Saturday Review: Apps for Newborns

These are some apps that have been really helpful for me with a new baby around 🙂

Baby Connect

I really enjoyed using this app in the first few weeks after Honor was born.  I don't use it quite as often now, but it still has really useful features I use frequently.

In the first few days I loved being able to track Honor's feeds – including which side she nursed on last.  I liked seeing how frequently she was nursing and for how long.

I also really liked tracking diapers – I could enter wet and poopy diapers, and I could change the phrasing if we'd caught a pee or poop in the potty.  I liked the graphs so I could see how she was eliminating overall.

I used the sleep tracking feature frequently because Honor was very sleepy – I wanted to be sure I was waking her to nurse.

The Medical section is great for tracking height, weight, etc. I tracked temperature in the first few days, and will use it again if she's ever sick.  All the medical stats can be graphed using either the WHO or CDC charts.  There is a place to chart medications and vaccines if you choose to use those.

There are many other features and you can sync child information with other caregivers.  A secure website lets others access the information online.  Pictures, notes, milestones, location, etc are all also possible to track.

The only big downside to this app is that the icon is a bottle!  Otherwise it's really fantastic 🙂

Get Baby Connect

WhiteNoise

This app was worth thousands of times its weight in gold in the first several weeks with Honor, and it still proves itself almost every time we get in the van.  The app has many, many different white noise options, and Honor really likes the “heavy rain” sound.  It really, really calmed her down in the early weeks, and it still works well in the van (she hates riding!)

If Honor was crying, turning on the rain white noise would calm her.  I'd just hold it close to her ear for minute so she can hear it and her crying calmed and stopped very quickly.

Like I said, I still use the app in the van and frequently at nap time.  It was also nice for me during pregnancy at nap time.  If I was having trouble sleeping my favorite white noise track was generally enough to calm my mind and help me drift off.  And for a grumpy baby, it's priceless!

Get WhiteNoise

Alarmed

Alarmed is probably the most used app on my phone.  It really is a mother's best friend.  You can set multiple alarms for anything you want.  You can set alarms that go off once – or set them up to repeat whenever you need them.

For instance, we were gifted three months of our local diaper service after Honor was born (thanks Daddy and Mom!) – pickup is every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning.  So I have an alarm that repeats each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning to remind me to set the diaper pail out on the front porch.

You can also set multiple count-down timers (so if you had two things going in the oven that needed to cook for different times, you could have a timer for each one).  And there's a wake-up alarm.

I love Alarmed.  Honor is doing much better with nursing now, but for awhile we were having a really hard time and she was really sleepy, so I used Alarmed to set up an alarm that went off every 45 minutes during the day to remind me to wake her to nurse for a few minutes.

There are tons of different sounds to choose from, so I have all of my alarms use a different sound.  In general I know which sound indicates which alarm.

You can also set alarms to nag you – that means go off every minute (or every hour) until you check it off.  I have a symphony of croaking frogs that goes off until I take my prenatal vitamins 😉  You can sleep an alarm if you can't get to the task right when the alarm goes off.

I can't say enough good stuff about this app!  Best of all it's free!  You can make an in-app purchase for some extra sounds.  I paid the .99 in-app just because it's so fantastic.  The developer deserves it!

Get Alarmed

Waterlogged

This is a very visually appealing app – I really like the way the water glass fills up as you drink water throughout your day.  As a pregnant or nursing mother it's important to remember to drink throughout the day.

You can set the unit of measure you want to use as well as the amount you're going for every day.  The default is 64oz but you can change that to fit what you're aiming for.

You can also take a photo of your favorite cup and add it to the container list, along with the amount of water it holds.  The app comes with a default 8oz and 16oz container.  Clicking on a container adds that total to your daily intake counter (you can also indicate if you've only had a portion of a glass).

There are some other tracking and advanced features in Waterlogged which can be activated via in-app purchase.  I haven't tried those because I feel that the basic interface is enough for my needs.  I think it's the most helpful in that it reminds me to keep drinking water throughout the day 🙂

Get Waterlogged

Grocery Gadget

Grocery Gadget took a little work to set up, but once I gave it the initial time it because a very valuable addition to my phone.  I've explored even more features recently and now really like.

There is a Lite edition and a paid addition, so you can try it before you buy it.  I liked it enough to get the paid addition.  There's also a web interface so you can edit your lists online, or another family member.

Grocery Gadget is most useful once you have your “regular” shopping list entered.  That's why it takes some time to set up initially – you need to put a list in.  But if you're like most people you tend to buy the same basic foods, just adding something new in for a recipe here and there.  So once you've gotten most of the foods you buy in, it becomes a snap.

You just set it to “Prepare” mode and enter in the quantities you want.  1 bunch of bananas, 2 heads of lettuce, 1lb of ground beef, etc.

When you get to the store, tap on “Shopping” mode and you have a list of check boxes ready for you!  What's really cool is that Grocery Gadget learns your store.  As you go through the store the first time the list is just in default order.  But as you tap to check your items off, Grocery Gadget remembers the order.  Next time you shop, it will order the items on your list in the order you checked them off before!  I love this because it makes it much less likely for me to get all the way through the store only to notice I forgot something in one of the first few aisles!

You can take a photo of an item and you can add in a price.  I like both of these features and have started using them more lately.  The price feature is great for two things – first, you can record a low price in there and know at a glance if a sale price is a good one or not.  Secondly, Grocery Gadget will tally prices in your list so you can have an overall idea of how much your shopping trip will cost.

I've used Grocery Gadget mostly for groceries thus far, and it has a huge database of groceries to pull from as you build your list.  You can also easily add new items, making it useful even if you have a special diet.  The paid version of the app lets you keep multiple lists, so you can have one for each store (I like this a lot, as we shop at a few different stores).

This app makes getting ready and shopping a snap, even while you've got a baby in a wrap on your front and you're chasing a toddler through the store!

Get Grocery Gadget

Camera

My phone is almost always near me, so I love the built-in camera app!  You really can't beat having a camera handy to capture all of those little moments with your baby.  You can also grab video if you have an iPhone 3GS or an iPhone 4 model.

There are many, many apps that let you play with the pictures you snap, adding colors, effects, black & white, sepia, etc.  A mama could really waste a lot of time embellishing her favorite pictures 😉 If that appeals to you check out the top sellers/freebies and play to your heart's content.

But if you just want to take tons of photos of your sweetie, the built-in camera app is great to have handy 😉

A Book App and a Video App

There are so many apps in the “reader” category and in the video category – your iPhone or iPad (or any smartphone or tablet!) comes with some by default.

The Youtube app is very useful if you like browsing Youtube and watching videos.  I like the additional video apps I have – the Netflix app lets me stream something from Netflix to my phone, and the VLC app lets me put my own video files on my device and play them.  There may be other apps like this one – I'm not sure if VLC is currently available on the App Store.

Videos are nice for watching while you're nursing your baby or if you're feeling under the weather and need something to do while you and baby are in bed :p  I've found it helpful here and there to have a video to watch… usually when I'm dealing with a sleepless baby 🙂

The book apps are great at many of the same times.  I find holding my phone while nursing Honor to be pretty easy to pull off, and I can easily “turn pages” by swiping my thumb.  I'm not sure how easy it would be to hold an iPad or tablet while nursing a baby, but the phone definitely works.  A long nursing session is a great time to get some reading in.  Many book apps are free – iBooks, Stanza, and the Kindle app are all great choices.  Zinio is a good app for reading your favorite magazines.  Just add your books or magazines to these apps and read!

About the author 

Kristen

Kristen is childbirth educator, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! She has spent years helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Find her on her website NaturalBirthandBabyCare.com and helping families through her online childbirth class MamaBabyBirthing.com

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  1. I love grocery gadget! I have used it for quite awhile now. My husband has it as well and it’s super handy for him to add stuff to the list. The photos help him a lot with getting the right product. You forgot to mention the bar code scanner. I used it a lot when I was setting up my lists. When I ran out of something I would just scan the bar code. It was great when I was in the middle of dinner.

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