changes, and sleep times – as a bonus it also works as a fitness tracker and shows steps, distance, plus calories too!
- SNOO smart sleeper – a smart cradle that promises safer, better sleep at the touch of a button. At just shy of $1200 this would be a huge investment, but it looks like the SNOO does it all.. including rocking motions and a white noise generator that chooses the best noise to help our baby sleep.