If you don’t yet know how much technology has impacted your life, wait until your mum tells you how many layers of clothing your newborn MUST wear at 25 degrees Celsius.
Perhaps no other area of life is more steeped in piles of ‘received wisdom’ than motherhood and child rearing. And perhaps no other area of life benefits more fully from what technology has to offer.
Everything started for me in the early days of pregnancy. The excitement that accompanied the anticipation of the next baby scan was somewhat tempered by the ability to peek into my baby’s weekly development on any of the pregnancy apps on the app stores. The Pregnancy Sprout App, for instance, felt like a personal and informed companion that prepared me with a stash of (non-crazy questions) for my doctor’s visits, provided me with weekly advice and tips, gave me a sense of how my baby looks like through anatomically accurate 3D fetal imagery and even helped me prepare my hospital bag before bringing my little baby boy home.
Once the adventure of motherhood began, Babycenter was, and still is six months later, one invaluable source of reliable advice. Every concern you might have about your baby, from how to deal with a mild skin rash to when to switch to solids and start potty training your child, someone in the Babycenter community has had before you and there is a tried and tested answer for you.
If, like me, you are a compulsive tracker of everything baby related, you must know about BabyConnect. This tracking platform (web, iPhone and Android apps) tracks everything from food intake to vaccines, medicines, baby growth and milestones and, what’s even better, it synchronises it with your baby’s caregivers so that you never miss anything. On top of this all, there are apps to organise shopping lists and plan meals, mobile solutions to keep track of your finances and know exactly where your kids are at any point in time. I will cover all of these, however, in a future post.
I am certain that technology has made my pregnancy and my parenting more relaxed, less anxious and less clueless than my mother’s. And there is an added, non-negligible benefit: that I have a valid basis for brushing off her advice in a way in which she, when she had me thirty odd years ago, could not brush off her mother’s.