Six apps for new parents we highly recommend
There are a few things that are essential to have on hand when you bring home a newborn—diapers, all-natural wipes (so many wipes!), cute little sleepers, a bassinet, etc. What I've also learned since bringing home baby is that there are a few essential apps that I wouldn't want to live without! And I can't thank modern technology enough for making these first few months of motherhood slightly more bearable.
Aside from Facebook Messenger's group chat feature (shout out to my mommy group, who have made me laugh when I have needed it most and also provided me with some very sage advice!), here are the six apps that I have found extremely useful and helpful when raising my little one.
The Wonder Weeks
A work pal recommended The Wonder Weeks when I was pregnant, and she was so right. TWW tracks baby's neurological developments, breaking each new stage into leaps while explaining what is going on in baby's brain as they grow. That little smile that made me cry at week 12 was part of my daughter's brain development. It's great to note these little milestones and to know when to expect them, but for me the best part was and is knowing when a leap is happening, because leaps generally come with fussy periods (think more tears, more feedings and a very clingy tiny human). Having this on hand has made me feel a little more in control of post baby-life and also reassured me that there is nothing wrong with my daughter when she goes through these fussy periods, which can last up to a week. Luckily I found the book that this app is based on in a free library in a friend's apartment building, but the app does the math for you, so you don't have to count the weeks if you don't want to, and, with so much information within the app, you don't have to buy the book if you're looking to be frugal. You can also track more than one child, which is good if you have twins or are planning on having another kid in the near future (more power to you!).
White Noise Baby
If you have limited space in baby's room or are looking to travel and you want one less thing to bring, the white noise app has you covered. Our wee one is a really good sleeper, but having this on hand for emergency situations (from hosting a 10 person dinner party to travelling overseas with a baby who requires some snooze help) is very important. Even better, it can also help you catch some zzz's while baby sleeps, just set it to car ride, conch shell or a classical music loop, whatever helps you both drift away.
Baby Sign and Learn
Our child is not quite there yet, but my husband and I fully intend to teach her how to use sign language so we can understand her before she can talk. Babies are great mimics, according to the app literature, so it should be easy to get her signing if we start showing her symbols around six months old. BSL is free for the basics and you can upgrade your app as you go along if your baby takes to signing and you want to continue.
Cloud Baby Monitor
Make travelling with a little one a little easier that first year and beyond by downloading the Cloud Baby Monitor, a super easy way to monitor bebe in another room, instead of lugging around a traditional monitor. All you need is two Apple products (an iPhone and iPad will do, or even an Apple Watch), download the app on both devices, and leave one device in the room with baby to listen in, see video and even talk to baby to soothe them.
Cloud Baby Monitor, $3.99 on iTunes
Cradle Baby Sleep Trainer
Unless your baby is a born sleeper, you're not likely to get a full, uninterrupted eight hours of sleep for a few months, even up to one year. And that's not considering the dreaded four-month sleep regression. To help parents get their bundles of joy to catch some regular zzz's, there's the Cradle app, which can track baby's eating and bathroom habits. But the main reason this app exists is to help get baby to sleep through the night. Flexible to each family's needs, you can create custom sleep plans for your baby starting at five months, see tips on how to teach them to self soothe and learn about baby's development as you go along.
Cradle Baby Sleep Trainer, $4.99 on iTunes
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding (please remember, fed is best!), it's helpful to have a tracker to remind you when it's time to feed. Sure, you may think that you'll remember when to feed them in three hours, but, trust me, time flies when you're focusing all your energy on that little being, so you'll want to have the assistance. It's really nice not to have to think too much sometimes!