New App Analyzes the “Data” in Your Baby’s Diaper*

Readers, get set to scientifically analyze your baby’s diaper every single  change. You don’t want to just flush that data down the diaper genie! Only the most lazy parent assumes that if the kid seems fine the kid is fine. That’s like those parents who don’t have an infra-red baby monitor. They just assume if the baby’s not crying he’s probably okay.

PLEASE. Don’t you be so naive. Your job is not to worry, it’s to worry MORE! Worry constantly! And with the possible advent of  “Smart Diapers,”* you’ll be able to worry with every diaper change!

I always tell my audiences at lectures that if they want to make a million dollars, all they have to do is take something from the world of special needs (like baby helmets) and convince parents that ALL kids need this for some reason, too (like toddling). You can steal ideas straight from the neonatal intensive care unit. Kudos to these diaper geniuses for figuring out what it is that kids do MOST and capitalizing on it!

Of course, the idea that these will give parents “peace of mind” makes as much sense as telling parents that, “Taking your baby’s temperature every day, several times a day, is the only way to be SURE her temp hasn’t soared to 117.” Some will believe this, and so it goes. Another victory for a whole new outlook on childhood that believes no child is EVER safe and sound. Nope, they’re in constant danger and only constant vigilance (and a smart phone, and digital diapers) can save them. And a shout-out to my cousin Jackie for sending me the link! – L.

*If it’s not a total prank!!!


99 Responses to New App Analyzes the “Data” in Your Baby’s Diaper*

  1. Kate July 12, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    What next? I love the idea of spending mega bucks on something that a baby POOPS on and then you throw away!
    Checking the baby’s hydration and diagnosing diseases?
    No need for doctors any longer!!

  2. Natalie July 12, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Constant vigilance!

    You made me think of Mad-Eye Moody.

    Well, if someone wants to pay more for land fill fodder, more power to them.

  3. Natalie July 12, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Jeez. I just read the blog talking about these diapers. Someone is being paid to advertise…

  4. Natalie July 12, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Also, gives new meaning to the phrase “data dump.” I’m not going to be able to say that with a straight face anymore.

  5. Jackie July 12, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    data dump. oh I’m going to hurt myself laughing.

  6. Warren July 12, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Skip this step, and go straight to the micro chip injection. Casino Royale, Bond was poisoned, plugged himself into his car, and the doctors could see all his vitals and make the diagnosis, and prescribe the treatment.

    What more could the overprotective weak minded mom want?

  7. Gary July 12, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    ok so where do you insert the SD Card or flash drive?

    And you want to impress me? Make it so I can play World of Tanks or War Thunder on my kids diaper, then you will have impressed me.

    “You made me think of Mad-Eye Moody.”

    “Don’t ask me what’s in there, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

  8. Kelley July 12, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    As a laboratory scientist this really tics me off. There paid train professionals to analyze and run these test when it is needed. This seems like it would just cause more useless panic when something fails or even when the baby poops in the diaper making the results invalid. Wow

  9. Maggie July 12, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Sadly, I know women who would think these are essential.

    I worked for a group of pediatricians. I guarantee you, if you sent this data to one of them, they wouldn’t use it for diagnosis. They would insist you bring the baby in, run their own tests, and come to their own conclusions. And they would be thinking mom was a bit nuts.

    What happens if your camera phone interprets the color incorrectly? Or the “cloud” glitches and sends you the wrong data? Mom now thinks the baby has type 2 diabetes and freaks out.

    For babies in ICU, maybe. But who is going to photograph EVERY SINGLE DIAPER CHANGE to see if their poor precious is sick? Only a crazy person.

  10. Gary July 12, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    I cannot wait for the first faulty result that comes back telling the mom her baby is pregnant.

  11. pentamom July 12, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    This sounds like something that could be useful in NICUs or PICUs. For anything else, not so much. But sadly, it sounds like the guy who developed it did it as a result of thinking about his ordinary, healthy child’s elimination activities, NOT to meet a medical need:

    To diagnose dehydration? Seriously? Don’t you just check if the diaper is WET? Or observe how much the baby has been DRINKING?

  12. Emily July 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Besides the fact that “Smart Diapers” require a staff of doctors to constantly perform urine tests by proxy, from nothing but smartphone data (less gross, but also probably much less accurate than doing it the “traditional” way), and besides the fact that the results would be invalidated if the child went #2, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE CHILD IS READY TO POTTY-TRAIN?!?!? I’m afraid that Smart Diapers will influence some parents to deliberately drag their heels on potty-training their children, because once the child is out of diapers, they’ll no longer be able to monitor his or her health with GPS-like precision.

  13. lollipoplover July 12, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    When I saw the phrase Smart Diaper, I had hoped technology would figure out how to make these things change themselves. But analyze the contents of a crappy diaper? I don’t need an app to tell me junior did a corn poop.

  14. delurking July 12, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Yes, and don’t bother getting your cholesterol checked unless you are having chest pains. What, your doctor checked your blood sugar? Why? Don’t bother checking for diabetes until you have a seizure.

    If this does what it claims, it is an astonishing technology. For only 30% more than a paper diaper you get diagnostics including multiple protein assays? If all babies were to use this diaper just once a week, the total nationwide healthcare savings would be astonishing. In terms of costs per life saved, this would be orders of magnitude lower than many other interventions we demand.

  15. Warren July 12, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    How many times will it take for a mom to tell a doctor, “Well according to my smart diaper……….”, before the doctor tells her to get out.

    The number of unnecessary hospital visits, and doctor visits for the babies of type of insecure parents that would use this, will double or triple.

  16. Renee Anne July 12, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    And what’s supposed to happen when we put the kids on toilets to use? How are they going to know they’re sick then?!

    ::sigh:: Some people fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down…

    Don’t get me wrong, I notice if Little Man’s poop is different…but I don’t freak out about it unless it happens repeatedly and he’s acting sick. Then I call the pediatrician and take him in. I’m pretty sure every pediatrician I know would ignore the crazymom data anyway.

