September is Baby Safety Month, so while it's always a top concern for mamas, this month has us taking a deeper dive into what products are currently available to keep our little ones protected. As a mother of three under 3, I am always looking for new ways to keep my family safe at home beyond the universal electrical socket covers and stair gates.
I'm also a huge geek, so I often turn to technology to help at home—especially now that we are spending more time inside.
Here are some of my favorite tech products to help you keep your kids safe at home:
What: The SNOO is a smart sleeper bassinet that not only provides your baby with the safest sleep environment but also helps them sleep more while learning how to connect their cycles. A swaddled baby is placed on their back and clipped into the bassinet, which features breathable mesh sides and gently rocks them while playing white noise.
The smart bassinet responds to your baby's cries and increases the volume and speed of rocking to help soothe them. Of course, if your baby needs you either because they are hungry or need a diaper change, the app that accompanies the bassinet will alert you.
Why: Although the price tag is high, we've used this bassinet with all three of our children and they have turned out to be excellent sleepers. But it goes beyond that. Before I used one with my first baby, I suffered from postpartum anxiety, which translated into me not sleeping at all while making sure my baby wasn't rolling or becoming un-swaddled in the middle of the night. The SNOO gave me the peace of mind I needed to sleep when the baby slept.
What: The Miku Smart baby monitor works with your smartphone to keep an eye on what your little one is doing and track their breathing and sleep. It has two-way audio, temperature and humidity detectors, night vision and it requires no wearables for tracking purposes.
Why: This monitor has given me the peace of mind I need that my babies are doing fine in their cribs now that we've moved them out of our room without checking on them multiple times during the night. I can clearly see them on my phone, which also means that when we are ready to get a babysitter and go out on a date night, we can still keep an eye on how our children are doing.
What: The Baby's Brew bottle warmer will ensure that your baby's milk or formula will never be too hot for them to consume. It attaches directly to the bottle and warms to the exact temperature of your choice without compromising nutrients or leaving hot spots. It holds a charge for 8-12 hours, making it ideal to stash in your diaper bag and use on the go.
Why: I've bottle-fed all of my babies so I know the importance of making sure the temperature of their milk is just right. This bottle warmer is a more accurate way of checking temperatures than testing liquids on the inside of my wrist. Plus, since the warmer offers an adapter for every bottle in the market, I can also check that there will be no leaks while warming up milk— an issue I've dealt with in the past with those storing bags everyone uses.
What: The One Step Baby Brezza sterilizer not only cleans bottles and pump parts, but it also dries them in no time. Thankfully, it cuts down the process of cleaning parts, which every pumping or bottle-feeding mama knows takes forever. Natural steam kills 99.9% of all bacteria, and items will remain sterile for 24 hours if the lid is left unopened. This new version holds up to eight bottles and two sets of pump parts.
Why: I will admit that I'm terrible at sterilizing things, but COVID-19 made me hyper-aware of making sure all the items my babies put in their mouths are 100% clean, including pacifiers and rubber teethers. The time-saving aspect is key—I can leave it running overnight and be ready to bottle-feed my babies first thing in the morning. It's also far safer and more effective than the boiling them all in one big pot like my husband was doing prior.
What: The Tommee Tipee food maker makes steaming and blending fresh produce for baby food so easy, even someone like me who doesn't know how to cook can do it. Suitable for fruit, vegetables, meat and fish up to 7 ounces max capacity, you can also control how pureed you want your recipe to be, going up to including chunks for when your baby is ready to practice using those tiny teeth.
Why: Not knowing how to cook has always meant that my husband is the one taking care of preparing food for our little ones, but the Tommee Tippee food maker has allowed me to be part of the process. It also removes the anxiety I have about introducing solids, because I know exactly what food and how much of it I'm offering my children. If there are any allergies in the household, you can be absolutely sure that your children's food has none of those allergens.
What: The Dyson Pure Cool is a whole room purifying fan designed to take in dirty air, clean it and then project clean air around the room. It features an LCD screen on the front of the machine which shows your air quality in real-time. When a pollution event occurs (i.e., cooking, spraying hairspray, etc.) the purifier will show the spike in pollutants. In auto mode, the purifier will also automatically draw in and push out more clean air for faster purification to rid the room of the pollutants.
Why: The current global pandemic has made me hyper-alert of the air we breathe, and after seeing my toddler's day care install air purifiers in every closed classroom, I decided we needed one at home as well.
What: The Ring is a video doorbell that lets you see, hear and speak to anyone who comes to your door. The doorbell also sends your phone notifications when it detects movement or the button is pressed.
Why: I love having another set of "eyes" in our house, especially when I'm tending to our twin babies and I can't run to the door. I've been able to let our mailman know it's okay to leave packages on the front porch, or actually get up to speak to a neighbor that needed to get a hold of me. It also gives me another layer of security after moving from an apartment building to a house, enabling us to have recorded video of our door if anyone were to try to break in. Ring also has indoor cameras that can be used as baby cams.
What: The Echo Dot is a smart speaker that responds to voice commands. Since it's connected to the internet, it can give you updated information like news, weather and random facts. You can also connect it to your music streaming accounts to play your favorite baby lullabies and songs.
Why: Having babies means you don't have a ton of hand-free time so I use my Echo Dot to set up reminders for appointments, ask questions like what temperature is a fever? and keep our toddler entertained by playing "Baby Shark" while I tend to his baby sisters.
What: The Yeedi is a robot vacuum that cleans your floors without you having to do anything more than press the start button. Ideal for both hardwood floors and carpets, this vacuum has extra suction power to pick up the trail of crumbs your children leave behind. You can also connect it to your Echo Dot to give it voice commands.
Why: Kids make messes and we don't always have the time to clean up immediately after them. I love this robot vacuum because now that my babies are starting to crawl since I can make sure there are no dog hairs or cookie crumbs left behind. It's also so easy to keep the house clean between real deep cleans with the hand vacuum.
What: The Tineco iFLOOR3 is a wet and dry vacuum that picks up any mess from your hard floors, including dog hair and spilled milk. It's cordless, allowing you to travel throughout the house without having to stop to plug and unplug as you go. Once you are done cleaning, the vacuum cleans itself!
Why: I read my co-worker's review on this vacuum and thought it was too good to be true. But, since I hate moping so much I decided to give it a try. Now I'm a full convert. The amount of dirt and grime the Tineco picked up off our floors was both gross and fascinating. I could not believe our babies had tummy time on what I thought was a clean floor. Because it's so light, my toddler is now loving helping me clean, which I have to admit I've been loving.
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