As a parent, I assure you, it’s relatively easy to tell if your baby has peed or pooped. For one thing, you have a nose and can therefore smell these things. And even though your baby is a helpless little thing, it also can often tell when it has wet its diapers and will cry until you sort it out. But if you have never had a baby, you may not realize this. So the idea of Pampers’s new smart diaper system may be appealing to you.
The brand has announced it will release a new product, Lumi by Pampers, that comes with a video monitor and activity sensors that you can attach to special diapers, which have Velcro-like patches in the front. The system is designed to track your baby’s wet diapers (but not its poops) and sleep patterns, automatically sending that information to the Lumi app on your phone. If you want to chart feeding times and other milestones like doctor’s visits, you will have to do this manually.
If you are a millennial who has just had your first baby, you are probably already familiar with the art of tracking every one of your infant’s excretions. There are dozens of apps out there that allow you to register every bowel movement your child has made, as if the whole thing were some sort of elaborate science experiment. And yeah, I get it, you’re an overachiever: you want to get an A in parenting.
However, this new system is probably just a marginal improvement over the status quo. If it works perfectly, and your baby does not somehow dislodge the sensor while it is wriggling about, you won’t have to manually track each pee. But there are downsides, too: You need to buy special Lumi by Pampers diapers, and the sensors themselves will have to be replaced every three months. The diapers also only go up to size 4, which would have taken my child to about 9 months. It’s a lot of work for a small decrease in effort.
This kit is being marketed as a way to help you understand your infant’s development and establish his or her routine. And let’s be honest: this would have been catnip to me as a new parent. I would have bought almost anything that promised to make me a better parent. But now that I’ve been through the process, I’m not convinced this will significantly improve your life or parenting skills.
Lumi by Pampers will be available for purchase in the fall. The price has still not been announced.
Correction: The original version of this story stated that this device would track a baby’s poops. A publicist from Pampers wrote to inform me that it only tracks a baby’s pee.