The newborn phase is one of the most fascinating and challenging stages of motherhood. While you’re working on healing your body from the inside out, you’re also adjusting to the job of Mommy, with a demanding boss that requires your attention around the clock. As a journalist, I found myself Googling every little question I had about ‘what’s normal’ and ‘what to do if…’ – a process that often had me attached to my phone when my hands weren’t full of baby (and even when passing the time breastfeeding or pumping). If you’re like me and need a little guidance and support through the newborn phase, here is a list of the top apps that saved my sanity as a new mom.
Pregnancy Tracker – BabyCenter
This app was one of the most important resources during my pregnancy, especially as labor began and I needed to begin tracking my contractions. But not only did this app hold my hand through pregnancy changes, but it continued to guide me through the Fourth Trimester. The Baby Center community connected me with other mothers in my Birth Club, who shared the same birth month as my baby, and were more or less experiencing some of the same stages=as I was. So if its 3am and everyone is asleep but you and your baby, the message boards may be able to help you quiet a colicky baby or soothe cracked nipples. This app came highly recommended by my cousin, the proud mommy to five amazing boys.
This app not only takes you through nine months of pregnancy then switches over once your baby is born, to Parenting Ages & Stages, which covers topics from the newborn stage straight up to the toddler years. There are so many possible issues that the newborn phase brings with it, but I feel The Bump app did a great job of providing a resource to help new parents to navigate those weeks with expert advice.
What to Expect
You’ve probably heard of the popular book that seems like required reading for new parents, but this is the app that translates the information into more digestable bites that are served up on a daily basis throughout nine months of pregnancy. Video features give you persepective on your pregnancy, week by week, to track baby’s growth, while cute graphics compare the size of your baby to common fruits and vegetables. This was probably the first app I downloaded during my first pregnancy.
The Wonder Weeks
Eat, sleep, poop. The basics of baby life… or at least so I thought. Then came the fussy periods, when I was at a loss as to how to help my baby. This app helped me to figure out what my baby was trying to tell me as he went through different developmental milestones and leaps. I love this app! The Chart allows you to track your baby’s mental development based on your baby’s age in weeks, showing periods that are expected to be stormy or sunny in terms of baby’s mood and temperment. This feature has helped me plan traveling and trips around stormy periods to make life a little easier for all of us. There is also a book that goes more in-depth into the developmental leaps, but I just used the app and looked up anything else I wanted a deeper dive into.
Baby Tracker – Newborn Log (free version)
My husband actually found this app for me, to help us keep track of our baby’s weight, feed times, dirty diapers and sleep patterns. It turned out to be pure gold, especially to track breastfeeding and pumping when I was still clueless as to how long to feed on each breast, and how to tell if baby is really getting enough. By tracking the time baby last fed I was able to time any errands I had to run, and have a smooth handover if he was being watched by my mother or mother-in-law and they would have to give him a bottle. Lifesaver. I highly recommend this app!
A portable sound machine sounds like such a good idea to a new mom, but in reality, its not practical, especially if its battery operated. Don’t worry, I fell for it too, putting a cute sound machine on my baby registry. But when the battery goes dead in the middle of the night, thank goodness there’s an app for everything! This is another app my husband found to save our sanity and it has lived up to my expectations, especially when traveling and trying to put a baby down in an unfamiliar setting. The free version has a variety of sounds that can help to soothe a baby, including white noise, waterfalls, wind, fans, even blowdryers. My go-to has been good old Brahms Lullaby, which helps to put my baby into a ‘night-night trance’ and makes nights for mommy and daddy a lot easier.
Clue Period & Cycle Tracker
We all have our own preferences for period tracking and I’m so happy I found this app to take me from paper calendars to a simple interface that I can update from anywhere. I’ve been using this app to track my cycle since 2015 and so far I have no complaints. They have even made it easier to ‘track’ your pregnancy, with a setting that puts your alerts to sleep while you’re not getting a period. Because nothing is more annoying than a tracker app that keeps reminding you that your period is late, when you’re in the throes of morning sickness. This app also helped me get back on track when my period returned after giving birth and breastfeeding. I’ve recommended this app to all of my friends, and there’s no turning back now!
Bonus: Baby Story – Pics Editor
This app is a cute way to track your pregnancy and baby’s first milestones with photos. I wasn’t the best at tracking my bump photos month-by-month in either pregnancy, but those that I did track, I decorated with the cute stickers available through the free version of this app. I imagine that if I had more time on my hands, I would have made a beautiful album for each of my pregnancies… but I didn’t. But if I did, this would be my go-to app!