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Rigging Up Baby 117

Posted by timothy
from the your-papoosilometer-is-nearly-out-of-battery dept.
theodp writes "Over at Fast Company, Rebecca Greenfield explores the rise of extreme baby monitoring. 'In the imminent future,' writes Greenfield, 'any curious parent with an iPhone will have access to helpful analytics, thanks to the rise of wearable gadgets for babies. Following the success of self-trackers for grown-ups, like Jawbone and Fitbit, companies like Sproutling, Owlet, and Mimo want to quantify your infants.' Devices connect to a baby via boot, anklet, or onesie, and record heart rate, breathing patterns, temperature, body position, and the ambient conditions of the room. While the breathing and sleeping alerts will calm a lot of parents, Greenfield reports the real holy grail is the data garnered from tracking, which some companies plan to share with researchers. 'We're creating the largest data set of infant health data,' says Owlet co-founder Jordan Monroe."
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Rigging Up Baby

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  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:15PM (#45449223) Journal

    Unlike a basic $35 baby-monitor, the $250 Owlet bootie and accompanying app can alert parents if anything serious has gone wrong, like if a kid stops breathing, or if his heart stops beating.

    This XKCD [xkcd.com] comes to mind for some reason.

    Babymonitor App, 4.0 stars, 4 reviews
    Three five star reviews, then one one star review. "App did not warn me when baby died."

    Want a slightly more serious take on it?

    For the first 10 months of her life, her mother, Yasmin, kept detailed records of Elle's sleep patterns, feedings, and diaper changes, noting the data points with a pencil and paper on a clipboard. A few months in, she digitized the logs, graphed the data, and became a more knowledgeable parent.

    Unfortunately for the Lucero family's sleeping habits, Yasmin never found a definitive answer. Per the data, Elle was just fussy.

    That last line accurately sums up every infant I've ever had in my charge. Not sure what pattern you could discern from graphing all of this data, if my experiences are any guide it would make for one hell of a random number generator. I doubt one can find a better entropy source than a newborns sleeping "schedule". ;)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Joe_Dragon (2206452)

      The baby will get a life time GOP black list under there health insurance plan

    • Lawyers are already rubbing their hands.

    • by sabri (584428) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:34PM (#45449721)

      That last line accurately sums up every infant I've ever had in my charge. Not sure what pattern you could discern from graphing all of this data, if my experiences are any guide it would make for one hell of a random number generator. I doubt one can find a better entropy source than a newborns sleeping "schedule". ;)

      Newborns are the most fragile thing on earth, and every parent knows it. If a device helps showing a pattern, good!

      I have a two-year old daughter. From the first night, we monitored her breathing using one of those boards you put under the mattress. While this will never prevent a baby from dying, it will alert a parent when a baby has stopped breathing, so CPR can be applied and 911 called. It might just save the life of a baby. We have had a few actual alarms*, which were later attributed by the pediatrician to the low timeout on the device: it screams after 20 seconds without movement. Apparently, my little girl would sometime just stop breathing for a short while if she was in a very deep sleep. She hated the thing, and as soon as she was physically able, she would just shut the thing down on her own (quite funny to see on the cam, those little fingers slowing finding the button).

      When my daughter was 6 months old, friends became parent of a baby girl. During the first night in the hospital, that girl actually stopped breathing, turned blue and was subsequently resuscitated. After a week in NICU she was released. Needless to say, our friends immediately purchased the same device that I used.

      One can argue that these devices have little use other than helping parents sleep, knowing they'd be alarmed if something happens. Even if that's the case, trust me, it is money well spent. As a new parent, there are a ton of things that you'll be concerned about and this just helps easy your mind.


      * The amount of alarms we've had because my wife took her out of the crib for nursing and forgot to turn the damn thing off.. Well... That's a bit higher.

      • by swamp_ig (466489) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @06:37PM (#45450953)

        One can argue that these devices have little use other than helping parents sleep, knowing they'd be alarmed if something happens. Even if that's the case, trust me, it is money well spent. As a new parent, there are a ton of things that you'll be concerned about and this just helps easy your mind.

