As a new parent (or even as one who’s been there and done it before) there are so many things to think about: feeding, burping, changing, sleeping, milestones, baby groups… the list is endless.
Sometimes, it’s handy just to have an app (or ten!) for quick snippets of information at your fingertips. (Because let’s face it, you only made it to chapter three of ‘Parenting For Dummies’ before your little bundle of joy arrived, and you’ve pretty much forgotten everything you read anyway! Or was that just me?!)
That said, the baby-app market is pretty saturated. There’s an app for everything nowadays. So which should you choose? Which will be most helpful?
Here’s my guide to the top-ten baby apps for new parents. I hope it’s useful!
My Baby Today
If you’ve ever found Babycentre.co.uk useful with all its guides, hints and tips, then this app will probably come in handy too.
It’s free and offers a range of daily advice guides on your child’s development and milestones. It even has videos to make things clearer.
As much as we know that every baby is different, I did find it useful having something to give me a rough idea of what might happen when!
As it’s connected to the Baby Centre website and forum, it was also great to be able to connect with other parents. Whatever question or concern I may have had, I realized I was never the only one!
This was actually one of my favourites! It’s basically an app which allows you to record photographs of your little one each day.
Sounds simple, but when it really came into its own was the ability to share the images with family or friends. My husband and I had made the decision not to post our little boy on social media, so it was great to give close relatives the link to our TinyBeans account as they could still share in his day-to-day goings on without all the world being able to see.
This would be especially great for families who are spread further apart- even internationally! And I know how much is made my grandmother’s day each morning when our little boy’s smiley face popped up on her screen!
The app is free with the option of in-app add-on purchases, although we’ve never bothered with these. We were also able to use to app to print a photobook of our little boy’s first year, without the hassle of trawling through a gazillion photos on our iPhones!
Breast Feeding Friend
This free app was a God-sent to me as first-time breatsfeeding mom. It allows you to keep track of each feed: the times, how long, which side- everything!
There are quite a few apps out there that will do this for you and perhaps to a second-time mom it may not be necessary. But at least for the first few months I was so glad I had this to keep track of things- especially for those bleary-eyed 1am feeds (and 3am and 5am!)
Download for iOS.
Annabel Karmel’s Recipes
I absolutely loved this app when my little boy started solids at around 6 months. It costs around $4 and was really easy to use.
The recipes are grouped by age (just like Annabel Karmel’s recipe books) so you know you introducing foods at appropriate points in your child’s weaning development.
What’s also great is that it allows you to add ingredients to create a shopping list and a meal planner for the week. This made the trip to the supermarket a whole lot easier!
The only one thing to note is that the salt and sugar added to the recipes is not always necessary. Which? Nutritionist and food expert Shefalee Loth points out that the recipes are good for the most part, but that these two ingredients can be removed.
Babycentre provide a good on which foods to avoid with your little ones.
This app was actually recommended to me by a friend, and it has certainly got us out of a few sticky situations in the past!
This app helps you find all the places with baby-changing facilities in town, which is super handy if you’re travelling or away from home.
It also scores each place with a cleanliness rating, so you can be sure that you and baby will both be happy and comfortable.
Even better, users can also add their own ‘pins’ to highlight any new baby-changing facilities they find. So with an ever-growing list of locations, we’re guaranteed never to be caught short!
White Noise Baby
This app was an absolutely life-saver where sleep was concerned! Motherandbaby.co.uk explain how white noise can help your baby to sleep.
This app was certainly not a miracle cure for night wakings, (and especially not where teething was concerned!) but is definitely helped us all get a little more sleep. That’s priceless, so at only £0.99, I wasn’t complaining!
The idea is that the repetitive, background noise will not only be soothing for your baby but will also help cover other noises which may otherwise disturb them. This app provides plenty of choices including car ride, ocean sounds, air conditioning and even an option designed to replicate the sounds inside the womb!
The latest version even has an event log so that you can track the disturbances to your child’s sleep if you’re trying to trying to detect a pattern.
Baby Monitor 3G
When baby has finally drifted off to sleep, it can be tempting to want to check-in on them every five minutes: Are they too hot? Too cold? Have they kicked their blanket off? Are they in a sleep safe position? Does their diaper need changing? The list is endless!
This app means that you can keep an eye on your little darling without the need to spend a fortune on an expensive video baby monitor. Using just two smartphones, tablets or computers which you already have in the house, you can create a video monitor to observe your little one while they sleep. (Or in the case of sleep training- while they don’t sleep!)
With already over 1 million users, and costing only £3.99 on IOS or Android, this is a must-have for peace of mind!
As much as no app can replace the advice of a qualified doctor, this is a really handy tool to have close at hand.
It provides lots of useful and valuable information on your baby’s health, linked from the WebMD website. The beauty of this site is that the information it includes has been approved by doctors.
When I was sure my little boy had croup, this app pretty much confirmed it for me by listing the symptoms. That said, it’s important not to self-diagnose to the point of working yourself up into a panic or (even worse) not visiting the doctor because your app has told you not to worry!
You should always trust your instincts and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you have any concerns always contact your doctor. The NHS 111 telephone service in the UK is also a great way to check whether your little one needs looking over or not.
Another travel-linked app (kind of!) Fisher-Price produce a whole host of apps (some of them free) which can entertain your little one.
They range from baby-aimed apps with moving shapes, colours and animals, to apps more suited to toddlers young children.
Although I don’t advocate sitting your child in front of a screen for hours every day (you can read about research into screen time and babies here) it was pretty helpful to kill 20-minutes on the airplane with a bored little boy!
They’re lots of fun and are based on learning concepts. Just use in moderation with toddlers and maybe as a last resort for babies!
Perhaps the person we always forget to think about when caring for a newborn, is ourselves.
Parenting (whether you’re a first, second or third time parent!) is a tough gig, and many parents confess to struggling through this wonderful but tiring time. Post-partum depression is a huge issue for many moms and dads.
This is where Talkspace comes in. The app will connect you with a licensed therapist. Talking to a therapist is always helpful, and this app will help connect you with one from your own home.
If you’ve not quite managed to get out of your pyjamas today (and we’ve all been there!) then this could be the perfect solution!
Which apps have helped you through the first year of parenthood?