Updated August 2018
Hatch Baby is a start-up here in the San Francisco Bay Area that creates innovative, “smart” technology baby products to give new parents peace of mind.
You may have heard of Hatch Baby from their famous changing pad/baby scale, called the “Grow.”
When I first learned of Hatch Baby, I assumed they were just another company trying to over-engineer simple baby products (using smart phone apps unnecessarily, etc.).
So I kept my distance for a while.
But when my 7-year-old decided she wouldn’t sleep in her bed anymore because she’s scared of weird shadows, I decided to give the new Hatch Baby Rest a whirl.
Let me first say I’ve used MANY night lights and sound machines, partly because it’s my job and partly because I’m addicted to white noise.
I like my sleep, people!!
I don’t want anything to get in the way of me and sleeping: not the 5:30 a.m. garbage truck, not my barking dog, and especially not my kid-who’s-scared-of-weird-shadows. No one ever told me that after the newborn phase, kids continue to wake you up for, like…YEARS to come.
Both the product and the accompanying app are elegantly designed and very easy to use. The speaker quality is an 8 on a scale of 10 (IMO), and MUCH better than other sound machines at this price point (it’s not a Bose, but waaaaay better than the tinniness (is that a word?) of cheaper sound machines). Bottom line: it’s very well built.
Another cool thing: you can also get cool plastic covers (coverlets) to customize the design. The only problem is, if you pick it up by the sleeve, the light falls out the bottom. You’ll learn how to hold it so it doesn’t do this, but just… FYI.
The product has a touch-activated chrome ring around the top speaker, which is very surprising (in the good way) the first time you accidentally touch it. Note: you can also disable this feature so your kiddos can’t mess with it.
The business end is on the very bottom (the buttons, etc.), which is concealed unless you pick it up, but I always just use the app.
I love that I can customize the color and the intensity of the light (this is very hard to come by!!!). I don’t want it to be as bright as the surface of the sun in their room at night, like most night lights are. Let’s just put it this way, if your kid wakes up at 3am to go pee and thinks the sun is up, your night light is too damn bright!!
You can also control the selected sound (11 white noise/nature sounds to choose from) and the volume. Or you can mute the sound as well.
That’s really all you need.
Routines, routines, routines
Listen up: as a parent, I love routines. Routines keep our family functioning normally. I use the app to set the light (and sound) to pop on at 7:45 p.m., which signals to my kids that it’s time to get in bed and turn the lights off.
Night light’s on: it’s bed time!!!
That’s right, it’s not me watching the clock and saying, “OKAY kids, it’s 7:45, it’s time to turn the light off.” No, it’s the light; the light is telling them. Go toward the light, children, mwaaaa. I don’t have to be the arbiter of bedtime because it’s not up for negotiation.
Must obey the light.
Another example of following “routine cues”: on weekday mornings, I have an alarm that goes off on the kitchen iPad at 8:05 a.m. My kids know when they hear the chiming that it’s time to leave for school. They’re like dogs responding to a cue.
It works amazingly well.
The Rest also has an “OK to wake” feature that can be used in a similar way. Lucky for me, my kids are sleepers and I don’t need this function, but for all those kids who like to wake up too early on a Saturday (or everyday), parents, this one’s for you!!
So I embrace this use of technology because it keeps us in our routines, much like the sun did for cave people.
And there’s no negotiating with the sun.
That said, it would be nice if…
I really wish you could charge it and go cordless. This would be especially helpful for parents of newborns who need to walk around with some light at night. But the cord is pretty long, so if you need to walk over to the changing table, change a diaper, and walk back to nurse in your chair (for example) it will probably reach. But I do wish it were cordless.
That is truly my only complaint.
Bottom line: The sound quality and light options for the Hatch Baby Rest are excellent and I actually love using the app to control it. It helps maintains bedtime and morning time routines, which is priceless. For $59, the Hatch Baby Rest is a highly-functional, great looking night light and sound machine that will serve you well for many years to come.