Pampers, a company known for swaddling newborns and toddlers in disposable diapers, is entering the baby monitoring world with its first all-in-one connected care system.
Lumi by Pampers lets parents like Samantha Payne, a 29-year-old special education teacher and mother, monitor and understand her 7-month-old son’s daily development around the clock. Payne is part of a parent group selected by Pampers to test the new product.
“We’ve been through it once before,” Payne said in reference to raising her first child, who’s now three years old. “But, I think Lumi’s been great in helping us see and establish routine, which is something we wouldn’t have otherwise. First-time parents are going to be lucky right off the bat if they have this.”
Each activity sensor attaches easily to a velcro-like patch on the bottom of each Lumi by Pampers diaper and has a battery life of about three months. Pampers recommends that the sensors be used for newborn to 12-month-old babies. (Photo: Pampers)
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Available this fall, you’ll only be able to buy Lumi by Pampers online at first. A medium, teal-colored box will then arrive at your doorstep containing a 1080p wide angle HD video monitor, two activity sensors and two packs of specialized diapers with velcro-like patches on the bottom, where the sensors are placed. The price is not yet available.
The Procter & Gamble company partnered with two technology giants to design Lumi, said Omer Sher, the head of Startup Pampers. These included Alphabet’s Verily for their software, sensors and online platforms, as well as Logitech for their camera technology.
Lumi works like this: You turn one of the sensors on, and place it on the designated diaper patch. The sensor automatically tracks the baby’s wet diapers and sleep patterns, sending the information to the Lumi app on your phone. Parents can also chart feeding times and milestones to see a fuller scope of how their child’s routines evolve over time.
Pamper's Lumi app includes features that let parents track sleep, feeding and diaper changes. One of the features shows 'Today at a glance,' which provides a timeline for each day. (Photo: Pampers)
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At first glance, the product does have a few drawbacks. The sensors have to be replaced every three months, so you’ll eventually have to order a few more. You’ll also have to buy specific Lumi by Pampers diapers for the sensor patch.
The diapers won’t cost much more than normal Pampers according to Blanca Arizti, the product technology lead for Startup Pampers. However, they’ll only be available in sizes zero to four, so the system won’t work with premature babies and larger infants.
But Pampers isn’t the first baby monitoring technology to have leaned in on real time tracking. The $250 Smart Beat is a video monitor that uses a color system to track breathing, and Owlet uses a $299 “smart sock” that tracks heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep once wrapped around the baby’s foot.
Pampers says the app and its overviews, particularly for sleep, will help parents establish routines by tracking how many hours of sleep their baby gets each day. (Photo: Pampers)
However, Sher said that Lumi by Pampers stands out because it allows parents to blend real time data with parental intuition to establish routines. Having all of a baby’s important information in one place can especially help first-time parents overcome a sometimes steep learning curve.
“Routine is hard to establish for an baby, Sher said. “And even once it’s established, it can change over time as the baby grows and develops.”
Follow USA Today reporter Rebekah Tuchscherer on Twitter @r2sure
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