Know someone about to make the jump from childless to looking after one for the next 18 years? Here are some gadgets sure to help make the holidays for any new parents.
Price: from $9 monthly
Want to please a new parent quickly? Make sure they have a streaming subscription to Netflix, Amazon, Stan, or Disney+, or something like it.
In the first few weeks, there will likely be long nights of running the TV at low volumes while they try to get the bub to sleep, leaving the subtitles on so they can listen to what’s being aired.
Alternatively, consider grabbing an Apple TV and a pair of Bluetooth earphones so they can listen to what’s on without stirring the little one from its slumbers.
Withings Body Thermometer
One of the first things you learn about a bub is that it’s not always easy to take a temperature. Sometimes, it’s downright difficult.
The Withings Body Thermometer makes things a little easier because it doesn’t need contact. No ear and no armpit; simply hold the thermometer above their forehead, wave it around a little, and you’ll get a temperature reading. It can even go straight to your phone.
Owlet Smart Sock
Checking a child’s temperature is one thing, but the Owlet Smart Sock 2 goes beyond that, offering heart rate tracking and oxygen levels while they’re sleeping.
Making this happen is a special kind of foot gadget that wraps around their foot under a sock, measuring levels and informing parents of any changes that will matter.
It’s one of those gadgets that could just give new parents a peace of mind, and works with little ones up to around 18 months of age.
Willow Breast Pump
Price: $500 USD
If a mum is going to feed their child with breast milk, a breast pump is one of the more recommended products for new parents. It just makes delivery of breast milk so much easier for those times, and weans them to a bottle eventually.
Willow’s take on the breast pump has been one of the more intriguing in recent years. While products like the Philips Avent electric breast pump competes well with other brands and has you sit down to express, Willow is a start-up that has focused on a wearable breast pump to let you get on with your life, milking while you do other things.
Ask any parent, and one of the first gadgets at the top of their list is a baby monitor. They give you an idea of what bubba is doing when you can’t be in the room all the time, such as when they’re sleeping and you need to be doing something else.
While most monitors give you that picture in the same room, Arlo’s baby camera has been a recommendation because of how it works and where it can be transmitted to.
Tracking not just video but also conditions in the room, Arlo Baby is a feature-packed camera that like other cameras in the Arlo system can be sent to your phone, ideal if a parent happens to be away on a business trip, or to the TV downstairs so the parents can watch the little one sleep as their new favourite TV channel. You can even talk to your kids through Arlo Baby using an app on your phone.
One of the best suggestions we have for new parents is a speaker, something you can set up in the baby’s room.
With a smart speaker, you can call out that you want music to be played at a certain volume, such as listening to “Chopin on repeat”, what we did in the little one’s room and still do. When you’re waking them up, you can check the weather, and even play something else.
A Sonos One makes that possible, and even brings voice control with the likes of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, or a great app for your phone. You could always switch it out with a different speaker if need be, but Sonos gives you some of that remote control even when you’re downstairs, so you can make sure the little one is getting the right sounds while you’re cooking up something.
A great phone
Price: from $600
It seems crazy, but new parents are going to want a great phone because they’re going to want to capture so many great images of their newborn.
Some great options this year include the $649 Google Pixel 3a, the $1299 Huawei P30 Pro, and the $1749 Apple iPhone 11 Pro (we reviewed the Pro Max, but it has the same photographic technologies), each with cameras that really stand out.
Dead set, a great phone with a great camera gives you the chance to capture all the shots to document and recall, including ones while they’re sleeping. You never get those moments back, so capture as many as you can.