People ask me about apps all the time, but it’s really hard for me to judge them because there are just so many.
So I thought I’d ask you guys because you're in the trenches and, man, you know your apps.
1. My Baby Today - BabyCenter (free)
This app comes with support, advice and reminders along with a personalized daily calendar, helpful checklists and answers for when you wonder, “Is this normal?”
It comes from the Baby Center folks so even if you find the advice a bit on the conservative side, you know it’s going to be sound.
2. My Pregnancy Today - Baby Center (free)
Again, this app is from Baby Center so you know it’s not some jackass sitting in his basement basing pregnancy his knowledge on the roll of some polyhedral dice. Yes, it does have your-baby-is-the-size-of-a-plum but the graphics are really cool and they even have a series of videos.
3. BabyConnect ($4.99)
This would have been my anal retentive dream when my kids were babies. This will track and chart just about everything you can dream of:
- feeding (bottle, nursing, solid food)
- pumping and expressed milk
- doctor visits, medicines, vaccines, sickness, weight, height
- setup reminder alarm to alert for the next event, for instance: alarm 3h after the last feeding (iOS 4+ only)
- for Preemies, percentiles are calculated with the birth date or with the due date
I think the only danger with this one is feeling that if you just see the pattern you can crack the code (like Neo in the Matrix) whereas there rarely is a code with a baby. Still, I would have found comfort in that shred of control during the chaos.
4. The Wonder Weeks ($1.99)
This app essentially tells you what’s going on in your baby’s head from week to week by explaining all the amazing developmental changes they go through during their first 18 months.
It’s a handy reminder for when your baby makes a “leap” because these leaps come so quickly that it often freaks your baby out and can initially manifest in poor sleep, bad appetite, crying, clinging and crankiness.
This app comes up again and again in the Ask the Chicks group when someone is at their wits' end wondering why the hell their four-month old wants to look around all day instead of eat.
5. Total Baby ($4.99)
This one is similar to Baby Connect (they cost the same) so check both out and see which one is the best fit for you.
It has 14 separate timing, tracking, and logging functions that you can analyze to your heart’s content.
Even if it changes absolutely nothing in your baby’s behaviour, it’s nice to know you’re not crazy – yes, your baby does lose her damn nut every night at 8pm. And when your doctor asks “When did he first roll over?” you don’t just stare at them blankly in a sleep deprived haze and say “I don’t know.” Now you’ll stare at them blankly in a sleep deprived haze and say “five months.”
6. Sprout (free)
This is another tracker app but what I really liked about this one is the clean, fresh layout. So many of these baby apps are as attractive as balls on dogs, yet this one manages to keep a ton of information looking simple and neat.
Plus, they have a very detailed poo section where you can keep track of bowel movement colour and consistency – I would have loved that when I was trying to figure out if it was something I was eating that was giving my son gas when I was nursing. Only a parent would find a shit function thrilling.
7. What to Expect (free)
People love to bash “What to Expect” but they are the tried and true in the baby world so I’m certainly not about to knock their free app. It’s a good, solid app that gives you the low down on what to expect (go figure). If nothing else, check it out for the communities to hook up with women that are having babies the same time you are.
8. WebMD Baby (free)
The main feature in this app is tracking, but the thing I like about this one is the extra medical stuff like:
- Baby & Toddler Care (16 categories)
- Illness & Emergencies (39 categories)
- Ask the Pediatrician (8 video Q&A sessions with WedMD in-house pediatrician)
- Milestones (7 categories divided by age up to 24 months old)
- Vaccines (all baby vaccine info)
- Baby Doctor Visits (11 well visit guides)
No, you’re not going to base all your child’s medical decisions on a phone app, but it may help point you in the right direction. Especially if you're reluctant to go to the hospital with a baby that’s making a high-pitched wheezing sound because you don’t want to expose him or her to the germs and/or be told it’s a cold and feel like an idiot. This app will tell you get that kid to a fucking hospital (I believe I’m paraphrasing) so it may just help solidify your judgement.
9. BabyBump Pregnancy Free (free)
This sounds like an all round good app. They certainly have enough reviews (I imagine they will want to include Pregnant Chicken’s in their next update.) It has tracking, journals, forums, etc. and it’s updated regularly. It’s also available in three languages – English, Spanish and French, which is a real bonus for some.
There’s a pro version for $3.99 that seems to include baby names and a contraction counter but it doesn’t look wildly different to me.
10. iBabyLog (free)
This is another app for keeping track of baby stuff – diapers, naps, nursing, etc.
The nice thing about all these tracking apps is that you can share it with other caregivers, so if you’re at work there’s not a huge hand over operation when you get home. You know when your baby ate. You know if your baby has had a diaper change.
I wasn’t as fussy on the design of this one but the functionality may work better for you so I think it’s still worth checking out.
But what about Android?
Android usually gets the shaft in the pregnancy app department, but there are still some good ones out there:
Feed Baby Pro ($3.99)
Baby ESP ($4.99)
Baby Care (free)
Kidfolio Baby Tracker & Book (free)
My advice is to download a few of them and play around to see which ones you prefer using. The wonderful thing about apps is that they are really inexpensive (if not free) so even if you buy a $5 app and decide you don’t like it, well, we’ve all spent bigger bucks on dumber shit. I find the hardest part is just wading through all of them so at least this gives you a good starting point.
If you find one you really love be sure to leave it in the comments below so others can find out about it too!
Of course the best app would be the Pregnant Chicken app (c’mon) but it doesn’t exist yet so you’ll have to sign up for the killer emails that give you a weekly update on your pregnancy without all that your-baby-is-the-size-of-a-plum crap, plus, we have giveaways and freebies too. You can sign up for it here.