Parenting newborns can be overwhelming at times as the first year of your child’s birth is crucial to their development. A child’s brain develops rapidly during that time, with more than 1 million neural connections forming every second.
Meanwhile, your brain is foggy from lack of sleep. And the quantity of information coming in from all sides about how you should care for your precious newborn is overwhelming.
How can you clear out the noise and find practical and useful parenting tips, without getting swamped in family politics and judgment? Your trusty phone, of course. There’s an abundance of apps out there, putting advice and tools at your fingertips, which can help you organize those early few months.
So, while you’re bonding with your sleeping or feeding baby, you can multitask with a swipe of some of the more useful ones. Want to keep track of which side your baby is feeding on, and for how long? There’s an app for that. Want to soothe your crying baby to sleep? There’s an app for that too. Concerned about something your child is doing or not doing? The apps provide a lot of helpful information, especially if you have given birth during the COVID-19 pandemic when you possibly don’t want to have to visit a health care professional in person.
That’s not to say that your phone will raise your child for you or replace your pediatrician. Still, it’s a convenient resource to have in your back pocket – literally – which can be utilized to make those challenging early months easier.
Here is my handy guide to the five best parenting apps that are suitable to use with newborns.
You will notice each day that your newborn is developing more and more. But you may have wondered how to help them along and teach them their fundamental skills.
Every day, this app suggests exercises that stimulate your baby and help them improve their motor, sensory, cognitive, and linguistic skills. And although the activities are new all day, you can go back and keep practicing all the skills. A short video accompanies the exercises, which explains the task to parents.
When you were pregnant, you may have used Glow Nurture, the pregnancy tracking app that allows them to monitor their trimester symptoms and learn about their growing baby. Well, Glow Nurture’s big sister, Glow, is here to help once the baby arrives. When your pediatrician asks, what times does your baby falls asleep? For how long? Tell me about their feeding schedule? All of this is easy to log in Glow – an app that helps you keep track of their development, sleep schedules, feedings, medications, growth, and more.
During the first 12 months of life, babies can struggle to settle and sleep at night time. However, they need around 18 hours of sleep, as that’s when their bodies are growing and developing.
That’s when using an app that emits white noise sounds can be helpful. A groundbreaking 1990 study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood found that white noise could be useful. Forty newborns were studied, and it was found that 80% were able to fall asleep after hearing white noise five minutes. Soundsleeper offers a free version with options such as white noise music and a muted menu that won’t distract the baby.
You may want to nurture your newborn to sleep with the sound of your voice, well, you can also use this app to record your lullabies. It also enables you to easily track baby’s sleeping, learn more, and monitor their sleeping patterns.
Your baby will likely sleep without disturbances when using white noise apps – giving you the chance to spend the night in peace. One word of caution. As there are some reports that white noise might cause your baby to become dependent on the sound, or even cause potential developmental problems. Use it with caution and stop using the app immediately in case you notice any behavioral issues.
How can you meet other moms to compare your shared experiences? Peanut is a bit like Tinder for new moms. It’s the app for when you want to break out of your bubble and connect with other moms. Whether you want to know that yes, your child is healthy or yes, you’re a great mom despite not making it out of your jammies in three days, Peanut is the app for that.
You can personalize the app to your preferences, whether that’s looking to meet new people, or ask questions, or share your advice. This baby app connects you with other moms that are best suited to your interests. Then you dip your toe into the water to have a chat and see whether you hit it off, and maybe even schedule a few playdates.
As a new mom, there will always be a noise, or a rash, or something that your baby does, which strikes fear into your heart. But – keep away from terrifying yourself by googling the symptoms. This is where the WebMD Baby app is your friend. All new moms will be relieved to have such reliable information at her fingertips. This baby health app contains trusted info about vaccines, baby sleep, and the latest health news. In fact, todaysparent.com says it’s like a “pediatrician in your pocket,” and you can’t go wrong with that! And I’m going to seamless segue into a second app.
If an emergency arises and you can’t get an appointment with your pediatrician, cue up Heal. This app sends a licensed doctor straight to your home so that your baby can immediately get the care he or she needs. The app accepts insurance from the major PPO insurance plans in the US (Aetna, Anthem, Blue Shield, Cigna, United Healthcare, and more), so parents will only have to cover the cost of a co-pay. If you are based outside the United States, there are similar apps available that provide this service. You can search for them in the app store.
Don’t be afraid to look for help as a new mom, and these apps are there for you to help navigate those tricky new parenthood waters. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you ever feel swamped, and your partner should be involved. Being a parent is about constant learning, and all of these tools are there to help you be a better parent to your baby, and take some of the weight off your shoulders.
If you liked this blog post, then check out our blog post on How To Deal With Rebellion And Resistance In Your Teen.
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A 3xTEDx speaker, media contributor, parenting coach, and a mom of two - helping families thrive by using the Guidance Approach to Parenting.