Preparing to have a baby is a beautiful, crazy time in anyone’s life. It seems as though there’s far too much to prepare in so little time, and more to learn than you think you ever could.
Technology can’t make you a good parent, but it can help educate and organize you. If you are expecting, these smartphone apps will teach you and make your life easier.
1. Pregnancy Tracker
BabyCenter is one of the largest online parenting communities. It’s no surprise, then, that the BabyCenter Pregnancy Tracker app is so popular.
The app features a calculator and calendar for folks trying to get pregnant, along with a personalized journey. This lets you follow your adventure from finding out you are expecting, right through birth and into the early days with your baby.
You can also chart your baby’s development and get tips about what to expect physically and emotionally at each point along the way. Each week brings new information on your baby with links to articles from the BabyCenter website containing useful information.
A big draw for this app is the large online community of folks going through the same experience. The majority of users are mothers-to-be, but I found the app useful and informative from a partner’s point of view too!
2. The Wonder Weeks
The Wonder Weeks app comes from the book of the same name. The app focuses on your baby’s early life, and the developmental leaps and changes they go through as they grow.
“The Chart” shows parents when to expect “storms” or changes in behavior, or when your experience is more likely to be “sunny,” denoting calmer times in a child’s development. You can tap on any calendar entry to get further information about what is happening, plus advice on dealing with leaps.
From a personal standpoint, this app continues to help us during rough patches, explaining sudden changes in behavior that can be quite scary for exhausted new parents.
For a private but straightforward way of sharing photos of your pregnancy and baby, try Tinybeans. It’s designed as a baby journal which only chosen people can access. The free version of the app for Android, iPhone, and web allows you to share your child’s development in images and short videos.
Fun is a theme here, with stickers and filters available (such as the obligatory hipster mustache). But if these aren’t relevant to you, the base function of the app is simple and effective.
The service lets you combine journal entries into photo books for relatives. Upgrading to the paid version of the app gives free worldwide shipping for photobooks, along with more video hosting and full-resolution image download for all users.
4. Amazon (Prime)
While it might seem odd for this list, the Amazon app is the one we used the most during our baby’s early days. Amazon Prime users get free, fast delivery on their orders (plus tons of other cool Prime benefits ).
When those orders are diapers, groceries, and coffee after several nights of almost no sleep, you’ll be thankful you got Prime ahead of time. Access to Prime Video is a nice touch too, as in the early days there’s a lot of hanging out with a sleeping newborn.
Even if you aren’t much of an online shopper, trust us—this makes everything so much easier.
5. White Noise Baby
The soothing quality that white noise and other droning sounds have on newborns is nothing short of magic. You’ll find no shortage of white noise apps available, so it’s hard to recommend one over another as they all do much the same task.
We used White Noise Baby; it has good quality drone sounds, which is all we needed. It also features a library of music, note-taking, tips, and an interactive rattle.
6. Baby Tracker
All new parents want to track their baby’s development, and doing so is important from a medical standpoint too. Baby Tracker, available for Android and iPhone, allows you to track every aspect of your journey.
Feeding, changing, weight, and sleep times are just a few of the elements you can track.Plus, you can sync tracked data between devices to keep everyone in the loop.
7. Wi-Fi Baby Monitor
If you have a spare Android phone, don’t waste money on a baby monitor—repurpose your old device to make your own.
The free version of this app provides audio monitoring. Upgrading to the paid version gives video, along with talk-back to communicate with your child. The app can communicate directly with Windows and Mac computers too, which makes it perfect for freelance parents working at night.
Instagram isn’t a parenting app unless you mean using your kids to score free points on social media, right?
Actually, Instagram plays an important role in our lives as parents, and I don’t mean as a place to put pictures of our baby. Bringing a new child into the world can be a lonely process, especially if you have no local family.
Instagram is full of accounts of people sharing their parenting journey, along with specialists, midwives, and parenting gurus who foster communities around their posts and stories.
Both of us found Instagram accounts that brought a community to our experience of becoming parents. I can’t quite imagine my feed before I had Dadmemes.
One important note: never look on social media for advice about medical matters. No social media influencer is a replacement for science, no matter how convincing they seem.
New Life as a Parent
Starting out as a new parent is exhilarating, amazing, and exhausting. Hopefully these apps help you through the process like they helped us.
Remember that these early stages are worth cherishing, knowing it’ll be some time yet before you need to child-proof your phone. If you need more advice, check out the best sites for parenting advice too.