        Paediatricians don't recommend the use of these devices. They haven't been shown to decrease the risk of anything. They tend to produce false alarms, causing a hell of a lot of parent anxiety, and which may contribute to post-natal depression (which has got a well established link to infant death).

        • by sabri (584428)

          Paediatricians don't recommend the use of these devices. They haven't been shown to decrease the risk of anything. They tend to produce false alarms, causing a hell of a lot of parent anxiety, and which may contribute to post-natal depression (which has got a well established link to infant death).

          We've discussed the use with our pediatrician, and she was fairly neutral about it. They do indeed produce false alarms now and then and I have found myself from deep asleep to wide awake in my daughter's room a couple of times, after my beloved misses forgot to turn the damn thing off when nursing.

          That said, the alarm did also go off on a few occassions where my daughter was somewhat unresponsive and blue/grey-ish. Did it save my daughter from certain death? Most likely not. Did it alert us to an unhealt

          • by s.petry (762400)

            The problem isn't with parents that already pay attention to their infants. Monitoring in this case is probably going overboard, unless the infant has some type of condition that would require this level of monitoring. If said condition exists, would not the pediatrician want the infant in the hospital for better monitoring in addition to almost immediate medical care?

            The real issues I see with this are the parent(s) that don't pay much attention. The monitoring won't help when the adults are stoned, dru

      • by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @07:37PM (#45451241) Homepage

        Newborns are the most fragile thing on earth

        I could think of quite a few things that are quite a bit more fragile. Not to say that you shouldn't be careful with newborns, but I think this is going a little bit over the top, and would probably cause the parent much more stress then it would relieve. I have 3 kids myself, and personally, I even found the sound only baby monitor a little annoying.

      • by icebike (68054) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @09:40PM (#45451707)

        Newborns are the most fragile thing on earth, and every parent knows it. If a device helps showing a pattern, good!

        Actually, babies are amazingly resilient. After all, they are entrusted to incompetent, clueless, self centered, young, just-barely adults, and seem to survive at alarming rates.

      • by dargaud (518470)

        If a device helps showing a pattern, good!

        Is there software that does that ? I mean as a new parent, there are times when the little one won't sleep, or shits in creative ways, or cries, or refuses to eat, etc... My wife writes done when she breastfeeds and others things, but I find it impossible to make sense of the data. Is there software where you can put vague entries like 'mother ate beans at lunch', 'baby nearly exploded at 18:00' and it finds correlations if there are any, possibly knowing a bit of physiology. Personal health monitoring soft

      • by Shavano (2541114)

        Most of these features are bullshit. The only feature that's worth anything is the alerting of a parent via audible alarm in the case of an emergency. A $250 price tag and all that mobile notification and data collection is useless because you won't know how to do anything with it.

      • Newborns are the most fragile thing on earth

        If you believe in evolution, you must not do so very strongly. If you believe in creationism, you must think God a fool.

         

      • by CCarrot (1562079)

        I have a two-year old daughter. From the first night, we monitored her breathing using one of those boards you put under the mattress. While this will never prevent a baby from dying, it will alert a parent when a baby has stopped breathing, so CPR can be applied and 911 called. It might just save the life of a baby. We have had a few actual alarms*, which were later attributed by the pediatrician to the low timeout on the device: it screams after 20 seconds without movement.

        * The amount of alarms we've had because my wife took her out of the crib for nursing and forgot to turn the damn thing off.. Well... That's a bit higher.

        Wait, what? This thing doesn't have a weight sensor to automatically disable it when not in use? Heck, even my heated car seats have that...sounds like poor engineering to me.

      • by SoupGuru (723634)

        Newborns just got squeezed through a hole they shouldn't be able to fit through. They are a lot less fragile than I am.

        Every new parent has paranoia about their child. Paranoia can be profitable.

      • by HungWeiLo (250320)
        If any of you use the AngelCare monitoring device, there's a cord strangulation related recall [nbcnews.com].
    • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:49PM (#45449823)

      Perhaps Yasmin didn't account for all the variables.
      The most obvious ones that won't show up in sleeping data is what woke the baby up.
      Did it shit itself?
      Was there a loud noise?
      Was it hungry?
      Did it get cold?
      Was it too hot?
      Was it sick?
      Did it have reflux?