  17. Emily July 12, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    >>How many times will it take for a mom to tell a doctor, “Well according to my smart diaper……….”, before the doctor tells her to get out. The number of unnecessary hospital visits, and doctor visits for the babies of type of insecure parents that would use this, will double or triple.<<

    Yes, exactly. Also, what about the flip side of that? Doctors would get so jaded from so many conversations about supposedly "sick" children that begin with "The Smart Diaper said XYZ," that the parents who come in with legitimately ill children, whose Smart Diapers actually diagnosed them correctly, will be ignored along with the rest of the crazies–I mean, the whole concept of the Smart Diaper is crazy, but as they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm afraid that this product could potentially even be dangerous, because of the chance that it could create a "boy who cried wolf" phenomenon–so many false positives from the Smart Diaper, that the "true positives" go unheeded.

  18. Jen C. July 12, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    I couldn’t even finish watching this stupid commercial. I just have to say I’m sorry, and good luck to the babies of parents thinking this is a good idea.

  19. delurking July 12, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    I’m sorry, but you are all simply mistaken. You are used to dealing with doctors who don’t do anything without a visit and a lab test because they don’t get paid if they don’t demand a visit and a lab test. Simple, cheap diagnostics like this are incredibly valuable and can save lives at a cost-per-life that is incredibly small compared to other technologies.

    If the diaper performs as claimed, and if a parent were to use such a diaper once per week, the total cost would to the parent would be on the order of $4 per year. That parent would have a time-series measurement of various important health metrics. That is incredibly valuable. If doctors could have time-series data of health metrics on all of us, it would transform health-care as we know it. The fact that they are not used to dealing with such data now is not an argument against collecting it.

    To those of you saying you just examine the amount your kid drinks and pees, their poop, etc: Do you think you would notice if some characteristic of their pee changed by 2% per week for 20 weeks straight? You would not, but knowing would be a very valuable thing. It would certainly save more than $4 per year per person using it.

  20. Kimberly July 12, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    You can tell if they are dehydrated if their urine is dark. The rest you can have este at their yearly well-baby visit.

  21. Gary July 12, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    “I’m sorry, but you are all simply mistaken. ”

    yes, how we parents and the millions of parents before us (and us kids) were able to survive without “Intel Inside” is astonishing.

    How about paying attention to your kid instead of letting “technology do it for you.”

  22. Christine Hancock July 12, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    On a scale of 1 to 10 poopy diapers, I give this a perfect ten!

  23. Earth.W July 12, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    All you need are your eyes. Just ask the Doctor what to look out for and they’ll tell you.

  24. Gary July 12, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    AND…according to the article at The Huffington Post,

    “If all goes smoothly, the diapers — which are estimated to be 30 to 40 percent more expensive than regular diapers — will be available at hospitals, before finally hitting the shelves at stores.”

    “I am not sure you need this for the average kid,” Ari Brown, a pediatrician and author of “Expecting 411,” told ABC News. “I’m not confident this a useful screen for a bladder infection because its not a clean specimen. Also, for these highly anxious parents, I am not sure it will be reassuring. It might be alarming, in fact.”

    Faybishenko insists, however, that the point of the diapers is to ease parents’ concerns, only alerting them when it’s time to take their child to see a doctor.”

    And my personal favorite…

    “This isn’t the first time this year that “smart” diaper technology has made headlines. In May, Huggies announced its new TweetPee app that alerts parents when their child wets a diaper.”

    You know who I need to take care of my two kids now that I think of it?

  25. Maggie July 12, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    @ delurking, do you get yourself a urine test once a week? What about your elderly relatives? Do you insist they get a urine test once a week? Having worked for 20 years in hospitals and doctor’s offices, I can assure you no doctor, NP, PA, or RN would suggest any healthy individual get a urine test once a week.

    This is a waste of money, based totally on paranoia. The profit the diaper company can make by scaring parents is enormous.

    Per The Kinks: “Paranoia will destroy ya”

  26. delurking July 12, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Gary, your sarcasm is misplaced. Millions of kids have died, too.

    Because we are a rich nation, we spend millions of dollars per child life saved on medical technology. As I explained above, if this device is used once a week, that is a cost of $4 per year per child. To get to a spend rate of $1M, that means 250,000 have to use it for a year. If one of those lives is saved as a result, it is a more cost-effective technology than others we use every day. You think “paying attention to your kid”, with the average knowledge of a non-medically-trained adult, is good enough to detect rare things that happen to 1 in 250000 people? If so, you are delusional. If you have an argument, make it.

    Also :”How about paying attention to your kid instead of letting “technology do it for you.””

    That is both arrogant and insensitive to those parents whose children have died despite their best efforts. It is arrogant because I am quite certain that you take you children to doctors rather than only paying attention to them. You do that because the doctor does something valuable that you cannot. This technology also does something valuable that you cannot. The fact that you don’t recognize the value just emphasizes your ignorance.

    It is insensitive because children die from causes that regular people do not recognize. The fact that your children survived is not a testament to you skills at paying attention, it is your good fortune.

  27. Gary July 12, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    “The profit the diaper company can make by scaring parents is enormous. ”

    yup…”which are estimated to be 30 to 40 percent more expensive than regular diapers”

    sorry, when The Baby Harry or The Baby Atilana’s diapers are “doin’ a lil sag” then I will change them.

  28. delurking July 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I don’t get weekly urine tests because the cost is too high. If my toilet did it for me at very low cost and simple computer applications logged the data automatically, I would. It would be a no-brainer to have time-series data on important health parameters if the cost is low enough. If everyone did it it would lower nationwide health spending dramatically, because time-series data is incredibly valuable.

    The fact that no doctor currently would suggest a test once a week is only because the cost in time and money of the urine tests is too high. Similarly with many other tests.

    You claim this is a waste of money based on paranoia. Show us your cost/benefit analysis.

  29. Gary July 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    “Gary, your sarcasm is misplaced. Millions of kids have died, too.”

    actually it is spot on, this is “Free Range Kids” not “Helicopter OMGZ What are We Gonna Do Kids.”

    “You think “paying attention to your kid”, with the average knowledge of a non-medically-trained adult, is good enough to detect rare things that happen to 1 in 250000 people?”

