You new moms with your newfangled gadgets…

My poor, neglected children in their boring swings.
My poor, neglected children in their boring swings.

My precious bundles of joy were born five and a half years ago. I remember talking to parents of slightly older children, who oohed and aahed over the new technology available to me that wasn’t around when their children were born. Like the baby swing that rotated so that it swung side-to-side as well as back-and-forth. Or video monitors! Even though the screens were about an inch across and as staticky as the scary parts of Poltergeist.

I naively thought that when my children were born in late 2007, everything baby-related had been invented. I mean, what other cool stuff could they possibly come up with?

Well, smartphones, for one. The iPhone had just come out that year, but hardly anyone I knew had one, so all those cool apps that moms use now were only a pipe dream. Tracking the babies’ feedings was done with good ol’ pen and paper. Maybe an Excel spreadsheet if we were being fancy.

To eavesdrop on our infants, we used (and still use – do you know how funny five year olds’ conversations are when they don’t think you’re listening?) a regular old audio-only monitor. Now you can have a setup with multiple cameras, in full color, that can be accessed from your smartphone, iPad, laptop, or probably a chip implanted in your skull.

The coolest triplet stroller of 2008.
The coolest triplet stroller of 2008.

On the subject of baby swings, who really knew how advanced they could get? The first time I saw a friend’s newborn napping in this space age pod-like device, I was frankly a little frightened. Until I saw how happy her kid was, that is. You can plug your iPod in, set it to the “bouncing kangaroo” setting, and off the baby goes to la-la land. Frankly, I was thrilled when a friend lent me a swing that plugged into the wall instead of gobbling D batteries like they were popcorn.

One of the things I obsessed over before we found out we were having triplets was strollers. I wanted the coolest, most awesome stroller ever. Then you find out you’re having triplets and your only choices are bad, terrible, and the kind of awesome stroller that requires a second mortgage. We got the first one, my mom had the second one, and I was over the moon when some friends chipped in to buy us the third. That thing had a freaking steering wheel! I remember feeling so sorry for the moms whose kids were born before the steering wheel model came out.

And then this awesome stroller from Australia came out. Two kids on the bottom, one at the top. You couldn’t even tell they were triplets right away, so you could avoid the 20 13 questions you’d get with the other triple strollers. But by the time they came around, my kids were outgrowing strollers.

Nowadays you have Rock ‘n’ Plays and bottles shaped like breasts and swaddling devices that future Houdinis can’t escape from. Shockingly, my babies survived their infancy and don’t have complexes about everything they missed out on. Too bad Mommy can’t say the same…

What do you wish was available when your children were babies?

Pam Kocke
My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)


  1. haha Pam! I tried to use an app on my droid for tracking feedings and I failed miserably so I went with a pen and paper. Sometimes, classic is the way to go!

    but you are right… even now, there are things that I’m sort of bummed I didn’t get to try like a wubbanub, etc.

    And would you believe i completely gave up the monitor at 15 months? Big step for me. LOL I can hear him if he whines anyhow… his room is right down the hall. haha.

  2. HILARIOUS as always Pam! So true on so many levels! I personally die over the baby wipe warmer. I mean, really?? So ridiculous. What happens when you’re out and the baby has a poop explosion in the car and you’re stuck on the side of the road on St. Charles Ave. changing your baby and gasp! Cold wipes! HA! (True story.) You are the best. And those boys of yours, they are just as precious as can be! 🙂

  3. We had the diaper wipe warmer for my oldest (who is 7.5 now) and it didn’t make him scream and cry when we were out and had to use cold wipes. But it was a nice convenience at home especially with our 3 boys those first few months. The hardest part is making sure you keep the pad wet. Dried up wipes just suck!
    I think with your first born you go a little crazy with all the gear and stuff. I remember my baby shower we had to have 2 SUVs to move all the presents back to our little condo… crazy!! And I HAD to get a video monitor for the baby who was in the room right next to ours (even though he ended up in out room until he was 8 months old). By the time our twins came along (#3 & #4 for us in our too small 3 bedroom house) we were seriously asking ourselves… do they really need this??? And where in the world are we going to put all this stuff?!
    I do have to say though, that mamaroo thing that is out now is really cool!

  4. So true, Pam! As you know, my kids are almost 5 years apart, and the difference in gear since 2008 is really crazy. I couldn’t get over our Mamaroo– it’s like a swing the Jetsons would have had! Our video monitor is amazing. Love the white noise app on my iPhone. We bought more new stuff than we *needed* just because it’s all so cool.

  5. My youngest baby was 12 when I gave birth in November and WOW – have things changed. The biggest baddest thing that rocked my world when I had her was a boppy – they didn’t have them three years earlier with her sister. I was shocked when I was registering for MickLovin how much new crap, I mean, stuff there is! So much is unnecessary!

    The were only two “new” things I wouldn’t give back – the car seat cover that velcroed to the handle and my udder cover while nursing. I got both of them for shipping only and they are worth their weight in gold to me. We used the car seat cover to keep MickLovin safe and comfy when he was little and now when it rains and I use the udder cover daily – pass by my cart in Lakeside when “the Boss” is in the house and you’ll see me using it.

  6. Loved the post, Pam. Had me chuckling, as usual…. Guess I’m “old school” because I had Nathaniel in 2012 and used a notebook to track his feedings. I’m glad I did it that way, because now, I’m keeping it with his baby book and stuff. It’s crazy to look back and see 12-14 feedings a day!!!!!!


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