One of the most terrifying parts of being a parent is deciding which recommendations you’ll take into account when it comes to raising your child. Who will you listen to; the experts, family, friends, or those bloggers who seem to have it all figured out? Who knew there were so many parenting styles: authoritative, helicopter, permissive, slow, positive, and even spiritual parenting to name a few. No matter how you choose to parent, the one entity that seems to reign supreme in the tough decisions is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Most recently the AAP’s sleep recommendations were updated to reflect some recent findings in epidemiologic studies that include infants up to one year of age.
Some of the most widely known sleep recommendations include: putting babies on their backs, using a firm surface, keeping objects out of the sleep space, avoiding smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy, and encouraging awake tummy time as a way to facilitate development. One of the most controversial topics around infant sleep is where the child should be. Some parents advocate for the separation of infants and parents from early on to allow children to self soothe, have quiet environments, and to avoid the risk of SIDS from sleeping alongside others. However, the most recent studies have brought the AAP to recommend that infants sleep “in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for the first year of life, but at least for the first six months.”
While the latest adjustment to sleep guidelines helps reduce the risk of SIDS by 50 percent, there are still some parents who need that extra peace of mind as they lay their baby down to sleep.
Owlet offers a smart sock that uses hospital technology to monitor a baby’s vital signs throughout the night. A base station collects the data through Bluetooth technology and sends everything to an app. The app will alert parents if the Smart Sock detects that the baby has stopped breathing.
Mimo gives parents insight into the position their baby is sleeping in, body temperature, breathing, and more. The device also sends data right to a smartphone and gives nightly reports so sleep patterns can be learned. This infant sleep technology even connects with the smart home thermostat, Nest, and can adjust home temperature accordingly.
Following the AAP guidelines is the best way to prevent SIDS or other infant sleep related deaths. Even so, digital parenting is quickly becoming a way of the world and doing everything possible to ensure a child’s health and well-being is the number one priority of parents. If devices could potentially turn a small percentage of the the approximately 3,500 SIDS deaths per year into apparent life-threatening events (ALTE), this kind of sleep-monitoring technology just might be the way to go.