The best of...the latest baby gadgetry
Snoo Smart Sleeper
A potential savior for sleep-deprived parents, this automated bassinet mimics an infant’s experience in the womb. It responds to a newborn’s cries with gentle rocking and soothing sounds, and wakes you only if crying persists.
Forget running for a camera to capture your baby’s happiest moments: This monitor recognizes smiles and records video whenever it detects them. It also responds to loud noises, provides night vision, and compiles daily highlight reels.
4moms Self-Installing Car Seat
Because nearly one in two infant car seats is set up improperly, this one makes installation idiot-proof. Its 20 sensors regulate motors that level the seat and tighten the straps, and it continually rechecks the fit while you drive.
$500, 4moms.com Source: Popular Science
A baby who’s talked to regularly is a baby primed to be smarter, happier, and more communicative. This useful monitor made of medical-grade plastic counts how many words a child hears each day, so parents will know they’re doing their part.
Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad
This comfy changing pad has a built-in scale and connects via Wi-Fito a phone app that can help parents monitor weight, food intake, and diaper changes. The pad handles weight info, but parents have to enter the other data.
Tip of the week...
Five late-fall house chores
■ Tackle interior painting. Any task that calls for open windows should be done before the cold sets in. For the same reason, now’s a good time to run a self-clean on your oven.
■ Ready a mudroom. Keep tidier all winter by setting up an area for overcoats and muddy boots, complete with mats, boot trays, and plenty of hooks.
■ Clear the yard. Clean and store (or at least cover and secure) your grill, patio furniture, and kids’ toys. Empty clay plant pots and bring them inside to protect them from freezing and cracking.
■ Rearrange the garage. Set your lawn mower and weed whacker aside, and bring out the sleds, snow shovel, snowblower, and bags of salt and gravel.
■ Prep your windows. Remove screens from storm windows and wash the exterior panes. Consider adding a layer of drapes for insulation.
Source: The Washington Post
And for those who have everything...
Forget about trying to uncork Champagne with a dull pop and soft hiss. The St. Regis Saber lets you decapitate a bottle the way Napoleon did. Handcrafted by Parisian silversmith Christore and produced in partnership with St. Regis hotels, the 22-inch saber has a stainless-steel blade and sterling silver hilt. St. Regis butlers will provide each purchaser with a master class in the art of sabrage, which requires that the blade be slid swiftly up the neck so that when it strikes the collar, the neck breaks off cleanly. “There is simply no more fun way to open a bottle of Champagne.”
From $25,000, stregisrituals.com
How to upgrade a laptop’s audio
■ Tweak the settings. Start with your software. If you’re a Spotify Premium user, go to Preferences and choose high-quality streaming. In iTunes, look for Playback under Preferences and select Sound Enhancer. Windows users can refine sound quality by opening the “Sound” tab on the Control Panel.
■ Install an extension. Consider $10 or $20 third-party add-ons, like Hear, BitPerfect, Boom 2 (for Mac), or DFX Audio Enhancer (for Windows). These extensions let you adjust equalizer settings or choose a preset, and they “work wonders” whether you’re streaming a movie or chatting on Skype.
■ Add hardware. If you already use quality external speakers or headphones and want better performance, try an external sound card or a portable digital-to-analog converter like the Schiit Fulla or Creative Sound Blaster E5. These devices boost volume, eliminate interference, and polish hi-firecordings.