Technology for Busy Babywearing Parents: The Kindle

A busy mum relaxes with a Kindle in a Hammock
The Amazon Kindle with wifi could be the must have gadget which will change your life, at least that’s what the marketing people at Amazon would have us believe, but could it be useful for busy Mums and Dads and how can it really change our lives for the better?
I have a HUGE love of books, I worked in a book shop from the age of 16 until I was in my mid twenties and I absolutely adore books, I love nothing more than spending a couple of hours browsing around a book shop, be it an old second hand bookshop with its smell of dusty tomes, and the joy of flicking through an old dusty hardcover version of one of your favourite childhood books and seeing the gorgeous illustrations, or maybe wandering around a modern book store with its interesting piped music, the choice of its young funky staff, seeing what the staff recommend on their ‘staff picks’ and smelling the fresh ground coffee from their oh so trendy little coffee shop where you can take a pile of books and ‘try before you buy’. So it was going to be a hard task for me to be swayed to the world of electronic book readers, where would the joy of flicking through the pages be, the simple pleasures of turning over a corner of a page to save my place and curling up on the sofa and nodding off as I read another chapter before bed. How could the Kindle change the life of a true Bibliophile?
Little boy tries to figure out how to work the Amazon Kindle
So, what is the Kindle all about anyway? Well, for those of you who have been locked up for the past couple of years, and lets face it with little babies and children around the house that could be anyone of us:(if its not got Iggle Piggle on it, it hasn’t found its way into the house for a couple of years now) here is a quick bit of know-how on what a kindle is and what it does. The Kindle is a lightweight and slim e-book reader with enough memory to hold 3500 titles. You can choose from over 700,000 titles and download the book straight to your Kindle, the Kindle with 3G and wifi is a bit more expensive but means you don’t need a computer you can simply buy and download books from anywhere you get 3G coverage, which is basically anywhere you can use your mobile phone with a clear signal. The Kindle’s screen is like a printed page of a book so you don’t have the glare or eye strain you would get from staring at a computer screen, and the screen is as easy to read in the sunlight as it is in your bedroom at night.
It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd.
Penelope Lively
The first advantage of the Kindle is, I guess, the size of it, it is remarkably thin and light. You can really easily pop it in a handbag or the pocket of some of the larger carriers out there, and you will have a book at your fingertips whenever and wherever you are. I know that an outing with the baby can be like a trip to Everest and once the bag is packed it is fit to bursting and you could use a Sherpa to transport you! Well the Kindle won’t carry your baby bags for you, but it is so lightweight and thin that it won’t take up valuable room in the bag, can be slipped in alongside the nappies for a bit of padding, and means you have something to do when baby nods off in his or her carrier.
Reading a Kindle is easy. Take time out from parenting on the beach and transport yourself somewhere else with the Amazon Kindle
Traveling and holidays with baby can be a luggage nightmare, once you have packed all their little bits and bobs it is unlikely that their will be any room in your hand luggage for anything more than a packet of polo’s and a puzzler pad for the journey! Well throw away that Puzzler and slip in your Kindle and broaden your mind with some of the 100’s of classic which are available for free. Downton isn’t the only Abbey of the past for you to visit, see how the true masters do it with a bit of Dickens or Austen.
At home we are desperate for a bit more space, and as an ex-bookseller our spare room is full to the rafters with books, a lot of these I have simply been hanging onto until I get a spare hour or so to start reading something new again. An hour or so on the Kindle and I had been able to download a lot of these titles, many of them for free and I catalogues the titles of the others for future downloading and we were able to put these unread books on ebay, earn ourselves a few pennies and free up the spare bedroom. My favourite books are all happily safe on the shelves in our lounge and I doubt the Kindle will be able to win me over enough to get rid of them, but for clearing up a massive amount of space it really was a great help.
Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.
Stephen Fry
The screen has an adjustable contrast which you can alter for reading in a room which isn’t well lit. This has got to be a winner for Mums and Dads, my single Mum pal Dolly had her little one in the room with her for the first year or so due to having a small flat, we knew Dolly loved reading and so had brought her a miner’s head lamp, so she could be in bed and enjoy reading without waking up her little one with a bedside light. The Kindle is perfect for using if you have a sleeping little one in the room, the light from the screen can be adjusted so you can comfortably read your book without fear of waking up your sleeping little one. The Kindle is also just as good for not waking up any sleeping large ones! If you have to get up and nurse your baby whilst leaving your better half to sleep, you could use your carrier or sling for breastfeeding and you only need one free hand to use your kindle, and your better half isn’t disturbed so they can be on the next baby shift!
Amazon Kindle's beautiful sleeping wallpaper
The fact that the kindle can be handled and used with one hand makes it perfect for us Babywearers. I’m not saying that a regular paperback takes two hands but we all know that sometimes reading with the book in one hand can become a little tiring, well not with a Kindle. Its so lightweight that you can hold a 1000 plus page book in one hand and flip though the pages with your thumb. With Baby in his carrier, its so easy to start enjoying the simple pleasure of reading again thanks to the Kindle.
There are a massive amount of books out there for the Kindle and these are not only books for us grown ups. There is a growing number of children’s books available for the Kindle. I am not sure how I feel about these kids books yet, as I love to hold a book with a child and look through it together telling a different story each time from the adventures we can discover from the pictures. But there is something to be said from not having to carry a bunch of large picture books in your bag, and baby doesn’t really seem to mind that the pictures are now in black and white on the screen, they just seem happy to have something to occupy themselves with as we take a train ride together to Grandad’s house, or as we wait for their older siblings to finish school the Kindle gives them something to look at and stop them getting grouchy.The beauty of Babywearing is that your hands are free for you to carry on with real life whilst making sure baby gets the love, attention, and closeness they need. The Kindle is a great little gadget which means that one handed reading is a doddle with baby in the carrier of your choice.
Images from
  • Joanna Penn