    • by ATMAvatar (648864)

      That last line accurately sums up every infant I've ever had in my charge. Not sure what pattern you could discern from graphing all of this data, if my experiences are any guide it would make for one hell of a random number generator. I doubt one can find a better entropy source than a newborns sleeping "schedule". ;)

      The only pattern you can discern is that of the parent's OCD need to gather data and a strong belief that individuals are merely the sum of their data points.

    • There's an unfortunate truth that new parents and the makers of expensive baby monitors like to ignore. If your baby goes into cardiac arrest and you're not in a hospital already, then the baby is going to die no matter when you're alerted.

      Anyway, those monitors for newborns are supposed to be monitoring against SIDS, and there's evidence that SIDS isn't real anyway. [npr.org] The incidence of SIDS diagnosis is pretty low, and taking such simple steps as nothing in the crib besides the kid, not smoking, and on
      • by PingSpike (947548)

        This is why we had one really. Do I honestly think the thing is going to save my kids life? Not really. What it did do however was allow my wife and I to go to sleep ourselves instead obsessively looking at the baby monitor trying to determine if she was still breathing through that. It was more of a hack to work around our own insanity really. When I think back on all the piles of weird baby stuff we own that we barely used, that device actually seemed like a bargain at $80-100.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      For the first half year or so we also kept a paper records. Started that a few weeks after the baby was born.

      It mostly served as a short term reminder for us. When I came home from work, I could instantly check on what happened. Latest feed, latest diaper change, sleep that day, those things are most important to know. Helped a lot in general care, knowing what happened during the day, without having to bother my wife with it, hoping she remembered well.

      And for my wife to remember which side to start nursin

  • Roly-Poly! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:18PM (#45449249)

    I know this will probably get lost in the comments but, when my mom isn't home I like to go into her garden, cover myself in dirt, and pretend I'm a carrot.

  • I actually think this could be a great thing. As long as insurance companies or other companies cannot link the data with who the baby is for profiling purposes, this could be a great way to keep parents informed about their child and also help us study possible causes for SIDS or other infant issues. Besides all the research benefits are the possible lives saved. I have had a couple friends who fell asleep with their baby and their baby suffocated on their chest. If the other parent is in the room and an a
    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:39PM (#45449367) Homepage

      For every child that has been 'saved' by having a monitor go off when the child stopped breathing, thousands of parents have had the shit scared out of them for no reason whatsoever, have run the perfectly normal child to the ER (risking a serious automobile accident) or have simply been worn down staring at the display. And these are with kids who have some significant risk of apnea in the first place.

      Placing these things in the general pediatric population is going to be fun. And the data will be so heterogeneous that it will be useless scientifically.

      It's just a money grab, as usual.

      • The weathermen learned it first. People start ignoring tornado and hurricane warnings if there less 20% chance of it happening that day. Earthquake forecasters cant get anywhere near that accuracy.
      • by Xiph1980 (944189)
        Yup, reminds me very much of Tim Minchin's section on "How babies sleep"
        (Tim Minchin - Ready For This [youtube.com], ca. 2:05 - 3:48)
      • For every child that has been 'saved' by having a monitor go off when the child stopped breathing, thousands of parents have had the shit scared out of them for no reason whatsoever, have run the perfectly normal child to the ER (risking a serious automobile accident) or have simply been worn down staring at the display. And these are with kids who have some significant risk of apnea in the first place.

        Placing these things in the general pediatric population is going to be fun. And the data will be so heterogeneous that it will be useless scientifically.

        It's just a money grab, as usual.

        People running their child to the doctor for no reason is going to happen with or without data. At the very least, there are some parents out there who can extrapolate from data and realize that nothing is wrong with their child when they otherwise might think there is. As with any technology its going to be misused by a few but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have it. If the data is useless scientifically, they won't make any money with it and the issue will solve itself. I am not a researcher though so i

        • by s.petry (762400)

          People running their child to the doctor for no reason is going to happen with or without data.