    Yes, it is called “situational awareness” and kids are pretty good at letting you know when something is wrong, again, it is known here in the states as “parenting.”

    “If so, you are delusional. If you have an argument, make it.”

    Delusional? because I will not allow fear or technology to take the place of common sense, good judgement and being aware? Seriously? I would hate to be one of your kids.

    “That is both arrogant and insensitive to those parents whose children have died despite their best efforts. ”

    Yes truly, do you have sources to substantiate that remark?

    “It is arrogant because I am quite certain that you take you children to doctors rather than only paying attention to them.”

    Actually if it anything remotely “serious” we call them first, explain what the situation is and allow the Dr. to inform us as to the best course of action, OR…OR…we go by prior experiences, and guess what? They are STILL ALIVE!!! And if we in fact DO have to “take our children to the Doctors” it is BECAUSE we are and were “paying attention to them.”

    “You do that because the doctor does something valuable that you cannot. This technology also does something valuable that you cannot. The fact that you don’t recognize the value just emphasizes your ignorance.”

    This technology does something valuable? Tell me how many “technologies” upon roll out turned out to be crap, worthless or went through various “beta tests” prior to actually working. I will trust my Doctors judgement as well as my own, unless of course you feel being an overbearing and worrisome git is somehow better.

    “It is insensitive because children die from causes that regular people do not recognize.”

    Maybe from now on I will pray for my kids to get better instead, I mean look at how well that has worked out for people…

    “The fact that your children survived is not a testament to you skills at paying attention, it is your good fortune.”

    Noooooo…I am preeeeety sure it has to do with us paying attention and being responsible parents. As far as good fortune? I got that too, but that’s another story for a different type of blog post.

    You take care now.

  30. Mark July 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    delurking seems like a shill, no? Maybe he is Yaroslav?

  31. Gary July 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    “You claim this is a waste of money based on paranoia. Show us your cost/benefit analysis.”

    You first…

    “As I explained above, if this device is used once a week, that is a cost of $4 per year per child. To get to a spend rate of $1M, that means 250,000 have to use it for a year. If one of those lives is saved as a result, it is a more cost-effective technology than others we use every day.”

    “If the diaper performs as claimed, and if a parent were to use such a diaper once per week, the total cost would to the parent would be on the order of $4 per year.”

    I love your math…

    “For only 30% more than a paper diaper you get diagnostics including multiple protein assays?”

    And I got news for you…”For only 30% more…” for a large population of the country who as it is cannot afford regular diapers this is a tall order.

    I must say, your trolling is quite impressive.

  32. Gary July 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    “delurking seems like a shill, no? Maybe he is Yaroslav?”

    shill no, troll I am “30-40%” (more) certain…

  33. Emily July 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    I hope the “Smart Diaper” doesn’t become the norm, because then parents who put regular diapers on their kids, or do Elimination Communication instead, might get branded as being “negligent parents.” I know this sounds far-fetched, but increasingly, I’m seeing things that we deride on FRK as being a dumb, overprotective, unnecessary idea, growing in popularity. For example, since Lenore’s article about the Fisher-Price Smart Trike (which transitions from glorified stroller to tricycle), I’ve been seeing tons of kids being pushed around by their parents on them, when they look plenty old enough to be riding regular tricycles.

  34. Natalie July 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    @delurking, Gary,

    Sorry, don’t mean to pile on (yuk, yuk), the mistaken assumption here is that it won’t work. I see no reason to assume it wouldn’t be accurate for some things. Wearable sensors are coming. You can even get a tattoo.

    Cool, huh? I’m reminded of the Hunger Games.

    If the price of wearable sensors comes down (and 30% of a diaper is pretty impressive) then why shouldn’t consumers but them? Athletes would benefit from their use as they monitor heart beat and sweat content, same with diabetics and people with heart problems, etc. this is a good thing.

    Specifically, these diapers would be good for the NICU and PICU as well as kids that need to be monitored at home. The diapers would give a cheap, early indication if something was wrong that you’d need a lab test for.

    But I don’t see this becoming widespread in use for healthy kids. On the blog where this was reported, opinions seemed to be that it was too expensive/time spent/useless for a healthy kid. Some said they’d probably use it once a week. So it’s not going to replace regular diapers.

    I agree with the time/data argument in preventative medicine. I also agree in that parents won’t always know when something is wrong until the symptoms manifest themselves into something they can see visually or feel. I also agree with a hypothetical cost/benefit analysis before its even done because most preventative medicine results in saving money.

    But if you’re talking about 1 in 250,000, or something like that, people being helped by this as opposed to normal well and sick child visits, most people won’t bother with it. I know I wouldn’t.

  35. David D July 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    This makes me laugh. Humans are a constant source of amusement. I’m sorry I didn’t think of this;)

  36. delurking July 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    “But if you’re talking about 1 in 250,000, or something like that, people being helped by this as opposed to normal well and sick child visits, most people won’t bother with it. I know I wouldn’t.”

    I think you misunderstand, the 1 in 250000 is the lower bound, not the upper bound, of the cost-benefit analysis. The device is worth the cost if it saves 1 in 250000 1-time-weekly users and provides absolutely no benefit to any of the other 249999. I think this is highly unlikely, and that it will benefit much more than 1 in 250000 people.

  37. Emily July 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Good grief. I’m a new mother and paranoid enough about diapers (baby had a mild stomach virus that lasted for over a month) and I have been analyzing poop since she was born. I don’t need this!

    As for checking temperature, I was specifically told by everyone at the hospital plus my daughter’s doctor not to bother checking temperature unless I had reason to believe she was sick.

  38. Emily July 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    As for these diapers having a time and place… yes, they do! There are specific situations where these can help.

    But that’s just it, isn’t it? Society is all about taking the special cases and spreading them out to everyone.

  39. Warren July 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    You are mistaken to believe that this will save anyone time and or money.

    Unless your doctor received their degree from the bottom of a box of cereal, they will not make a diagnosis or treatment from the information gathered thru a smart diaper. And if my doctor did, I would drop him immediately. There is the issue of oh what is that, oh yeah liability.

