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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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To Monitor or Not to Monitor

Uploaded: Dec 6, 2014
My husband and I never bought a baby monitor for our son. We all shared a room early on, and by the time our son transitioned to his own space, we were quite confident that he would make himself heard if he needed us.

We also never downloaded apps to track his eating or sleeping habits. I tried to log his diaper changes and feedings into the booklet that our hospital handed out but immediately stopped when our pediatrician told us that the log was unnecessary. I personally did not enjoy keeping track of this information. Logging made it too easy to focus on the chores of parenthood rather than the joys.

I've encountered a lot of new moms who are tracking their babies. Most seem to find it useful. Sometimes they use this information to figure out a schedule for their little one. Other times it helps them feel more content to see that their baby is getting the recommended amount of feedings, sleep and diaper changes each day. Or it provides them with an extra sense of security.

There are countless apps and devices available to monitor baby. Recently I've been seeing a lot of ads for the Sproutling, a wearable baby monitor that not only tracks baby's heart rate and temperature but it will even predict when it expects baby to wake up. Although we have a new baby in our house, I'm not planning to purchase any of their devices or apps. Maybe it's because I already raised my son without them, so I don't believe they are necessary. Or maybe it is because I feel like using these devices might end up just eating up time that I would rather spend on more enjoyable activities.

Did you monitor or track your baby? Do you think these new apps and devices are useful or unnecesary?


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Dec 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm

We never used any high tech monitoring for our babies. We never felt the need to even think about it. Parents have been using instinct (and possibly advice from grandparents) for generations and with the exception of preemies or high risk situations, it is easy to over complicate the care of a newborn in my opinion.

I did have problems breastfeeding one and needed to get some help, and all my pregnancies were a little more difficult than the norm, which of course made me pleased to deliver in the hospital where all mod cons were available. But the babies all seemed to thrive at home without too much concern.

I tend to think that so much of the marketing of stuff to new and in particular first time parents is just a money pit so be careful about what expensive gadgets are bought that will be hardly used and outdated by the time they can be passed on.

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Dec 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Yes, it definitely can be very overwhelming for first time parents to figure out what they need to buy for baby and what is unnecessary. Thanks for sharing your views on the high tech gadgets and marketing.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mom of 3, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks,
on Dec 12, 2014 at 10:57 am

Baby monitors are useful if baby is taking a nap and you want to watch toddler in the yard, and want to be able to respond to your baby before she starts screaming.

Tracking/making notes can be useful for communication if you have multiple people (like a sitter) watching the baby for regular periods of time. Is she fussy because she didn't take her last bottle feeding? Has she had a BM in the last 2 days?

It doesn't have to be high tech, but for many working parents some tools can help.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Dec 12, 2014 at 11:44 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mom of 3 - Thank you for sharing some of the reasons why tracking can be helpful for families with more than one kid and for families who regularly use a sitter.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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