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.
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.