    If you suspect something you will have to see a doctor regardless. So these diapers are actually going to cost the system more, because they will be alerting idiot parents to things that they should know how to handle, or that their parents know how to handle, or their grandparents know how to handle. There are numerous minor ailments that infants come down with, that do not require a doctor, but will alert thru urine analysis.

  40. delurking July 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    “Unless your doctor received their degree from the bottom of a box of cereal, they will not make a diagnosis or treatment from the information gathered thru a smart diaper. ”

    I’m sorry, you are mistaken about this. New technologies enter the marketplace all the time. They are tested over time and their accuracy and reliability is determined to high confidence levels. It is true that if you go to your doctor next week with this diaper as your diagnostic test, your doctor will order a more standard diagnostic test. However, as the database grows and is verified (assuming it works as claimed), it will become accepted as a useful diagnostic.

    My pediatrician has asked me if my kid’s urine smelled funny. If doctors already rely on subjective smell reports for diagnosis, do you really think it is farfetched that they will rely on a paper colorimetric assay? For another example of doctors using cheap at-home paper tests, my wife’s gynecologist has accepted her paper-based pregnancy test and her paper-based home ketones test as useful diagnostics.

    Look at the links I posted above. All of those people and organizations recognize that cheaper, easier-to-use tests reduce health care costs.

  41. Natalie July 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm #


    I absolutely agree that it will save time and money for the healthcare/insurance system if it works as intended. Just because a doctor would want to redo a test in a lab does not invalidate the need for a cheaper, quicker test at home. What I see as an impediment to widespread use is action/inaction based on the statistic of how helpful it is.

    I take my kids the doctor a few times a year. For well visits, and if I think they need to be seen for whatever reason. So if I am monitoring my kids’ urine and I see a certain characteristic(s) changing over time which looks worrying but has not yet resulted in symptoms that I can see/feel, I would feel it necessary to go to the doctor and relay what I’ve observed. If I would not used the diapers and have gone to the doctor, eventually my child would exhibit symptoms that I could see/feel, and if usual OTC meds don’t help and the symptoms don’t go away, only then would I go.

    So how many afflictions can be identified and mitigated in the early stages this way? If you’re still looking at a small percentage of kids, it would be worthwhile to insurance companies because they’d pay less in medical cost. But it still may not be worthwhile to the individual parent if the odds of the diaper use helping them specifically are so small. And since the diaper use requires action (buying, using, taking picture, logging results) as opposed to inaction (lab tests at a doctors office to screen for possible maladies such as with pregnancy), people won’t do it.

  42. Natalie July 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Also, if you’re interested in new cheap, portable, paper based technologies, I saw a presentation of someone who had developed a test where you take a droplet of blood and put it on a paper to screen for certain types of diseases/bacteria? It was used by hunters in several countries in Africa to prevent people from eating bad meat and getting sick themselves. If I could remember his name I’d post a link for you.

  43. Havva July 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    @ delurking,
    I’ll admit I’ve only read a few of your posts and skimmed others. But It looks to me like you fall into the belief that if a little data is good a lot of data is better. That false positives aren’t that common or problematic. And that thanks to technology we are on the brink of a revolution in personalized medicine. And further still that time series data on an individual will reveal to that person’s or their doctor something that the doctor wouldn’t know from fewer tests compared against the ranges of healthy and unhealthy that took medical science decades to determine and establish.

    Our increasing ability to collect data is changing our knowledge of appropriate treatments and ages of tests. I’m sure if we could cheaply and easily test hundreds of thousands of people and monitor that for their whole lives we would learn useful things. Things that could latter be used to help other people showing that pattern. But between here and there lies not $4/year worth of diapers for each child or a minor toilet upgrade, but instead billions and trillions of dollars of research, application of treatments with known and unknown risk. Many, many deaths, and much more suffering. You can’t know what kills people until you have proof people are dying from that and not from something else. Furthermore sometimes when you think you found something serious, you can kill a person by trying to treat it.

    Far more children die from lack of access one test, than the difference between one and 52 or 365 per year. And does the marginal increase in treatment really outweigh the over treatment of false positives.

    Furthermore tests require interpretation. What use is that personal info if we don’t know what it means, or what to do with it? Look at the state of cancer treatment. We are getting ever better at detecting cancer, but Chemo is toxic and immune system killing. Additionally it appears that cancerous cells aren’t that rare, some cells can be fought of by some people’s own immune system if we don’t nuke the immune system with Chemo. But we simply can’t tell the fast cancer from the slow, or a cancer fighting immune system from one that can’t.

    Please look at this article ( but here are some interesting pre-views:

    “The scientists reasoned that if screening mammography were preventing early-stage breast cancers from progressing, these programs should have resulted in a drop in the number of advanced breast cancer cases — those showing signs of spreading — among women who had been screened.

    The researchers didn’t find that. Instead, they found that mammography screening programs increased the overall number of breast cancers diagnosed but did not reduce the number of advanced cancers.”

    Breast cancer survivor Barbara Brenner, executive director of Breast Cancer Action: “Every woman who had a breast cancer found on a mammogram thinks the mammogram saved her life. There are probably some women whose treatments have led to their early deaths. But no one wants to talk about that.”

    Before we can find something useful, we have to know what to look for, and what to do about our findings. That doctors are hesitant to go to town with your personal data isn’t because they are ignorant or money grubbing. It is because treating you for something you don’t actually have is expensive, and potentially deadly. Which is all part of how too much data can kill, and raise the cost of medical care. (Also it’s really easy to contaminate a medical sample. I’ve done it, doctors do it too.)

    Full disclosure: My dad is a doctor. I was C-sectioned because the monitors indicated potential trouble for my daughter. I asked my dad to decide if I should get the c-section right away or wait and that decision was deeply painful to him. He honestly couldn’t tell if my daughter would be harmed by waiting, none of the 3 doctors involved could tell because medical science simply isn’t there yet. There was trouble yes, but was it damaging? What ever doctor consulted knew was that the c-section, would hurt my recovery, and substantially increased my risk of dying that day. That right there is the intersection of lots of data and inadequate knowledge.

