Belly Buzz
Techie Family Bonds

Kathy Chua-Grimme knows the value of keeping family ties tight. Based in Manila with her husband John and baby Gaby, the cosmopolitan family has relatives and friends all over the world. Kathy’s in-laws live in the Netherlands and both her sisters are based in North America, and while her own parents just live in the Metro, checking in online beats the notorious Manila traffic any day. With the new addition of baby Gaby, it’s become more important to keep connected since physically visiting with each other isn’t possible all the time.

Luckily, Kathy and John are no technophobes, so hooking up a simple set-up was no problem. With a tablet, a wifi connection and some adhesive strips, Baby Gaby is literally growing up right before her international family’s eyes! Kathy says it’s also become their baby monitor and all around baby entertainment center. She’s sharing this for all those who want to bridge the miles too.



“This set up is very versatile and not very expensive if you compare it to the more specialized monitors. Most of the stuff you need to make it work, you probably already have at home.”




The family uses a free internet based video chat software to keep everybody connected. Kathy says, “The account is set on auto pick up to a secure contact list that’s restricted to friends and family. We also set up gentle reminders to give others equal opportunity to call even if the nice thing about time differences is that they rarely overlap.”




“We have three long Velcro strips wrapped around the tablet that attaches to the crib rail. Now that Gaby’s getting a bit more curious and more active, we’ll just have to see if a modification is in order.”



“We’re able to load Gaby’s favorite nursery rhymes and lullabies, and even include photos that help provide developmental stimulation. No games though, we’re hoping she grows up not glued to a computer.”




“When Gaby’s sleeping and I need to do some work around the house, or occasionally go for a visit somewhere- the connection really gives me peace of mind. It’s my baby monitor, and I can hear/ see her any time I want with my phone’s mobile internet. It’s also nice that her Papa can check in on her, once in awhile during lunch breaks.”


“Our little daughter is growing up with her grandparents, close friends and family. Her Oma and Opa can sing her to sleep with old Dutch lullabies and read her bedtime stories. It’s like we’re all together even if they’re over 10,000 kilometers away. Gaby recognizes them, and smiles when she sees them. I’m glad that we live in this age, where technology can bridge such vast differences. Of course, nothing beats physical presence but this is the next best thing. We’re all together for especially during important milestones in her life. You should see them smile and giggle at each other. It’s priceless.”

Photo credits: Kathy Chua-Grimme




Philippine Association for Childbirth Education

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