So I’ve recently begun bouncing around a project idea in my mind ever since I read Brain Rules for Baby, which spent quite some time explaining how important the relationship of the parents is to the progress of the baby’s mind.
They cited ceveral common factors for stress in the marriage following a newborn, but I saw one that I thought was the easiest to resolve and possibly one of the biggest factors: lack of sleep.
The problem is simple. When parents have a newborn crying every few hours during the night, they have reduced sleep and end up irritable and stressed, which in turn affects the relationship, in turn affecting the baby.
I believe that home automation can substantially reduce this problem.
First, the ideal is to distribute the sleep loss between the parents. A simple solution would be to trade each night who is going to get up to calm down the baby. The problem with this solution is that both parents now have to become trained to waking up when the baby begins crying, when normally one parent(unforunately it’s often the dad) becomes trained to continue sleeping, even with crying. This will result in less total sleep for both, even if the sharing of the load perhaps reduces the tension.
So here’s where my proposal comes in: Place the child in a room out of earshot(or yourselves in a soundproofed room, also good to improve sex life ;P) and then use home automation to alert the correct parent when the baby is crying, based on whose turn it is.
A futuristic application could involve two health bands with vibration to alert the correct parent, a tempurpedic mattress(3rd paragraph) to avoid awaking the second parent, and a mic in the baby’s room for detecting the baby’s cries for comfort.
A backup system would likely be intelligent, of course, it would be horrible to leave the baby without help should your internet cut out, for example.