  44. Joanne July 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Havva, beautiful post!

  45. Warren July 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Of course a doctor will use the smell of urine, not over the phone, or skype, but in person as one indicator when combined with other indicators, to then make a diagnosis.

    Confirmation of preganancy via a reliable OTC test is one thing. Diagnosis of an infection, virus, or whatever, which may or may not require drug treatment is completely different. I would not trust a doctor that makes a diagnosis and the prescribe a treatment and or drug via a phone app.

    And no doctor worth any respect would do it anyway. Unrine analysis is only part of the entire process, in diagnosis of any illness. Even more so for children so young they cannot verbally aid the doctor.

  46. lollipoplover July 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    I didn’t use my cellphone much when my kids were babies and never had any smartphone technology. I do know I would never scan my newborn multiple times of day just to store data in a cloud of pee changes. I had up front data that was much more reliable.
    Who has time for this shit?

  47. delurking July 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Havva, I’m not sure what you are arguing. Except for the false positives problem, and some other quibbles, your first paragraph is a pretty good summary of what I said. Do you think it is all wrong?

    In your second paragraph, you point out that further research will be required to analyze the data and figure out the best ways to use it. Yes, that is true. And that research will cost much less for a given benefit because of the existence of the data. The data will help the limited research dollars go farther.

    You ask: does the marginal increase in treatment really outweigh the over treatment of false positives? Well, there isn’t any treatment yet. We’ll have to wait and see what the data says once we have it. You use the mammogram example, where after decades of data collection using an expensive technique a panel of experts concluded that the cost/benefit ratio will be better if the number of mammograms performed is cut by slightly more than a factor of two. Basically, women should start ten years later and then do them half as frequently (which is what most of the rest of the world was doing anyway, so it is partially a reflection of U.S. culture).

    You seem to use that argument to suggest that the cheap paper diagnostics should not be used. Do you also think mammograms should never have been started?

    Finally, you write “Before we can find something useful, we have to know what to look for, and what to do about our findings.” This is simply untrue. Across many fields, much benefit has come from simply looking for correlations in data, confirming the correlations with more data, then determining if there is a causal relationship, and finally determining what to do about it.

    Look, this is an extremely cheap consumer device. The simplest back-of-the envelope calculations shows there to be a benefit even if its performance is remarkably limited. Given the utility of other cheap consumer diagnostics on the market, there is good reason to expect this one to be useful also.

  48. delurking July 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Hypothetical questions for those of you who think this is a bad idea.

    If your health insurance company offered you a $100 discount if you allowed them to install a device in your toilet that would automatically recognize the toilet user, perform a multiple-assay urinalysis, save the data, and make time-series results available to you, would you accept?

    What if your insurance company offered to install it for free, but didn’t give you the discount?

    What if they would do it for a 1-time charge of $100?

  49. lollipoplover July 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    I would question any insurance company that paid a staff of data collectors to push up the premiums of my policy to overanalyze my healthy urine.

  50. Emily July 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    @Delurking–Honestly? I’m not sure that a scanning device in the toilet would be such a great idea, because, besides the fact that it seems vaguely creepy, most people aren’t hermits. So, if you went somewhere–on vacation, staying with a friend, or a young person going to summer camp for a few weeks, or even a whole summer, and got sick there, their home toilet wouldn’t be able to track their symptoms and help them circumvent the illness–if they were lucky. After all, medical diagnostic technology tends to advance faster than the technology that can actually cure diseases, so in some cases, the toilet would be telling people, basically, “You have XYZ Disease, but there’s nothing that can be done. Sucks to be you.” I know that it’s better to know than to not know, but I think I’d rather receive that information from a person than from a machine.

  51. Natalie July 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm #


    Thanks for posting that. I had no idea, what an article. Here’s the crux of the problem with the mammograms:

    “But Elizabeth Thompson, vice president of health sciences at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer advocacy group based in Dallas, says she worries that these studies will undermine her group’s awareness efforts.”

    When science becomes politicized. People don’t want to hear about nuances and intricacies, they prefer short, simple, black/white answers. How can breast cancer awareness advocates back track and modify their stance without harming the movement? The answer is more complicated and can’t be reduced to a bumper sticker slogan anymore. It’s more difficult to sell and get funding for.

    Although your point about mammograms is well taken, that doesn’t necessarily make it the case for these diapers and whatever possible ailments they’ll give an early detection for (it can’t be anything specific at this point).

    I think your point about false positives is more likely, and the cost of analyzing false positives changing the cost/benefit ratio.

    One example I can think of is a pregnancy test (blood test) for something early on, can’t remember what, which has a high percentage of false positives and odds of your baby suffering from whatever it is the test is supposed to predict. If the test results in a positive, or high odds of the baby having x, y, z, the next test to verify is amniocentesis which is much more accurate, which you have to wait until a certain week to do. So there’s a lot of unnecessary amniocentesis tests. But they’re unnecessary in hind sight.

    I guess what I’m saying is, we don’t now how effective these diapers are at early detection until they are tried. And I can’t see enough people doing that. However, I definitely see an immediate market for kids that need to be monitored for specific reasons, both in the hospital and at home.

  52. Natalie July 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    “If your health insurance company offered you a $100 discount if you allowed them to install a device in your toilet that would automatically recognize the toilet user, perform a multiple-assay urinalysis, save the data, and make time-series results available to you, would you accept?”

    This is what will happen if the diaper use yields a large reduction in healthcare cost due to early detection and treatment. But we won’t know until it’s tried. And then, I can see something like the diapers being given out for free at doctor’s visits, paid by the insurance – because in the end it saves them money.

    Kind of how insurers give discounted memberships to gyms – because people who exercise save them money.

  53. delurking July 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    lollipoplover, insurance companies are out to make money in a competitive marketplace. If they were to offer this, it would be because they concluded it would save them money on treatment payouts. They can’t unilaterally raise premiums without losing customers.

    Emily, you think no measurement at all is better than measurements that occur when you are at home but not when you are on vacation? As for a person telling you the results rather than a machine, well, you can pay someone to do that. The point of automated systems like this is to reduce health care costs.

