Making Your Phone Work for You in Motherhood

Our phones are our nemesis and our best friend. They keep us connected when we can’t get out of the house, they keep us entertained when we’re stuck on the couch feeding for hours on end, our phones are our conduit to the world beyond our front door. But there is a sinister downside to our devices, so we look at ways to avoid those downsides, and look at ways to really make your phone work to your advantage in Motherhood.

Plenty of research has shown that smart phones encourage addictive behaviours. Research done by Deloittes showed that nearly 40 percent of participants said they used their phones too much.  We’re not entirely to blame, as it’s a known fact that many apps are designed to lure you back, and keep you checking in and out.

There are also links between depression, anxiety and social media use. Considering that women who have recently given birth are at a higher risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, it’s a good idea to be mindful of how much time you’re spending online.

Here are a few ways to counteract that overuse.

Swap Facebook for Baby Books

If there is a time of day that you automatically jump on to Facebook, think about swapping that out for some time with your baby. Lie on the floor with your bub and read them a book, or do blocks. Fifteen minutes of baby play is so much better for you and for your baby.

Make Certain Rooms Device Free

Consider enforcing a device-free rule in different rooms of your house. In particular, the use of devices in bedrooms has been found to interfere with sleep because of the blue light that they emit. With the elusive nature of sleep in that first year, it’s in everyone’s interests to try and increase your and your baby’s chances of a good night sleep – that blue light may just be undoing all your hard work.

Turn Notifications Off

Who can resist the delight of that ‘ping’ when someone has tagged you, replied to you or mentioned you on social media. It takes a strong person to resist the urge to check what that notification has got to say. If you turn notifications off, there’s nothing to resist, and all those mentions and comments, they’ll all still be there for you to see when you have some allocated social media time.

Schedule Your App Time

Apart from phone calls, schedule some time on your phone where you zone out online. If your baby sleeps between 12 and 2, give yourself half an hour to scroll Instagram, send out your tweets, or get on to Facebook. Get your fill until the evening then allow yourself some more time at the end of the day. If you need some time to recalibrate, try doing a full digital detox and see how it makes you feel. I’m pretty sure once you’re over the FOMO, you’ll feel a whole lot better about not being online.

If you don’t think you’re on your phone that much try using an app to measure your use. See how your actual use compares to what you think your use is. Most people are pretty surprised. Mute, Space and Moment have all had good reviews. Whichever way you look at it, you can only benefit from reducing your use of devices and your baby will benefit even more.

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