As a new mom in the thick of postpartum life, I did my best to keep track of everything. How long did my baby sleep? When did he sleep? How long did he eat? Which side did he eat from? How many wet diapers was he having a day? How many dirty diapers? But do you know what's difficult to do when you're sleep-deprived and overwhelmed? Everything. Enter: Lumi by Pampers, a connected care system designed to help parents better understand and care for their babies.
Lumi by Pampers is a video monitor, an activity sensor, and an app: a combination that allows parents to track their babies' sleep, diaper changes, and feeds. The activity sensor — a lightweight, small sensor that attaches to the front of the Lumi diaper — tracks a baby's sleep and diaper activity. Sending information directly to the Lumi app, the sensor will tell you when your baby's diaper needs changing (it even changes to let you know when your baby's diaper is full or extremely full). It will also automatically keep track of changes (you simply take the sensor off a dirty diaper and reattach it to a clean one), allowing parents to see how often they're changing their child. Once a change occurs, a parent can go into the app and dictate whether the diaper was wet or soiled.
The 1080p wide angle HD monitor is also lightweight, can attach to a wall or sit on a nightstand, and has 180-degree viewing capability, night vision, and 2-way audio. It monitors the temperature in the room, the humidity, and allows a parent, via the app, to check in on baby from anywhere that provides a connection to the internet.
With the information provided by the sensor and parents' manual inputs — the app allows you to track when your baby feeds, if they're breastfeeding, which side they fed on and for how long they fed, as well as track other milestones — the Lumi by Pampers app (available for both iPhone and Android) will custom curate relevant content for parents. This information, created by baby development experts, will be provided at relevant times so that parents can anticipate an upcoming milestone or potential future changes in their baby's behavior.
Lumi by Pampers is the first launch from the Pampers Startup Team. I sat down with Omer Sher, Head of Startup Pampers, Blanca Arizti, Product Technology Lead, and Mandy Treeby, Product and Communications Lead (all parents), to get a first look at Lumi by Pampers and to better understand the intention behind the design.
According to Sher, parents have three goals when caring for a newborn: anticipating their baby's needs, establishing a routine, and feeling confident about their innate ability to care for their baby. We all want to be able to trust that "gut feeling," Sher tells me, but that's not always easy when your baby is unpredictable, a parent is overwhelmed, and a quick Google search provides results that aren't tailored to the specific needs of a specific, unique child.
The Pampers Startup Team believes they've created a product that helps parents reach those three goals. By automatically tracking when and for how long a baby sleeps, when a baby's diaper is changed, and then allowing parents to manually enter milestones, feeds, and other information via the app, Lumi by Pampers gives parents the ability to "anticipate their babies needs, establish routines, and gain a deeper understanding of their baby's unique development."
There has been some public concern about baby monitors, primarily their accuracy and potential to increase anxiety in new parents. In 2018, a study from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Owlet and Baby Vida monitors sounded false alarms, either indicating a problem existed when it didn't or missing an actual health problem in the monitored baby. (Owlet issued a statement citing inaccuracies in the study. Kurt Workman, co-founder and CEO of Owlet, wrote, "The accuracy and performance of the Owlet Smart Sock is something we take very seriously.")
These potential concerns weighed heavily on the Pampers Startup Team. Treeby tells me Pampers worked closely with pediatricians to make sure the Lumi by Pampers didn't add to a parent's stress or anxiety, but rather worked to help ease any worries a parent might have. The goal wasn't to monitor a baby's breathing or heart rate at night, but to simply revolutionize how parents track their babies' growth and development.
Lumi by Pampers won't be available until fall, 2019, but parents can sign up to be placed on a waitlist now.
Any parent will tell you that babies seemingly change from day to day, and there aren't any two babies who are exactly alike. And since the learning curve for new parents is as steep as it is unforgiving, most if not all of us could use a little help in better understanding our unique babies and their needs. With this one-of-a-kind connected care system, Lumi by Pampers may very well be the help us parents have been looking for.