A baby brings with it a bundle of joy, and a crateful of things to worry about. New parents look to technology to ease their mind. Gizmos like baby monitors and sensors are handy, but what you need more is critical information at the right time.
The internet is full of advice, but you need to be able to tell apart reliable medical advice from grandma’s old tales. And why not put that ubiquitous smartphone in your pocket to better use, by using apps that do the heavy lifting of regular baby work?
These are the apps and sites that every new parent needs to make themselves familiar with.
1. WebMD Baby (Android, iOS): Track Feeds, Sleep, Diaper Changes, and Growth
WebMD is known to be among the more trustworthy resources of medically approved information on the web. But the information is only as good as your own observations. As a parent, you must monitor your baby’s health. So, WebMD has made a separate app to track the data any doctor is bound to ask you.
WebMD Baby has five major things you can track: feeding (solids and bottles), nursing (breastfeeding), sleep (time and location), diaper changes (wet vs. dry), and growth (height, weight, circumference). By keeping this information updated, you will be able to answer questions every time.
The app also accesses WebMD’s extensive database of knowledge, giving you over 400 articles, 70 videos, and 600 physician-approved tips. This is the must-have app for all new parents, even if you don’t install anything else.
2. What to Expect Baby (Web, Android, iOS): The Essential Guide for Baby Care
Every expectant parent has probably read the What To Expect When You’re Expecting book and its variants. It’s almost essential reading, at this point. After the delivery, you need What to Expect Baby.
The apps and the website are everything you need to know about the first year of a baby’s life. The simple approach makes this app special. Information is broken down by your baby’s age in weeks or months. All the popular topics are covered, like health, feeding, development, and basics like playtime or baby gear. If there’s something you need to know, you’ll be able to find it quickly here — and speed is the important part in such situations, right?
What to Expect Baby also has built-in tools to track sleeping, feeding, and diaper changes, much like WebMD Baby.
3. Parenting Science (Web): Evidence Backed Parenting Tips
“This is how everyone else does it. This is how it has been done for generations.” Such statements are often doled out as evidence for doing something a certain way. But that doesn’t mean they are scientific. If you crave solid evidence before doing anything to your child, then Parenting Science is for you.
The founder of the site, anthropologist Dr. Gwen Dewar, approaches everything with a skeptic’s mind, and looks for hard evidence or some sort of reasoned scientific backing. She writes, “I question practices that are justified merely because they are traditional. I listen to my instincts, but I also check these instincts against what we are learning about the brain, child development, and the flexibility of the human species.”
If such a scientific approach to parenting is more up your alley, then you’ll quickly become a follower of this site. It’s not updated that regularly, but its vast repository has plenty of articles on most subjects already.
4. Bundoo (Web): Advice Only from Doctors
Like Parenting Science, Bundoo does not like how easily anyone can share parenting advice online without any credibility. Just because something worked with one baby does not mean it would work with all babies. You need some reliability, like a doctor.
That’s why Bundoo has articles and advice only from real-world doctors. Under each article, you will see the author’s name and qualifications, and you can verify those if you want to. That way, you are assured of getting information that a legitimate medical professional is giving, not a random person on the web.
Bundoo also has a panel of in-house medical experts who regularly give advice. With the “Ask a Doctor” facility, you can pose your queries to pediatricians, health specialists, and OB/GYNs.
5. Couple (Web, Android, iOS): for Parents to Coordinate
Make life easier for yourself and your partner by installing Couple. This simple app is made for two people, so that you can coordinate with each other to provide the best care for your child.
The app has simple instant messaging, as well as the ability to send photos and videos to each other. But the useful bits are the calendar and to-do list. With a shared to-do list, one member can add whatever they want and the other can pick it up. Similarly, you can easily add doctors’ appointments and other important dates to the shared calendar.
Couple gives you everything that a host of other apps would already do, but creates a private social network between the two of you. It’s one app to manage everything you will need.
Are New Parents Too Tech-Dependent?
Technology is wonderful and makes our lives easier. But you have to wonder, are new parents becoming too dependent on technology?
Would it be better to reduce the number of gadgets and gizmos we rely on, and instead do things ourselves? What do you think?