I tried this gadget to help my kid sleep—is it worth it?
Bedtime is a breeze with the Hatch Baby Rest+.
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Many of us don’t get enough sleep, including our kids. As a tired mom of a 15-month-old and a 6-year-old, I know this struggle all too well. But one newly released device is aiming to help kids (and their bleary-eyed parents) get more restful slumber.
The Hatch Baby Rest+ is a portable, Alexa-enabled device that lets you set bedtime and wake-up timers for kids, play soothing white noise and songs, display color-changing lights, and more. I spent 30 days testing the Hatch Baby Rest+ with my first-grader and, occasionally, my toddler son.
Perhaps you’re already familiar with the Hatch Baby Rest, the OG sleep device from Hatch Baby, which was released in 2017 and has a 4.5-star Amazon rating from 2,050 customer reviews. The Rest+ comes with a handful of new features that the original model doesn't offer, but is it worth the $90 price tag? Here’s what the new Hatch Baby Rest+ is all about—and how it differs from its older sibling.
What is the Hatch Baby Rest+?
The Rest+ is a sound machine, night light, and alarm clock for kids all rolled into one handy device. It’s the latest sleep gadget from the Menlo Park–based company, which makes other connected gizmo’s for children and parents, like the Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad and Scale.
After a month of testing, I can confidently say that the Rest+ offers a convenient way for busy parents to encourage children to go to bed (and wake up) at the right time, while still offering an element of fun for kids that won’t make them rally against sleep.
The Rest+ is made of plastic and functions as a modern-looking night light. It provides soft and gentle lighting if you’re using it during the middle of the night or bright and cheerful colors to help wake your child up from a nap or in the morning. While this night light feature is great for newborns who may rouse you for a 3 a.m. feeding, it also works great with older kids who are afraid of the dark. Additionally, the Rest+ utilizes LED lights, so it won’t be hot to the touch when you (or your little one) pick it up.
With the Hatch Baby Rest+ app, you and your child can create “Programs” for bedtime, naps, and waking up in the mornings. The program feature can be customized with your child’s favorite sounds and colors. (My daughter loves to fall asleep to a continuous cycle of rainbow-colored hues paired with the built-in bedtime lullaby.) We have a program for weekday mornings when we need to be out the door for school bright and early, and a program for the weekends so we can all get a few extra minutes of sleep.
Since the Rest+ can also be controlled via a touch ring around the top rim, parents will appreciate being able to turn on the “toddler lock” for programs (in the app). This way, your curious kid won’t accidentally disrupt the pre-programmed settings.
New features of the Hatch Rest+
While the Rest and Rest+ both act as a night light, sound machine, and system to tell the kids when it's time to rise, there are a handful of new features the Rest+ has over its younger sibling, starting with the ability to connect to the Rest+ via WiFi instead of being Bluetooth-only like the original Rest. Our family has been using the previous model, the Hatch Baby Rest, for nearly a year, so we were already familiar with the basics of the product when I began testing the Hatch Rest+. These are the other major differences between the two models.
1. Amazon Alexa compatibility
Another new feature to the Rest+ is that it can now be counted as one of the many gadgets that work with Amazon Alexa, however, you’ll need to enable the “Hatch Baby” skill in the Alexa app and link your Hatch Baby account. To be honest, I didn’t use this feature all that much because it’s so simple to control the Rest+ from my iPhone XR. But, it is nice to have the option to go hands-free with the Rest+, so you can do things like turn the device on and off, and control the volume, brightness, colors, sounds and more. Commands include, "Alexa, tell Hatch Baby to turn the brightness up on Rest Plus,” or “Alexa, tell Hatch Baby to turn on my Rest Plus."
2. No need for dangerous cords
The Hatch Baby Rest comes with a cord and must be plugged in at all times in order to work. However, with the Rest+, portability is a top priority. The latest model comes with rechargeable batteries, so you can easily bring the Rest+ on vacation, move it from room to room, and bring it along to a grandparent’s house.
3. Works as a two-way audio monitor
Another difference that sets the Rest+ apart from the Rest is that it functions as an audio monitor. Using the Hatch Baby Rest+ app, it’s easy to check in on your child without disturbing them during slumber. You can also use the app for two-way communication with your child by pressing down on the “Hold to Talk” button. The audio is crisp and clear on the Rest+ and on my mobile device. As you might expect, the audio does sound like it’s further away when your child is talking to the Rest+ from across their bedroom, but it’s still easy to understand.
4. Comes with a digital clock
One feature my daughter and I really like is the digital clock on the lower front portion of the Rest+. The numbers illuminate in white, so your child can easily read the time in total darkness or with the lights on. As simple as it may be, the clock is one of my favorite features, especially for older kids who are learning (or already know how) to tell time. The clock is an especially helpful function for my 6-year-old, who is finally starting to grasp the concept of telling time.
There’s another beneficial part of having the clock on the front: I can see the time from across the room. This is a nice feature to have if you’re using the Rest+ with a toddler or infant and don't have a clock in the nursery. Most of us keep our phones nearby, but if you’ve got a slumbering baby in your arms or simply can’t get to your mobile device during the pre-nap routine, the clock on the front can be a lifesaver for those of us who need to stick to a schedule.
5. Connects via WiFi instead of Bluetooth
The addition of WiFi to the Rest+ is great for parents or who need to connect to the device while away from home or out of Bluetooth range using the Hatch Rest app available for download on iOS. (The Android version of the app will be available in the Google Play store in September, according to Hatch.) The previous model only allowed users to control the Rest using Bluetooth. During my four weeks of daily testing, I found that the WiFi connection more reliable and user-friendly on the Rest+ versus using Bluetooth on the original model.
Is it worth it?
The Hatch Rest+ comes with a fairly hefty price tag of $89.99, which has become increasingly more expensive since it was announced over the summer with a $79.99 price tag.
The original Rest can be purchased on Amazon for $59.99. So, is it worth an extra $30 for the Rest+? If you’re looking for a night light, audio monitor, sound machine, and alarm clock with a few extra beneficial features (like two-way audio and WiFi connectivity) to help your kiddo out with sleeping, then the Rest+ may be a good investment for your family.
My daughter, who is an early riser by nature, has learned to stay in her room without waking up her fatigued parents before the sun is up. I don’t know about you, but anything that buys me a few extra minutes of uninterrupted sleep is worth every penny in my book. And, the added benefit of being able to control the Rest+ with Alexa or via WiFi makes an already easy-to-use device even more effortless.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.