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The best new parenting tech for 2020

Some form of widely available paid leave seems attractive, and the country agrees. A 2016 poll found that 74 percent of registered voters support paid family leave for new parents.
A couple of the latest innovations involve making it simple to track all your baby’s activity and building sleeping habits in young ones.
Monkey Business via Adobe Stock

Being a mom or dad can be difficult. There is always a lot to learn, do and track, no matter the age of your children. Emerging tech aims to make things easier.

Companies are constantly striving to make parents’ lives easier by introducing new technology. A couple of the latest innovations involve making it simple to track all your baby’s activity and building sleeping habits in young ones. These products can ease stress or maybe add some fun to the many responsibilities of new and veteran moms and dads.

The Pampers brand is well known, but the company has gone well beyond just diapers. It worked with pediatricians to introduce an all-in-one baby system that includes a monitor and a sensor that attaches to the diapers to help track habits.

It can be hard to remember how long your baby naps each day or how often you change a wet diaper. But the matchbox-sized sensor that comes with the Lumi by Pampers system helps monitor those things for you.
Amy Iverson, for the Deseret News

It can be hard to remember how long your baby naps each day or how often you change a wet diaper. This can be important information to ensure your baby is hydrated, especially if they’re sick. Sure, you could keep a written chart or try and remember to enter the information in an app. But the matchbox-sized sensor that comes with the Lumi by Pampers system helps monitor those things for you.

“To track sleep, I’m oversimplifying, but essentially it is mapping movement,” according to Mandy Treeby, co-founder of Lumi at Start-Up Pampers. “Obviously there is a complex algorithm running behind this as babies move a lot when they are asleep,” she said.

The sensor also has a wetness indicator to know when there’s a wet or dirty diaper. One mom’s review online mentioned how nice it was not to have to unwrap your baby from a swaddle to find out if they needed a diaper change.

Each time you change a diaper, simply move the sensor to the next diaper. It attaches with Velcro to the Lumi by Pampers diaper’s secure attachment area. All of this information goes into the companion app where parents can also choose to input other information like feedings. Since the sensor is removable, one might worry about a choking hazard if a baby removes the sensor from their diaper.

Treeby says the sensor is absolutely safe and that it has passed all regulation and testing “to ensure there is no risk of choking.”

The system also comes with an encrypted video monitor with night vision. When using the app, you are able to zoom in and monitor the room’s temperature and humidity.

Right now the products are available online only for $279. The package includes one sleep sensor, the video monitor and up to 10 days worth of diapers. The sensor will last around three months and you can buy replacements after that. Pampers also has a subscription service that includes free sensor replenishment.

Another invention that could be a big help to parents attempting to keep their kids in bed a little longer is the Pali sleep trainer.

Derek and Ashley Ostler had a child that would wake up every morning long before they wanted to start the day. She couldn’t yet tell time and they were trying to figure out a way to help her know when it was OK to come out of her room. They developed Pali, which works as a nightlight, a countdown timer and reward system parents can use for bedtime, wake time, nap time or even just quiet time.

Shortly before the child’s wake time, a ring appears on Pali’s face and slowly diminishes as it counts down the remaining sleep time. When the countdown is done, the light turns green and the child knows it’s OK for them to get up. Derek Ostler says parents can customize the countdown to last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. “When kids can see it, they can see how much time is left and they learn to be patient,” he explains.

If the child waits until the countdown is finished, a small reward drawer pops open revealing whatever prize the parent has left for them. If the child doesn’t wait until the set time,

Ostler says parents can easily go into the app and hit ‘no reward.’ He and his wife use Pali in their home right now for their children Paxton and Lily and say they’ve had success using rewards like stickers or a nickel.

“Our kids love it,” he says, “and they are the inspiration.”

Pali will launch soon on Kickstarter offering a $39 deal for the first people to buy with a final retail price of $89.