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Today we have apps for everything, but an app that calms our babies so we can sleep longer? Surely that’s one app too far.

When did it become ok to delegate parenting to an app?

Don’t get me wrong; along with the next person I needed timeout from my parenting duties when my boys were babies, and don’t shoot me, but sometimes those 45-minute daytime sleeps needed to be supplemented with a little quality time together in front of a baby DVD, that possibly may have been on auto repeat on some days. So I get it, we can’t be ‘on’ as parents every minute of every day.

But we became parents so we could be parents and raise our babies into gorgeous toddlers and then amazing kids – right?

An app has been developed in the UK – Quiet Night Baby IPod, which claims to be able to reduce babies crying by 50% and speed up their development. It’s an app and toy that has a library of kiddy friendly music, which babies hold and listen to, helping to keep them entertained.  It has a specially designed Smart handle, enabling the device to determine what songs the baby likes listening to and then selects similar songs for them.

According to the developer Ben Way, babies interact with the toy rather than calling out for their parents, meaning less crying and more sleep for the parents.

With the device likely to go on sale later this year in the UK, no doubt many parents will think of this as a lifesaver. However isn’t it our job (and our pleasure) as parents, to interact with our babies ourselves? We want to calm them and entertain them, we want to sing songs to them and find out for ourselves what tunes they like by watching their reactions. That is the joy of being a parent and those blissful, special times with our babies are how we form bonds with them and get to know their personalities.

Yes, infants and toddlers can wield our iPhones and iPads like little tech experts these days, rightly or wrongly, it’s happens. In fact the ITunes store now stocks over 800 apps for children. But delegating calming of babies at nighttime to an app, so we can sleep longer? Surely that’s heading in the wrong direction as parents.

Educationalist and literacy expert Sue Palmer, author of bestseller “Toxic Childhood” suggests that the sort of interaction babies and toddlers need is interaction with real people and the real-life environment. That’s how they develop communication skills and learn to co-ordinate and control their whole body.

I can remember the only way I could get one of my boys to sleep was rocking him in a baby hammock contraption I’d borrowed from a friend. It started as a complete relief and godsend, but quickly escalated into a dependency for my baby and me. We both needed the hammock for him to sleep. So we ‘cold turkey’ed’ and between my baby, my husband and myself, we learnt how to settle him and get him to sleep. Point being, sometime you just have to do the hard yards as a parent and you can’t delegate the tough stuff.

And yes, we had our sleepless nights, and days of exhaustion but we got there. And we got there without any help from an Apple device.

Being a parent is about the highs and the lows, the incredibly amazing experiences and the tough ones. We signed up for life on this gig. 24/7 for every single, wonderful moment.

Parenting is not about delegating to an app, it’s about doing it ourselves. And if that means a little less sleep at night, then I can sleep a little easier with myself for the rest of the night.

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • i agree 100%.
    My eldest was a total nightmare and from day one never slept. Seriously. how i coped i dont know but I did and then went on to have two more kids after that. It was exhausting but now that my kids are older I look back and think that even though at the time it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel….those days went by so quickly.

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  • I think I wouldn’t mind to give it a go when I have horrible sleepless nights in a roll like I had two weeks ago with a toddler sick and a newborn baby to feed and very unsettled.

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  • Not a fan of using app’s. I love snuggles with my bub and following his need’s and want’s :)

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  • Wow, an app just so parents get a little extra sleep time? I’m horrified. It’s not something I will ever use, I hope others choose not to also

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  • it s great

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  • great

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  • good to read

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  • Having a baby has made me realise how much I use my phone and just have it on me. Even for the time. My children ld reaches for it multiple times a day, and I just hide it but I think I need to pull a watch out! Bit unfair to expect him not to be on a screen if I am often.

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  • great to read

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  • Aren’t there studies that show that those sorts of screens emit a light that is stimulating to the brain? Won’t that work against getting them back to sleep? Or is it just meant to be a babysitter product? Just keep them amused until the parent is wanting to parent again?

    I get that some times are desperate, but that doesn’t sound like what this is aiming to be with the intelligence to learn what the baby’s favourite songs are.

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  • thanks for sharing

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  • I used a swing that rocked and played music as that was the only way I could get a couple of hours sleep for a few months with a reflux baby. They are props and if people are really sleep deprived, they will try almost anything to feel human again.
    Not something I would use though

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  • Opthalmologists advise that you should never let a baby be close to a TV screen at all as it very bad for their eyes; therefore their sight. I see so many toddlers and pre-school children playing games on their parents’ devices. They don’t give a thought to what the damage to their eyes is. Anything to keep them amused, not cranky because they are bored, especially if they are somewhere that they have to sit still for too long – that seems to be the attitude. When you have older children competing in various sports in events that last a few hours you do need something to occupy them so they don’t want to run around. If they are small enough try to keep them in their strollers with small toys or books. That’s what my parents did, and some still do.

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  • this is terrible if you ask me. lazy and teaching babies to rely on technology, no good.

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  • the funny thing is that, i bet the app doesn’t work and the kids don’t respond to it lol! or crashes when you need it the most….

    Reply

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