New Technologies May Redefine Smart Parenting

Mother's LoveTechnological innovations continue to cause giant waves in the 21st century. From Apple’s smartwatch to Google’s controversial eyewear, people are beginning to find new means to do everyday activities faster and better. Its effects, in fact, are so great that it is changing even the way smart parenting is defined.

Parents are in for a treat with products like Baby Gigl and Pacif-i, which are innovations made to solve a variety of childcare troubles.

Kirstin Hancock, Blue Maestro’s head of marketing, told Bluetooth Blog in 2014, “I know firsthand the difficulty in taking a sick baby’s temperature. Pacif-i makes this easier, tracking the temperature and effect of the medication so parents can feel more at ease during this worrying time.”

Pacif-i enables parents to measure their baby’s temperature,record datasuch as medication intake on their android phones, and locate the pacifier via Bluetooth when it’s left behind. It’s no wonder that Time Magazine named the invention as one of the “most ingenious gadgets from CES 2015”.

A Solution to Everything

Engineer and chief executive of Slow Control, Jacques Lépine, found inspiration for Baby Gigl bottles after a bad experience feeding his baby because he was holding the bottle incorrectly.

He then designed Baby Gigl bottles. These bottles light up with arrows to inform parents on which angle better serves the baby during mealtime. An additional feature that adds to the parents’ convenience is the recording of the baby’s consumption data. They can now review how much the baby ate and when through their mobile devices.

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A surge of similar devices has found their way into the market. It is unclear, though, whether this is simply the natural course of modern times or a by-product of a prevalent parenting style.

Part of a Trend

The Economist made a report in 2014 about “helicopter parents” and how they want to keep their children within sight.

The term was first used in Dr. Haim Ginnott’s 1969 book Parents and Teenagers, where teenagers compared their parents to helicopters with the way they hovered over them.

A case of child neglect in Maryland also support the normalization of this relationship between parents and children. The issue sparked to life when a neighbor saw two children, Dvora Meitiv and her brother Rafi, walking home from a park unsupervised. The attention of local law enforcers was called and an investigation began.

In spite of the apparent usefulness of technologies like Pacif-I in childcare, is there a possibility that it is feeding parents’ tendencies to ‘hover over their children’ starting from an earlier age?

The rise of these products simplifies the task of parenting for first-timers and veterans alike. Whether it means being a helicopter parent may mean less in terms of reducing the hazards to children’s safety. A line, however, should be drawn to separate smart parenting from obvious neglect.