          A certain level of that is considered "normal", especially for first time parents. It would only be abnormal if they have a above normal level of paranoia, which devices like these help to achieve.

          As to the data, every human is unique. My nieces and nephews had absolutely nothing in common with each other as infants, and my kid was nothing like them. They all had slightly different schedules, ate slightly different amounts, slept slightly different schedules, had varying nap times and lengths, grew at sl

    • by sjames (1099)

      Next up, getting the child ready for preschool will start to resemble the checklist for a spacewalk. By the time those poor kids get to the 1st grade they'll end up wearing a full bodysuit of sensors and think having worried parents burst in to the class room several times a day is normal. By high school, they'll be paralyzed by the fear that they could drop dead any second now.

  • by cosm (1072588) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <3msoceht>> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:20PM (#45449261)
    Tinfoil hat time! So in 40 years, these will be required by insurers to screen for pre-existing conditions!?!!? No historical data on early-stage developmental physiology, no 95% subsidy off government single-payer coverage cost...
    • vote GOP and pre-existing conditions = go to lockup with you want to see a doctor

    • Fine by me. Healthcare is free, right? It is where I come from.

    • by guanxi (216397)

      Tinfoil hat time! So in 40 years, these will be required by insurers to screen for pre-existing conditions!?!!? No historical data on early-stage developmental physiology, no 95% subsidy off government single-payer coverage cost...

      What about using it to screen people for jobs and other things. I'm sure physiological conditions can be inferred, even if not accurately (kind of like a credit score -- or as part of your credit score).

      Also, why does it make you paranoid to want to have a private life? Think about that: It's bizarre that the discussion has been framed this way. People have desired privacy since the beginning of time; it's natural.

      • by sjames (1099)

        For that matter, creditors don't like people dropping dead with unsecured debt. Good luck getting credit if the data collected when you were 3 months old showed some anomaly.

  • by McDutchie (151611) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:27PM (#45449297) Homepage

    While the breathing and sleeping alerts will calm a lot of parents,

    I would argue the opposite is more likely to happen. Most parents are not qualified to properly interpret these data, and over-monitoring can cause excessive anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

    • by oodaloop (1229816) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:56PM (#45449459)
      That was my first thought as well. Babies make a lot of weird, though normal, noises. Just listening to them sleep can be anxiety-inducing. Was that gurgling normal, or a real problem? He stopped breathing agai...oh no, he's OK. What is that awful sound he's making?

      Monitoring and interpreting even more data is going to be daunting and nail-biting. Unless they're sick and need the monitoring, I would not recommend monitoring healthy babies.
  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:27PM (#45449301)
    What, no burp duration or fecal viscosity histograms? Pathetic.
    • Re:Pretty incomplete (Score:5, Informative)

      by viperidaenz (2515578) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:42PM (#45449791)

      Or plotting the fecal colour change that happens from new born, to breast fed, bottle fed, vegetables, meat...
      Just don't try plotting the smell, because once you get meat in them you'll need to change the scale to log.

      • Re:Pretty incomplete (Score:4, Informative)

        by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @03:59PM (#45450197)
        Ever find a bunch of re-hydrated raisins in a diaper? Talk about a "The FUCK???" moment...
        • by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday November 18, 2013 @12:29AM (#45452201)

          My kid used to love sweet corn, eating it big time.

          The kernels would come out virtually unchanged. Really made me think you could simply pick them out, wash them off, and return them for a second round.

          Never actually did that, though.

          • by Firethorn (177587)

            Some animals like rabbits will actually eat them again

            But yeah, you have to chew corn a bit.

            • by wvmarle (1070040)

              I've never seen my rabbits do it. I have seen my guinea pigs do so regularly (but only very fresh, straight from the anus). I've been told that this is indeed to give the food a second chance, as digesting plant matter is hard and there is a lot of nutritional value in their droppings.

              • by Firethorn (177587)

                I've never seen my rabbits do it. I have seen my guinea pigs do so regularly (but only very fresh, straight from the anus). I've been told that this is indeed to give the food a second chance, as digesting plant matter is hard and there is a lot of nutritional value in their droppings.

