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Skip the smart diapers — babies don’t need them



Welcome to , an ongoing series at Mashable that looks at how to take care of – and deal with – the kids in your life. Because Dr. Spock is nice and all, but it’s 2019 and we have the entire internet to contend with.

Pampers has announced a new product called , a “connected care system” to monitor your baby. The package includes a special “smart” diaper, which tracks your baby’s pee and sleep patterns, a mobile app, and Logitech video monitor. 

A smart diaper may seem enticing for new parents, who are told to monitor these things for a time for a happy and healthy baby. To those new parents, I say, you don’t need this.

Now, I have two children: Ezra, my boy who just turned four and Enid, my girl who is almost two months old so I do have a little experience in the baby department. Babies can’t talk, but they can certainly let you know when they go to the bathroom. They cry. When they cry, you check their diaper. Onesies are great for babies because you can maneuver your hand through the legless, one-piece article of clothing and peek inside to see if the diaper has been used. If the diaper is dry, then they’re either hungry, gassy, or about to go to the bathroom. Humans have been taking care of their babies in this way quite well since the dawn of time. 

Sure, there have been incredible technological breakthroughs in the diaper department that have simplified the process even further. For example, many diapers have a little yellow line that turns blue when the baby pees which eliminates the need to even look inside the diaper. However, a special smart diaper which requires an additional attachment in the form of a sensor sure seems like overkill to me!

Pampers has not yet announced the pricing on the Lumi by Pampers system. It will almost certainly cost more than just the regular old Pampers baby diapers. In addition, these are disposable diapers so you would need to restock when you run out, adding to the costs. On top of all that, Pampers has said that these diapers don’t track poops! That seems like an entire half of the solution this product is supposed to solve is missing. Plus, I didn’t even mention the possible scenario of your baby wriggling until the sensor falls off the diaper, making the whole thing pointless!

Just a few months ago at the hospital, I was recording up-to-the-minute feeding and bowel movement times for newborn Enid, as requested by the medical staff. Perhaps these diapers would have been helpful then, but we’re talking an extremely short amount of time: the average hospital stay after a vaginal birth is two days! Also, hospitals usually provide new parents with free (non-smart) diapers during their stay. When we came home from the hospital, this type of close monitoring ceased. We recorded Ezra’s information for a little bit longer being that we were first time parents then, but then stopped soon after.

Babies visit their pediatrician multiple times in the days, weeks, and months following their release from the hospital. They’re monitored by professionals. Plus, parents, I assure you that you’ll notice when your child hasn’t had a bowel movement in a day or two without the need for a smart diaper. You will also surely notice if your baby is having trouble sleeping, because that means you’re not going to be sleeping either.

Lumi by Pampers has been developed by Verily, a research subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and is set to release in the fall.

Pampers isn’t the only baby product giant to introduce a smart diaper, either. Huggies the U.S. launch of its Monit x Huggies diaper line, which texts parents when their baby goes to the bathroom.

Why the sudden push for smart diapers from the big diaper companies? As the points out, it’s money. Millennials are having fewer babies, which means that brands like Pampers and Huggies need to make up for it by charging more money for diapers.

I’m sure there are specific instances where smart diapers will be extremely helpful for parents who need to monitor babies with certain health issues. But in most cases, you can skip the smart diapers. You , mommies and daddies. If products like the Lumi really do help you keep peace of mind while raising your child, then please by all means, go for it. Just keep in mind that peace of mind is what you’re buying. A good parent is a good parent regardless of whether or not they use smart diapers and track every time their kid wets their diaper.

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