There's an app for that!

There’s an app for that!

In this NBC Bay Area news clip, a new app is introduced that claims to be able to decipher the mysterious cries of your baby. Based on the studies of 200,000 crying babies, the app is able to tell you whether your baby is hungry, sleepy, wet, or in pain. However, baby has to cry for 15 solid seconds before the app can crack your kid’s code.

As a newer first-time mom myself, I can see the appeal here. Those first few weeks (okay… months) are pretty hectic and hazy, and sometimes you just want to hold your new little bundle of adorable never-ending noise up in front of your face and bark, “WHAT? WHAT DO YOU NEED ADORABLE DEMON CHILD?! TELL MEEE!” In the beginning, you’re so tired and so frustrated that sometimes it can be difficult to tell what your baby needs.

That being said, I don’t think I would ever purchase this app myself because there is absolutely no replacement for your own intuition. I feel like I learned my baby’s signals pretty quick and, truthfully, there’s only so many options to go through when they’re that little. It didn’t seem all that difficult to go through the rounds, which needed to be done every couple of hours anyway. I believe this app leaves out some key components as well: there is more to what a baby wants than food, a diaper change, sleep, or pain relief. Even when they’re quite new, they can get bored. They may just need stimulation. Or the opposite: they can be completely overstimulated. Sometimes they just want to snuggle. Sometimes they just want to be put down. Sometimes they just freakin’ feel like crying because being a baby is really, really hard guys! Also, babies’ cries change with age and I feel like this app couldn’t be accurate without some sort of option to distinguish your child’s age.

I already feel like technology has become very invasive in the world of parenting. Yes, it is a blessing in many ways since it is so much easier to connect with other parents and realize you are totally not alone in whatever your challenge of the day/week/month may be. But I also feel like so many of us (myself included) often spend way too much time with our technology, good intentions or not. The last thing I want is another reason to have a screen between myself and my son, especially when it’s in the way of a vital part of parent-child bonding. Crying is the only way our babies can talk to us and learning their language is just a (very important) part of the gig.

What are your thoughts? Would you personally use this app, or do you think it would be helpful?

Stephanie Ansley

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