Friday, November 5, 2021

Baby, Unplugged by Sophie Brickman

Happy Friday! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Sophie Brickman's Baby, Unplugged: One Mother's Search for Balance, Reason, and Sanity in the Digital Age

At this time in our culture it certainly does seem like there's a new recommended app or item that will help parents keep their kids healthy, teach them various necessary skills, and even get them on track for college when they're only 6 months old! And with so many of these bombarding us daily, it's hard to know what might actually be helpful and what's just too damn much!

And, after admitting to have struggled with the idea of how much tech is needed for raising children (or, better yet, how much tech is too much tech when it comes to raising children), this is exactly what reporter and mother of two Sophie Brickman tries to determine in her book. 

One note, the book was completed prior to Covid lockdown. Brickman does include, in her intro, a bit about whether she felt the research she'd done was even relevant given the current situation—ultimately deciding it was more useful and important than ever.

So a little background on me before I get into my review: I work two jobs and have a toddler. My husband is self-employed and works crazy hours. We started daycare on March 1, 2020. 


And I have come to the conclusion that parenting does make people like me more than just a little neurotic (and let's face it, I probably was leaning that way before adding a kid to the equation given all of my anxiety issues). So with all of that in mind, I'll admit parenting books drive me up the wall. One of our potty training books left me in tears and so angry that I put it in the recycling bin (after my kid went to sleep because I didn't want him to see mommy essentially throwing away a book!). 

And it's with all of that in my head that I dove into Brickman's book. And instantly felt my anxiety peaking!

But that's kind of the point. All of these recommended products and such do drive us all a bit crazy. Especially if we're inclined to worry. Brickman talks about products meant to track your baby's sleep, sending oodles of data to your phone so you can examine numbers that mean what?! And the trend of showing up at the doctor's office already telling your pediatrician what you've diagnosed your child with thanks to the internet (and that's not limited to parents, btw). And that's just the first chapter, which thankfully ends with the determination that all of that info aside, if you're simply loving and caring for your child, maybe mindfulness is more important. 

Brickman tackles mommy groups, smart toys, AAP guidelines, kids' TV, and more. Her style is conversational and easy to read even when she does dive into statistics (which never become overwhelming). But I did walk away feel a little like I was being shamed for letting my almost three year old watch PAW Patrol!

To be fair, I already felt guilty about it. But I'm finally getting to a point where I don't care! We've set our own limits. We're trying to become comfortable with the decisions we make as parents regarding our child's interactions with tech. And a lot of Brickman's info reinforces decisions we've already made. 

So I might not recommend this one for parents like me who literally feel as though they're constantly being judged and ranked as worst parent ever (I have a therapist for this, don't worry). 

But for folks who maybe aren't as anxiety ridden as me, this is probably a useful tool to help in coming up with your own level of comfort regarding your life and kids and digital culture. 

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official tour schedule here

For more on Sophie Brickman and her work you can visit her website here. You can also follow her on Twitter

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop

1 comment:

Sara Strand said...

I was SO anxiety ridden with my first, completely chill with kid two and three, and now an anxious mess with my fourth. Go figure! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours