5 Apps for first time parents

I will not rely on my smart phone. I will not rely on my smart phone. I will not rely on my smart phone.

Are you like me? Always trying to put down the bloody smartphone!

I’ll admit it - becoming a stay-at-home mum has definitely taken my smart phone usage to a whole new level. I try to leave it at home, I try to keep it in the living room at night time and I try not to check my social media feeds 10 billion times a day. Regardless, if I’m completely honest, it really is attached to my hand a lot more often than I’d care to admit.

It’s not all bad. My phone has kept me sane during my son’s crazy growth spurts, where I am literally stuck on the couch with a baby at my breast all night. It’s kept me up-to-date with the outside world while I’m at home and it’s also allowed me to create and share my own digital content, which is the industry I used to belong to a life ago.

More importantly, I’ve discovered some really handy apps that have actually aided me in my parenting. Check them out.

 
 

The Wonder Weeks

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This app has taken the parenting community by storm. If you haven’t heard of it already, it is definitely worth discovering.

The Wonder Weeks app tracks your baby’s development and can sometimes provide answers to your baby’s grouchy moods by predicting stormy and sunny periods called “leaps”.

Simply type in your baby’s due date and the Wonder Weeks offers information to guide you through the different stages of your baby’s development. This way you’re able understand roughly what your child is discovering, feeling and learning.

Don’t take all the information as law because after all a baby will be a baby and sometimes they will be grouchy no matter what - but it sure is handy information to have.


Spotify

I want to tell you about how I found some amazing children’s song that instantly turns my son from a crying mess to a sleeping baby – but that just doesn’t exist.

I use Spotify for a plethora of reasons. Sure, I’ve got a children’s playlist or two, but where I find it helps the most is when I have a moment to myself. I might be totally relaxing, I might be cleaning, or I might be exercising. But listening to a selection of easy listening songs is just another way to get me to breathe slowly, take in the day and relax.

I can’t recommend that enough.


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Breastfed NZ

You’ll have heard it said that fed is best, regardless of breastmilk or formula. While I do agree with this, I think that women have this amazing resource that, quite frankly, isn’t given nearly enough credit.

What it ISN’T is easy.

I know there are reasons women can’t breastfeed, and I know it’s not for everyone, but for those who do want to breastfeed, there’s just not enough support or education out there about the way breastfeeding works. It’s not a skill you learn straight off the bat!

I would have given up myself I think if it wasn’t for the advice from my mum (who breastfed six children) and if it wasn’t for the information provided on the app, BreastFedNZ.

This informational app is written by a group of New Zealanders and has everything you ever needed to know about breastfeeding.

Worried about low supply? Look on the app. Has a weird lump developed? Look on the app. Wondering how to breastfeed twins and multiples? Yep, that’s on the app too. They even have a space for dads to read – how about that!?


YouTube

You probably already have and love this app on your phone – so there’s really no need for me to explain how it works.

I’ve recently used this app to play videos of white noise when out and about. If my baby suddenly totally loses it, I can put my phone in the pram or car seat. With a bit of white noise and motion, he calms down and/or falls to sleep in no time at all.

I’ve also recently learnt a couple of songs in Mandarin from videos on YouTube. They’re basic children’s songs, but I’ve absolutely loved learning them and singing them to Ashton. One of my mandarin friends said I sounded fluent after hearing me sing them to my son.

Thanks YouTube!


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Cloud Baby Monitor

This is a fairly new addition to my list of favourite parenting apps (in fact, I may have discovered it while researching for this post!). Cloud Baby Monitor is exactly what it says it is.

All you need is a couple of Apple or Android devices (such as a tablet or smartphone) to download the app on to. One stays in the baby’s room and one stays by your side. Ta-da! You have an instant baby monitor that provides video and audio of your sweet little angel.

I love this app currently because I have developed severe trust issues regarding my current baby monitor. My sister gifted it to me second hand, which was great, but I think it may be time to part ways with it.

One time I thought I was listening to the white noise I’d kept on in my baby’s room, when in actual fact I was listening to static on the monitor while my baby cried his eye’s out downstairs. Poor thing!

And just recently I went to turn the baby monitor on only to find it almost burning up at the plug. It was so hot. I can’t bear the thought of it catching fire, so goodbye baby monitor, hello Cloud baby app!


So it’s not a long list, and yes it is a pretty basic list, but basic is what I have found to have really helped. I downloaded a tonne of other apps like baby trackers, routine keepers, baby food ideas – but I just haven’t got the use out of them.

Have I missed your favourite app? Let me know – I’m always open to new ones!