MENLO PARK (CBS SF) — Tech-savvy parents seeking the straight poop on their babies’ development can now use a web-connected diaper pad to monitor changes.
The Smart Changing Pad by Menlo Park-based Hatch Baby – along with a smartphone app – allow parents to track weight, length, feedings, and sleep patterns along with the number of diaper changes. Similar to fitness trackers, the data can then be displayed in a number of ways and compared with standard growth percentiles.
Data can be exported and shared with the baby’s doctor. The app also offers a photo/slideshow feature to display how the baby has grown over time.
CEO and founder Ann Crady Weiss says the idea behind the smart diaper pad was sparked by a common worry shared by new moms. “The original idea came up when I came home from the hospital with my oldest daughter and was concerned about how much I was breastfeeding,” said Crady Weiss. “I am a really easy-going and relaxed person and I was very anxious (over the breastfeeding). I had no idea how much she was drinking.”
Crady Weiss and her co-founder husband, Hatch Baby CTO David Weiss, are former executives at online parenting website BabyCenter which acquired her previous startup – a social networking site for new moms – in 2007.
The $299 device is among the latest in a growing number of so-called web-connected items targeted to babies, such as smart car seats, baby bottles and monitors.
While some devices such as baby monitors been found to be vulnerable to hacking, Weiss said engineers have taken every precaution to make sure the data from the smart diaper pad and app are secure. “The data is encrypted and stored in a virtual private cloud,” he said. “We want to make sure all the best practices are implemented … just as you would with financial data.”
Hatch Baby is looking to roll out more products designed to closely monitor baby development and generate data that parents can use to tweak their child’s routines such as eating and sleeping schedules. “We really believe in products that create actionable data, so it’s not just reporting for reporting’s sake,” said Weiss.
The company received $7 million in venture funding last year and were featured last week on the reality TV show Shark Tank, securing financial backing from tech investor Chris Sacca.
Carlos E. Castañeda is Senior Editor, News & Social Media for CBS San Francisco and a San Francisco native. You can follow him on Twitter or send him an email.