In a world where technology makes the world spin, it’s no surprise that baby products are now getting a tech makeover. Now a company called Hatch Baby are launching a smart changing pad that NBC News dubbed a “FitBit for your baby.”
What exactly is a “smart changing pad,” and why do you need one? Apparently, it’s a $300 wireless gadget that includes a waterproof plastic and LCD screen underneath a washable cover. For your convenience, it connects to an app on your phone in order to record information about your baby’s weight, sleep patterns, and even the number of diapers you use (because you obviously need to know that). As if you already weren’t paying close attention, now you can basically create reports on your baby’s every move (bowel movement).
Ann Crady-Weiss, Hatch Baby’s co-founder and CEO, says she wants to relieve parents’ anxiety, especially as she is a parent herself:
“How do we help parents relieve that anxiety? We aren’t replacing a clinician, but this is a connected generation, and when you become a parent, your baby can’t tell you what’s going on, so this is something that can…Long term, we’re building a community around how parents can connect to one on another, sharing with each other.”
Of course, we’re all about relieving anxiety, but it’s hard not to wonder if it’s just another costly device that parents don’t actually need. (From HD baby monitors, smart thermometers, and smart bottle holders, smart baby items are now a trend.) The baby product industry has been booming, according to MarketWatch, as profits have reached $23 million in 2013. While it’s important to note the profits included essential products like diapers, a lot of it is “stuff your newborn doesn’t need,” as MarketWatch aptly described.
That being said, people should spend their money the way they see fit, and if buying a smart changing table is what you want, go for it. But it’s important to remember that parenting anxiety is not only normal, but will happen regardless of how many fancy new gadgets you have.
We think you’ll parent fabulously, smart pee pad or not.