Thursday, September 18, 2014

Baby 101: 4 Must-Have Baby Apps and Websites

I honestly do not know how anyone survived pregnancy or having a newborn before the internet!  I find myself Googling constantly to find out if things are "normal", and there are so many resources available to make all things baby easier.  Here are the 4 websites and apps I can't live without:

1.  What to Expect app


This app was great throughout my pregnancy to see what I could anticipate each week and what was going on inside my belly; when you register, the app automatically puts you in a community group/message board with other members due the same month as you.  People can post questions and responses in your month's message board, which saved me from asking my OB/GYN a lot of dumb questions. 

The message board continues after the baby's born and is a great resource for questions on baby milestones, feeding schedules, sleep routines, etc.  There are other message boards for breastfeeding, pumping, and working moms. I always read through the posts during middle-of-the-night feedings (since it's just about the only thing that's updated 24 hours a day!)

2.  Baby Connect app


I do not know what I would do without this app - I love it.  You can use it to log pretty much anything baby-related -- feedings, diapers, vaccines, doctor's visits, height, weight, and head circumference measurements, medicine, pumping, milestones, etc.  I use the timer function to log how long my son nurses on each side (as well as keep track of which side I started on the last time).  I also use it to log how many ounces I pump, which helps me to see trends in my milk supply and make sure it's not dropping. 

This app is critical for visits to the pediatrician, when they ask questions like how many times a day the baby eats, or how many wet and/or dirty diapers he has....the app summarizes all of these things for me so in my sleep-deprived state I don't have to venture a guess (because who really remembers these things?)  We have this app on my iPhone and iPad, and you can also log in via the web.  This app is TOTALLY worth the $4.99 price (which is saying a lot, because I usually refuse to pay for apps).

3.  Kelly Mom (www.kellymom.com)

This website is THE resource for all things breastfeeding-related, whether you're nursing or pumping.  As a first-time mom, I have tons of questions about breastfeeding - how do I know if my supply is sufficient?  How much pumped breastmilk should I bottle feed my baby?  How long is pumped breastmilk good at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer?  This website has the answers to all of these questions and more, and is research-based (the research is cited on each page), so you know it's legitimate.  Every time I google something breastfeeding-related, Kelly Mom is one of the top search results and always has the answer I need.

4.  Meal Baby (www.mealbaby.com)


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This website allows a friend or family member to create a meal calendar for you, so that friends, family, and neighbors can sign up to bring you a meal after the baby is born.  One of our friends from church set up a Meal Baby calendar for us, and it has been a huge help!  After the birth of our son, TONS of people were texting, calling, and emailing to say they wanted to bring us dinner and ask when would be a good time.  Meal Baby takes all of the hassle of organizing and coordinating these things away from you; you simply designate which days you'd like meals to be delivered (ours is every other day for the first 8 weeks), and people can choose a day and sign up without you having to coordinate everything!  You can also list likes, dislikes, allergies, and other information to avoid having to answer these questions over and over again.  The site sends them an email reminder the day before the meal they've signed up for to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. 


What websites or apps do you find helpful??

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