When it comes to having children, things have changed a bit over the last several decades—even over just the last few years. “Back in the day,” parents-to-be waited until birth to find out the gender, relied on good old-fashioned printed photos and actually went to a store for diapers, wipes and groceries. Life is vastly different now, especially with the introduction of the ever popular application software, more commonly known as the “app.” Apps are an extremely useful tool for everyday life, as well as for first-time parents. Check out what you might be missing!
White Noise Baby: With more than one million downloads, this app is sure to be a hit when it comes to helping your baby fall asleep or relax—maybe even for you too, sleep deprived mama! This app features 20 ambient sounds, such as hairdryer, vacuum, heartbeat and water, plus 10 classical music tracks. While the app comes highly rated (even by Katie Couric), many say your phone cannot be used while the app is playing, which can be an inconvenience. Cost: free for Android, $0.99 for iOS
Total Baby: Features of this app include logging diaper changes, nursing or pumping sessions, bottles and solid foods, sleep and baths. As an added bonus, the app also includes specialized features like logging doctor visits, vaccinations, milestones, etc. Micala, a first-time Lenexa mom, says, “My mom made fun of me for using this (app), but it really helped me stay sane and keep track of sleeping, feedings and diapers. I used it for over 6 months.” Cost: free for Android, $4.99 for iOS
Baby Connect: Similar to Total Baby, this comprehensive app allows you to log all the necessary information for you and Baby, such as nursing and feedings, diapers, sleep and naps, milestones, etc. It comes complete with graphs, reports, timers, reminders, alarms…you name it, this one has it! Andrea, first-time Kansas City mom of twins, shares, “Amazing and seamless for twins. We tracked all breastfeeding and pump sessions for a long time. And our daycare had it, so it all synced. We love, love, love it!!!” And don’t worry, if you ever lose or change your phone, you still can access all of your stored information from the website! Cost: $4.99 for Android and iOS
WebMD Baby: Another highly popular choice, this app not only has all the features like Total Baby or Baby Connect, but also gives you helpful information for each week of your child’s development for the first two years. Plus you will have access to medically approved information in the form of articles, tips and videos. This app also syncs across devices. Cost: free for Android and iOS
Google Photos: You are going to take more pictures and videos than you know what to do with, so the conversation is real about how and where you store it all. Google Photos is the perfect answer, because photo and video storage is UNLIMITED! So what are you waiting for? Start snapping! Cost: free for Android and iOS
Day One Journal: This app is new to me but sounds interesting to try! Day One is a day-to-day journal app where you can record everyday happenings and special moments by adding up to 10 photos, as well as journal entries. Bonus? All the entries can be exported and printed off for posterity! Cost: $4.99 for iOS
23 Snaps or Tinybeans: How do you share all the wonderfully cute and fun pictures of your children and family with loved ones? Why, with one of these apps! Both of these are private family photo sharing apps, where you can share photos, videos and stories with loved ones. Only the people you approve can view your family photo album, keeping it completely private and secure. Even better, if loved ones don’t have smartphones, they easily can keep up to date online or via email! While I have not used either of these, I think I’ll definitely be checking them out! Cost: free for Android and iOS
Amazon: If Amazon isn’t already on your device, it needs to be! Shopping is at your fingertips, including convenient subscribe and save options for diapers, wipes and hundreds of other items. Simply choose the items to which you want to subscribe and then set your delivery frequency. Never worry about running out of diapers or wipes again! Amazon also offers Prime memberships, which run $10.99/month and offer many benefits, including two-day shipping, movies, books, unlimited photo storage and much more. Prime members also save 20 percent on diapers. Cost: free for Android and iOS
Facetime or Skype: You know everyone is going to want to get a glimpse of your new bundle, so be sure to have one of these installed and ready! We have family overseas, so this has been a great way for them to feel like they have met and “know” our little ones…as much as one can over a screen anyway! Cost: free for Android and iOS
Evernote: You can use Evernote a ton of ways, some quite a bit more complex than I need for my SAHM life, but I do love having this app. It really helps me stay a bit more organized and keep household papers at a manageable level. I use it to store all of my recipes (no more paper copies lying around!), business cards (I take a photo and upload it), gift ideas for family members, general information, manuals for household items (again, just simply upload these), ideas for projects I want to do, etc. The possibilities are truly endless! Cost: free for Android and iOS
There you have it! The job of being a parent to a new baby is hard enough. Do think about trying at least one or two new apps to see whether they will make your life a tiny bit easier…you might be surprised!
Julie Collett writes from her home in Overland Park, where her 5-, 3- and 2-year-olds keep her on her toes daily—so apps to help streamline life are a must!
As always, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns.