Calling Bullshit…On Baby Development Apps

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Baby App

Baby development and pregnancy apps are everywhere these days.

I can remember logging into an app practically every day throughout my pregnancy last year to track my growing bumps progress. One week you’d be housing a grape, then before you knew it, you’d be about to give birth to a watermelon.

Just what every heavily pregnant woman wants to hear! Anyway apart from the slightly terrifying fruit and veg analogies, you’d also be told things such as ‘this week your baby will grow fingernails.’ That part I genuinely found it fascinating.

But the app genius doesn’t stop there.

Oh no!

When your little bundle of joy actually arrives, there’s a whole host of new apps that will track their weekly and monthly development.

Now these aren’t quite as fun as the benign fruit and veg comparisons of pregnancy, because these apps like to let you in on when your little one might become the meltdown king or queen.

Most of the time though, I just tend to take these apps with a pinch of salt and find myself dipping in and out of them, because they often read like vague horoscopes. You know the sort of balderdash I’m talking about –

‘You’ll come into good fortune later this month, while Pluto moving into Uranus indicates that a problem you’ve been working on will soon be resolved.

Then you mysteriously find 2 euro on the path and remember where you left your car keys and hey presto Mystic Meg was right all along.

Well these baby apps are very much like that. For example I use the Wonder Weeks app and most of the time I don’t pay much heed to it. Having said that, this morning when my baby boy had about 10 huge, mega tears and snot, arching-the-back, lying-down-on-the-floor style tantrums in a row, over a piece of briquette he found on the ground and wanted to eat, I thought it might be worth checking the app.

Sure enough there it was.

’27 days until the end of the leap. You’ll see the following signals going through this leap’

  1. Throws spontaneous temper tantrums! It’s annoying but clever!’ You can say that again Sherlock!
  2. ‘You child knows when he is not allowed to do something that he really wants.’ In this case eat a crumb of briquette off the floor.
  3. ‘This frustrates your child, so he throws a temper tantrum.’ A temper tantrum? Try 10!

Excellent, 27 more days of irrational behaviour then!

In all honesty though, I often think about how technology has influenced my parenting, and these apps are a case in point. How on earth did my parents survive without them for example? Or my grandparents? The look on their faces when I diligently tell them that my baby boy’s ‘irrational behaviour’ is because he’s knee deep in leap 6 is normally met with sceptical eye-rolls so huge, there is no emoji descriptive enough to convey their sagely doubt….

I guess, they just got on with things and realised that babies go through phases of behaviour that can leave you questioning your very sanity… I sometimes think I’d prefer to go back to not knowing just how long of a stretch of tantrums I’m in for, but like those blasted horoscopes I just can’t stop reading these apps.

Niamh O'Reilly
Niamh O'Reilly
A full time feature and copy writer, Niamh is a dog-mad, shoe-obsessed, movie-buff, with a curious penchant for politics. Up until her son arrived in December 2016, she’d never changed a nappy, made a bottle or even held a baby for more than 5 minutes without it unleashing what she refers to as ‘the death roar’. Completely unprepared for this momentous change in her life, she’s now trying to navigate the brand new world of motherhood with honesty, grace, love and humour. You can also catch her writing about her journey over at www.themammyblog.ie