You know how I feel about using apps for ALL. THE. THINGS in motherhood – tracking feeds, wake windows, baby’s development and leaps…sigh. Essentially I hate them and actually think they cause more overwhelm, worry, stress, and micro-managing behaviour, leading to controlling, anxious, stressed and busy mamas. As I talk about in my “You Don’t Need An App To Raise Your Baby” blog, as convenient as it is to have ‘an app for that’, all these apps, with the convenience of our smartphones that are attached to our hips and hands, just ‘fuel the fire’ so to speak.
With this being said, when I was approached by Josh Moore of diaperdads.org about writing a guest blog for all of you about drum roll please, apps to make parenting easier, I was a little hesitant. But, I decided to give him a chance and actually do really enjoy some of the recommendations he makes. These app recommendations have the ability to make your life a little more manageable, and hey, who doesn’t want that.
I do want to make a note of caution as you read through and perhaps try some of these apps in your life. If you ever feel that these apps are becoming a burden, causing you more stress, more overwhelm, any kind of mama guilt, or are causing you to compare yourself to the mama down the street or even the baby in the app, then please please please promise me you will stop using the app and delete it from your phone….immediately! Trust me, it is not worth it. These are not the end all be all and in all honesty you can live your life just fine and have a wonderful motherhood journey without the tech.
But, as I mentioned…. sometimes tech can make life easier, and we want easy! And of course we all want a little more confidence too! I hope some of these recommendations will bring that for you.
Now, on to the guest blog by Josh Moore from www.diaperdads.org (and ps, he has some fun articles from a dad’s perspective, in case you want to pass that on to your partner).
Becoming a new parent comes with so many things to think about, and even if you’ve read all the books and prepared as much as possible for your new little one, there can still be a hundred things you’ll have questions about down the road. That’s why it’s so important to look for help where you can find it. With all the advances in technology in recent years, you can put your trust into several apps that will give you peace of mind, answer your questions, and keep you on track as you figure out the journey of parenthood.
Because having parenting advice and knowledge right at your fingertips is important–especially during the first few months–it’s a good idea to make sure you have the right smartphone so you’ll have access to everything you need whenever you need it. You should also ensure that your data plan and wi-fi capabilities are in good shape.
Here are a few great tips on how to find the right apps for your parenting needs.
Consider your phone’s capabilities first
Before you start looking at apps, take a look at your phone and make sure it’s up-to-date and can deliver fast internet speeds. This will help you keep the most important data and info right at your fingertips and will allow you to capture baby’s first year with crystal clear photos and videos. Consider looking into the new iPhone, which has an upgraded dual-camera system and an easy-to-use editing tool for customizing your photos and videos. Remember to pair your new phone with a protective case (bonus if it is eco-friendly and compostable like these ones) that will provide a little piece of mind should it get dropped or roughhoused a bit.
Organize the entire family
When you have a new addition to the family, it’s important to stay organized and to keep everyone on the same page. You can now do that with the touch of a button thanks to the Cozi Family Organizer. Share important dates, appointment times, events, and even grocery lists with anyone in your family to keep everyone updated on tasks and responsibilities so they won’t miss a thing. This is especially helpful during the first year of a baby’s life, when doctor appointments are a weekly or monthly event.
Keep track of baby’s development
When you’re a new and sleep-deprived parent, it’s often easy to lose track of time or how often you’ve changed diapers in a day. As Kaili of Kaili Ets Family Wellness mentions in her You Don’t Need An App To Raise A Baby blog, she doesn’t love the idea of tracking all things like feedings, diaper changes, and sleep schedules, because she really feels they will just add to the overwhelm and confusion, when you’re already too exhausted to think straight. However, something like the BabySparks app, may come in handy when you want to learn more about your little one’s growth and development and have some easy activities on hand to encourage said development.
Communication is key
Teaching your baby how to effectively communicate is essential. Babies can start learning sign language much earlier than many parents realize, and it can allow them to share their needs before they can speak, which cuts down on frustration for both parents and baby. With an app like Baby Sign and Learn, you can help your child communicate with hand signs and songs in no time. If you’d like to try the app first, you can download the Baby Sign and Learn Lite demo for free.
Finding apps and technologies that will help you adjust to being a new parent will allow you to focus on your child’s needs each day without feeling stressed or anxious. Plus, they’ll simplify your schedule, opening up time slots for you to focus on your own self-care during a time when it’s easy to let it fall by the wayside. Look for apps that work well with your phone, and talk to your friends and family members about how they can connect with you for assistance in this exciting new chapter.
To assist you in your new journey, consider signing up for a Babies @ Play class with Kaili Ets. There are two levels to choose from, and with each course, you have the opportunity to connect with other mamas and learn more about your baby’s development. Reach out today to find out more!
Oh, and don’t forget to join the Sleep Deprived Zombie Mamas community over on Facebook to learn more about what is biologically normal for babies in their sleep, development, feeding, solids, and so much more. Kaili knows a lot about a lot of things related to moms and babies and she is on a mission to reduce the overwhelm, confusion and stress while building your confidence and calm!