                You're in a better spot to know that I would be, but I do know that dogs will turn into corpophages(shit-eaters) if they aren't getting the right diet; often the solution to a dog that's eating shit is to feed them better dogfood. Could be the same with rabbits - feed them easily digested food and they won't do it as they don't need the second pass.

          • by dargaud (518470)

            ...return them for a second round

            Rabbits do that [wikipedia.org].

      • by s.petry (762400)

        That will be in BM (Baby Monitor) 2.0

        Dang, I have BM and a "number two" reference in that short of a sentence!!

    • by kmahan (80459)

      It is more fun to do an analysis of what goes in vs. what comes out.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:32PM (#45449333)

    The premise that all analytics are helpful is false. Sometimes data is just data.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:53PM (#45449443)

    Oh how did we ever survive without constantly knowing our kids' whereabouts? Do you remember the times? When we were scared shitless because little Timmy could not be tracked down via GPS? When kids actually could have secrets from their parents? Nothing spells "I love you, dear child" like calling when he's making out with his first love.

    But I see the upside of it. Kids that are constantly monitored, prodded and nagged by parents will more likely develop a heavy resentment for total surveillance, and they will early in their life start to develop counter strategies.

    • by the_humeister (922869) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:20PM (#45449617)

      This only happens for the first kid. Subsequent kids usually don't get as much scrutiny.

      • This only happens for the first kid. Subsequent kids usually don't get as much scrutiny.

        Exactly right.

        However, because they're having kids later and later in life, more and more of my friends are having one kid or twins - So this sort of thing becomes the norm, not the exception.

        • by Nimey (114278)

          That's just the better-educated folks who wait to have kids. For every one of them you probably have ten or more undereducated teenagers whose parents believe in abstinence-only sex ed.

          • For every one of them you probably have ten or more undereducated teenagers whose parents believe in abstinence-only sex ed.

            I live in Canada, not some theocracy, so I wouldn't know...

      • But maybe it really is the subsequent kids who need the above mentioned devices. As my wife said recently: "It'll be good when we have more kids – then we don't have time for accidentally waking them up all the time while checking if they are allright."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...

      But I see the upside of it. Kids that are constantly monitored, prodded and nagged by parents will more likely develop a heavy resentment for total surveillance, and they will early in their life start to develop counter strategies.

      More likely they will be completely indoctrinated to accept it as a natural state.

    • will more likely develop a heavy resentment for total surveillance

      Or they'll grow to expect it and will seek out more and more surveillance as they get older.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's all good psychological training for the acceptance of general 24 hour surveillance. After all, it it is good for little Jimmie, it certainly is good for Jimmie's father. It is well known that children that are abused are usually abused by their parents or someone they know. So think of the children and surveil Jimmie's father - the mother too, just to be safe.

  • I wouldn't be surprised at subliminal ads being targeted to toddlers who might play with tablets, so that they grow up being better 'consumers'. Brave new world.
  • by ImOuttaHere (2996813) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:58PM (#45449467)
    Why do people "need" these things? Humans have been born and grown to adulthood for, oh, now many hundreds of thousands of years without the aid of monitors? Oh. Wait. I just responded to my own question. Human monitors are no longer valid. That's it! So... _this_ is what happens when you don't want to be with your child... and when you have "better" things to do, eh? Sad. Really sad, if that's the case.
    • Infant mortality has gone down over the centuries though.
      Modern housing is also a lot better blocking sound. A basic baby monitor is quite handy. you can actually do things during the 20 hours your baby is sleeping without keeping their door open.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Infant mortality is primarily down thanks to better hygiene at home, and vaccinations and other medical care.

        And as you say yourself, it's been over the past centuries (well, mostly the last century). Electronic baby monitors only came when most infant mortality had been solved already.

        Now of course the US is known to be behind the rest of the developed world in infant mortality rates... maybe on that side of the pond they can actually make a difference.

