Just about everyone today carries around a smartphone or tablet – or both – whether they be Android based or one of the seemingly ubiquitous family of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Hence it is no surprise that mothers are increasingly taking advantage of the myriad applications that are available to be downloaded onto their mobile devices to assist them on their journey towards and into the wonderful world of motherhood. Whether it is a free app, or one that requires a purchase, every mother will probably find at least one, if not more, of these ingenious aides useful.
Let’s start at the beginning, the day you joyfully learn of your pregnant state. Here are some pregnancy companion apps recommended by ladies who have already been there, done that.
Sprout Pregnancy Essentials
created by Med ART Studios for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, USD3.99
Created and endorsed by doctors and pregnant mothers-to-be, Sprout Pregnancy Essentials has been named one of Time magazine’s 50 best iPhone apps of 2012. Week by week, be amazed by the anatomically accurate interactive 3D renders of the developing foetus and receive concise and comprehensive medical advice. View a pregnancy timeline customised with your own baby’s milestones while keeping track of doctor’s appointments. Have daddy install the app as well, so he can help pull together the checklist for the hospital bag. Helpful extras include a weight tracker, kick counter and contraction timer. Try Sprout Lite for free, albeit with reduced features.
My Pregnancy Today
created by BabyCenter for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, free
Get tips from the nutrition guide and keep on track with pregnancy checklists. Best of all, watch live-action birth videos to help prepare you for your own big day. Stay-at-home mum to 13-month-old Lucas, Leia Ho gives her thumbs up: “The BabyCenter app was invaluable in clueing me in to the weekly developments of my first pregnancy. The video resources were really helpful in mentally preparing me for the rollercoaster ride!”
created by Liquid Dragon Studios for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android, USD1.99
As your baby bump grows, so does the anticipation of your baby’s impending arrival. Which means that it’s time to start stocking up on what you’ll need before things get too overwhelming. Your ultimate nesting companion, Baby Checklist contains a list of over 90 important items you’ll need and lets you check them off as you acquire them. You can also add or delete items to suit your lifestyle, and store details of potential car seats, strollers and cots during shopping trips, so you won’t forget your favourites.
THE FIRST YEAR
As every parent will surely agree, a whole new world opens up once baby is born. Here is a selection of apps that will help take you through the next few months and beyond.
created by Seacloud Software for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android, USD4.99
Baby Connect is a top-ranking baby timer app that received commendations from even The New York Times. Enter details of every bottle or breastfeed, keep time with your pumping schedule, recall baby’s last diaper change and duration of nap, and even track moods, growth, milestones and doses of medicine. Graphical charts and statistical reports can be viewed at a glance, making it easy for you and your paediatrician to identify trends and anomalies. Share schedules, set reminder alarms and sync between devices seamlessly; it’s a cinch for mummies, daddies and other caregivers to update entries simultaneously.
My Baby Today
created by BabyCenter for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, free
This is chock-full of information on health and safety, as well as advice and answers for each stage of baby’s development, especially useful in those moments when you wonder, “Is this normal?” Along with a personalised calendar, checklists and photo album in which you can chronicle baby’s daily growth and special milestones, all information within the app is approved by The BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board.
created by Owen Tech for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android, free
Just about every sleep-deprived new parent will find this simple app a godsend. Sleepy Baby converts your mobile device into a noise-maker that promises to help put your baby to sleep more quickly and for longer periods. Choose to play lullabies, or if you prefer, white noise or the sounds of nature and enter in how long you want it to play for. Alternatively, select the ‘indefinite’ mode, plug your device into a power source and send baby into a sweet slumber. Background animations also act as a soothing nightlight in a dimmed nursery.
Baby & Toddler Nutrition
created by Pinnacle Apps Ltd for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, USD1.99
Created by a nutritionist, this app comes in useful when it’s time to start weaning baby onto solids. There’s detailed advice on what solids to introduce and when, what foods to avoid and when these can be safely introduced, descriptions of each food’s nutritional value and how to prepare them, as well as recipes for each stage of weaning. A search screen allows you to search for recipes by ingredient and you can even customise a shopping list to email to hubby to pick up on the way home from work!
THE NEXT STAGE
Here are more tools and apps that mothers of toddlers and older children find indispensable.
Parenting Ages and Stages
created by The Zumobi Network for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android, free
Great for both mums and dads, this is a useful parenting guide on the go. Enter your children’s photos, names and birthdays, and receive relevant news, articles and tips based on their age and development. The app also sends you crucial push notifications on product recalls. From gassy issues in the first months and childproofing the house for toddlers, to potty training in the early years and sibling rivalry even after they go to school, you’ll find all the information you need to survive the parenting years.
Parenting Reminder – a Day, a Tip
created by AAWE Development Inc. for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, free
Designed for parents of toddlers under two years of age, this is a simple and ingenious way of receiving tips and reminders on your mobile device without actually having to open an app. Each day, it delivers a snippet to you, just like a calendar reminder, something busy pet store owner Petrina Loh appreciates. “Although Gareth has just turned three, it still offers practical advice. One very useful tip was that we must always emphasise that when at a toy shop, be it for window shopping or shopping for a gift, they don’t always end up with a toy!”
created by reQall Inc. for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android, freeThe last recommendation on this list is useful for everyone, but for mothers who have to juggle work, older kids’ playdates, shopping lists, dates with hubby, arranging for babysitters… you get the picture, reQall could possibly be your newest BFF. Just pick up your mobile device, speak or type yourself a reminder, and the app will convert it to text. Get your items organised automatically by creating keywords and tags, in addition to dates and times that reQall already recognises. Then receive timely reminders via email or instant messenger. You’ll never make a boo-boo again and your family will think you’re Supermum!