Geeky Items for Parenthood
Hello from baby-land! Since baby Olsen entered the world in December, I’ve been absent from the blog world…and the Internet world…and let’s be honest, the social world as well. This whole parenting thing has been a wild journey with lots of ups and downs. But luckily for current and soon-to-be parents, nerds have made the bumpy road of raising a child a bit smoother.
Here are some of my favorite geeky resources and products to help parents battle through the storm*:
*My parents like to remind me that they never had “anything like that!” and that “things are so much better now!” I imagine they are right.
First of all, this app is free! Making it far superior to all the other baby white noise apps out there. (You’ll find that, like a wedding, attach the term ‘baby’ to something and it costs a bazillion dollars more. That’s right, a bazillion.) Secondly, this app has a huge variety of noises! It includes a variety of basic white noises, but also things like “Dish Washer,” “Hair Dryer Blowing,” etc. Some babies calm down right away when they hear the vacuum, others need a general white noise – every baby is different – which is why this app is so great, you can seamlessly go from one sound to the next to see what works. And, what works one day might not work the next. But TMSOFT’s huge collection allows you to easily try a new sound if one isn’t working. The one downfall is that you can’t use your phone will the app is in use, which brings me to my next favorite thing.
Babies love shushing. I know that might be surprising, but it’s true! When I first tried to tell my dad to shush baby Olsen, he was completely disgusted, saying “I’m not shushing my grandson!” But when baby got too fussy, I grabbed him and shushed away; he calmed down almost instantly. Needless to say, my dad changed his mind about the shushing. (Shushing is also one of the 5 S’s, a method developed by Dr. Karp, author of the Happiest Baby on the Block.) But let’s be honest, it gets tiring just sitting there shushing and shushing for anything longer than a few minutes. That’s where the Baby Shusher comes in hand-it makes the shushing sound for you! It is super simple to use, having two timer settings and a volume adjustment. This comes in handy when we’re putting little guy down for a nap or bedtime. Mind you, it doesn’t help 100% of the time, but it is a great weapon to have in your armory.
This book is my favorite thing I’ve read about childcare, period. Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and professor at the University of Washington, explains how to raise a “smart and happy child from zero to five.” He breaks down all the latest scientific research so parents can easily digest what is best for their baby and put it into practice. In addition to the book being packed full of useful information, Dr.Medina is a surprisingly good writer too, making for a fun and easy read. I recommend this book to everyone who is either pregnant or has a little one. Yay science!
Okay, I don’t actually own this, but one of my friend’s does and I have complete swing envy. If you can afford to shell out the cash (they run around $200+), these swings are amazing. They have five different motions, removable toys, an adaptor for your iPhone/Samsung Galaxy so you can play whatever sound you want (vs. other swings that usually just play ‘nature’ sounds rather than white noise), and you can even control the motion from your phone! Added bonus is the small footprint it takes up. But the different motions is really what makes this swing so desirable. Unlike other swings that usually just have two basic swing motions, the mamaRoo’s motions mimic the swaying motions of parents, sure to help relax your baby.
The Baby Connect app is perfect for the data loving parent. It lets you track your baby’s daily life (such as feeding, naps, medicine, diapers, etc.) and provides easy to read summaries (complete with graphs!). In addition, you can authorize multiple users so other caretakers can access and alter the data. You can even leave messages for the other authorized members. This app is particularly useful in the beginning weeks when everything is a blur and you can’t quite remember how many diapers they’ve gone through or how many times they ate. It is also great for working parents and parents of multiplies, to help keep track of their baby’s health/progress/etc. It costs $5, but is worth it due to the extreme convenience factor.
These are just a few of my favorite things that have helped myself (or others) navigate this crazy new world. Do you have any devices that you can’t imagine living without? Share them below!