By: Kris Louis
As a parent-to-be, you’ve probably heard a lot about how bad too much screen time can be for kids and why it’s important to set a good example for your children when it comes to digital media. However, while you shouldn’t mindlessly scroll during time that’s better spent engaging with your children, new parents also shouldn’t disregard their smartphones completely.
While we tend to use our phones as entertainment devices more often than not, smartphones are also full of information and tools for new parents. Whether you want to track your baby’s development in utero, log some of the less glamorous aspects of parenthood after birth, or just snap photos of your precious new addition, you can do it all with the help of your phone.
However, before turning your smartphone into your baby command center, make sure your phone plan is up to the task. That means enough data to look up information and use apps on the go without worrying about overage charges. If you need to upgrade your data plan, but don’t want to buy a new phone, look into prepaid plans that let you bring your own device. You’ll also want to get a good phone case — you’ll become a pro at typing one-handed a lot more often, and the last you thing you want is for your phone to shatter when you inevitably drop it.
Once your phone is ready to go, consider arming it with these apps designed with a new parent’s needs in mind.
Pregnancy and Fetal Development Apps
Parenthood doesn’t start on the day your baby is born. As soon as you’re pregnant, you’ll need to make sure you’re doing everything possible to grow a healthy baby. Apps like the Ovia Pregnancy Tracker do just that, with features that let women track their weight, moods, sleep, physical activity, and other health metrics throughout pregnancy. Ovia also includes illustrations of your baby’s development so you can learn about what’s happening in your womb.
For a more focused fetal health app, check out BabyCenter’s My Pregnancy and Baby Today app. With a daily calendar to track your baby’s development, tips for a healthy pregnancy, and a handy contraction timer, this app has everything you need to get through the next nine months.
Apps for Tracking Your Baby’s Health
If you thought there was a lot to keep track of during pregnancy, just wait until after your baby is born. From feeding schedules to first words, new parents have a lot on their mind. Paired with the all-too-real new mom brain, it can be tough to remember and keep up with it all.
Enter the Glow Baby app, your trusty sidekick. With simple tools for tracking feedings, diaper changes, and sleep, Glow Baby makes it easy to log data and chart your baby’s growth. Glow also includes customized parenting tips and a community where parents can connect. Nursing moms will appreciate Milk Maid, a specialized pumping app that helps mothers monitor their milk production and manage their breastmilk stash across multiple locations.
Apps for Capturing Memories
Parenthood isn’t all work and no play, as there will also be lots of magical moments along the way. When they happen, make sure you’re in the moment, yet ready to capture them. A companion to the famous book and milestone-tracking app, The Wonder Weeks Milestone Memories lets parents track their baby’s development in pictures and share them with friends and family. For a more general purpose photo app, try Lifecake. For printing and treasuring these special photos and moments for years to come, consider Shutterfly’s app where you can upload photos and either order prints directly or create beautiful keepsake books that you’ll love looking at and sharing again and again.
Apps for Making Life Easier
If you haven’t already discovered the ease of apps like Instacart and even Target Circle and Walmart Grocery, these apps will truly be your new best friend. It’s like having a full-service shopper as your right-hand man, as you don’t have to worry about loading up baby to head to the store, dealing with everyone wanting to see and touch them while you’re shopping, and then loading and unloading everything once you get home. You simply add the items you need to your online cart, they do the shopping for you, and depending on the service, either load your groceries into your car at the store when you arrive or deliver them directly to your home. Talk about a time and money saver! Need that hour for a quick nap (or Netflix show — we won’t judge!) while baby sleeps? You got it!
You use your phone for everything, from keeping in touch with loved ones to updating your grocery list. Why not use it for navigating the triumphs and challenges of new parenthood? Adding a baby to the family can feel like entering the great unknown when you’re a first-time parent, but with helpful apps like these, the tools you need to be an amazing parent are always in your pocket.