April 08, 2015

Five Favorite Apps for New Mamas

I know our mothers and grandmothers survived being mothers without the technology we have today, but I have to say that I have really appreciated some of the apps I've been able to use as a new mom. I thought I'd share some of them and what I like about them, especially because I know quite a few other new mamas right now. All of the apps I'm listing are Android apps. Not sure if they're available for the iphone.

  Feed Baby Pro
I started out with just the Feed Baby Free and upgraded when the free trial of the paid app expired. I honestly don't remember why I felt the need to upgrade, but I think the paid app was $1.99. I have found this app incredibly useful, especially in the beginning. I remember coming home from the hospital and thinking, "If I'm feeding on demand, why do I even need to keep track of feedings." I quickly learned how important it was, at least for me. This app can keep track of almost any information you put into it; feedings, pumping sessions, diaper changes, sleep, baths, medications, and growth. It also has a section where you can journal. I use it mainly to keep track of feedings and sleep.


You can use it on multiple devices and sync them together. I use it on my phone and my Nook tablet. In the picture above, I hadn't hit the sync button, so it hadn't pulled the info from my phone which is why it says that it had been 126 hrs. since the last feeding. :) But you can see that it helps me keep track of which side I last fed from, how long each feeding was, and how long it has been since the last feeding. The buttons at the top allow you to enter different types of feeds; left breast, right breast, bottle, and solids.
It also give you some useful summaries. I can see how long he has fed throughout the day. I like that because I can see when growth spurts have started (feed times double) and also get an idea as to whether or not he will wake up in the night to eat (if he spends less than an hour and half eating right now, I can be pretty sure he'll wake up in the night to eat).
Right now, I use this page a ton. It's basically a timeline of whatever options you want to put in. This was really helpful as I tried to get Cai on a napping schedule. You can see that right now, most days he takes three naps. He goes down for the first between 8:30 and 9:30, the second between 12:00 and 1:00 and the last between 3:00 and 4:00. You can also see that some days I don't keep perfect track, or we are out and about and our routine gets a little messed up. 

This app has a lot more uses than what I use it for, and I highly recommend it, especially for first time moms. Although I didn't use it for keeping track of diaper changes, I can see how it would be extremely helpful in the beginning (especially for breastfeeding mamas when you can't see how much milk baby is getting) so you can see that baby is having enough output and getting enough food.

White Noise Baby

I only used this app for a short time when Cai was a newborn, but it was helpful. I used the doppler ultrasound option and would put it on at nap times. It helped disguise any loud or sudden noises. I also used it overnight when we had friends or family with children spend the night in hopes that it would disguise any crying the other children might do in the middle of the night. It has a good variety of noises. I didn't bother getting the paid version of this app because the free was enough.
It also has a baby mode which is basically like airplane mode on your phone, so that baby doesn't get woken up by texts, phone calls, etc. Oh, and I never used it, but it has a "rattle" button so that baby can use your phone as a rattle. Crazy. 


The Wonder Weeks App

I only recently discovered this app when it was recommended to me, and I wish I had gotten it earlier. I think I paid like two dollars for it. Basically, it's based on the book The Wonder Weeks, and it tells you when (based on your baby's due date) you can expect fussiness due to your baby making a "leap" which is basically a jump in cognitive ability. Cai is currently in his fourth leap, and he definitely became more fussy almost on cue when the leap started. I'm anxious to see how he changes when this leap is over.

It gives tips on ways to help your baby through the leap as well as what abilities your baby will probably gain by the end of the leap. It's pretty cool.
You can see Cai is 18 weeks past his due date and has six days left in this leap.

Cozi
I think I've talked about Cozi on the blog before, but I love the calendar, to do list, and shopping list functions of this app. I use the free version, but you can subscrive and upgrade to Gold for a monthly fee. I can schedule appointments, mark them as for me, Steve, or all of us, and even set it up to text us a reminder from an hour to a week before the appointment. I can also create a shopping list, and Steve can access it from his phone, which is super convenient because he manages a grocery store. I use it even more now that we have Cai because otherwise I would not be able to keep track of all of our appointments (I missed one of my doctor's appointments in the beginning), and I need reminders--so does Steve! 

Groovebook

I LOVE this app! If you watch Shark Tank, you've seen heard about this app. The creators just made a deal with Shutterfly for like 17 million dollars! Basically, it's a photo subscription service. or $2.99 a month you can choose 100 photos from your phone and they will be printed in the perfect size for cell phone photos in a little paper back album, with perforation so that you can easily tear out the photos. You can pick which photos and how many copies of each one you want. You have all month to upload them and make changes. If you have more than 100 photos that month (a problem I've been having because of all the pictures I take of Cai), you can close the book early and get charged an extra $2.99 that month. If you don't upload a full 100 photos, they will send you double copies of some of yours to fill up your full 100. You can even send extra Groovebooks to family and friends. The albums are super cute too, although I tear mine out and put them in Cai's baby album or our family photo album. It's so nice to be able to get all of those photos off of my phone. 



Basically these apps cover all of the important things for me right now (or in the first few weeks with a baby); feeding, sleeping, surviving, organizing, and recording all of the awesome memories!

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