OK, I admit it…I love my iPhone. I probably spend way too much time on it, and now I have a baby I spend even more time on it (that doesn’t sound right does it??!!). It’s all the useful, informative and connective Apps I have on it. In fact I think I’m absolutely reliant on my phone even more so now. I dont know how parents do it without a super smart phone because….
A. I have Parenting Information at my finger tips because I have no clue what that weird looking rash is or whether it’s normal for my milk to look like that.
B. Collecting data on my baby is easier because my brain is frazzled and I can’t remember how many poops my baby has done in 24hrs when the pediatrician asks me.
C. I can connect to my distant (even near) friends and family because they want to see Aviana’s progress (and plus chatting with other parents out there going through what we are helps a lot with the sanity!).
D. I can even find and hire a caregiver right from the comfort of my nursing chair.
E. I can order food, clothing and baby supplies because my baby is cluster feeding and I can’t leave the house today.
F. I save money with e-coupons and various store apps, because babies – they eat your money out of your wallet!!
So here are my favourite apps we have been using recently helping us as new parents!!
1. Baby Connect – $4.99
Chris and I both have this app installed on our phones. We can track:
- Food -what, when, how much, for how long
- Nappies/diapers – when, what and how much
- Sleep – times for how long
- Medical appointments – who, when, including calendar reminders, what happened, weight, length, head size.
- Medicine – what, how much, when, alarm til next dose
- Pumping – when, how long, how much
- Activities- e.g. Bath
- Milestones & mood – I haven’t used these so much but you can track when she fusses or when she lifts her head or smiles etc.
But the awesome thing is you get charts and timelines produced automatically for you…and if you know me you KNOW I LOVE data and charts.
The timeline feature helps you figure out any patterns in her sleep or feeds which is very useful if you are on demand feeding! (Look! If you see Aviana’s timeline below She has been getting into a routine at night the past week, it has been amazing!!!!)
It also charts out total time asleep, counts of diapers, total time nursing for how long on each breast Etc…anything data is collected on it can chart it.
Also gives a summary of the stats on weight, length and head size which can also be plotted against the expected data…(you can see here Aviana is catching up!!!)
Finally, here is what my main home screen looks like. I can quickly see how long it has been since the last feed and diaper change.
This Baby Connect App was really useful when the doctor wanted us to record poops and feeds in the first few weeks when Aviana was being closely monitored for weight gain because she was in the less than 1 percentile for weight when leaving the hospital. But then we discovered the sleep data was also useful too. Being able to sync between Chris and I is worth paying the extra $4.99. If our nanny was tech savvy I’d have her use it too (she records the basic info on a baby log sheet instead). Overall for this Baby Connect App I give 9/10!!!
2. What to Expect Pregnancy & Parenting – Free
I started using this App, amongst two others, for tracking my pregnancy week by week. I didn’t realise it would continue on after giving birth. It provides me with a week by week explanation of what is going on as my baby grows. It also gives 5-6 daily articles that are likely to be relevant to me at the time. These articles range from being informative to entertaining. Here is a sample of today’s articles. There are also a few sponsored articles in there too which occasionally grab my attention, but this means the app remains free so I like the way adverts aren’t pushed into my face.
You can see week by week a summary of how your baby is developing…and what to expect! Also gives articles and ads for products that may be useful around this time for baby and you.
There is also a community featur which I dont use because it is full of really DUMB questions. E.g. my baby is not breathing what do I do???! 🙄 OK that is extreme, but you get my gist. Also often full of judgemental mothers, and I dont have time for those kind of people. But each to their own, some people may find it useful or even better entertaining!
Overall, ever since I was pregnant I’ve opened this app almost everyday to get a piece of info, it’s now as routine as me opening BBC news app to catch up on what’s going on in the world, so it must be pretty good. I also like the way I didn’t have to install a new app once Aviana was born. So I give it a 8/10.
3. Ovia Parenting – Free
Similar to the what to expect App, I used the Ovia Pregnancy App to track my pregnancy. So I continued the with th parenting App. Unfortunately, I don’t think they have put as much effort into the Parenting app as they did the pregnancy one. This app provides-
- daily articles and tips relevant to your baby’s age
- Milestone checklist
- Community forum
Personally, I only use this for the articles, I open it every few days. I actually think Ovia has a lot to do to the app to make it as good as the pregnancy one. It looks swish, but functionality wise it’s got a way to go. So overall I give this a meager 5/10.
4. The Wonder Weeks – Free with in App purchases
This was recommended to me by my Doula. I had never heard about the wonder weeks (I wrote about it in my last post). Basically the App is based on the wonder weeks book. It gives a summary of when your baby will go through mental development leaps and what this will mean for your baby. It’s fascinating science!
This is the home page showing when your baby will go through the next leap and what that means.
It provides a timeline view of when to expect a leap…
And if you want to know more about the leaps, each leap has a bit of info in the App. Although the app is designed to accompany the boom, you can also download each chapter from the book relating to the leap you want to know more about for $0.99.
I downloaded the first leap chapter and wasn’t sure it was worth the money. It was mostly stories of other parents who had experienced the leap, so it can help you feel like you are not alone when going through the leap – it also helps you feel like this is normal and my baby won’t be like this forever!!! Plus helps you to understand what to expect from a parents perspective after the stormy period and the new things your baby can do after the leap.
I haven’t decided yet if I will just buy the book or keep downloading the chapters as I go. I want to see if it predicts the next second leap well and if the info is useful or not, then I might buy the book. But so far I’m impressed! Overall I give this app an 8/10.
5. BabyMusic – Free with in App purchases.
I love this App, but I only love the Free bit of it!!!! The free music is for engaging attention and curiosity. And Aviana loves it. I use it when we are in play time and I need a break from talking to her!!!
To unlock all the other music – creativity, restful sleep, calm baby down, stimulate the brain etc. costs $20.99. To download the individual categories is $1.99 each. I haven’t paid any money because I am using other free apps for other sleep type music. I hate that ads keep popping up too interrupting me when I want to start the music. But that’s what you get for free stuff I guess! Overall I give this App a 9/10 even though you have to pay for other music, I love the two free categories because Aviana loves them!!
6. SleepGenius Baby – Free
Two beautiful music sessions. 1.5hrs of nap time music and 1.5hrs of sleep time music. Nap time music is more nursery rhyme-ish but slow and peaceful. Sleep time music is more classical and peaceful.
Chris said he would listen to this at his desk at work to help relax or block out noise!!! I use this App whilst doing Aviana’s bath before bed and whilst she is having her last feed as a calming cue to bedtime. It is awesome. I give this App 10/10!
7. OrderUp – Free.
This App enables you to order take away/take out from your favourite restaurants and have it delivered direct to your door. For when you really can’t be bothered to cook because it’s been one of those long days looking after a newborn baby!!! (See wonder weeks!!!!)
I have a few more that I use -RelaxMelodies (white noise and other relaxing sounds), 23Snaps (photo sharing), Care.com (babysitter and nanny hiring), AmazingBaby (activities with baby), LeTote (clothing for hire). But Aviana is about to wake up so I’m in a hurry!
What other Apps do you use and recommend for parents?