The concept of a “smart crib” or “smart bassinet” is a relatively new one, but it’s one that is quickly gaining popularity among parents. These devices are designed to incorporate technology to help monitor and improve a baby’s sleep. With features such as motion sensors, audio monitors, white noise machines, and mobile apps, parents can track their baby’s sleep patterns, monitor their movements and sounds, and make adjustments to the crib or bassinet remotely.
These devices provide parents with peace of mind, help them understand their baby’s sleep habits, and most importantly, they can improve your baby’s sleep quality and quantity!
In this article, we will take a closer look at recent developments in smart cribs and bassinets, their features, and their effectiveness.
Features of smart cribs and bassinets
There is an ever-growing range of functionality for smart cribs and bassinets, but the following are some of the most common features currently available.
Smart soothing motions
One of the most fundamental features of a smart crib is soothing motions that can simulate the motion of a car ride or rocking chair (or mom’s gentle bounce) to help soothe the baby to sleep. This feature can be controlled remotely using a mobile app, allowing parents to adjust both the speed and the intensity of the motion.
The soothing motion mimics the motions that a baby feels in the womb, which can make them feel more secure and relaxed. For example, the SNOO uses a gentle side-to-side swivel movement, and the Cradlewise uses a gentle up-down movement.
The best smart cribs will automatically activate and adjust the speed and intensity of motion based on your baby’s behavior, automatically sensing a fussy and soothing them back to sleep.
Soothing motion can be especially helpful for parents of colicky babies who may have trouble falling asleep due to discomfort or distress. It can also be helpful for parents of premature babies who may have trouble adjusting to life outside of the womb.
Controllable via mobile app
Many smart cribs and bassinets can be controlled remotely using a mobile app (typically available for both iPhones and Android), allowing parents to adjust settings such as room temperature, rocking speed, music, and white noise volume without having to physically approach the crib or bassinet.
The app also makes it possible for parents to make adjustments to their baby’s sleep environment without going into the baby’s bedroom and possibly disturbing them.
This Cradlewise review also mentions that the app allowed them to easily pair their phone with the crib, making the setup a quick and easy process. One of the best smart cribs on the market, the Cradlewise has more features and capabilities than any other option on the market!
Some smart cribs and bassinets include nursery temperature monitoring that can alert parents if the environment becomes too hot or too cold, ensuring that their baby is sleeping in a safe temperature range.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reminds us that a baby’s body temperature regulation system is not fully developed at birth, making them more susceptible to overheating or hypothermia.
A sleeping environment that is too hot can cause a baby to become dehydrated, leading to heat exhaustion and, in severe cases, heat stroke. On the other hand, a sleeping environment that is too cold can cause a baby to become hypothermic, leading to low body temperature, which can cause serious health issues such as organ damage and even death. Smart nursery temperature monitoring can help reduce these risks.
Lullaby and white noise playback
Many smart cribs and bassinets come with a built-in speaker that can play soothing music or white noise to help babies fall asleep.
White noise is a sound that contains all the frequencies of audible sound mixed together at equal intensities. It is often described as a “hissing” or “static” sound, and it can be used to mask or obscure other sounds, promoting sleep and relaxation.
In the context of smart cribs and bassinets, white noise is often used as a soothing sound that can help babies fall asleep and stay asleep. The theory behind using white noise for babies is that it mimics the sounds that babies hear in the womb, such as the sound of blood flowing and the mother’s heartbeat, which can make them feel more secure and relaxed. Additionally, the constant background noise can help to block out other sounds that might otherwise wake the baby, like a loud radio, television, or second child!