Archive | Crying RSS feed for this section

Cry Me a River…

17 Feb

On my journey to becoming more tech savvy, I’m *so* not down with this new tool I recently saw featured on a tech tool TV segment.  The cry translator app for smartphones is designed to help new parents identify and interpret the different types of cries a baby produces, and “translates” the cry into graphics representing an emotion a new parent can understand, e.g. “hungry”, “bored”, “overtired”, “wet”, etc.   The Why Cry Baby Analyzer is a machine designed to  do the same thing, but is an independent device.

As a first-time mom of a newborn with insanity-inducing colic, I would’ve given my right arm for a solution to stop my little scream machine at the height of our collective distress.  (My friends Jenna and Kristen who answered my pathetic 3 a.m. Facebook pleas for help can relate.) 

And at first, (and in theory) a “cry interpreter” would’ve initally seemed like a great idea.  In my sleep-deprived-panicked-mom state, if I knew about this app then, I would’ve been the first to download it.

But ultimately, part of being a parent  (especially a first-time parent,)  is the difficult-but-critical “trial and error” process.  If I’ve learned anything in the past six months, it’s that parenting  is about trusting your instinct.   It’s about guesswork.   It’s about course correcting.  It’s about asking your partner, your friends and trusted advisors for help, guidance and support.  And in the end, parenting is about communicating, watching, and working with your child, and learning the road…together. 

Relying on an interpretation tool is dangerous.  Do you stop trying to figure your cries out on your own?  And what do you do when your batteries die, or the child gets older, or the tool isn’t accurate?  What if the cry is gas or illness or something the cry interpreter can’t interpret?

Kudos for technology and parenting.  And “good on ya” for recognizing that new parents with super fussy babies really, *really* need help.  But profiting on their distress is not the answer.  And shortcuts aren’t either.

Let’s use technology to help us communicate with our kids, not for our kids.