by MIA FREEDMAN
When I had my first child and was learning to breastfeed (yes you sometimes do have to learn it) I was told that each time I fed my son, I should start on a different breast.
Apparently (write this down), the sucking they do at the begining of a feed is the strongest so this was important if I wanted to make sure each breast was emptied properly. Yes, emptied. Like a bath. Or a beer.
Are you still here?
This was fine in theory but when you are sleep deprived, it becomes a challenge remembering what you decided to call your baby let alone which breast they fed from first during the last feed. See how confusing that sentence was to read? Multiply that by not sleeping for weeks. Someone gave me this tip: tuck a tissue into the bra cup of the breast you fed first on. This was a great idea. Except I was so tired and my memory so shot that I could never remember if the tissue meant that boob was the one I fed first on LAST time or the one I should feed first on THIS time.
Miraculously, that baby is now 14. So I guess he, my boobs, the tissues and I all worked it out somehow.
These days (I know I sound like your elderly aunt but stay with me), there are apps for that. There are apps for everything. Technology has replaced tissues and advice from extended family. Because we don’t have extended family anymore. We’ve lost faith in our instincts. In no way am I preaching about this. It just is what it is.
In a fascinating story in The Atlantic, journalist Mya Frazier looks at the sharp rise in baby apps and whether they’re helping new parents or simply stressing them out:
The day their son was born, Monica Rogati and her husband began obsessively plotting his life via thousands of bits of data they punched into the smartphone app Baby Connect. They called the data “baby I/O,” a reference to the computing expression input/output and the kind of “geeky joke,” as Rogati puts it, that you might expect from a pair of professional data crunchers with doctorates from Carnegie Mellon. With the baby’s feedings (input), diapers (output), sleep sessions, and other accomplishments duly registered, he generated 300 data points each month.
This may sound like a lot of information for a very small person, but it’s typical grist for apps designed to tally a baby’s every blink and burp and sniffle, in hopes of charting his development over time.At their most basic, these first-generation baby-data apps offer tech-savvy parents a substitute for handwritten diaper-change and feeding logs. The apps’ greater innovation, however, has been in charting and analyzing children’s data, in the process making parenthood a more quantifiable, science-based endeavor.
So are apps the new baby books? Were baby books the new extended family? Are websites the new mothers’ groups? Do we all need to just chill the hell out?
Where did/do you get advice and information about parenting?