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Cool Gadgets for Young Parents

Tech this out… ABC’s HeTech SheTech segment with Andrea Smith featured some cool gadgets for young parents. Top of the list was a White Noise Sound Machine which help babies fall asleep. Then to make sure you know when they wake, the MobiCam Digital DXR with two-way audio and multi-room monitoring. Another useful gadget was the Itzbeen Baby Care Timer which has a variety of settings so you always know how long it’s been since you gave the baby medication, for example. To make sure those diaper changings late at night are not too jarring, there’s the Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer. And for short video clips that grandparents can’t get enough of, there’s your handy Flip Cam to capture precious moments. Mattel Sing-a-ma-jigs ends the segment on a high note.

If you own any of these devices let us know what you think.

Meanwhile, here’s some Quick Reference Links to check out these “baby tech” gadgets:

White Noise Sound Machine

MobiCam Digital DXR

Itzbeen Baby Care Timer

Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer

Flip Cam UltraHD (8 GB/ 2 Hours) Newest Model

Mattel Sing-a-ma-jigs

 

Bundle of Joy Feeling Like Bundle of Nerves?

The Health Science Channel.com talked with new parents about the fears that arise in looking after an infant for the first time. Biggest among them was whether they would know that right thing to do if anything went wrong. This is normal, especially among couples who have not handled newborns before. Their fragility can be intimidating. On top of that, babies pick up on those vibes and can react to your anxieties. So learn to relax into your new role and know that as your baby passes through certain milestones, so will you confidence as parents.

What were you most worried about when the baby arrived? 

 

Feeling Sleep Deprived?

5 min Life Videopedia posted a great clip by Survivor Dad on babyhood and sleep, or lack thereof. Newborns sleep on average 16 to 20 hours a day. By the time they reach 6 weeks that drops to approximately 16 hours a day. By 4 months that number drops 9 to 12 hours with a few naps in between. And even though most adults only need 7 to 8 hours of sleep to feel rested, a new baby in the house typically means 400 to 750 lost hours of sleep for parents in the first year.

Obviously, lack of sleep interferes with your ability to think clearly and handle stress. So best to start early and write things down such as how long the baby slept, when their last feeding was and how much formula they took. Also take advantage of baby’s nap time and take one yourself. Rest assured they will eventually sleep through the night so you can get back to a normal sleep routine.

What do any of you dads out there have to say on this one?

 

Tips for Working Parents

Wondering how to spend less time at the office and if you travel, less downtime waiting in airports?

Then listen to this interview by ABC News NOW with the author of New Job New You. Fortunately, corporate acceptance is growing for video meetings and teleconferencing when face-to-face meetings are not critical. You may also want to map out your peak productive times and look for a way to spend more off time with your family, while still getting in an 8 hour work day. In fact, you may even want to tag on a few family days at the end of some of your better destination business trips and turn them into mini-family vacations.

How have you re-engineered your work life to get more face-to-face time with your partner and family?

 

Depression Advice: A Mom whose “been there”

If you do not feel like yourself, you may want to take a few minutes and heed this interview from ABC News NOW with the author of Beyond Blue.

Babies are supposed to be a source of joy. But when you’re struggling with depression, dealing with young babies and toddlers brings all our anxieties to the fore, making that transition to parenthood a super stressful time.  And when you add in sleep-deprivation that’s a huge recipe for disaster, if you cannot bring yourself to ask for help. Author of Beyond Blue talks about how badly her depression affected her ability to function. And although some moms with depression don’t cry, she was constantly crying and her moods went  up and down, with fits or anger in between.

She tells new moms to ask for help, even beg for it, to get the rest you need. She also knows first-hand the importance of diet and exercise. She said other moms would admire her for being so disciplined but for her it was a matter of living or drowning. If she missed out on her exercise routine, her moods would plummet to the depths of despair.  Plus, the more you let the stress build up, the more you keep stuffing your face with simple carbohydrates and sugars which can really do a number on your mood.

Another really great tip she gave was to “hang onto you”…  She said she dropped everything to try and be the best mom she could. But as she learned after a nervous breakdown, the best thing you can do is to hold onto the important pieces of the “old you” because that part of you that you take care of gives back to make you an even better mom.  So  you may want to find a way to stay connected to a job you love or cause you believe in. After all, it worked for Abraham Lincoln, and he didn’t have the benefit of modern anti-depressants to help what they then called “melancholy”.

Speaking of which, she advises finding a doctor you can trust, who you can rely on to give you appropriate medication if and when you need it.  Don’t keep struggling thinking you can handle it all alone. She suggests turning to a teaching hospital because doctors can be more up on the latest research  and not as likely to take samples of all the newest meds.

Lastly, the author tells viewers to “watch your thoughts”.  Then, if you are working with a therapist, you can also more accurately convey how you are feeling. Although she admits that it is not always easy to do, making the effort to be mindful allows you to “catch the snowball before it really explodes your brain”.

She urges everyone struggling with depression to hold onto hope and remember that there are lots of people living great lives in spite of it to prove it.

Have you tried any of these tips?  Share your experiences here to help other moms and dads.

 

Parenting Pointers from Birth to 9 Months

5 min Life Videopedia did a 15-minute interview with the authors of Baby Secrets. They talk about two huge concerns:

  1. how to get your baby to sleep during the night and
  2. knowing why your baby is crying. One of the key things for new parents to remember is to make sure that their child does not get over tired.

Otherwise, they will have problems getting to sleep. The authors also gave great insights as to the importance of establishing a routine. Because if the baby is on a routine, mom and dad can find time to be together and parents can also fit in special one-on-one time with other children in the family.

Often, new dads feel left out of the process and feeling at a loss for what to do. So moms are advised to show dad how he can get into the act so he doesn’t feel inadequate.  But where the rubber really hits the road is the mapping out of a daily structure or ‘when to do what’. As simple as this may sound, structure is key to making the transition to parenthood less stressful.  Plus, babies respond well to structure and it helps them later on in fitting in with family routines.

What can you add that has worked for you?