    • by s1lverl0rd (1382241) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:57PM (#45449859) Homepage

      First, you seem to be seeing these devices as replacements for proper parenting. I'm not so sure that's what they're for. They're really just an improved version of the baby monitor, which is in turn an improved version of sleeping near the baby's room and praying you'll wake up when something's wrong. That's all. There are some bells, whistles, statistics and graphs, but it's just a fancy baby monitor, in the same way the Nest is just a fancy thermostat.

      Second, there's quite a bit of literal survivorship bias in your comment. Most people you've met haven't unexpectedly kicked the bucket when they were a few months old, but that you don't know any doesn't mean it doesn't happen. The good news is that less babies die nowadays [wikipedia.org] than there used to - the infant mortality rate used to be six times as high back in the fifties. It's still too high, though, which is why we do need devices like these.

      They look like cutesy cuddly turtles and nice onesies, but they're medical devices. They assist parents in the same way a baby monitor assists parents. Help the parents, help the baby, reduce the statistic. Is the decline in infant mortality only because of the baby monitor? No. But if you, like me, see it as a medical device, I hope you'll agree that everyone should get one, not only sad, lazy people that suck at parenting.

      Humans have grown to adulthood for hundreds of thousands of years without heart monitors, thermometers, incubators, X-ray machines, CAT scanners, dyalisis machines and all that as well - and I don't see you suggesting to do without those.

  • Wow, how odd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BringsApples (3418089) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:58PM (#45449471)
    The baby's picture is on the main screen on the phone, the phone mimics/displays all of the baby's vital signs, and gives readings on all baby-related matters... in this way, the device is the baby. However, we're going to depend on the same parent that can't care for the baby itself, to monitor the device that's monitoring the baby? How odd indeed.

    Maybe they can then sell little baby clothes to put on your iPhone.
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:52PM (#45449835) Journal

      The baby's picture is on the main screen on the phone, the phone mimics/displays all of the baby's vital signs, and gives readings on all baby-related matters... in this way, the device is the baby. However, we're going to depend on the same parent that can't care for the baby itself, to monitor the device that's monitoring the baby? How odd indeed. Maybe they can then sell little baby clothes to put on your iPhone.

      Just think of it as a Tamagotchi; but connected to some obnoxious squirmy thing that smells funny, eventually turns into a teenager, does some drugs, and has to be sent to college.

    • by glavenoid (636808)

      In some dystopian near-future, the company will produce a clause in the TOS that stipulates this "virtual baby" you speak of can be "adopted" by other "parents" for a nominal "fee".

  • by iONiUM (530420) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:09PM (#45449553) Homepage Journal
    We're almost there. Awesome.
    • by jdogalt (961241) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:37PM (#45449743) Journal

      In addition,"The Final Cut" is a gem of a Robin Williams movie on this subject many may not have seen-

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Final_Cut_(2004_film) [wikipedia.org] (below is wikipedia summary)

      The Final Cut is a 2004 film written and directed by Omar Naim. It stars Robin Williams ... ... The story takes place in a near future in which people can pay to have their babies implanted with memory chips. These "Zoe Implants", developed by EYE Tech company, record every moment of their lives, so that they may be viewed by loved ones after one's death. The plot centers on Alan Hakman, a "cutter", whose job it is to edit the Zoe footage into a feature-film length piece, called a "Rememory".

      The Final Cut is about subjectivity, memory and history; posing the question, "If history is what is written and remembered, then what happens when memories are edited and rewritten?"

      The film won the award for best screenplay at the Deauville Film Festival and was nominated for best film at the Catalonian International Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival.

  • by hsmith (818216)
    Wife is pregnant. We've gone to a few "baby" classes. They talk about the "unknowns" of what causes SIDS and all the things people "think" cause it (no real proof or idea). But every one outright dismisses the use of any monitoring to alert you if the baby stops breathing, because there is no proof it helps.

    So, they have no proof to what causes SIDS, but since there are no studies saying that monitoring helps, don't waste your time with it?

    Seems strange to dismiss something, when you have no proof eit
    • I've heard of these mats you put on the bed that monitor breathing movement. Apparently giving you warning if your baby stops breathing, in the hope you can perform CPR.

      I've also heard they give a lot of false positives, like when the baby rolls off the mat.

