Do you ever feel like it’s so hard to keep up with everything while being a parent or pregnant? I know I certainly do. While I try to minimize the amount of time I’m in front a screen, there are definitely some benefits to using technology to help make life a little easier. Below are a few of the apps that I like to use to do just that.
What to Expect. You have probably heard of the book “What to Expect While You’re Expecting.” But did you know that there is also an app? While I was pregnant, I loved seeing approximately how big my baby was and the various things that were taking place in her development. I also enjoyed reading the various articles on helpful tips and tricks while pregnant. This app is also a great place to be part of a community such as other parents who are due around the same time as you or live in a particular geographical region as you. There are many other groups as well and it’s a good place to ask questions. However, always remember that it should not replace the advice of your medical provider.
Peanut. Peanut is like Tinder for moms who want to meet other moms. You can create a profile and look at profiles of other mothers. If you see one that you’re interested in, you swipe up and if you’re not interested, you swipe down. If you swiped up and the other person did too, you will see that you are both matched. There are also forums where you can ask questions and even do so anonymously.
Contractions Timer. This app is great to see how your contractions are progressing. If you’re going to a hospital, the recommendation is to go when your contractions are 5 minutes apart, last for 1 minute, and that goes on for 1 hour, also known as 5-1-1. If you’ve read my birth story, you know that never happened with me. My contractions continued to get closer together and more intense so we went ahead and left for the hospital. Thankfully we did because Margaux arrived 20 minutes after we got to the hospital. This is not typical of a mother in labor for the first time but having the contraction timer definitely helped me to see just how quickly I was progressing.
Glow Baby. This app is great for keeping track of feedings, sleep, diaper changes, and pumping. In the beginning, it is recommended to feed on demand but the app allows you to see the patterns of how often and for how long your baby eats. You can designate whether you give a bottle of formula, breast feed, or give solids. Tracking when baby sleeps and for how long is also good. If you need to set a schedule, you will be able to see when the best time to feed them and lay them down to sleep. When I was breastfeeding, I liked that I could see which breast Margaux used last so that I could offer the other one. I also liked seeing when I pumped last. It’s so easy to forget. With the diaper changes, it’s good to see how often your baby has a wet diaper to make sure they are hydrated and well fed. You can also see if your baby might be constipated if they haven’t had a bowel movement in a while. The paid version of this app gives you access to more advanced tracking features, weekly reports, and unlimited caregivers. I recommend trying the free version first and if you find that you are consistently using it, consider upgrading to the premium version. The developer of this app also has other apps that help track fertility, pregnancy, and your period.
White Noise. Babies love white noise and it can help them to settle down or go to sleep. This app has a variety of different sounds and there are new sounds that you have access to every week. This app is part of our night time routine and we use it every single time. The paid version gives you access to more sounds and you can also create a playlist. I am personally fine with the free sounds that are offered so I didn’t upgrade.
Baby Sparks. It can be a challenge finding developmentally appropriate activities to do with your child. The free version of this app gives you access to 2 activities every day and you can also keep track of your baby’s milestones. The paid version gives you access to more content but I recommend starting with the free version first. If you find that you are consistently using the app, then consider paying for the upgraded version.
What to Expect. I also included this app in the Pregnancy section but I also use it as a parent for many of the same reasons. I enjoy seeing the different milestones I can look forward to as my baby develops. It’s also nice to see in the forums that other parents are going through similar situations and you can read what some parent’s solutions are.
Peanut. Again, I included this app in the Pregnancy section as well but if you didn’t read it there, Peanut is like Tinder for moms who want to meet other moms. You can create a profile and look at profiles of other mothers. If you see one that you’re interested in, you swipe up and if you’re not interested, you swipe down. If you swiped up and the other person did too, you will see that you are both matched. There are also forums where you can ask questions and even do so anonymously. At the time of this writing, Covid-19 is still a big issue when it comes to meeting people in person but I hope once this settles down, that I will be able to meet other moms for play dates.
I hope you find some of these apps to help you in your parenting or pregnancy journey. Please always remember that the advice of your medical provider is always best.
What apps do you like to use? If you use any of the apps above, what are your thoughts?