Parenting, assisted by tech
By now, you probably have a new member in your household who turns on and off various devices in your home, shops for you online, plays music, makes calls, and even doubles up as an egg timer! Now, add some babyraising to the mix, and that’s modern parenting for you! Even if you’re having a baby five years after your last one, chances are things have changed…Could you get a car seat loaded with a sensor to warn you about the temperature in the back seat? Or a crib mobile that adjusts the music and lights based on how sleepy your baby’s getting? Or a bassinet that will soothe your baby to sleep?
In the age of tech, there’s a profusion of gadgets, all tantalisingly holding the promise of a little rest and respite! It’s too attractive to give it a miss, don’t you agree? So where do you stand?
“Real parents need to tough it out”
The nay-sayers resist any technology in parenting. If our parents didn’t need it, why should we, they opine. While that’s a lifestyle choice, their concerns around tech and using tech for babies is a valid one. Can tech really support parenting today? In a recent WSJ article, ‘Are you a bad parent if you are relying on parenting tech’ Raya Ramsay Rockwood says, “My anxiety around digital assistance is part of a bigger issue. Many of my parent peers—not to mention their own parents—think these high-tech devices and apps are cop-outs. They argue that “real parents” tough it without these innovations, like climbing Everest without oxygen.” Interestingly, many parents who work in tech, want to limit the access to tech in their homes.
“I’ll take all the help I can get”
But the fact is—as the yaysayers will agree—baby tech is growing rapidly. It’s the way of the world now, so ignoring the immense convenience that tech offers does seem a bit extreme. While tech use by children is greatly discussed, how it impacts parents and parenting is less talked about. There’s plenty of tech available that’s genuinely trying to help parents—with sleep, managing routines, tracking breastmilk pumping, rocking baby to sleep… so, why would you not make use of the conveniences they promise?
“Should I? Or not?”
If you’re the kind who’d like the support but are worried about how harmful tech may be for your baby, you’re not alone. Many parents are on the fence about tech—caught between trying to replicate their own childhood but desiring the convenience of new gadgets. While technology becomes something of a necessary evil when kids actually start using it, its use as a parenting aid finds more acceptance. Especially since technology scores high on reliability.
The thing is, like most things about parenting, there’s no right or wrong way—there’s only what works for you and your family. Like John Patrick Pullen writes in his Time mag article “Tech Companies Want to Help Raise Your Kids”, “I’m all for gadgets that make my life as a father easier — but not ones that try to do the job for me.”
For info on how raybaby uses tech to support parents, visit here.