  54. Papilio July 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    “*If it’s not a total prank!!!”

    Actually, that reminds me…
    Ah, got it: Catherine Scott commenting on that (hilarious, rabid) rant on juicebox holders:
    “Lenore, you are sooo funny when you are annoyed. In fact we actually pay people to come up this stupid crap so we can enjoy your hilarious responses!”

    So she wasn’t joking after all! 😛

  55. Natalie July 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    I’d just like to point out that this doesn’t have to be a paranoid parents’ issue, as it’s presented on the blog. It can be, sure.

    But you can also look at it as akin taking your baby to routine check-ups where certain vitals and characteristics are recorded and monitored over time. Does that have to do with paranoia? It can be for some parents, but it doesn’t have to be. Just routine preventative medicine.

    Or landfill fodder, depending on how well they do, and who uses them. I’m curious, but I won’t be buying.

  56. K July 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    When I was in the hospital after birthing my second child, a nurse gave me a hard time for not filling out the diaper log. I was too darn tired to write down every time I changed her, plus it was thanksgiving and I wanted to go home and eat some turkey. Tired as I was, I was still capable of realizing if my baby nursed long enough or if I had changed a diaper recently. I can’t imagine someone taking the time to scan every smart diaper.

    Personally, I think the argument of using it once a week is stupid too. All that proves is that your baby’s pee or poop is healthy at that one moment. It doesn’t mean baby will be healthy in give hours or one day or five days.

  57. K July 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Also? I’d tell the insurance company to keep their hundred dollars, in exchange for me keeping my privacy. Maybe automated systems mean lower health care costs, but maybe they also mean someone’s job.

  58. Warren July 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm #


    Just how much do have invested in the company developing these diapers?

    And anyone that would allow any device to be put into their home to collect any data, by an insurance company would be a fool.

    Nice thing about living in Ontario. God bless our healthcare.

    These diapers are going to be nothing more than a bother for healthcare, and a money grab for the company.

  59. Warren July 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Thank you K for another voice of reason.

    Things have changed. With our kids, no diaper log. With #s 2 + 3, no waking them to feed them. They tell you when they are hungry. 2+3 stopped getting their bottles sterilized around six months. Experience is a wonderful thing,ain’t it?

  60. Christine Hancock July 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    I can conceive of the use of these diapers in extreme situations, such as with a baby with a known medical condition where changes in urine chemistry would be a good indicator that something needs adjusting. But in a healthy child this would not be necessary.

    Generally, a normal baby exhibits clear physical symptoms long before a sickness becomes serious or fatal.

    Now if a parent’s only physical and visual contact with an otherwise healthy child is at the changing table, then it may be necessary to use a smart diaper. However, if that’s the case, I’d say that family needs a brain replacement, more than a diaper replacement.

  61. Yan Seiner July 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    I mean, not only do I have do all the well-baby stuff but now I have to over over kid taking pictures of his crotch? Wouldn’t that land me on the sex predator registry?

  62. K July 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    @warren, I think it’s common for breasted babies. I nursed both mine and they use number of wet and dirty diapers as an indication that mom is producing enough and baby is nursing correctly. Since you can’t measure ounces in a bottle. It was helpful with baby number one, when I didn’t know how to breast feed. The second time around, I had it down.

  63. Rob Fisher July 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    I like this site but I think delurking has a good point.

    Cutting the cost of screening and reliable early diagnosis is a good direction for medicine to be going in.

    *If* this product can diagnose rare conditions for a fraction of the current costs then it will be useful. I think most of the comments above are assuming it will all be false positives and unnecessary worry but you don’t have enough information to say that, yet.

    On the other hand if it unreliably gives you information you can get more easily other ways (“the kid looks fine”) then you’re all right. But I see know reason to dismiss the former possibility based on the video.

  64. Rob Fisher July 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    K: “Maybe automated systems mean lower health care costs, but maybe they also mean someone’s job.”

    See Bastiat’s essay about what is seen and unseen. If you are saving money on healthcare you can spend that money employing someone else. No point wasting valuable humans on tasks that cheap machines can do – that’s to the way to get people rich and healthy.

  65. Rob Fisher July 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    *not* the way.

    Also I should have said you could choose to spend the saved money employing the same people to do tasks that are not easily automated, and get better healthcare for the same money.

  66. Mark July 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    > If your health insurance company offered you a $100 discount if you allowed them to install a device in your toilet that would automatically recognize the toilet user, perform a multiple-assay urinalysis, save the data, and make time-series results available to you, would you accept?

    No, I would not. An asymptomatic individual probably does not have any medical conditions that a urinalysis would detect, but the test, like any test, has a false positive rate: in other words, it would have a low “positive predictive value”. The $100 discount on my health insurance most likely would be eaten up by unneeded tests and unneeded treatments, not to mention the time needed for all of the above.

  67. K July 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Sorry Rob, I’m not convinced that automating things is always a good thing. For example, my grocery store now has four self checkouts. The store laid off a bunch of people when the self checkouts went in. If all those people were then utilized elsewhere and were maybe even making more money, then I’d be all for it. But in an economy where college grads compete with teenagers for minimum wage jobs, what are the chances of that happening? And when the self checkouts are constantly breaking down and needing repairs, wouldn’t it be better to just employ a person?

    I don’t have enough faith in our current healthcare system to realistically expect insurance companies to use saved money to provide better healthcare.

  68. hineata July 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Am incredibly ignorant, but could one of the medical types around here tell me how much can actually be analysed from a baby’s pee? Like, when I watched the ad, which I just had to waste time doing, it made it seem like it would analyse all your medical woes. That seemed, well, bizarre……

    Personally I couldn’t even get the home pregnancy test right, using it at the wrong time of the day and wandering around pregnant for months before realising that, gee, maybe the test was a false negative. Can’t imagine trying to diagnose my baby from a nappy…..

  69. Jenna K. July 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Isn’t it amazing how so many generations of kids have survived up until now? How on earth did we get by?

  70. anonymous this time July 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    The disposable diaper for douche-bag parents.

    Kidding. Kidding.

