Navigating the world of pregnancy and parenthood is not an easy task, but imagine embarking on that journey without any of the modern technology that we have at our fingertips today! These days we can get advice, recommendations and answers to all of our weirdest pregnancy questions from many different places. Those late night Google searches of ‘can I eat grapes while I’m pregnant?’ and ‘will I squash the baby if I tie my shoelaces?’ can lead us to many different sources of advice. From reading advice and personal experiences from my favourite Mummy bloggers to getting medical advice from the NHS wesbite, I’ve tried it all, but the thing that I wanted to talk about today is Apps. Those wonderful little icons on our phones that are so small but that hold a wealth of information and advice for all of us clueless parents.
If you search for ‘pregnancy’ on the App Store, you’re definitely not short on options. I probably downloaded and deleted half of the apps on there during my pregnancy but the one that I stuck with was The Baby Centre. I found the information was really useful and actually relevant to the things I was wondering and worrying about at each stage of pregnancy. It has a really simple format and each weeks tells you how big your baby probably is and how they are developing. I found that really motivational as those 40 weeks of pregnancy can start to drag towards the end and knowing that my little bump had grown fingernails or could now hear my voice really made it all seem easier to keep track of!
I have a love/hate relationship with wonder weeks. When you enter your babies due date they can calculate when all the different growth spurts and stages of development are likely to occur. Sometimes I find it to be spot on with how Darcie is doing and other times it doesn’t correlate to her at all. But I do find it fascinating reading about her development and seeing it happen in front of me. They call these growth spurts ‘leaps’ and even have a chart as to when your child is likely to be fussy. However, if Darcie is ever having a particular good spell of being happy all the time, I can never bring myself to look at the app as I just know there will be a storm cloud approaching!
Sleep has been a big issue for us for most of Darcie’s life and at times I have become borderline obsessed with nap times and sleep schedules. I downloaded the bedtime app to keep track of how many times she was waking during the night and to see the lengths of times she was sleeping for each time. When you have a particularly wakeful night, by the morning you often will have forgotten how many times you were woken from your cosy bed to go in and settle your little monster. So just quickly pressing a button on the app allowed me to keep track of it all and identify patterns in her sleep cycles and try different things to help. It didn’t exactly fix any of our sleep problems but it made me feel like I was in control of the situation and slowly but surely she is becoming a better sleeper with age. You can also set alarms to remind you when to start your bedtime routine and it can play white noise and other calming sounds while your baby goes to sleep.
I’d recommend this App for everyone, not just parents. Each month you are entitles to 45 free prints and you just have to pay the delivery charge which is just a couple of pounds. I’m awful for remembering to print off our photos but by ordering at least 45 each month, I am starting to build up a good collection of physical prints. One day I’ll even get around to starting her scrapbook and photo albums, but it’s baby steps! There is also a sister App called Free Photo Books which also does what it says on the tin, if you’re a photo book type of person.
Both of these Apps are a way of meeting other mums online. Basically Tinder for mums. I think there are a ton more out there too but these are the ones that I downloaded when I realised that simply going to baby groups wasn’t finding me all my ride-or-die-mum-chums that I knew must be out there. Yes, you might feel a bit cringe downloading the app or messaging anyone on there, but it might be worth it and you can always delete it and pretend it never happened if things don’t work out! A quick Google search has told me that scientists are now reckoning that couples who meet online are more likely to last, so you never know maybe it’ll be the same for your Mummy friends too!
I’d love to know any other App recommendations that you might have, so go ahead and leave them below! I’m always looking for new ways too clog up my phones memory…!