I don’t know about you but I always have my iPhone within arm’s reach. It’s a desperate state of affairs really. On the rare occasions that I’ve managed to leave the house without it, it’s like I’m missing a limb. I sat on the bus the other day wondering what I should do to pass the time when the 3G network went down! And to think only a few short years ago, I used to threaten my husband that his love for his smartphone could be the end of us. His solution of course was to buy me one. I shut up fairly lively then. He’s like my crack dealer 🙂
Of course an iPhone is nothing without its Apps and I thought I’d share a few of my favourite parenting-related ones.
Okay, I am not the biggest fan of the What To Expect series of books. The pregnancy manual is useful for a quick reference guide to explaining aches and pains etc but the advice is very medicalised and weighs heavily on the side of interventionalist birth. The baby’s first year book is just a fright from start to finish. It gives appalling breastfeeding advice, questionable sleep training tips and tells you what your baby should be doing by each month.
ALL THAT SAID, they make good Apps!
The pregnancy one lets you pop in your estimated due date and gives you that whole cute fruit size thing as your baby grows. Personally, I loved the daily countdown – particularly when it got down to double digits and then single ones. It also gives you a weekly and daily update on your body and your baby which is lovely to read. A few of the daily entries about diet and exercise are just ludicrous but you can overlook those.
I found the WTE Baby App absolutely fantastic in the first few weeks when Pip was born. It helps you track breastfeeding (and bottle) feeds – which boob, for how many minutes, the gap between feeds – dirty/wet nappies and naps. When you’re just getting the hang of things, it’s great to just tap in the details and have it all recorded there for you, particularly if you have a midwife or public health nurse looking for specific details about nappy content and how many minutes the baby fed on each boob. It’s also handy to keep track of late night feeds. After a month or so when things have settled down and you’re not driving yourself crazy counting and measuring things, you won’t need it any more but it’s a handy little thing at the start. (Although a friend of mine was telling me that she witnessed a nurse manager on the post-natal ward shouting at a new mum for paying more attention to her texting than to her new baby when in fact the poor woman was just tracking her feeds! Madness! But that’s a post for another day…)
Both What to Expect Apps are available free for iPhone and Android.
Labor Mate contraction timer
I am very, very fond of this App. It’s just a simple stopwatch really where you tap the screen as a contraction starts and tap it again when it ends. As your labour progresses it tells you how long each contraction is and how far apart they are so there’s nobody messing around with a pencil and paper trying to subtract minutes and seconds. It also records the time, lets you add notes to each contraction if you wish and you can switch to other applications on your phone while it keeps going in the background. What I really liked about it was that there was no precision required on my part. In the height of my labour before the midwife arrived, I could just wave my hand in the general direction of the phone to start the timer and the same to stop it. I have a memory of me hanging off the kitchen counter doing exactly that. It does other freaky social media things like email your contraction log to people or posts updates to Twitter and Facebook. I couldn’t imagine anything more horrific but to each their own! It was lovely too a few weeks later to be able to look back and review the progression of my labour.
Labor Mate is only available for iPhone and iPod Touch and costs €0.79 or $0.99
The wonder weeks
I haven’t used this App myself but it was recommended to me recently and I kind of wish I had it at the time! Basically, this one gives you the heads up on when growth spurts and developmental leaps are due to happen. I”m fairly sure knowing this in advance and being prepared for the manic feeding sessions and broken nights might have helped to keep me sane when I thought I was losing my mind. Have you used this one?
The wonder weeks is available on both iPhone and Android for €1.79 or $1.99
Are there any parenting Apps that you’d recommend? I’m not a fan of the trying to conceive ones because I think they’d add to the anxiety of all for me but maybe they worked for you?