In this ongoing update, we’ll fill you in on the latest in gear, gadgets, and new ideas that can make caring for your baby safer, more efficient, or more fun.
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Ideal for restless babies or to drown out surrounding noise, the Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System is a low-cost integrated music-and-light show that helps lull little ones to sleep.
The sound system includes 10 comforting sounds, including Heartbeat, Ocean, White Noise and Rain. Lullabies include: Rock-a-Bye, Hush Little Baby and Brahms Lullaby. Mozart Songs include Mozart Lullaby, Twinkle Twinkle and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Three image cartridges are included to play soothing images on the nursery wall or ceiling: Soothing Sea, Calming Rainforest and Sleepy Sky. There’s also a soft-blue nightlight at the base of the unit.
The sleep timer allows you to set the running time for 15, 30 or 60 minutes (the Munchkin can also play continuously) and the voice-activation option turns on the unit when baby wakes up and makes a noise.
The Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System plugs into any AC outlet and comes with a 4-ft cord. It’s available here.
The ClearBlue Fertility Monitor is an easy-to-use fertility tracker that detects both LH and estrogen hormones, and provides indicators for Low, High and Peak fertility days.
It’s non-invasive, and the manufacturer contends that results are comparable to serum-hormone measurements and ultrasound technology in gauging fertility–yet you can test yourself at home.
Test strips are sold separately.
The ClearBlue Fertility Monitor stores up to six months of your daily records at a time, and provides advance notice for peak fertility. It tells you when to test and the level of fertility every day, requiring no subjective interpretation.
(Note that the monitor does not accurately work for women with PCOS, and for women taking some antibiotics.)
Instructions are as follows:
- On the first day of your period, you will press the M button to let the monitor know a new cycle has begun.
- Each day, you must switch on the Monitor and follow its directions.
- On mornings when the Monitor requires further information about your hormone changes, a test will be requested.
- Simply remove the test stick from its wrapper. (The majority of women need 10 test sticks each cycle. Women with irregular or long cycles may have to use 20 test sticks each cycle.) Point the Sampling End of the test stick downward in your urine for 3 seconds.
- Take the cap off the handle and place it over the Sampling End of the test stick and remove any excess urine.
- Holding the test stick by the cap, insert the test into the Monitor’s Test Stick Slot, pressing down until it clicks into place.
- The display will flash for approximately 5 minutes while reading your information.
- After 5 minutes, the Remove Test Stick symbol will flash. Once you have removed the test stick, your fertile status will be displayed.
The ClearBlue Fertility Monitor is available here.
A wearable tracker can locate your kids wherever they are, combining GPS, cell tower location, and Wi-Fi triangulation to provide the most accurate location information indoors and out.
“Parents want to keep in touch,” says Filip Technologies, which claims its FiLIP is the first location and communication device of its size in the world, “all contained safely within one small wristwatch.”
Why not a phone? The company cites a 2014 Family Communications Survey conducted online by Harris Poll in August among over 2,000 U.S. adults which found more than 20 million parents (85 percent of parents with children ages 6-12 in their household) do not believe it is appropriate to buy their child a smartphone until they are at least 11 years old. This is an increase of 21 percent in two years (64% in 2012). Also, “half of these parents find it at least somewhat challenging to stay connected with their kids during a typical weekday if needed while they are at school, participating in after school activities, etc.”
The first version of the wearable locator debuted in 2013; the upcoming FiLIP 2 has improved durability and a redesigned, sizable and closeable wristband, the company says. And the new app “makes it easier for families to stay connected and for parents to know where their children are.”
It’s available at an introductory discount of $100 here.
From prenatal to postpartum: We covered Glow in September when it provided ovulation and fertility tracking, but now the company has added a whole ’nother niche to its service: First, Glow would help you get pregnant; then Glow Nurture gave pregnancy tips; now it takes on the behavior and feelings you might experience after giving birth.
“The ‘4th trimester’ of a pregnancy can be just as crucial as the first three,” the company says. “Glow Nurture is proud to become the one and only pregnancy app to provide postpartum support. Glow Nurture Postpartum has been designed to take care of you, while you take care of your baby. We will provide you with the most relevant insights, up-to-date research, parenting tips, content from the funniest mommy blogs and tasks that help you heal faster.”
There’s more information here.