    Wait… if we’re all “everything must be absolutely optimal for my snowflake” in this ridiculous video, what’s with the BOTTLE FEEDING? *sinister music plays underneath*

    These people are interested in data… they’re interested in


    Lots of ’em.

    Well, give me dumb diapers any day! Actually, give me the dumbest, low-tech, cloth diapers. Yeah. I can read my kid’s bum rash like tea leaves.

    Holy shamoly. This is an SNL spoof ad, right? SNL could just lift it, air it, and put the audience laughter underneath…

  71. anonymous this time July 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    “aren’t” interested in data, I meant.

  72. Jenna K. July 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I have to add that sometimes medical tests reveal things that aren’t necessarily problems but cause worry and stress that they shouldn’t. For example, my son when he turned three started crossing his eyes constantly. We went to the doctor and to rule out serious things, she had him go in for an MRI, among other tests. The MRI found that he has cysts in his brain, cysts that are commonly found in Down’s Syndrome people. However, after analyzing it, and talking with the pediatric neurologist, I learned that only a small percentage of the population ever even has an MRI done (I’ve never had one) and that a lot of people are probably walking around with cysts in their brains, we just don’t know about it and that the cysts are pretty much harmless. It turned out that he needed glasses. A lot of unnecessary worry for a problem that ended up being something very insignificant.

  73. oncefallendotcom July 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    All this talk about analyzing poo and not one Washington joke? Tsk tsk.

  74. Jenny Islander July 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm #


    Why should I spend 30 to 40 percent more on something that might catch some type of otherwise completely asymptomatic but nevertheless horribly dangerous condition in the interval between well baby checkups?

    What, my baby’s temperature isn’t going to tell me that something’s wrong? Visible discomfort, weird-smelling poop or pee, change in energy level, change in frequency of elimination, change in appetite, etc.? What in the world do I need an analysis of 8 to 10 wet diapers per day for when I have my senses, a home doctor book, and the local hospital’s Ask-a-Nurse phone number?

    Can anybody name a potentially deadly disorder that couldn’t be caught during the usual series of well baby checkups or produce any signs beyond a change in the composition of excreta?

    Also, you asserted that these diapers would cost parents an additional $4 per year. No, they would cost parents an additional 30 to 40 percent over the price of regular diapers. For what?

  75. Havva July 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    That first paragraph was my attempt to say I disagreed with those fundamental premises outlined.

    I rearranged, and screwed up my point a bit because I had to edit for length. Because I was rushed. And because I acknowledge and respect the value of date, when used in the proper context.

    However I don’t see this as being in the proper context at all or an improvement in testing at all. That there top concern is to get it into the hands of parents, with only the thinnest veneer of medical testing is all about promoting paranoia rather than good health. The things they claim they will give parents in the near future are not in fact possible. (I really should have left in the paragraphs about collecting a urine sample.) See I had to collect a urine sample because something seemed like it might be wrong with my daughter’s kidney function. When we finally got a sample, she came back as “don’t worry her urinary tract infection is clearing” well she didn’t have a single symptom, and this wasn’t what she was supposed to get tested for. When I told the lab that the tech took a closer look and said she actually had been suspicious of that result due to the nature of the bacteria involved. See it was fecal bacteria which commonly contaminate urine bag samples taken on infants, particularly girls. Because it is easier for a gap to open in the seal with baby girls allowing tiny amounts of transfer. She moved, she farted, we missed a spot with the alcohol wipe or whatever and boom, contaminated sample. Happens very commonly even when doctors collect the sample, I was told.

    My estimate is that at the very best, these diapers would lead to quarterly false positives for UTI, more than wasting their cost in unnecessary doctor’s visits.

    A diaper that could detect a UTI would be fabulous. But we aren’t remotely close to that tech and the fact that they claim to be in marketing aimed at parents, rather than in research aimed at doctors tells me a lot about their aims, intentions, and the quality of their science.

  76. Warren July 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    A question for everyone. Now I know my own doctor isn’t the one for bilking the system for as many office visits as he can. Not his style.

    QUESTION: How many of you have a family doctor that is going to accept data, and diagnosis for your infant, from a smart diaper app for your phone?

    Our doc would not.

  77. Emily July 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    @Delurking–No, I wouldn’t buy any kind of sensor that tracks my health down to every little hiccup and sneeze. I know that that might sound crazy to you, but here’s why–I know I’m living a healthy lifestyle. I exercise regularly, I eat a relatively healthy vegan diet, allowing some room for treat foods, but without overdoing it. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke, I don’t do any kind of drugs, and I practice yoga. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t really have any reason to worry. I know that sometimes, on rare occasions, even people who do everything “right” get serious illnesses, but there are no guarantees either way, and living a healthy lifestyle just tips the odds significantly in my favour. However, if I know that I’m doing all I can for myself, then that’s good enough for me. I don’t want to spend my entire life worrying that I might be dying and not know it, because that’s no way to live life. Eventually, I’m going to die anyway, but in the meantime, I want to enjoy the journey.

  78. Maggie July 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    For those who think this is a good idea, how accurate are these tests? Has there been a large scale independent study showing these diapers are accurate? Or just what the manufacturer claims?

    Phone photo resolution and color can vary greatly from phone to phone. Urine tests are based on color, so the accuracy could be way off depending on the phone and the monitor interpreting the data.

    Are you really comfortable with diagnosing a potentially serious problem based on a photo taken from someone’s cell phone? In a diaper that could also contain diaper cream, powder, lotion, soap residue, baby wipe residue, or poop?

    When someone does a large-scale independent study showing these are accurate, they may have a use. Until then, I don’t see a need for them.

  79. Mark July 12, 2013 at 11:20 pm #


    There are a wide range of medical conditions that can be screened for or diagnosed by analyzing urine, generally by finding traces of proteins that shouldn’t be there. However, almost all of them either have other obvious symptoms such as fever, or are vanishingly rare.

  80. Warren July 12, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    Was thinking of delurking’s toilet scanner, and his idea that the insurance company would give you a discount. Havng a beer while doing it, then it came to me. that your rates would go up with the amount of alcohol they routinely detect.
    And just how the hell would the toilet know if it were me or my son, or a male guest when we are standing far enough back not to be snapped by a killer toilet seat?

