Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Five: Parenting in the Smartphone Era

Linking up today with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for many things. For my healthy baby. Modern medicine so I survived delivering that baby. A husband who's an involved and nurturing father. And for becoming a parent in the era of smartphones. 

(I promise not all my posts going forward will be in some way related to parenting! It's just what takes up most of my life at the moment, without work or running happening.)

There are non-parenting reasons I'm so glad I live when I do with such technology - for example, I would be forever lost in the Portland metro area without google maps. But there have been some particular advantages to having one around as a new parent. I make sure I have my phone with me at all times (and not just because I'm addicted to social media).

1. Apps - for tracking baby data and reading about development. For the latter, I'm still deciding on my favorite out of a few I've downloaded (Ovia, BabyCenter, Wonder Weeks), but I realized with a similar pregnancy app that it was kind of helpful to break down such an overwhelming topic such as pregnancy or parenting/baby development in to small chunks, delivered timely via an app, rather than try to retain information from books read long ago. 

But mostly I love the tracking app I ended up using, Baby Tracker (free, though with some available paid upgrades). Easy to use for inputting and reviewing. I only tracked his eating and pumping for about the first month, and diapers for about a week less than that, before getting into enough of a groove to be able to recall enough myself. But having that data to remember the details of the day and confirm when to expect the next feeding or diaper change was very helpful in the initial newborn haze. (I tracked sleep for a day or so, before realizing that for the first couple weeks, the gap between virtually all other activities is sleep, so it's easy enough to calculate!)

2. Social media. It may not be the only reason, but it is a reason! Though sometimes I just sit with a sleeping baby on my lap and enjoy the moment, plenty of other times I'm happy to have entertainment at hand while I'm stuck on the couch.

3. Baby entertainment. Not for the baby to use, of course, but as an aid for me. Useful for playing the Pandora lullaby station to soothe him, or googling nursery rhyme lyrics to recite for him.

4. White noise. For nighttime sleeping, we have a white noise machine, but for daytime naps we try to just let him sleep in the din of everyday life. Sometimes, though, we need to calm him down or help him to fall asleep, which is when my phone is handy no matter where we are in the house to play white noise as well. I found a few options in the Amazon prime library, and there are of course apps for it as well.

5. Light. I've discovered that merely increasing the screen brightness all the way (and also increasing the time before the screen turns off) provides just enough light to be able to nurse in the middle of the night (especially to see enough to help him latch on properly). Using only the minimum of light when he's awake during the night definitely seemed to help him sort out daytime versus nighttime and stretch out the nighttime sleep a bit. (And make it easier for me to fall back asleep once the baby does!)


  1. There sure is an app for everything. Even though I am not a mother, I bet those apps are pretty helpful. It's hard to think how we handle things when we were not accessible to them years ago.

  2. I curse the technology age sometimes. I get sucked int too quickly!


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