Let’s be honest. Having a kid is terrifying.
It’s the uncertainty. No-one knows what they’re doing. There are no qualifications required.
You have to do a full two-day course to get a learner licence for a motorbike. They make you spend at least an afternoon driving a boat around before they let you loose on the waterways.
But you can make and raise an entire person without so much as a questionnaire. Maybe you’ll do a couple of birthing classes where you hold your wife’s hand and remind her to breathe, but there’s not even a pass required.
They just show you an old VHS, say good luck, and off you go. And then all of a sudden they’re just there – this tiny, exquisite human. And even though you’ve never done this before, and you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, you’re responsible for this gorgeous creature’s entire life. They’re completely useless on their own. Can barely do anything. It’s all on you.
It’s a whole new world of worry. Are they eating right? Are they pooing right? How much suffering can your poor wife’s nipples endure? Is it too hot? Too cold? How early should we start toughening them up? Which Instagram filter is the most authentic? Are nature documentaries too scary or too boring, and will cartoons rot their brain? Am I ever going to have a semblance of a life again?
Inevitably there is a time where they are crying and you have no idea why. This is usually several times per week. Or day. Or night. Either way, it’s a lot. And it’s torture. You check everything. Are they hungry or thirsty? Do they just need a good old-fashioned burp? (Enjoy it while you can, kid). And behind all the stress is the totally irrational concern - are they going to remember this, and resent me for it later?
Good lord. You draw solace from the fact that literally every parent has gone through this, but it’s little comfort when you’re so exhausted that you fall asleep over the toaster.
So we need whatever help we can get in this world. We like gadgets, especially the ones that tell us what’s going on. And thankfully there are plenty out there to help you through the troubled times.
Video monitors are surprisingly fun. So much so you could even consider cancelling the Foxtel subscription (kidding, kidding, of course). Watching them roll around and play in their cot is delightful. And it helps to be able to keep an eye on them, so you can see if a monster really is poking them with hot sticks, or if they’re just screaming like that of their own accord.
What you’ll come to realise is that temperature is a big one. Trying to keep track of an equilibrium between the room and the clothes and their bodies is next to impossible.
You can get funky little “gro-eggs”, which are good room thermometers. They double as a light, giving you enough to see without it being a distraction, and also a clear idea of whether you need to turn the heater off or crack a window.
The actual baby temp is one of the hardest parts though. They feel hot, but are they? How hot are they supposed to be? No matter how many times it happens, I still can’t remember. There is a good chance “baby temperature” will be an open tab on your phone’s internet browser for a few years (tip – it’s 36.4 degrees Celsius).
But how can you actually know? There are a bunch of different types of thermometers out there, but maddeningly they can give you different results.
There are things you can put in their ear, and if you do manage to actually hold them still enough to get it in while they’re writhing around, they’ll give you one number, but then one you tap on their forehead gives you something else entirely. And then the one you put under the tongue is illegible and in Fahrenheit, and the rectal one, well, I guess we’ll never know.
And when they’re resting, do you want to risk waking them up to check their temp? No, you don’t. There's actually a terrific new product from Nurofen for Children that helps with that, it's called the FeverSmart digital temperature monitor.
It’s a soft little orange thing you stick under their arm with an ultra-sensitive adhesive smart patch. You connect it to your phone via the app, and voila, you can monitor your kids' temperature all day, all night, from wherever you are in the house.
It even keeps a record of the chart so you can track the ups and downs, or show it to a professional. The upshot is that you get easy, continuous, reliable temperature readings, without needing to go in there and disturb them or strap them to the table to hold still. So when they do get too hot, it gives you a notification.
And quite likely, there are a bunch of other people you know going through the same thing.
You’ve got birthdays and baby showers, a seemingly never-ending stream of social engagements for which you need to provide gifts and there are only so many cute onesies and organic cotton blankies that one needs. Get something practical and help like the Feversmart. It might not seem as romantic when they unwrap it, but they’ll thank you for it later.
Having a kid might be terrifying, but you know what? It's a totally normal feeling - and one that becomes less so as you realise you're just figuring it out like everyone else.
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Nurofen.
This post is a paid post by Nurofen for Children. Any information about non‐Nurofen for Children products is the opinion of the author.
The FeverSmart Temperature Monitor by Nurofen for Children is an innovative digital thermometer and app that accurately^ & continuously tracks temperature, providing parents with temperature monitoring assistance. Appearing on-shelves from mid-November 2017 at Chemist Warehouse and most other pharmacies.
^Accurate within ±0.2°C with correct usage. Environmental factors & child’s position may result in greater variance.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.