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Becoming a tech-enabled grandma

Becoming a tech-enabled grandma

My idea of caring for a baby was overpowered by technology, but in all good sense. I came back more enlightened on how technology can be used to comfort a child.

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Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 23:21 IST
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Recently, I became a grandmother and went to the UK to spend time taking care of our grandchild. I spoke to some grandmothers (friends of mine) to seek advice on what I should do and not do. I read some articles to ensure that I try and do everything “right.” 

My husband and I landed at Heathrow Airport, and I was quite anxious to “play” the role of a grandma efficiently. Of course, I got introduced to Maya, our granddaughter, when she was born. Ever since, I would meet her online and try to get her attention by talking to her and making some clucking noises. So, I believe that Maya knew (at least a bit) her patti (grandmother). 

Our intention to go and visit Maya was to ensure that we were of help to my son and daughter-in-law, since they have been playing responsible parents and managing Maya well. My apprehensions included that I would need to climb the stairs several times to check on the baby. Having slight arthritis on my wrists, my worry was if I could hold the baby long enough to rock her to sleep. 

My children live on two floors and have the master bedroom on the first floor. We used to spend a lot of time on the ground floor while the baby slept on the first floor. I was always ready to run up, in case the baby got up. My daughter-in-law reassured me often, “Amma, don’t worry, we have a monitor.” It helped us watch the baby from any corner of the house. A camera fixed on the crib and a monitor will show us all the movements; if the baby moves or talks (actually gurgles), we are able to see it on the monitor. 

I thought we needed to close all windows and doors to keep the house quiet and help the baby sleep. But I heard a noise from the room and was wondering why there was so much noise while the baby was asleep. I was told that the contraption is called “white noise.” Apparently, it helps the baby sleep better since it contains many frequencies and calms and soothes babies. It reminds babies of being inside the womb of the mother and helps them fall asleep faster and longer. Primarily, it blocks out all external noises like television, radio, and people talking. 

The other thing I discovered was a rocker. Traditionally, we use home-made cloth hammocks to rock the child to make it sleep. But the rocker, which can be attached to a pram seat, does this for us. By switching on a small contraption, it rocks the child till the battery dies. 

My idea of caring for a baby was overpowered by technology, but in all good sense. I came back more enlightened on how technology can be used to comfort a child. 

Of course, technology could not replace our hugs to the baby (and hopefully it will not).

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