I’ve read a lot of posts lately about unplugging and being 100% present with your kids. I’m not knocking this idea at all, but I must say that I am unapologetically pro technology and connectivity. I personally find motherhood, especially in the newborn days, to be exceptionally isolating. I love having tools on hand that can help me battle this.
Thus my version of Mommy Must Haves is all about the digital necessities that I have found the most helpful. Most of my physical items have already been covered, anyway. Swaddle, swing, diapers.
A Smart Phone or Tablet
I am an iPhone girl, myself. But any sort of handheld device that you can log on to the Internet with while nursing will work wonders. Not only can you check your email and read
TMZ I mean, the news, but there are so many wonderful apps available for baby care (and just for you, too).
This app is helpful in keeping track of feedings, diaper changes, medicine doses, naps, etc.. I love it in the first weeks when the pediatrician asks you how many times a day your baby is nursing/taking a bottle. Being sleep deprived, I can never remember. This takes care of that. It also helps me remember which side to start nursing on (again: sleep deprived). As baby gets older, it can also help you detect any sort of natural pattern she may be developing so that you can try to use that as a routine, if that’s your thing.
This app is based on a book by Dutch researchers that predicts when your baby will go through developmental milestones that traditionally render babies big balls of fussiness. (Not your baby, though. I’m sure your baby never fusses for no reason.) I am a big fan of both the book and the app, if, for nothing else, than so you can feel that things are hard for a good reason – your baby is learning something new!
This has been my lifesaver with this newborn phase, as well as during some of Xander’s challenging toddler years.I have a wonderful online community with lots of other new and experienced moms. This really helps take the edge off that “all alone” feeling that can come with motherhood. If you’re new to Twitter or just looking for some good mom-type people to follow, I recommend: AskMoxie, Swistle, NancyHoltzman, and HonestToddler (for laughs). Oh, and me, of course (EmilysHollow).
CandyCrush/Angry Birds/Plants v. Zombies/Etc…
For those middle of the night feedings when you’re desperately trying not to fall asleep, these are great (but addicting) ways to pass the time that require little to no brain power.
I have an older model Kindle, without the 3G, but it does the job just fine. If you get sick and tired of your phone games, or are a fellow bibliophile, an eReader makes reading while nursing your baby (or while rocking your baby, or while your toddler insists on you “playing” with him but really just wants you to sit on the floor while he lines up blocks by color and size). Books are accessible, you don’t have to remember what page you were on, and you can read one-handed without fearing dropping a multi-hundred paged hardback on your infant’s head. Not that that has ever happened to me.
As with games, I found that with very little babies, I prefer books that are easy to get involved in and not terribly complicated. I read a lot of Young Adult books right now, is what I’m saying.
For coming of age/teen romance, you can’t go wrong with Sarah Dessen novels.
Or, if you’re feeling somewhat magical, give Harry Potter a(nother) spin!
Also, many libraries now have e-collecitons available to rent on your devices, so there’s no need to break the bank!
Ooh, I really could’ve used that total baby app when my babies were newborns! I need to remember that for new mom friends. Thanks!