Last week daycare called to tell me my baby was completely and totally out of formula. (Usually I get more of a heads-up than this, but we had an honest miscommunication and no one was at fault.) This wouldn’t have been a big deal, except that I was thirty minutes into a meeting at a location halfway across town; in Los Angeles traffic that means at least an hour in the car. I looked around at the roomful of people waiting for me, briefly panicked, then remembered I have a magical conjuring device in my purse at all times: my iPhone.
After about three minutes of scrolling, I discovered Postmates will deliver baby formula from their “General Store”. Two clicks later and it was ordered; 25 minutes later I had a confirmation text from my baby’s daycare teacher that the formula was in hand and all was well. Whew.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only mom who’s found herself in circumstances like these, where things have gone awry despite the best-laid plans and organization. To that end, here are Heather’s and my recommendations for tech all parents should know about, just in case.
These are primarily food and drink delivery apps. They work a lot like Uber; you place your order on the app, and less than an hour later a cheerful person shows up on your doorstep and hands you a bag of delicious takeout. Postmates and DoorDash have expanded their services a bit to offer delivery of common household items (like Similac!). DoorDash even delivers from BevMo; I recently used it to send a rush emergency bottle of wine to a dear friend when she got the news that her IVF hadn’t worked.
This one really is close to magic; when I first heard about it I couldn’t believe it was real. Simply text the word “Magic” to the number 83489 and a trained operator will get you anything you want (provided it’s legal!) 24 hours a day. Need flowers delivered? They can do that. Need to book a plane ticket to Boston? They can do that, too. Need two dozen gluten free cupcakes for your daughter’s birthday party at school that’s in two hours? I’m not kidding, they can do that too.
This one’s the same idea as Magic, but in app format. Unfortunately there’s a waiting list, but friends who’ve gotten in swear by it. I’ve been waiting for a couple of months now and will report back once I’ve had a chance to test it out.
One of the most challenging things about working and breastfeeding is PUMPING (which is a topic in and of itself, for another day). If you have to travel for work, that complicates matters by a factor of one thousand. Can you build up your freezer stash before your trip? Is there a fridge in your hotel room? How many ounces can you carry home on the plane? Does it have to be frozen or on dry ice?
MilkStork makes this problem simply go away. You inform them of your trip ahead of time, and they handle everything else. They’ll send you a shipping container with a nifty cooling unit. You pump according to your regular schedule, then pack it all up in their box and drop it at the front desk of your hotel. They’ll FedEx it home overnight. And repeat. Baby gets milk, you are spared lugging a cooler full of liquid gold through airport security.
- SitterNote, of course.
Need a babysitter tomorrow afternoon? Send one invite to all of your regular sitters at once and see who’s available. Book the one you want and have her magically appear at your front door at the appointed time. Then relax while you’re away, because she’s got details about each of your kids’ schedules/needs/routines, she’s got all your emergency contacts, and she’s sending you one-touch updates about things like meals and homework and bedtimes so you know all is well while you’re out of the house.