      Never heard of one actually saving a baby's life though.

    • by sjames (1099)

      It's the studies that showed no benefit that convince people it's a waste of time.

    • Seems strange to dismiss something, when you have no proof either way it works.

      Monitoring isn't free (either in terms of instruments, operator attention, or reactions to false positives), so throwing some unvalidated mechanism at a group of deeply emotionally invested, and mostly statistically clueless, operators is pretty much certain to give them another thing to stress out about, but far less certain to provide either reduced mortality or even useful information.

      There are a great many things that would be neat to look at if the cost of looking were lower; but there are a lot of

    • Wife is pregnant. We've gone to a few "baby" classes. They talk about the "unknowns" of what causes SIDS and all the things people "think" cause it (no real proof or idea). But every one outright dismisses the use of any monitoring to alert you if the baby stops breathing, because there is no proof it helps.

      . . .

      Seems strange to dismiss something, when you have no proof either way it works.

      As with everything, doing all the things that "might" work can make it harder to actually do the things that do work -- you're expending time, money, energy, etc. that could have gone somewhere else. You'll have plenty of real, actionable worries to choose from, so just get your regular checkups, vaccines, babyproofing, etc.

      And don't forget to sign up the little one for the Princeton Review APGAR prep course. You don't want to get behind on those test scores, what with those competitive preschools and all.

    • by qbast (1265706)

      So, they have no proof to what causes SIDS, but since there are no studies saying that monitoring helps, don't waste your time with it? Seems strange to dismiss something, when you have no proof either way it works.

      How about my patent-pending anti-SIDS rock?

  • So one can now "be a parent" without having to actually be physically present and not even have to hire a body double? Awesome!

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @03:12PM (#45449921) Journal

      So one can now "be a parent" without having to actually be physically present and not even have to hire a body double? Awesome!

      No, these implementations are clearly incomplete, 'Simple Newborn Management Protocol', they say; but it's all read-only. The MIBs look a bit thin, as well.

      Until they fix that, you'll still need a supply of excuses for why it's always the junior admin's turn when you need to go poke the thing.

  • They plan to sell the data collected to researchers.
    Why do we have to pay so much more than manufacturing and distribution costs for the device then?

  • Let's train our babies and kids to get used to being watched and monitored at all times. Then the next generation won't mind the NSA spying on us as much. Good work! SMH

  • If it follow the purpose of these devices you should leave them rigged up until they are 18.

  • by notthepainter (759494) <oblique@@@alum...mit...edu> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @06:50PM (#45451035) Homepage
    My ex-brother-in-law is a wildlife biologist. He's done a lot of field work. He told a story at Christmas a few decades back. He took his 7 year old son out hiking is some deep woods. Being concerned if something went wrong he put a radio tracking collar on him, just part of the stuff in his lab. I asked him how it worked. He deadpanned, "I hated shooting him with the tranquilizer dart from the helicopter." I almost lost my egg-nog.
  • Wow! I am not alone! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Since our child was about 18 months old I have had extensive video monitor + computer analysis of her sleep. It was amazing.

    Surprising things we have learned.

    - Not uncommon for a child to be awake for 1 hour on some nights. (Happily stays in crib, just moves / looks around)
    - Ideal bedtime has been between 5:30 - 6:30, any later and quality and length of nighttime sleep is greatly diminished. (Norm sleep is 11+ hours of sleep minus breaks)

    The hardest thing about this tech is letting go, it's easy to get depe

  • My biggest gripe with all these monitoring system is the reasoning behind it: (from the post)

    While the breathing and sleeping alerts will calm a lot of parents...

    In what I see around me the opposite is true. Woried parrents scramble to these kind of devices and often will have their condition aggrivated even when no real danger exists.
    Don't get me wrong: if the docter has flagged you child as having a risk for e.g. crib death these things are a godsent. Problem is that everybody is buying them even when the baby is perfectly normal.

  • My wife and I have a daughter that had made it over 4 1/2 years so far with no baby monitor other than us checking on her periodically....

  • by koan (80826)

    Using data gathered along a persons entire lifetime, they will find some algorithm and start sorting people early on.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

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