By: Arjun Naskar
Please welcome Arjun to The Baby Spot!
Parenting techniques throughout the ages were a reflection of society at the time. This was largely dictated by people’s understanding of science. What seems comical or cruel to us now made sense at the time. For example, during the Middle Ages, children were given beer as a substitute for the disease-ridden water for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This made sense and actually was an improved the mortality rate compared to generations before them. During the Victorian Era, morphine was recommended as a painkiller and cure for colic and teething.
This leads us to wonder what fundamental misunderstandings about science and technology we have today and how we can better use technology to improve our parenting skills over our parents’ generation. While I’ll let scientists in lab coats address the former, I wanted to focus on the latter, and how we can use the latest technology to improve parenting today.
The biggest trend over the last few years is the emergence of software and hardware aimed at children and parents. The ones aimed at parents fall into two categories, tracking, and convenience.
For those who want to perfect their child’s development down to a science, parents should objectively monitor and track their child’s sleeping patterns and eating habits. This data can be sent to a pediatrician who can detect abnormalities and stored over one’s lifetime. My favorite is Sproutling, a small anklet that detects motion while the baby sleeps. There is also Lully, which seeks to prevent night terrors in children. Is this all overkill? Likely. Babies have had problems sleeping for millennia and this is nothing new. It remains to be seen whether or not precisely tracking these habits will lead to improved sleeping, but parents want the absolute best.
For parents that want the an extra hand, apps are starting to provide convenience. This allows parents to spend more quality time with their children and less time doing chores. One of our new favorites is HopSkipDrive, which uses vetted drivers to shuttle your children from school to soccer practice, or wherever you’d like. We’ve also started Stork, an SMS service connecting you directly with a childcare expert so you can get advice instantly from what to feed your 6 month old to what local events are going on in your city.
Lastly, there are a number of apps aimed at children. For a list of our favorite ones aimed at toddlers, you can visit our blog post here: http://blog.askstork.com/post/124336793791/newsletters-favorite-apps
It’s important to note that while technology can certainly help improve lives, each family is different and there is no substitute for a parent’s instinct.