One of the biggest challenges a parent has to go through is the lack of sleep. Newborns had a sleeping pattern when they were in the womb, and it takes about three months or more for them to adjust to the daytime and nighttime hours of the real world. It's why new parents get the advice to "sleep when the baby sleeps."
When the babies get into the sleep routine, you have to stick to it. Otherwise, every time their sleep routine gets disrupted -- during travels or when you're not home yet and your child doesn’t want to go to bed until you're beside him -- it feels like you have to go through the sleepless nights all over again.
Fortunately, technology has solutions to offer parents.
A crib that mimics car rides I know of a mom who took her child for a joyride before every bedtime, so he could fall asleep faster. I can imagine her salivating over this prototype crib that can help her save gas from car manufacturer Ford.
The crib is designed to mimic the motion, sounds, and lighting of a nighttime drive to help babies drift to slumber faster. Called Max Motor Dreams, it has LED lights that stimulate street lights at night and is connected to a smartphone app. The app tracks and records your car's movement and sounds during a ride, and then reproduces the then sends the date to the crib, which reproduces them for your child. You can even specify which "drive" you want your child to experience while in the crib.
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Ford is considering bringing it to stores sooner rather than later. It’s similar to another high-tech crib, the Snoo, which is already available in the market for a whopping US$1,160 (P55,700).
A plushie that hugs you back Every working parent at some point feels guilty to not be able to spend more time with their children. Yes, you can call the nanny or your child to check on them. Some even use CCTV cameras to get updates on what’s happening at home. But it’s clearly not the same as being with them in real life.
Developed by an electrical engineer, Parihug's Pari, a stuffed toy that may not look like a particular animal but it is ergonomically designed for hugging -- and with it, you can send and receive hugs to and from your kids when it’s connected to the Internet. Pari sends hugs -- or more accurately, vibrations -- via a large haptic motor in its tech module. The device delivers pulse-like heartbeats from the hugger's wearable devices. If you don’t have one, it provides a pre-set heartbeats based on age, gender, and activity.
Pari’s smartphone app notifies you when your loved ones are holding with Pari so you can send those hugs in time. It connects to multiple users, too, so grandparents can also send and receive hugs, too. It also comes in a pint-sized version that’s travel-friendly for parents. It’s definitely a big step from sending virtual hugs via hug emojis.
Each Pari stuffed toy costs $75 via a recently launched campaign on Kickstarter. It is machine washable (you have to take out the tech module, of course) but not dryer friendly. You’d also need two AA batteries, which could last for months, depending on how often you use it.