As someone who is finding myself attending more and more baby showers on Saturday afternoons, I was not surprised to learn that 1 in 4 parents today are millennials. What I have been surprised by is that today’s affairs often rival a consumer electronics show. While it was once novel to have a video baby monitor, today the list of tech products to help new parents seems endless including devices to track sleeping temperature, body position, activity level, breathing and sleep activity. On top of that, you can purchase a smart sock that monitors your child’s heart rate or a smart diaper that tells you when they are dehydrated. As someone who can never keep track of her keys, the pacifier with a built-in GPS tracker interested me most!
Crazy tech aside, the baby industry is smart to have hopped on the technology trend. Millennials are 2.5X more likely to be an early adopter of technology than older generations, meaning there is a built in target audience ready to go. My generation has been using technology to quantify our lives for years – it’s a natural extension to include technology when parenting. And with 43% of parents getting an average of one to three hours of uninterrupted sleep during the first six months of a baby’s life, any sock, monitor or crib that promises to keep a newborn asleep for even just a little longer will be a welcome aid.
As these tracking devices continue to collect data, it will be interesting to see how brands continue to find ways to insert themselves into parent’s lives. Will the smart diaper integrate an option to order Pedialyte on Amazon when it sees that the baby is dehydrated? Or will new Moms feel that is too intrusive and want to keep some aspects of their parenting private? Watching this consumer behavior and testing when and where is the right time to connect with this new generation of parents is going to be essential to success moving forward for parent-focused brands and is certainly something we as an agency continue to track for our clients.