When you're pregnant, there are a lot of things people, magazines, and companies will tell you that you need to get to keep your baby healthy and safe.
Nothing ups that sense of necessity like fear, which is why pregnant women everywhere may soon be rushing to register for biosensor baby clothes right along with their baby monitors.
Exmobaby Pajamas, which are set to hit the market in 2011, will allow parents to remotely track their baby's vital signs -- including his or her heart rate, activity level, and emotional well-being -- from a cell phone.
The company's CEO, David Bychkov, calls them an "emotional umbilical cord between mother and child."
My first thought was "cool!" I know what I'm buying for my friend's upcoming baby shower, but the more I think about them and their intent to put parents at ease, the more uneasy they make me.
I've experienced plenty of parenting fears, and I registered for and purchased more than my share of gear to keep my babies safe. But none of it has really alleviated the fear. In fact, it may have upped it.
I spent many sleepless nights (weeks, months) worrying about SIDS, listening to every crackle on the monitor. My daughter is 20 months old, and I still sneak in during the middle of the night to make sure she's still breathing. If my 7-year-old son doesn't wake up before 6 a.m., the first thought in my head is of what could've happened to him during the night -- even though we still use a separate monitor for him too.
So I worry, and I get monitors and sleep sacks and all the other things we do and buy to keep our beautiful children safe.
But to hook them up to a "rechargeable wireless transceiver" just seems like wiping out a line -- one that's already gray -- and pushing parents into a perpetual state of paranoia. It sends a signal that babies are so fragile, so at-risk that we have to monitor every little heartbeat.
While SIDS is very real and babies do die from it (about 2,500 per year), it's a tiny risk; and most babies are fine.
I think parents would benefit more from a mentality and a marketplace that embrace the fact that most children will be fine without constant monitoring rather than to be scared into thinking that if we don't, we could lose them.
And are you a bad parent if you DON'T buy something like this that could potentially protect your child?
How far will it go?
So biosensor baby clothing is great in its intention -- to use technology to keep babies safe -- but I fear it will not only drive parents even further into a perpetual state of paranoia, but also continue to diminish our confidence as parents -- our necessary belief that while accidents do happen, for the most part, we're going to be OK.
Would you purchase biosensor baby clothing for your baby?
Image via engadet.com