Shannon McRae has parented with and without the iPhone. But now that she has the useful device by her side, she’s never going back.
Wipes warmers, video monitors, and $800 strollers. Regardless of what you’ve been told, it’s completely possible to raise children without these items.
But three babies later, I’m here to tell you that every new parent needs an iPhone.
My first two kids were born during the flip-phone stage of my life. The last one arrived to a family whose parents had been addicted to their iPhones for several years. And even though everyone jokes about how the smart phones changed their lives, it’s the truth for new parents. Here’s why I’m always within arm’s reach of mine.
- It helps me remember stuff. During the first few weeks of a newborn’s life, parents are advised to keep a log of baby’s wet and dirty diapers to make sure he’s getting enough to eat. For my first child, I kept copious feeding/pooping logs for weeks in a notebook. I was more comfortable with my second and jotted it down for a few weeks on random scraps of paper throughout my house. A few nights before my third child was born, I was on iTunes and downloaded the Baby Brain app. Created originally for parents of multiples, it’s a very easy-to-use way to keep track of sleeping, feeding, diaper changing and which side to feed on (if you’re nursing). It was such a great way to keep everything straight during those first few sleep-deprived weeks–and I never had to remember where I’d written it down last.
- It keeps track of time. Though the clock is likely the most low-tech aspect to the iPhone, I use it all day long. During our first few nights at home, I set multiple timers on my phone to wake every two hours to feed our tiny newborn. With my first two children, I spent many nights sprawled in the glider in the nursery because I’d fall asleep mid-feed. But now I turn on my 20-minute timer and once I’ve fed my infant, I return to my much more comfortable bed.
- It entertains my toddlers. “I want your phone” is a common request in our house. Normally we limit the amount of time our two toddlers spend playing with our phones. But with a newborn in the house, I’ve never been happier to have something to hand my 3-year-old when she’s bored from being stuck at home all day. She plays her favorite games beside me on the couch when I’m feeding the baby. And I’ve even lured them out of the nursery when trying to calm a fussy baby by telling them they can watch Kideos on my phone–if they’ll take it to the den.
- It lights my way. Do you know how dark a room can be at 3 a.m.? I do. The flashlight app provides just enough light to change a diaper without having to flip on an overhead light.
- It captures the random moments. I pull out my camera to snap pics of my kids in the big moments–when the baby came home from the hospital, her first bath, wearing the outfit Grandma sent. But for everyday life–like the time when my 3-year-old decorated her little sister with star stickers–I usually grab my phone to snap a pic. The other day I realized that the pics on my phone are a much more accurate representation of our lives than the carefully posed camera shots.