First of all, let's just admit that I kind of hate myself for using the word daddy in the headline of this blog. I suppose I could have used parent, but the fact of the matter is I'm a man and the use of gadgets in my house is confined to, well me.
Sure, my wife uses the baby monitor, but it's me who's fascinated with it - angling the microphone, trying to understand the other functions (quite difficult when you inherited it from a sister-in-law with no instruction booklet) and trying to get my other half to play with it like a walkie talkie. I'm sorry, but the walkie talkie I had as a kid never worked and I need the catharsis, okay?
Anyway, having a child has given me an excuse to dig around the internet for other nifty things to buy and try and parents will know there are plenty of options. In fact, it starts before the birth, with a TENS machine, the function of which I still don't quite understand but like the sound of because its name is an acronym and thus sounds like spy equipment (N.B. we didn't get one).
More recently, my gadget search has revolved around things that might help my three-and-a-half-month-old daughter to sleep for longer. Temperature moderation is drummed into parents from the get-go, so I was pleased to discover the Gro Egg, which is a thermometer that also acts as a mini nightlight. If your baby's bedroom is the "correct" temperature, it glows yellow, too hot red, too cold blue. It's very useful and reminds me of something out of The Crystal Maze.
And light is something I need, because I'm sick and tired of fumbling around blindly, trying to stuff a dummy into my baby's nostril. Thing is, we're trying to keep the room dark at the moment, which considering our feeble and cheap curtains, is quite hard. Which is why I also like Gro's Anywhere Blind, which you can adjust to fit most windows and acts as a blackout. Just try not to leave a dirty nappy on the floor, because you're likely to step in it.
Now I just wish I could invent a gadget - my wife already has a couple of good ideas, one of which involves avoiding wee puddles. Me? I'd like to create a play mat/pen-type thing that plays more than one flipping song over and over again. Is there such thing as a Baby iPod?
N.B. Please note that I am not actually the kind of person who would buy his baby daughter an MP3 player. I walk across to the other side of the road to avoid such folk.