As a new mom, your cell phone can be your best friend. Need to track feedings? There’s an app for that! Want to find support from another mom who hasn’t slept in months? There’s an app for that too! There are apps for almost anything you can think of as it relates to caring for your baby and connecting with other moms.
But having 24/7 access to so much technology is not always a blessing. Phones can be distracting and consuming. And sometimes, we can be so glued to our phones that we miss things that are happening right in front of us.
July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, which encourages us to evaluate our habits and consider others before we reach for our phone. While smartphones have become an integral part of our lives and will not be going away any time soon, it’s important that we use them responsibly and do not lose sight of the value of person-to-person contact.
As a new parent, it’s especially important to be present with your baby. That’s not saying to forego technology completely, but just remember that, like almost anything, balance and moderation are key. Find the apps that make parenting easier, connect with your peers across the globe, and take as many photos as you can. You will treasure those priceless memories in the years to come.
But don’t miss the moments. They grow up in the blink of an eye, and unfortunately there is no app to slow down time!
Here are a few useful tips to keep in mind all year long:
- Silence is golden. Set your phone to vibrate – especially in office settings or other settings where ringing may interrupt others. And you do NOT want to wake a sleeping baby!
- Place your phone in a discreet place. Placing your phone on a restaurant table or in plain sight gives the impression to others that your phone takes a higher priority over them. If you are expecting a call that you must take, let your party know in advance that you may have to step away for a few minutes. If you do have to take a call, apologize and make the interruption a short one.
- Watch your volume. Avoid yelling into your cell phone or sharing your conversation with others unintentionally. Use your regular conversation voice when speaking. And avoid talking on cell phones where others should expect privacy – such as restrooms.
- Be responsible. While driving, walking, and performing tasks, concentrate on the task at hand, not your cell phone. (Remember that Louisiana has a statewide ban on the use of wireless devices for writing, sending, or reading text-based communications while driving.)
- Enjoy the moment. Remember why you are there – if you are having dinner with your family, witnessing a wedding or social event, or enjoying an afternoon at the park with your little ones – enjoy the moment. Posting pictures or comments on social media can wait until later!