To be entirely honest, I wasn’t really looking for the $60 Hatch Rest. When I bought it, I thought I was getting a touch activated night light that used battery power. Instead, what arrived was a device that relied on AC wall power, but it would also act as a night light, white noise machine and backup alarm all in one. This meant my “mistake” in ordering it turned out to be kismet because it served several of my needs in one device: I have a warm, bright light to see by when I’m changing diapers or feeding babies after dark, a quality white noise machine with several clear sound options to get the kids to doze off and a backup alarm to help wake me after I turn off my alarm and go back to sleep (a fairly common occurrence).
I’ve been using the Rest nightly for the past few months and can say without reservation that it has become an indispensable part of my baby set-up. How indispensable? When my family was recently evacuated from our home because of a forest fire, the Rest was one of the things I made sure to pack so I could make wherever we landed feel more like home for the kids. It worked too -- because we were able to recreate part of their nightly schedule with the Rest, they slept well despite some tense and uncertain days in an unfamiliar place.
The Rest has a cylindrical shape, wider on the bottom than on top, and measures 4 x 4 x 6.2 inches. It’s opaque, white and blends in easily with the decor around it. There are coverlets in themed designs and patterns that can be purchased separately to match your nursery decor ($12 for three) but I prefer the plain device myself. The Rest’s main features are the ability to set the color of light or sound. There are twelve options in each, and you can mix and match several combinations. I like the blue light with the rain noise to put the kids to sleep, while the pink light and bird noises work really well to wake me up. You can also set a timer, mark a combination as a favorite or program the Rest to automatically play a combination.
These features can be managed using the app or the physical controls on the Rest itself. While I generally use the app, I also often use the touch ring around the top of the Rest and my partner (who hasn’t downloaded the app onto his phone) can still operate it using the buttons on the bottom. The touch ring can turn the Rest on or off and will cycle through common combinations of color and sound, while the buttons on the bottom can turn it off and on, play and pause, go forward and backward through combinations and control brightness and volume. The timer feature and the programs feature are exclusive to the app though. These get used nightly in my house and are a large part of what makes this such an essential gadget for us.
Hatch also makes the Rest+ which includes a toddler lock to disable the physical buttons. It also has WiFi, an LED clock and a two-way voice monitor. It’s Alexa-enabled and has an option to use battery power as a backup. As our household relies entirely on solar power, the battery power and voice monitor features are pretty compelling additions since they would allow us to unplug two more devices (our current baby monitor and potentially the Rest itself). However, it hasn’t (yet) been enough to motivate me to purchase the upgraded model for $90.
Update August 24 6:17PM ET: Hatch has informed us it’s now known as Hatch, not Hatch Baby, so we’ve changed the headline and text to match.