HAVING mummed it in the 90s, noughties and now, with four babies, I've seen a lot of baby "stuff" come and go.
There was no such thing as an all-terrain jogging pram when I had my first baby, and I'm pretty sure that the only people spending $1500 on a stroller had the words Sultan and Brunei in their names.
My best loved and most essential baby item has long been my sling.
Make that slings plural - there is a slight addiction there that I am most happy to admit. I've had pouches, and wraps, and ring slings and an Ergo and I've loved them all almost as much as the babies they held.
I love having my baby so close to me as we wander around. I love having two free hands to wrangle Things 2 and 3 - especially when they confuse the car park for LaLaLand and forget about the big metal things on wheels all around them. I can't even imagine trying to manoeuvre a stroller around the markets on a Saturday morning with a stroller or pram as well as our market trolley. It would be twice as many people's feet for me to run over with my dodgy steering ability.
But as much as I love my slings, there's been a surprise contender for most essential baby item this time around.
I never thought I would say this, but my most used baby item isn't a baby item at all. It's my phone.
Parenting in the age of the smartphone is a totally different experience. And it's not just because I can try to get to the next level on Candy Crush during a 2am feed.
Pregnancy and new motherhood has sent me into an app frenzy. I had one sending me weekly updates on what was happening inside my belly.
When I went into labour I downloaded a contraction tracker, which timed the length of and between my contractions. I can put all our appointments into my calendar and link it up with Modern Dad's, which results in driving him nuts with the incessant beeping but gives us less chance of forgetting when we need to be somewhere.
And just recently I downloaded an app that charts feeding sides and duration, wet nappies and sleep times.
Of course, there is one massive problem with these apps. User Error. I actually have to put the data into them for them to work properly. And, you know, I'm not great with that. So at the moment, according to the app Crankypants hasn't had a feed for two days, and hasn't slept or had her nappy changed for three.
Which is not really helping me out to keep track of things, and quite frankly makes me look a bit dodgy.
There's a button to share your infographic on Facebook, but I don't really think I'll be doing that any time soon.
What I really need is an app to organise updating all my apps. Is there one for that?
Traditions create family memories
ONE of the things that we've made a priority recently is creating family traditions. We have things that we've carried on from our parents and grandparents, like horseshoes over the doorways, and fish cakes on Good Friday even though we are not actively religious.
Traditions don't have to be huge, or formal. Like the lolly jar at Nan's house - it was always my first port of call even when I'd visit as an adult. These things create memories, and I think that's such an important element of family life.
One of ours is our Saturday morning at Brisbane Markets. It's a great atmosphere, and awesome produce. My favourite bit comes at the end, where the She-Devil gets $10 to choose a bunch of flowers for the kitchen. She takes her time, wandering around and checking out all her options (and often trying to get an extra $5) before making her selection, getting them wrapped and handing over the cash. I love fresh flowers in the house, and I love that time with my daughter.
And I still think of Nan every time I see a Mintie or a Jersey Caramel.