Creating a Smart Bedroom for Kids
Smart home technology can do a lot to make parenting easier. Smart baby monitors can tell you when your infant is moving around, smart speakers can play soothing music while they drift off and smart lights can enforce a bedtime routine (or scare away monsters under the bed).
Your child may be spending a lot of time in their bedroom, so let’s look at how to set up a kid-safe smart bedroom. (And if you haven’t done so already, check out our article on making a smart bedroom for you.)
A note on safety and security for smart home for kids
When it comes to your children, keeping them healthy and safe are your top priorities—so you need to be careful with the smart devices you install. Many Internet of Things (IoT) and other smart devices just aren’t as secure as we’d like. Installing a random Wi-Fi camera in your child’s bedroom might seem like a good idea—but what if anyone on the internet could view it?
This is to say up front that care needs to be taken when you choose smart devices for a kid’s room. Consider keeping the following principles in mind:
- Where possible, go with smart devices specifically designed for use by children.
- If something has a kid mode, kid-safe mode or similar, turn it on.
- Never connect a camera to the open internet without changing the default password and enabling every security feature available.
- Utilize parental controls, where needed, to assure that devices aren’t on all night long.
Smart baby monitors for safer, sleepier infants
Smart baby monitors are probably the best smart bedroom tech for parents with young children. The best smart baby monitors can do things like stream live video to your smartphone. It can send you a push notification if your baby moves around too much, stops moving at all or cries. It can even track your baby’s sleep habits.
The Cubo Ai Smart Baby Monitor, for example, can do all that as well as monitor the temperature and humidity in the room, enable you to soothe your baby over a two-way audio connection and even take cute photos and videos. It integrates with the rest of your smart home, too, so you can do things like use your Amazon Echo Show to check in with your little one.
The Owlet Smart Sock takes a more…feet-on approach. It doesn’t include a camera by default (though you can use it with an Owlet Cam smart baby monitor). Instead, worn on one foot, it directly tracks your baby’s heart rate and blood oxygen levels. If anything out of the ordinary happens, you’ll get a notification, so you can go in and assess your baby’s needs.
There are even smart bassinets, like the Snoo Smart Sleeper, that monitor your baby and, if they fuss, cry or wake, automatically play soothing sounds and rock them back to sleep.
Smart lights and lamps for children of all ages
For toddlers, pre-schoolers and older children, smart lights and lamps make for the perfect smart bedroom addition. Depending on their age, you can use them in a few different ways.
For younger children (or kids of any age who are scared of the dark), you can use color-changing bulbs as a nightlight. You can also set a schedule, so it gently dims once they’re tucked in to help them relax.
For older kids, you can use smart lights to enforce lights out. If bedtime isn’t happening, you can turn off their lights from anywhere in the house with a voice command and a smart speaker. Similarly, for those little ones who can’t reach the light switch, having smart lights means they can turn them on and off, too.
The Amazon Echo Glow is also worth considering. It combines a smart speaker (discussed next) with a color-changing kid’s lamp.
Speaking of light, smart blinds, like the Ikea Fyrtur, can also be a good thing to add to a smart bedroom for kids. No matter how bright it is outside, you can always have things dark enough for nap time.
Smart speakers put kids in control
Smart speakers, in particular the Echo Dot Kids edition, are probably the best thing to put in an older child’s bedroom.
A smart speaker gives your kids control over any smart lights you have, and they can even use it to help with homework, throw on their favorite music or listen to fairy tales. The Echo Dot Kids comes with parental controls and a year of Amazon Kids+, which includes thousands of child-friendly books and TV shows, so they’ll never be short of entertainment.
A smart speaker also integrates nicely with the rest of your smart home. If you have another Echo in the kitchen, for example, you can use that to send a message in your voice (not Alexa’s) to your children calling them down to dinner—or just to check in. It’s hard to argue with the convenience of Echo devices for kids.
If you already have a different smart speaker, you can use that, too—just remember to dive into the settings and set things up so it’s as kid-friendly as possible.
Smart plugs put you in control
Smart plugs let you turn any electronics in your home into smart devices. This means you can have them turn on and off on a schedule, manage them from your phone or with voice commands and otherwise fully integrate them with your smart home. All very useful features if you want to control what electronics your kids can access—and when.
Let’s say you want to limit TV or games time to between 4 and 6 p.m. With a smart plug, like the Philips Hue smart plug, you can automatically enforce that schedule. You can set things up so that the TV or PlayStation will only be able to turn on between those hours. Similarly, if the kids are slow to come down for dinner, you can turn their computer off with a voice command! Once they’re clever enough to remove the smart plug and use the power outlet, it could be time to convert to smart outlets in their room and keep that control.
Putting it all together
Turning your kid’s bedroom into a smart bedroom—when done carefully and with the right devices—can give you a lot of convenience and peace of mind. It enables you to monitor your children more closely without hovering over them and, as they get older, gives them a tech boost in their own domain.
Product features may have changed and are subject to change.