Hands up if this sounds familiar. Tiny newborn, trying to establish breastfeeding, middle of the night: is that nappy the right colour?, how many wets today?, are they gaining weight? is the latch okay? should she be feeding this much? should I be waking him up?…” 3am, night light on, baby on boob, iPhone out, scouring baby forums to see if anyone has the answer to your question or trying to find the right information online but it’s never quite what you’re looking for…
This was me. I think it’s probably an awful lot of new mothers.
I’ve reviewed mum and baby apps before (here and here) but a new one popped into my inbox recently that I think you’ll want to hear about. It’s called NuuNest. It’s a newborn tracker app developed by two Canadian lactation consultants and I have to say, I’m giving it a big thumbs up.
What makes it so different from other baby trackers? It has proper, accurate, helpful advice that mothers actually need at their finger tips at the right time – not just on breastfeeding but also bottle feeding, expressing, storage, vitamin D, weight gain, nappy contents (I’ll come back to this one later), how breastfeeding affects your periods and a really good section about mama’s wellbeing.
From a breastfeeding perspective, NuuNest follows the WHO’s Baby Friendly Guidelines and offers very clear, simple information without cute puns, metaphors and absolutely no booby traps. Here’s what I mean:
You may have wondered why there is no timer in this app. The best way to tell if your baby is getting enough milk is to watch the baby, rather than the clock. Babies have different personalities and the way they feed is often a reflection of this”
“A mom’s nipples should look longer and round after a feed. If the nipple is shaped like a tube of new lipstick, baby needs to latch deeper”
“Breast milk resembles skim milk. It is thin and watery looking. It may have a blue or yellowish tint”
“The amount of milk you are able to pump is not an indicator of how much milk you are producing. The baby is much more efficient at getting milk from the breast than a pump.”
“It is normal to get less milk when you express in the late afternoon or evening as opposed to early morning”
Now, to the breastfeeding-initiated, these might all seem like pretty obvious things but for those just beginning their mothering journey and either thinking about breastfeeding or just in those early precious days with a newborn, this is exactly the kind of information you need.
But what really sold me – and you’ll probably think that I’m half cracked – is the information on nappy contents (diapers). The What to Expect section has real, honest to God, photographs of different kinds of poo. Sorry if I’m coming over all Gillian McKeith here on you but I have such distinct memories of holding books reading what a nappy should look like in one hand while balancing a dirty one in the other thinking “is that mustardy, is it seedy, is there cottage cheese in there, what?”. In this case, a picture literally tells a thousand words. Mums to be who are reading this and recoiling, mark my words, you’ll remember this and wish you had pictures!
NuuNest provides short snippets of information on topics and then provides links to external websites for additional reading. Online breastfeeding websites are sourced from North America and include The Canadian Ministry of Health in British Columbia’s website The Best Chance, Breastfeeding Matters Saskatoon, KellyMom (my own personal favourite) and Jack Newman, but the vast majority of the advice linked to is universal to all mothers. As I reviewed the app, I was initially sceptical of all this external linking – albeit to excellent, evidence based information – but then it started to make perfect sense to me. The app provides you with what you need to know NOW and then the links provide you with further reading from the right sources when you’re hands aren’t so full later.
The All About Mom section covers emotions, nutrition, breasts, nipples, afterpains, perenium care, post-partum blood flow, bowels, bladder, swollen feet, C-section self care, sex, exercise and fatigue – basically all of the stuff that makes you wince when you think about it but you really need to know!
From a personalisation perspective, once you add your new baby’s details such as date of birth, weight etc, the app provides top tips based your baby’s stage and needs, and helps you track breastfeeds, formula feeds, expression, vitamin D doses and nappies.
I used the What To Expect baby tracker app myself at the time, which I’ve reviewed here before, but I’ll be using my NuuNest if there’s a next time. Going against it is the price, which clocks in at €4.99/$4.99 compared to a huge selection of apps out there that you can download for free. But if you’re pregnant and planning to breastfeed, this app is definitely an investment worth making. It would also be a lovely addition to a gift for a new mother in the shape of an iTunes gift card.
NuuNest is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. It requires iOS 5.0 or later and is optimised for iPhone 5. You might also be interested in visiting the blog of NuuNest creators Cindy and Jana where you’ll find buckets of really helpful breastfeeding and new baby articles.
Note: NuuNest have supplied me with a complementary version of the App for the purposes of review. As always, my opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.