“Thanks to Nanit, I Was Able to Catch the Early Signals”

“Thanks to Nanit, I Was Able to Catch the Early Signals”

Nanit helped one mom realize that her baby was at risk for developing a medical condition—and gave her the tools she needed to help. Read on for the full story.

At Nanit, we’re always looking for ways to take our pro parent solutions into the real world to see how they impact our community. Now, we’re excited to share these stories with you. 

First up is Caroline Somerstein, Nanit’s director of public relations and partnerships. Not long after Caroline’s daughter Sadie was born, Nanit’s customized Insights helped her spot a pattern in Sadie’s sleep habits. With Nanit as her parenting partner, Caroline was able to address the issue and prevent her baby from developing torticollis, a muscle disorder in which tightened neck muscles cause a baby’s head to tilt or rotate. 

Her story is below:

“In the early months after Sadie was born, I would look at Nanit’s night summaries and I could see how long she was spending lying with her head facing one side versus the other. She definitely favored one side. Working at Nanit, where we incorporate research about torticollis and other issues in order to help kids thrive, I was more aware of developmental conditions. It was great that Nanit and Nanit Lab kept me informed. With the data Nanit provided, I was able to track Sadie’s head position and be proactive to help her be more balanced.

As you can see in the dashboard screenshot below, she strongly preferred sleeping with her head tilted to the left: 

When I saw that Sadie was favoring her right side, I made sure she was spending more time turning her head the other way through activities like tummy time. Or I’d have her sit up and I’d hold a toy so she had to turn her head to follow it. I tried to make sure her activities were more balanced to avoid potential health concerns. Also, our vice president of clinical research, Dr. Natalie Barnett recommended we change the way we put Sadie down at night in the crib so her head would be on the opposite side. The tips were simple but effective. 

After making these tweaks for a few weeks, I noticed a difference in Sadie’s head positioning. Now, a few months later, I can see that her head position data is completely balanced, like 50/50:

With the data Nanit provided, I was able to track Sadie’s head positioning and become aware of what I needed to do to help her development.

The other issue that can arise if a baby sleeps in the same position is that their heads can flatten on one side. That can lead to having to get a helmet, which can be costly. Some of my friends have been in this situation and have had to invest in helmets with mixed results. It would have been great if they had access to the Nanit summaries. It’s a feature that you need to unlock by subscribing to a higher tier of the app, as I think the data would have helped them to catch the signals early on. Eventually, because I was able to show my friends the evidence, they unlocked the analytics feature and are now using the tips and helping their babies, too. 

Nanit also helped us predict Sadie’s developmental milestones on the horizon. In the beginning, we would put her down to sleep on her back, and she’d stay that way through the night. But over time, I saw on the Nanit recap that she was starting to sleep on her sides, which indicated to me that she was getting ready to roll. It’s so great to have those predictive abilities - to know what's coming next. There’s a lot you can do to protect the overall health and wellness of your baby. For me, Nanit’s analytics were a game changer.”

Meet Caroline and Dr. Natalie and learn more about Caroline’s story here.

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    Nanit is dedicated to delivering high-quality, reliable content for our readers. Our Parent Confidently articles are crafted by experienced parenting contributors and are firmly rooted in data and research. To ensure the accuracy and relevance of the content, all articles undergo a rigorous review process by our team of parenting experts. Additionally, our wellness-related content receives further scrutiny from Nanit Lab, our think tank of scientists, engineers, physicians, academic experts, and thought leaders.

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    In pursuit of transparency and credibility, our articles incorporate credible third-party sources, peer-reviewed studies, and abstracts. These sources are directly linked within the text or provided at the bottom of the articles to grant readers easy access to the source material.


    Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

    Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

    Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

    Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.