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Health tracking wearables for babies. Do they need it?

I recently read an article about a Mum who had purchased a baby wearable that would track the health of her newborn. It is basically like Fitbit or Apple watch but for babies. Using a tablet parents can monitor a baby’s temperature, heart rate, breathing, body position, sleeping schedule and when baby is due for the next feed.

 

There are actually hundreds of gadgets in the market that promises to help parents closely monitor their child’s health and physical activity. But a wearable for baby is a newer concept.

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I recently became a mum for the first time. I remember how hard the first few months was trying to navigate my way through motherhood. People say maternal instincts kicks in the minute your baby is born. However, I don’t think that was true for me. I never knew why my baby cried.  Does she need a diaper change? Is she hungry? Does she just want a cuddle?

 

Just like any first time Mum, I just had to learn as I go along. I wonder if a gadget like a baby wearable would help me figure out what my new born wanted or would it just make me even more anxious?

My baby was not the best feeder. Her weight gain was not so great either. I had to keep track of how many ounces of milk she drank in a day . I downloaded the Philip Avent App and started charting her breast and formula milk intake.

 

This soon became an obsession. I would get extremely nervous if she’s not had the amount of milk she is suppose too.

 

I almost forgot that she is just a baby and has her days of not wanting so much milk at times. I started treating her like a robot where she  had to behave in a certain manner due to my obsession with charting her growth.

 

I wish I had listen more to my Mum when she told me to just use my common sense and stop Googling too much about my new born every movement. I do not think a baby wearable would be suited for a highly obsessed Mum like me. But I can see the appeal of this for some parents.

 

Would a baby wearable be helpful?

  • The ability to chart baby’s temperature could be useful. Fever can be a sign of infection that can spread through the body very quickly
  • This device can be helpful to parents of premature babies or those with medical problems. 
  • Parents can share the information collected with their paediatrician in case of a medical emergency

 

3 reasons for not using a baby wearable:

  1. For a mum that is lucky enough to have a healthy baby, the constant information does not equal to comfort for me, instead it would be the total opposite. 
  2. None of the devices so far has been approved for use as a medical device by the FDA, and a 2017 Journal of the American Medical Association warned that “there are no medical indications for monitoring healthy infants at home.”
  3. The American Academy for Pediatrics is even starker in its language, writing, “Do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors as a strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS.”

 

For parents that are considering in investing in technologies like this need to be aware of any safety hazard that comes with the device. It could either be a false alarm, data theft, wiring problems, etc. I would also recommend consulting with a paediatrician before using such devices. Finally.  do not depend on technology to replace common sense. Use your own gut feeling to comfort your baby.

 

Looking for other devices to keep your child active? Check out the following:

Fisher price Code a pillar teaches kids to code without a screen

Fitbit for kids allows you to monitor your kids activities

Harry potter coding kit enables your child can build their own wand using a connected app on Apple or Android device. Amazing way to teach kids how to code especially if they are already a Harry Potter Fan.

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