Show of hands: Who here has crept into the nursery in wee hours of the night just to make sure baby was still breathing? Count Arturas Vaitaitis (and me!) in the group, too. When his first son was born, he was, understandably, a nervous wreck. "I couldn't sleep," he says. "I would wake up at all hours of the night to check on him, and would end up waking him up in the process. I had to come up with a solution."
Where you and I might invest in a baby monitor and call it a day, Vaitaitis, founder and CTO of Mondevices, went one step further to get some peace of mind. He created Monbaby, a battery-powered, wearable baby monitor that tracks sleep movements and breathing patterns in real time and streams the data to your cell phone. (You can also program the companion app to ping you in the event of certain situations, like if baby rolls onto his stomach in his sleep.) Monbaby is shaped like a button, but at 1.5" x 1.5" is too large to be a choking hazard. It attaches securely anywhere to your child's clothes much like a security tag, so baby won't be able to pull it off in the middle of the night. And according to the company, it uses Bluetooth low energy (LE) technology, "which is 100 times less than a radiation from a cell phone and 10 times less than from existing baby monitors on market." But here's what parents may appreciate most: Unlike nearly all of what you'll buy for baby in the first year or two, the Monbaby can be used long after he's out of the crib. Just attach it to an older kid's shirt or pants and program the app to alert you if he falls or wanders outside a specified area.
Though the monitor isn't available for sale yet -- on Monday, MonDevices began its Kickstarter campaign to raise money for its production -- you can get on a waiting list with a pledge of $89.
Personally, as much as I love my gadgets, I'm a little relieved wearable technology wasn't around when my son was a newborn. While some of the details it captures is useful, other bits of data border on information overload. (I once read about a monitor that will tell you much light is in the nursery. Really? Can't we just take a peek ourselves or pull down the shade?) I can see the value in a product like Monbaby -- a better night's sleep for mom and dad, for starters -- and it's certainly more affordable than some other monitors on the market. But I have to admit, I learned the most about my son -- his natural rhythms, sleep habits and, yes, breathing patterns -- by simply spending time with him. Which was way more rewarding than having a machine do the work for me.
Tell me: Would you put a wearable monitor on your baby?