iParent

There’s an old Bill Cosby routine that begins “My wife and I were intellectuals. . . before we had children.” It’s a funny bit about how intellectuals go to classes to learn how to have natural childbirth. Of course, that how J & I approached the pregnancy. And it’s actually amazing how much I learned. Kidding aside, the education is important and I highly recommend it.

Of course, knowledge alone won’t cut it, especially in those early, uncertain days right after the birth, you also need tools: a crib, a stroller, diapers – yes, all these but others too. The tools nowadays are electronic: light-sensitive nightlights, automated swings, toys that play music, and . . . iphones.

The iphone is an amazing device, but for parents its usefulness might be boundless.

From the beginning of the pregnancy we used the iphone. J started using the What to Expect iphone app to plot out her pregnancy dates and track her progress. After A came along, we started logging his sleep-wake-eat-diaper routine with Tot Timers.

Both J and I have iphones, but in the beginning it was just hers.

There are a great number of pregnancy and parenting iphone apps out there, here are a few, and a few more.

Perhaps the greatest use for the iphone has been simply playing white noise to help calm lil A and help him sleep. I mentioned back in March that we had attended a workshop on the Happiest Baby on the Block (Harvey Karp). It was a methodology that we embraced and tried hard to follow. For the most part it worked. Perhaps more importantly, it is empowering to have a system for understanding your baby and methods for soothing them. The iphone actually retains an amazing battery-life when playing music/white-noise through the speakers. So when A was younger – and lighter – it was easy to get him to sleep in his car seat with a little bit of rocking with the sound of rain coming from an iphone at his feet (at 22lbs! he’s getting a bit heavy to rock in his car seat!).

The iphone is a flashlight. The iphone is an entertainment system. It is, of course, a vital communication tool too: soundless text messages don’t disturb a sleeping baby. And a quick snapshot of a box of diapers at the grocery store can quickly be sent home for confirmation, “are these the diapers you wanted?”

From the glowing testimonial, you’d think I was selling these things. But I fully disclose that I own no Apple stock or other financial interest. The iphone has simply been an excellent tool for parenting during the first half-year.

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3 thoughts on “iParent

  1. Just wait until A can play with toddler apps! Emma is a whiz, and can probably work our iTouch better than we can.

    re: white noise — have you guys invested in a noise machine for his room? Emma’s had one since she was little, and we bought it at Home Outfitters.

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  2. Becky.

    Lil A is very curious about the iphones, alright. I bet he’ll be into those apps. I’ll be curious to check them out. Maybe by then we’ll have an ipad, too!

    We have a couple of radios that have ipod docks. So we just put my old nano in them and play some of Dr. Karp’s rain. We started out with the rain being loud enough to drown out other household sounds more or less completely, but we’ve dialed it back to where it is pretty faint background noise. I think we’ll be off it completely soon.

    R

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  3. Isn’t it amazing how helpful the iPhone can be for both parenting and helping our kids learn? When little A gets bigger, or for other parents of elementary aged children, I highly recommend BrightKnight Kingdom. BrightKnight Kingdom is a fun adventure game for the entire family, educating about math, language, manners, while entertaining. You can download it from the appstore by searching for brightknight on your phone or following the link:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brightknight-kingdom-big-party/id408572943?mt=8

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