Parents worry about their children. It’s natural. Parents of newborns worry more. Parents with their first baby worry the most. (As a grandparent of a newborn, I can also say that grandparents also worry.) When our children were infants, all we could do was try to sneak into their rooms while they slept to make sure they were okay. Then came wireless audio monitors, and then video monitors. (“Is she asleep yet? Is that her head or her butt? Is that stuffed animal covering her face?”) None of these are perfect answers to the problem of keeping a watchful eye on a sleeping baby without making yourself crazy in the process.
Sproutling is a company that thinks they have a solution. Their baby monitor is a strap-on device that you put on your child’s ankle. It does not monitor audio or video, but rather tracks your baby’s heartbeat, breathing rate, and skin temperature. The device also monitors the baby’s position and movements. It then reports this to an app running on supported iOS devices (no Android app at this point). It relies on WiFi for the wireless connection, but fortunately that’s available in most homes and hotels these days.
One interesting feature is that it reports relative data. It doesn’t report the actual heart rate, for example, but only provides an alert if it goes above or below a normal range. According to the company’s website, “parents will see a graphic of their baby’s pulse rate that represents that no significant changes have occured. Because babies’ heart rates vary significantly and change over time, we think that a numeric representation would cause undue worry.” The motion sensing can alert you if a newborn rolls over, for example. According to the website, the system learns your child’s sleep habits, and can make recommendations about when it’s time for a nap or bedtime.
The device is charged wirelessly by a base module, and it comes with three straps so it can grow with your child. The system is scheduled to ship next March for $299, but is available now for pre-order at $249.