The age of technology has come to the ancient arena of baby-making, gender prediction and pregnancy. Now you can work out when to conceive, how your baby is developing and even how often to feed your newborn, all from iPhone apps for mums.
Nothing in the world – no book, midwife or best friend – can prepare you for becoming a mum. The fierce, instinctive love; the heart-thumping pride; the tears of frustration; the depths of sleep deprivation. Those powerful primeval emotions that defy description and are universal to all new parents.
Initially, it’s hard not to get completely lost in a baby-fug. The wonder and joy of a new baby is all-consuming (not to mention the round-the-clock feeding and changing…). And it’s only right that you should devote yourself to the tiny, helpless bundle you’re solely responsible for.
The Little Helper FunPod Highchair is such an enviably neat bit of baby kit that when I first clapped eyes on it, my first feeling was immense disappointment – that it wasn’t around when my kids were toddling tyrants.
The original Funpod was designed by an Australian mum to allow her daughter to cook, bake and play alongside her in the kitchen. For all those of us who’ve struggled with children balancing precariously on wobbly chairs while they mix the cake batter or weigh ingredients, it’s a brilliantly simple solution. A solid, enclosed, height-adjustable pod for a child, up to the age of 6, to stand in safely while they help out in the kitchen (something all kids seem to love).
Once upon a time, parents followed tradition and picked their baby’s name from a finite pool of respected or well-loved family members. Now, we want our child to be unique. For them to be the only one who responds when the teacher calls the register.
In the quest for originality, some parents even like to conceive brand new names, guaranteeing that their offspring is an entirely unique production. A popular naming device in parts of South London is to pair each of the parents’ forenames to create a brand new but traceable label for their child. And little JoSu sounds a darn sight cooler than either his dad John or mum Susan. (A warning here though: this probably works best with forenames. There’s individual and there’s plain weird….).
Naming your baby has to be one of the most significant things you’ll ever do for them. For the next 18 years (when your child could theoretically change their name by Deed Poll), it will be called out, shouted and whispered to them. Nicknames will stem from it; the first clumsy letters they ever scribble will be the ones you have chosen; it will be their identifying scrawl on every card, letter and school work they write for nearly two decades.
Inexorably, they will come to define themselves to some extent by their name. As indeed will others. After all, would you have a different impression of a Britney to a Kate? A Romeo to a William?