Baby, Unplugged: One Mother’s Search for Balance, Reason, and Sanity in the Digital Age

Sophie Brickman. HarperOne, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-296648-3
Equal parts informative and entertaining, journalist Brickman’s debut explores parenting in these tech-drenched times. With a baby-tech market worth nearly $46 billion in 2019, new parents have plenty of ways to gather data on their child’s lives, leading Brickman to ask if parents should “run... toward the safe, analog space.” She covers a slew of child-related gadgets, among them breast pumps, sleep trackers, and monitoring devices that provide parents with “NASA-level” data. Along the way, she offers insight from people who develop and market such technology (“You don’t want to overwhelm people who are looking for simplicity,” the founder of a baby monitor company tells her), explores physicians’ opinions (sleep trackers, one pediatrician warns, “get right up to the line so they don’t have to be regulated by the FDA”), and candidly shares her own experiences (“like many women before me, I grew to despise my pump”). Things come back to how overwhelming parents’ options are, a situation Brickman considers with humor: though looking at tracking data has been shown to release dopamine, she writes, “you can control a child as much as you can force her to poop on command.” For parents wondering whether to bring gadgets into the nursery, this will be an invaluable tool. Agent: Amelia Atlas and Kari Stuart, ICM. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/16/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-296649-0
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