A couple of months ago I read a post from @themarkymark about his top 10 tech gadgets for 2021. When I first read that blog, I commented on the stuff I bought in 2021. In 2022, I hope to buy a GPU (please Ethereum switch to POS to reduce demand for mining) and I already bought a new washing machine. It's good because it has 2 places for soap baby/gentle and normal. Anyway, I thought the post was a neat idea and it's the inspiration for this post about baby stuff.
Other than preparing the baby room and the living room and main washroom (heck most of the apartment), I also had to rearrange the kitchen counter to make room for baby stuff.
Here you can see a formula machine, a kettle and a sterilizer.
The Fancy Kettle
I've always had an electric kettle, but I used to just have the one that boils and stops, this one is fancy and has a temperature mode that it won't let the water get below after setting. It's convenient for mixing powders and soups and such which shouldn't be at room temperature or boiling. Sure I guess I could just use my tap water (it can get to like 80C), but that's ghetto and I have a water filter which I use for everything that is food.
Anyway this device is called the Boleuleu (보르르). I doubt it's sold outside Korea.
Next up we have the Benvoir sterilizer. It's another brand you will probably only find in Korea. It steams and then dries the items. I just add a bit of water and then it does the rest. I prefer it to the UV lights. UV can take things that can't get heated or moist (electronics, face masks, etc) but UV only works on surfaces it can reach. Also in the pictures, they are sterlizing sliced fruit. Maybe I can try that later. What an interesting gadget!
The Forumula Machine
Next up we have my favourite item. This is the babybrezza. It's a foreign brand, so it's definitely available outside of Korea. Basically, it's a formula mixing machine. I put dry powder in one bin, filtered water in the other, and it does the rest. Basically, I just enter in how much I want in ml (it does it in 30ml intervals which is basically 1 fl.oz.) place a bottle under and boom! I get a serving of formula milk at the correct temperature.
It only takes a couple of seconds and it is a huge time saver. The thing is completely automated too and tells me when it needs refilling or when the mixing chamber needs cleaning. Fortunately, there are spare parts too so I have a clean one ready just in case. It's great when my wife doesn't feel like breastfeeding or pumping.
I highly recommend it for anyone who cannot afford a wetnurse or goat.
The Bottle Warmer
Next up we have the bottle warmer. This is a Philips Avent. I just add some water and turn the dial. It gets the bottled milk up to about 38C fairly quickly. It's convenient for warming up pumped breast milk or bottles that got cold. I just keep it in the baby's room.
This humidifier is a candlewick style humidifier by winia. There are two main types of humidifiers, the ultrasonic ones and the evaporative ones. I don't like the ultrasonic ones because they atomize anything in the water and can pollute the air. The evaporative ones work like pointing a fan at a wet blanket. The droplets are so small I cannot see them, and it stops working naturally when it's too humid. It definitely increases the humidity. When the filter gets dirty I can wash it. It also filters the air as it adds moisture. There are some famous brands with spinning discs too, they add humidity faster and clean the air kind of like how a bong filters, but they are harder to clean and its not so dry in my apartment, even in the middle of winter.
Temperature and Humidity
I actually got this gadget for free from the city. I'm not sure if it is even for sale. It says temperature and humidity and the time. There is also an alarm clock. The best thing, asides from it being free, is the face. If it is a happy face, I don't need to think about it. I have other devices in my house to measure temperature and humidity, so I don't care how accurate it is or what advanced features it has. But not bad.
White Noise machine
I'll be honest, I went to the dollar store and paid $5 for this Bluetooth speaker. I put in an old memory card and just downloaded my favourite white noise track. It's about 2.5 hours long and will just repeat. I suppose I could download more, change it by connecting Bluetooth (or USB), but meh, whatever. The track I have sounds like shhh, waves, bubbles and breathing. Actually, if you have ever been scuba diving, it reminds me of that. The thing also has a battery, but I just leave it plugged in. If I need white noise somewhere else, I'll just use my phone or tablet. To be honest, I can't believe people sill actually buy purpose built ones these days.
The Air Filter
Indoor Air pollution is really bad for your health. Babies have weaker immune systems and lungs. I don't want him to get sick from something so easy to avoid. Indoor air pollution usually comes from cooking, but there are other things that can cause it. Korea also often has dirty air outside, so opening a window won't always bring in fresh air. This is a Chinese model (Xiaomi), I trust them because China excels at dirty air. Also, filter replacements are cheap and there are 4 different types (I use the HEPA one). I have 3 Xiaomi filters in my apartment, I can't be bothered to look up the specific model. This one also measures humidity and temperature and has an app that I don't bother with. I just keep it on auto and I'm happy since it's never more than 10ppm and usually 1 to 3.
The Nanny Cam
This is an HD camera. I can use my phone over my network as a smart remote. I can also use their website, but I have my own server and prefer that. It swivels and goes up and down. I really need to mount it on the ceiling. For now, I just have a 16GB card in it which gives plenty of replays and to be honest I don't plug it in. If one isn't careful, these things are more likely to spy on their owners than anyone else.
It records sound and if I want it can send me a pop-up for movement or noise. The sensitivity can be adjusted and it is smart which means it gets better with feedback.
I suppose this is also a baby monitor, but since I live in an apartment, I can hear him from everywhere unless I have his door and my door closed or am being noisy myself. I don't want to mention the specific brand and I probably won't even use it much. My wife bought it out of paranoia. I want a camera that's obvious. I don't want an actual spy camera in my house because I won't allow people in my house I don't trust and with a camera being fairly obvious, visitors get the message.
Also, you may notice 026 on the calendar below. That's just how old my son is. I'm slowly getting the hang of this.
Baby Time App
Last but not least is the app. It's useful for recording how much the baby eats and other stuff like his measurements (weight, height, head circumference), his bowel movements (it lets you choose the colour :) and sleep. The hospital checks a lot of that anyway and we are getting bored of it even though it has just been a week. Now, I mostly use it just to track how much formula he is eating since we have a journal for important stuff that is recorded monthly or weekly. It will send an alert if we should definitely feed him.
It did come in handy already because I had to show mommy that the baby is fine, he isn't losing weight and he is eating fine after Googling some stuff. Pointless hospital trip avoided.
Spring is Coming
This is the picture of the sansuyu tree outside my house. It's always the first one I notice blooming in Korea. Looks like it started yesterday. I'm excited for spring. I'll take my baby for walks.
I'm glad I'm learning to parent quickly. My son and wife left the postpartum care center just last Saturday and I feel much better and more comfortable after just a week. I knew I would get the hang of it quickly, and technology and gadgets help a lot.
I hope you found some of this helpful even if you don't have a baby in the home and aren't expecting to anytime soon.
Maybe next time I'll focus on furniture or non-electric gadgets. I'm still waiting on some though.