With the arrival of little Archie, all eyes are on Meghan Markle; she’s been praised for showing off her natural post-pregnancy body and for being a ‘real’ mum, which is fantastic. She’s probably, also, got plenty of help with her royal baby. But what about those of us who aren’t royals? Sleep deprived single mums, anxious working dads and everyone in between?
Think of parenthood as a huge adventure. There will be so much laughter and countless triumphs. But there may also be tears, and a bit of conflict as you figure everything out. So, baby wipes at the ready; we’re going into battle. We’d love to hear if you have any more gadgets that have helped you on your adventure into parenthood. Here are our top 10!
1. Elvie breast pump
Totally over bulky pumps with wires and tubes? Fed up of throwing out milk stained tops? Elvie is a sleek and silent wearable breast pump that fits inside your bra and can be used wherever you are. Unlike traditional pumps, it gives you much more freedom. It’s hands free, with seven intensity settings. It connects to a smart app to control the pump, and to track milk volume and pumping history. Charging time is two hours, and the battery lasts for two and a half hours.
There’s so much going on when you’ve got a new little human to look after, it can give you more time to get on with other things while it pumps away, quietly and discreetly. You can buy a single pump from their website for £249, or double pumps for £449.
If you didn’t think you needed a 3-in-1 baby bath, digital scale and thermometer, then think again. The Aquascale is, first and foremost, a bath. It has a specially designed ergonomic shape and anti-slip feature. It can be used for babies up to six months and then converted into a toddler tub for use until they’re two.
The first very special feature of this bath is the scale. It can weigh your baby, with or without water in. If there is water, it adjusts for movement and water weight. It can also store their previous weight to show you how they’re growing. The second special feature is the thermometer. This continuously monitors the temperature of their bath water to ensure that it’s not too hot or too cold.
You can get it from various stores including Mamas & Papas for £70.
A little gadget that can be heaps of help, the Milkymeter helps get baby’s milk to the perfect temperature. You simply pop it into their feeding bottle before you put it in the microwave. It then notifies you when the milk is at the right temperature using coloured flashing lights.
Overheating can destroy important nutrients and other bits that are essential for baby’s development. Milkymeter uses sensors to stop this overheating from happening, keeping all the good stuff in.
Get it from their website for £44.99.
4. Cybex e-Priam
Now, we know you’re probably wondering what technology could be added to a pram to make it smart. We were very curious at first, too. Cybex has taken a classic object, a common problem and created something that may help many parents.
The Cybex e-Priam has sensors that detect when you might need a little bit of help. Smart Uphill Assist activates when you’re struggling to push, and turns on a motor to help. Smart Downhill Assist detects when you’re going down a slope and increases the braking force. It uses a rechargeable battery that takes six hours to charge and lasts for two or three days.
The Priam is available now from their website, but you’ll have to wait until later this year to get your hands on the e-Priam.
5. Smart Armor’s Smart Cube
You’ve probably come across the term ‘baby-proofing’ and it’s crucial. Once your baby’s crawling and walking, they’ll want to explore everywhere (especially the places they’re not supposed to go). This means lots of locks, pads, and just generally being mindful of what they can get their hands on.
If you’re looking for something that’s a bit more advanced than standard safety locks, Smart Armor have created a smart lock. It attaches to the inside of any cupboard or drawer, and is controlled using Bluetooth. This means it’s completely secure, and there’s no need for keys or codes – it’s all done through their app. Access can be shared between app users, keeping your little one safe while still giving easy access to those who need it. They’re a little pricey, but can be used beyond parenting tech, to keep valuables, etc. locked away in the future.
You can currently pre-order from their website (around £61 for one or £153 for three).
6. Yoomi self-warming bottle
Another piece of parenting tech that can be helpful for those who are often on the go. The Yoomi self-warming bottle does what it says on the tin. It takes only 60 seconds to warm milk to breast milk temperature, making sure that it doesn’t overheat and damage any essential nutrients.
You can get a single self-warming bottle from their website for just £23.95. They also have plenty of bundles and deals for further bottles, warmers and other products!
7. LaVie Warming Lactation Massager
Mums are so, so important. For many babies, mums are their only source of food! All of that sucking and pumping can be hard work on your boobs, so anything that can help you feel a bit more comfortable is always a winner in our books.
The LaVie Warming Lactation Massager combines heat and vibration to unclog ducts, improve milk flow and relieve pain. It helps to make sure you get every drop of milk, and reduces pumping time – now what new mum doesn’t need a bit of extra time?
It comes as a pair, with rechargeable batteries, so you can do both boobs at the same time, wherever you are! It’s available from their website for around £53.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without Bluebell. Instead of buying a load of new products, Bluebell gives you an all-in-one system. It’s made up of a wearable Baby monitor and Parent wristband, Smart hub for the nursery and Mobile app. These work seamlessly together both in and out of the home.
The system monitors baby’s breathing, skin temperature, crying, activity, sleep and whether they’ve turned on their tummy. It sends you real-time alerts if you need to be notified about any of these things. It also tracks your sleep and steps, and lets you track and gives guidance on baby’s routine: from naps to feeds to nappy changes. The Smart hub monitors room temperature and noise level, and provides a soft nightlight and lullabies to help baby sleep. All of this is tied together with the Bluebell Mobile app which also gives you in depth analysis on yours and your baby’s wellbeing, and a place to store memories and milestones. This is all rolled into a sleek system that can fit in perfectly with your daily life. It's the future of baby monitoring. Pretty impressive, if we do say so ourselves!
You can pre-order now for £299, for delivery from mid-June.
9. Béaba Babycook Plus
Want to create nutritious weaning meals but worried about the mess and prep time? Béaba may be able to help. Their Babycook Plus is a 4-in-1 food prep solution. It steam cooks fruits, vegetables, raw meat or fish. You can also use it to defrost, re-heat and blend. It uses steam cooking as it’s the best cooking process to preserve vitamins and nutrients – great for your little one’s growth.
This is the perfect gadget for busy parents as it enables you to prepare large quantities of food (2200ml) in 15 minutes or less. It also lets you know when the food is ready and switches itself off, so you can get on with other things while it prepares your baby’s meals.
You can order it from their website for £160. We’re loving the new rose gold version!
10. Dentsu’s Father’s Nursing Assistant
What if there were a way for Dad to breastfeed? Just look at how far we’ve come with parenting tech! We’re not saying Dad would literally have to breastfeed (although that is an option with this hormone kit). Japanese company Dentsu have created a wearable device that enables someone other than Mum to breastfeed. Its shape and texture have been designed to resemble a woman’s breast, and it’s also heated. This means baby can feel comforted and receive skin-to-skin contact from the person feeding them.
This can take some of the pressure off Mum, and help her partner to get a bit more involved. It also connects to an app to track how much baby's eating. There’s currently no release date or price for this intriguing device, but keep an eye on their website for updates. It seems the world of parenting tech has a very interesting future!
Of course, parenting is a beautiful, natural experience. None of these devices should take the place of parenting, but they can simply work alongside to make life a little bit easier. Our lives are getting busier and busier. There are more mothers working than ever before, work days are spilling over into evenings and there’s still only 24 hours in a day!
As we progress, so does technology. These gadgets give an example of how technologies that once seemed futuristic and farfetched are now fitting snuggly into our everyday lives – how exciting!
Let us know which piece of parenting tech you’d love to try out!