Let's face it being a new mom - or even doing it a second or third time round - is really tough. It can be so overwhelming keeping track of everything or even just squeezing a daily shower in for that matter! There are also just so many things to think about: from feeding... to burping, changing, sleeping and milestones.
I found it very handy to have a few apps on my phone for quick snippets of information at my fingertips, because truth be told... I only made it to chapter three of "Baby Sense" before my little bundle of joy arrived... and having magazines torn up by my toddler can be fun (and doing it with him quite liberating actually), but expensive books... not so much!
That said, the baby-app market is so saturated and wading through the good ones can be very time-consuming, while trying to keep a newborn baby alive. So which ones should you pick? Which ones will be most helpful?
Here's my list of the 5 best apps baby apps for parents:
1. Glow Baby Newborn Tracker
Before I found Glow Baby, I downloaded Glow Ovulation, Period Tracker which was great for monitoring ovulation. I really wanted to have a boy, so tracking when I was ovulating was vital... especially for my husband who's terrified of having a baby girl!
There are many old wives’ tales that claim to help you conceive a baby boy. Many have no scientific backing. However, some techniques may improve your chances of having a boy and even have scientific evidence to back them up... but this is a conversation for a whole new blog post!
Nothing could have quite prepared us for what was to come though, like Glow Nurture! It integrates The Day-By-Day Pregnancy Book I had bought almost perfectly and was much easier to read off my phone than trying to balance the book on my side while scoffing down a packet of Nik Naks!
But Glow Baby is NEXT LEVEL! They collaborate with 411 - the renowned book for new parents - to provide daily articles, clear answers and smart advice to help you get through the first 100 Days of Darkness and your baby's first year. You can track your baby's feeds, nappy changes (it EVEN goes into great detail on colour and consistency), sleep and even times breastfeeding/expressing. A very useful chart will even help you figure out a routine.
On Premium, you can add caregivers and track everything from your app, which equates to an amazing tool for checking in on your nanny and hubby on Mamma's Day Out… without actually checking in!
Glow Baby is not just a useful app for monitoring feeds, changes and sleep; it is an encouraging and supportive community. You can even check and track your baby's developmental milestones... that brings me to one of my favourite apps.
2. BabySparks - Development App
BabySparks includes over 1300 activities to do with your growing baby and helps to understand whether they are meeting their developmental milestones. It gives you a customisable program to support your baby's unique developmental needs. It doesn't just go through the ropes... it teaches your baby LIFE SKILLS!
The best part: it helps you track learning with your baby in an educational but super fun way, and build quality time into your busy schedule. I don't have time after a busy day at work to open up a manual and work through diagrams #businessmom #momentrepeneur. BabySparks provides short, entertaining video clips of each activity to ensure you understand exactly what to do and a daily program designed to address ALL critical areas of development: from speech, to cognitive, gross and fine motor, and social-emotional skills.
The activities are not only customisable by age, as you work through the daily programs with your baby, the app acknowledges your baby's specific adeptness to comprehend and master skills. Every baby is different and reaches milestones at different times. This app caters for the uniqueness of your baby just perfectly and provides personalised reports summarising your baby's weekly progress.
3. The Wonder Weeks
This is going to sound dramatic, but The Wonder Weeks saved my husband and I! It helped us survive those difficult developmental stages in our baby's growth. It describes what you are going through with your baby to the T, helps you understand what to look out for and prepares you for the trying times. I like to think of it as my Leap personal trainer and coach! It helps you get clued up into what your baby is going through from THEIR PERSPECTIVE.
I remember those first few days home as if they were yesterday. He would look at me with this estranged glare as if to say: "Where am I, who ARE you?” It took A LOT of patience to build up his trust and was NOTHING I had imagined bringing my newborn home would be.
Wonder Weeks is modelled on the bestselling book with the same title. It gives you a quick glimpse into what you can expect during each fussy phase, and really helped me to psychologically prepare myself! It conveniently links up to your calendar to warn you of the times ahead, helps you plan your life around them and even gives the option of purchasing entire chapters of the book to read off your phone at just R14,99 per chapter - cheaper than buying the whole book on TakeAlot… which you will probably never get around to opening any way. I like to read the chapter ahead of time while getting in some cycling at gym.
4. Kinedu: Baby Development App
Kinedu is another great development-tracking app. It is, in my view, a bit pricey as compared with BabySparks, but is great for getting some extra activity ideas tailored to your baby's age.
Much like BabySparks it will assist you with teaching your baby tailored skills that will boost your baby's development and help you bond. I really love their Instagram feed, with funny quotes to brighten up even the darkest days with a chuckle!
It also focuses on the 4 major growth areas: cognitive, physical, linguistic and social-emotional development. The daily activities are recommended, again, based on your child's specific needs and it includes short, fun videos that demonstrate each activity and help you teach your baby through play.
5. Baby Story - Pics Editor
Last, but definitely not least: Baby Story! So... I may not have "time" to have a shower or take my dogs out for a walk... but yes, there are HUNDREDS of daily photos of my baby on my phone! Capturing every precious moment and savouring it... going back to it after a few months and remembering the beautiful memories we made together is priceless!
Baby Sparks turns your moments into lasting memories. It transforms your pregnancy, baby and milestone photos into beautiful visual stories which you can share on Glow Newborn and flip through when nostalgic about just how quickly time flies. There are so many cute designs, fonts and artwork to choose from and it is super quick and easy to use. I've tried dozens of similar apps but nothing quite compares to this one!
What are your favourite baby and toddler apps? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share them here!