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Tansley Stearns

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of new technology. While pregnant with my daughter, I was in heavy planning mode. I talked to my friends who had young children. I read every book I could find. I created lists of all the must-have gear and gadgets. My baby registration included an electronic swing, a bottle sanitizer, the latest video monitor, and every other bright and shiny object that promised to make me a better new parent. Six months after her birth, the bottle sanitizer was still in use. Much of the rest of the gear was in a corner or in the basement. Some of it remained unopened.

The must-have gear remained unopened because it quickly became clear to me that the key to success in parenting had nothing to do with gadgets. (Although some were cool and a few were even helpful). Success came from the hard, time consuming and essential fundamentals: Holding her lots. Hugging her lots. Changing and feeding her when she cried. Reading her books. Making ridiculous noises that comforted her. In the witching hour when nothing else worked, I held her and danced until my legs hurt and my arm was numb because it soothed her.

Tansley Stearns

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