  81. Kara July 13, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    Once again, I agree with Lenore. These could be great for children with special health problems, but ridiculous for everyone else. My son has seizures and we are getting ready to put him on the ketogenic diet. I will need to test his urine ketones regularly. This diaper could be great for that. I can’t imagine using them on his younger sister though.

  82. LTMG July 13, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    Better smart (wise, common sensible) parents than smart diapers. Why would any parent want to abdicate good parenting to a machine?

  83. gap.runner July 13, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    At first I thought this was a video from The Onion or another spoof site. I was about to check on Snopes to see if this was real! It seems like every time I come on this site, there is something new that makes me shake my head in wonder.

    Countless generations survived to adulthood without this product. Somehow my son made it to being a teenager with me just checking his diaper the old fashioned way.

    Is it me, or does it seem creepy to be taking photos of a baby’s “nether regions,” even if they are covered by a diaper?

  84. Warren July 13, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Can see the headline now.


  85. pentamom July 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    All this speculation on whether insurance companies might offer discounts for something like this is based on the false premise that a higher level of testing saves medical costs.

    Beyond a certain pretty low point, the returns diminish extremely rapidly. The cost of universal testing vs. the money saved on the occasional case of not having to treat more advanced conditions later on is actually pretty high, plus the false positive rate would result in a lot of further, more costly testing that yields no net benefit. Increased testing is justified more on humanitarian grounds than economic ones.

    Excessive testing is ALWAYS a loser, economically. No insurance company would support it for purely financial reasons.

  86. pentamom July 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    delurking, what conditions do these diapers diagnose that you can’t see *any* other symptoms of that cannot be detected without a high-tech diaper, before the condition becomes untreatable?

    And I don’t know where you buy your diapers that you can buy 52 medium-sized ones for $3.

  87. Papilio July 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    @oncefallendotcom: re: Washington jokes: Can I assume you’ve heard of “Snowden’s Leak: The Game’?

  88. Andy July 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    Something about this stinks.

  89. Natalie July 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    I see no point in predicting the scientific accuracy or making statements on if doctors will use this as an early indication of whether or not to perform further tests simply because the product has not been developed and tested yet. The correct answer to those questions is maybe and maybe. There’s no basis for assumptions to the negative. It may work well, it may not. Doctors may find them helpful and they may not. I’m assuming the technology is mostly there and this is just a new application. Wetting color changing dipsticks for various kinds of tests is common and easy to do. Some indicators may work better than others.

    The part I’m skeptical about is the picture taking. The indicators are color based as far as i can tell and ambient lighting will change the apparent shade. People have also mentioned bacteria contamination. That’s something that the company will have to work on. It might be better to just have a color scheme that someone can eyeball, or not include tests which bacteria skew the results of.

    I wish this company luck, I think a lot of chronically sick kids and hospitalized kids will benefit from this. But from the ad, hospitals don’t seem to be their consumer target.

  90. Rob Fisher July 14, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    The same ambient light will fall on white areas, so you just correct accordingly. See the white balance tool in photo editing programs.

  91. Natalie July 14, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Good point.

  92. SKL July 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    weird weird weird

  93. JaneW July 14, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    To the for-against argument upthread:

    The problem isn’t whether it’s too expensive, or whether it’s overcaution (which it is.)

    The problem is that there is no evidence that this diaper can save lives by identifying early signs of illness in apparently healthy babies. (WARNING: statistics ahead.) For one thing, it would be really tough to prove that it works, simply because those deaths are so incredibly rare, thank God. If your baby is full-term, and no major medical problems show up within the first couple days, the probability of medical death in infancy is less than one in a thousand. Among that small number, the biggest cause is SIDS, and there isn’t any way to diagnose that in advance.

    I repeat, it doesn’t matter how much or how little it costs. It doesn’t matter how many false positives it’ll produce, or how much it’ll cost the health care system to follow up on those false positives. The biggest problem with this product in my mind is that there is no proof it could save even one child.

  94. Let_Her_Eat_Dirt July 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Thanks, Lenore, for making me both outraged and amused on a Sunday evening. Do these parents have nothing better to do than analyze their baby’s diaper data? I feel sorry for those kids when they grow up and their parents hover over them, analyzing their every move and fretting constantly. Talk about a recipe for a stressed-out kid…

    Let Her Eat Dirt
    A dad’s take on raising tough, adventurous girls

  95. hineata July 15, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    And then you get to the other end (of child/teen hood,not the body,lol!) and get called overcautious by your kid for daring to hang around at the airport until they go through the departure gate. Even though you think airports are kind of cool, and you would hang out watching complete strangers depart if you had time :-) .


  96. TaraK July 15, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Ain’t nobody got time for that.

  97. Rachel July 18, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    Here I don’t even have a smart phone,no connection in the hills and they seem useless as well.

  98. SKL July 18, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    This just keeps coming back to me. Did it bug anyone else that it took two parents / four hands to change this one tiny, quiet baby’s diaper? What they gonna do when they have two kids? Three? Or does that never happen in their circle?

  99. Stephanonymous July 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Is this a joke? It’s not April 1st…but this has to be a joke, right? The message this sends is this:

    No matter how healthy your kids seem, on any given day something could be wrong with them. No, no, it’s not enough that they just look alright. You can’t trust your eyes and ears and your better judgement. Something could be wrong with them and you are a bad parent if you don’t do everything in your power to find it before it even becomes a problem. You must think about your child’s health 365 out of the year. Complacency is inexcusable.

    Simple, cheap diagnostics are great, but it’s not necessarily the cost in dollars that we should be worried about. I remember reading horror stories when my LO was a baby about kids who had developed meningitis and died overnight with no other symptoms but a mild fever. I began researching how to diagnose meningitis, and every time my LO had a fever I would meticulously search her body for purple spots, sometimes imagining them up from my own paranoia. This is the sort of thing that these diapers are going to lead to. Being informed about your kids health is great, but if we start looking for every little thing that could be wrong with them, we’ll drive ourselves crazy.