High-Tech for the Nursery Set

by Mary Giles

High-Tech for the Nursery Set


Ages birth to 9 months


Loud voices or a baby’s cry activate 5 minutes of either a lullaby or a heartbeat (your choice). With the flip of a switch, the chair bounces electronically (continuously or on a timer), which helped our 2-month-old tester nod off for naps. You can adjust the Bounce n’ Play seat to your baby’s weight. Runs on 3 C and 3 AA batteries. ($35, Summer)




Ages 1 and up


Now at least you have a shot at entertaining your baby in the backseat while you’re in the front. Just strap this colorful mini-dash to your child’s car seat, and keep the remote within reach. When she gets fussy, press the button to activate 3 minutes of lights and music.


The Car Seat Dashboard With Remote Control also features low-tech options, including a turning wheel, and a plastic key and cell phone to chew on. Requires a 9V and 3 AA batteries. ($20, Fisher-Price )




Ages birth to 2 years


In addition to relaying sound, Angel Care crib monitor also detects your baby’s slightest motion. An alarm goes off if there’s no movement for 20 seconds, which may offer some parents a little peace of mind. Place the sensor under the mattress; keep the portable speaker nearby. Runs on electricity or a 9V battery. ($90, Safety 1st)




Ages birth to 5 months


Mission impossible: Rewind a restless baby’s crib mobile without letting her catch a glimpse of you. But now with a click you can send the Remote Control Musical Mobile spinning and playing tunes from just outside the nursery. It includes 2 AA batteries. Also available: the Remote Control Music Box, an adapter that allows you to operate almost any mobile from as far as 15 feet away. (Musical Mobile, $50; Music Box, $24, Infantino)




Ages birth to 2 years


One of last year’s hot items was a video camera and monitor with a 5-inch black-and-white screen that allowed parents to see and hear their baby in another room. This year’s model  — the 900MHz Hand Held Monitor and Television  — uses the same camera (which sits on a dresser or mounts on a wall), but has a portable viewer with a 2-inch color screen. Both sets work in a dark nursery, offer 3 channels (to boost your chances of finding a clear one), and double as a TV. The portable version requires 4 AA batteries; the larger one runs on electricity or 4 AA batteries. (Hand Held, $200; 5-inch Child View Monitor and Television, $150, Safety 1st)




Ages birth and up


Attach this soother to the crib, then select from 4 sleep inducing sounds: rainfall, waves, a heartbeat, or a lullaby. It’ll play continuously or on a timer, but the high-tech plus is its voice-activated setting: If your baby fusses for 5 seconds, the Nature’s Lullaby Player turns on for 15 minutes. Our 9-week-old tester particularly liked the rain and heartbeat sounds. Needs 4 AA batteries. ($20, The First Years)