Best baby gadgets 2021: Sleep tech, cots, prams and bottle sterilisers
All parents know that looking after a new baby is bloody hard work.
But if you need a helping hand, you no longer need a nanny.
From sleep-inducing devices and next-gen cot cams to feeding assistants and smart soothers, here is some of the tech that can steer you to parenting paradise.
We’ve also rounded up some of the best on-the-move gadgets you can add to your parenting arsenal.
The next-gen cot cam
Kim Kardashian hailed the Nanit Pro smart baby monitor as one of the products that ‘make my mom life easier’. It’s easy to see why she calls this cordless baby monitor ‘next-level’: it delivers HD-quality video straight to your smartphone or tablet and supports its own wi-fi for a constant crystal-clear connection — and one that’s secure thanks to Nanit’s encrypted servers.
Offering parents an overhead view of their baby in the cot, it includes a night light, temperature and humidity sensors, as well as access to video and sleep data, time-lapse video summaries, age-based comparisons and real-time activity feed. Smart ‘breathing wear’ is available too, enabling the Nanit to track a child’s breathing in bed.
From £199, nanit.com
The connected cot
Dubbed ‘the virtual nanny’ by Tatler, Snoo helps babies — and sleep-deprived parents — get extra hours of sleep each night. It works its slumber-inducing magic by safely swaddling your baby, before a combination of white noise and responsive rocking lulls them to sleep.
Snoo creates data — and lots of it — too, including on how your baby sleeps and when they wake, enabling parents to see patterns and create healthy routines.
New functions include ‘sleepytime sounds’, which acts as a white noise machine to help create bedtime routines or ease wake-ups.
However, most exciting (for parents) is the addition of a new ‘car ride mode’ that combines Snoo’s slow rocking with a ‘slight jiggle’ every so often to mimic the occasional bounce babies feel during a car ride.
Unsurprisingly, with Scarlett Johansson and Zoe Saldana as investors, Snoo is the Hollywood cot of choice.
The smart curtains
SwitchBot Curtain is a small wireless device with clever closing capabilities that has become something of a TikTok sensation.
If you haven’t already guessed, it impressively makes conventional curtains motorised, and by simply attaching it to the curtain’s rod or rail (which takes seconds), you can wirelessly control or schedule them to open and close.
It combines with an Alexa device and is hailed as a sleep training aid for little ones in their own room because it will encourage them not to get up until the curtains open.
The Covid-beating steriliser
The NHS recommends sterilising all baby-feeding equipment until children are 12 months old to avoid upsetting little tummies.
Tommee Tippee’s new UV 3-in-1 Steriliser, Dryer and Storage has gone one step further, having been clinically proven to kill coronavirus and other viruses, alongside 99.9 per cent of bacteria, by using UV light, a safe and dry method of sterilising that kills harmful germs without utilising heat, steam or harsh chemicals.
The milk-boosting breast pump
Medela’s redesigned iconic Swing Maxi, launched this month, now offers mums double the pumping power (it’s been clinically proven to produce 11% more milk), and boasts a new sleek look and USB charge.
Lighter and more discreet, the Swing Maxi also features the brand’s famed oval-shaped PersonalFit Flex breast shields to maximise comfort by adapting to every mum’s unique shape.
The does-it-all weaning machine
Vital Baby’s new Nourish, Prep & Wean machine sterilises, steam cooks and blends homemade meals for every stage of the weaning process.
With three different functions and a 900ml jug, it preserves as many vitamins and nutrients as possible and the two-tier design enables parents to steam two separate things at the same time.
So it’s great for foods that have varying cooking times. Featuring sharp blades and five different blending settings, it can help you create everything from smooth purées for the early days to chunky textures as baby develops.
The Rolls-Royce of nap mats
Suuthe is the UK’s first sensory mat that emulates the calm and familiar sensations of the womb through sound and vibration.
Designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK by ex-Rolls-Royce engineers, the Suuthe SmartMat calms restless babies and guides them to sleep by mimicking the comforting sounds and sensations of the womb.
The mat features white noise audio and gentle vibrations, which when combined have an amazing calming effect on restless babies.
The low blue light nightlight
Shnuggle Moonlight is a sleep-friendly nudge-to-activate portable nightlight. Parent Mode creates a soft, baby-safe glow in which to feed, comfort and change baby through the night without waking up a sleeping partner.
As your baby grows, Child Mode provides a soothing, low blue light bedside glow to help promote sleep or a comforting light during your little one’s late-night bathroom trips.
Dimmable with three brightness levels, Moonlight dims throughout the night and has a carry strap for little hands.
THE DANGER ZONE MONITOR
When your baby gets on the move, parenting is a whole other ball game. That’s where the Cubo Ai Plus comes in.
This multi-award-winning smart monitor can not only work as a high-tech crib cam with a whole host of incredible smart functions (covered face and rollover alerts, for example) but its multiple stand options mean it can be easily set up in any other room and will notify you if your crawling baby or toddler has escaped the playmat and is entering your preset ‘danger zone’.
STAY BABY SAVVY ON THE GO
The bottle warmer
Nupeaa’s mission is to minimise the amount of baby kit needed when parents leave the house.
With that aim, it has created the Bottle Warmer Active, the world’s first self-heating bottle warmer, which warms milk in four minutes. It fits most bottles but for those with a wider neck, adapters are available.
The one-handed stroller
It’s the holy grail for harangued parents: a pushchair you can open or close with one hand. Which actually works.
This Didofy Aster stroller folds and unfolds at the touch of a button. It’s also small enough to take on most airlines as hand luggage and has a waterproof UPF50 hood to protect little ones from powerful rays or showers.
The car seat with wheels
Doona’s super-safe, multi-award-winning Infant Car Seat has integrated wheels that fold out from underneath, enabling parents to have their baby out of the car and on the way in less than ten seconds, as users Vogue Williams and Declan Donnelly can testify.
The designs means your boot isn’t taken up with cumbersome kit and is aircraft-approved.
The hands-free pram
Cybex’s The Zeno is pushing boundaries.
A pram cabin with a compact fold, rear suspension, ergonomic adjustable handlebar for one-handed steering, air-filled tyres and a fully adjustable sports seat, it enables users to push it and go for a run, attach it to a cycle or even run hands-free via a waist-belt attachment.
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