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I’m an Anxious New Mom and This Smart Changing Pad Is Giving Me Peace of Mind

Now we have one less thing to worry about.

By Courtney Thompson

When you’re a parent to a new baby, your life is filled with unknowns. Babies, it turns out, can’t talk. Instead they cry and fuss and sleep — whic h isn’t super helpful when you’re trying to discern exactly what they need. These tiny humans are essentially your new boss, and yet they’re giving you zero feedback on how you’re doing.

If you’re a Type A personality like myself, not being 100-percent in control of a situation is, well, unnerving. And while cute clothes, a pimped-out nursery and top-of-the-line stroller are all well and good, really the only thing your baby needs is nourishment. Here’s some breaking news for you: Your number one task when you get home from the hospital is to feed that baby. Day and night, night and day. Whether you’re nursing or bottle feeding, you and baby are partners in one thing — growing!

Which is why I’m always like a kid in a candy shop on well visit days with the pediatrician. I can finally found out if baby has grown! Every pound — nay, every ounce! — is a badge of honor, physical proof that I’m getting it right and that baby and I are succeeding. But well visits are every few weeks, and let this anxious mom admit that there have been days when I just stare at my baby thinking, “You look bigger. Are you bigger? Or are you smaller? OMG, have you lost weight?!”

Enter: Hatch Grow. Dreamed up by a husband and wife team who ran product and engineering (amongst other departments) at BabyCenter, Hatch is a “smart” diaper changing pad that comprises a wireless scale that can record weights and feedings via a coordinating app. What’s that mean for you? It’s means when you stare at your baby and think, “You look bigger. Are you bigger?” You simply lay that sweet cherub down on Hatch Grow, pull up your app and weigh the baby. It’s. That. Easy.

But wait, there’s more! Remember those aforementioned unknowns new parents face? Hatch tackles another biggie on my list — how much has baby consumed while nursing. While bottle-fed babies have concrete numbers and evidence to fall back on when shit figuratively hits the fan (or, maybe in your case, literally hits the fan), nursed babies’ milk consumption is much murkier. Instead new moms rely on minutes fed per breast — but that data is anything but solid considering we also have to take into account how fast an eater baby is, and how much milk mom is producing. Which is why Grow’s ability to measure feedings was a GAME CHANGER for me.

Here’s how it works: You weigh baby. You feed baby. You weigh baby again, and then the app automatically calculates the weight difference and logs it into your daily feeding chart. Suddenly your breastfed baby has actual stats! This morning, for instance, I discovered my little girlie drank 4.75 ounces of breast milk. This was enlightening because it was a fussy feed, mired in cooing, burping and other high jinx. Without Grow, I would have spent the afternoon assuming she hadn’t gotten enough to eat, wondering if she's crying because she’s hungry, etc.

Listen, I get it—if you don’t currently have a new baby, this technology doesn’t seem all that exciting or groundbreaking. I’m currently momming my fourth baby right now, and I totally forgot the angst/worry/wondering that comes with a newborn, especially in regards to weight and feedings. Having real time answers has alleviated A LOT of my stress. And it’s actually kept me breastfeeding longer — that’s right, I likely would have given up by now if I didn’t have Hatch’s data at my fingertips.

Other reasons I’m loving the Hatch Baby app? You can track everything from diapers to sleep to when and how much you pumped. Daily photos are turned into a first-year slideshow; you can set reminders for yourself or jot down notes related to baby in there; and all stats can be shared between partners and caregivers (as long as they have an iPhone or Android smartphone).

Technical stuff aside, the changing pad is made of a soft foam and is gender-neutral thanks to its light grey hue. It fits most changing tables (mine is the Pottery Barn Kids Kendall Extra Wide Dresser & Topper Set and it slid right into the pad slot), and has a safety belt. What was radical for me was the lack of changing pad cover. I used a traditional changing pad with my older kids and I was constantly changing and washing those covers — you need at least a half-dozen of them. READ: I’m so happy to be rid of a cover! Now when we’ve got a poop or pee or puke incident, I just wipe the changing pad down and move on with my day. Yup folks, I’m talkin’ bout LESS LAUNDRY. While you won't be tracking feeds and weighing your baby forever ... you will be changing his or her diaper for at least two years, which makes that whole "less laundry" selling point even more appealing, am I right?

Who else loves Grow? Bravo’s own Meghan King Edmonds and Cameran Eubanks, both of whom have shared the product in their Instagram stories. And if you want to make your nursery as smart as possible, also consider the brand's Rest, a night light, sound machine and time-to-rise device that you can control from your phone. I'm actually obsessed with this for my bigger kids — because their time-to-rise time fluctuates by day (we sleep in on weekends!) and by life (back-to-back sports the previous night means more rest is needed the next morning!), it's super helpful to be able to switch the wake up settings on the fly. 

Shop the Hatch Grow here:

Shop the Hatch Rest here:

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