There is basically an app for everything these days but I have found a few particularly useful before, during and after my pregnancy with Jack so I thought I would share them with you.
5. NCT Babychange
Basically, it does what it says on the tin! Shows you all the baby changing facilities in your immediate area in map format and gives you the option to open the address in Google Maps to start navigation.
Developed by the National Childbirth Trust, the blue dots on the map show the facilities currently in operation, amber dots show unverified facilities and red dots indicate “Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room Award” winning facilities.
Each facility is rated by other users so you know where the better ones are and you can also rate and add new ones accordingly.
I find this app really useful when visiting unfamiliar territories!
4. Glow Period and Ovulation Tracker
I started using this as soon as we decided we were going to try for a baby as a way to monitor my cycle more accurately and find out when my most fertile periods were. I’ve always made a note of when my period had begun and finished but never what was going on in between so this app was really useful in getting me more attuned to my body.
The app is really easy to use and I found that it helped me know myself better. I was never caught out unawares again, which as most ladies will agree with me, that’s no fun! It also allows you to record your mood, symptoms, sex, medications etc and is linked to the “Glow community forum” where you can talk to other people in similar situations.
I did find that I became maybe a little bit obsessed with it as the months went by and still no baby so that’s worth noting – you have to remember that it is only an app so wont be 100% accurate but the more information you put in, the more accurate it should be!
What I also like is that there are additional apps following on from this one – Glow Nurture for Pregnancy (which gives you information about your growing baby, has a due date countdown and allows you to log dat about your pregnancy) and Glow Baby Tracker, where you can log feeds, nappies etc.
3. Headspace – meditation
Not strictly baby-related but my Mum found this app for me to help me with my anxiety and so far, I’ve found it really helpful!
It’s designed to help teach you mindfulness and meditation skills with the aim of promoting a “happier, healthier, more enjoyable lifestyle”.
It starts with a Take10 programme – 10 days of 10 minutes of meditation allowing you to learn the basics. Then, if you want to, you can choose to continue and subscribe for more guided and unguided mediations for a range of moods, experiences etc.
I really love the graphics on this app – there are several little cute animations to illustrate some of the science and thinking behind the meditations – and the design of the app is really bright and fun looking. The app is also easy to navigate and the “voice” of the meditations ( I think his name is Andy) is really calming and not annoying like many of these things can be.
The “blurb” for it on Google Play includes the following information which I though would be good to include:
The science behind meditation
People have been meditating for thousands of years. But while the practice is not new, science is just starting to fully understand its benefits. Recent studies show meditation and mindfulness can help you stress less, love more and even sleep better.
– People who practice mindfulness meditation regularly report feeling less stressed and more emotionally balanced (Tang, R. et al., 2014).
– Mindful attunement to one’s partner may promote greater relationship satisfaction, in particular sexual satisfaction. (Khaddouma, A. et al, 2015).
– Mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve sleep quality in older adults (Black, D. et al., 2015)
2. Best Beginings – Baby Buddy
This is such a brilliant app. I first heard about it when we went for an early scan and saw a poster for it on the back of the toilet door!
It’s been designed by the charity Best Beginnings who aim to “give every child in the UK the best start to life” and basically acts like a little buddy to help you throughout your pregnancy until your baby is six months old. You put in all your details, create a little character (complete with growing bump) and then each day you are given some advice or something to think about. Every week, you are shown a little image of what your baby looks like and what size (“This week your baby is the size of a tennis ball”) and every day it tells you how many weeks and days pregnant you are, or if it’s post-birth, how old your baby is.
There are also sections to write down questions to ask your doctor so you dont forget, a photo booth to take photos of your growing bump, frequently asked questions and you can set reminders such a “drink water” or “take your vitamins”. Your partner can also download it and register under the “partner” version so they will recieve similar information to help understand what’s going on with you and the baby.
I got quite used to having my Baby Buddy around and was suprised when the day before Jack turned 6 months she said I’d reached the end of the app! I miss her a little bit if I’m honest! Still, they are looking at extending the app further so your buddy is available for longer so hopefully that will happen.
A definate 5 star app!
One of the things I am really paranoid about is losing all my photos of Jack. Most of them are on our phones and I was trying to think of an easy way in which we could upload all our photos of him and us into some sort of cloud so that if our phones are stolen or damaged, we would still have them.
I tried to sync my phone so that it would upload photos in a certain folder on to Dropbox but that didn’t work and I couldn’t seem to get it to talk to my OneDrive account either. It probably is very easy to do but I just couldn’t make it happen so I was flumoxed. Then I found Lifecake!
I love it so much! Basically, you set up an account, including details such as child’s name and age, and if you want, you link to other people (I’ve only linked it with James and the grandparents but you can add numerous family members). You can then all upload photos and videos to it so everyone linked to the account has access to them.
You have a certain amount of storage space for free (although I once found a code from going to an NCT sale which gave me more) and you can access it from any computer simply by logging on to your account. All the photos and videos are kept in chronological order of your child’s age so you have a day by day (in our case anyway) account of your child growing up – almost like a photo diary! You also have options to favourite photos, write comments and download as well. The app is linked to a printing company too so that you can get all your photos printed as well if you wanted. I think you can also have separate folders for different children as well.
I’ve added all my scan and bump pictures to it as well so I have an extensive collection of Jack’s life so far in photo form! I love going right back to the first photos and scrolling through them all – it makes me really emotional to see how much my little boy has changed in such a short space of time!
It’s also really good if you have family who live far away and maybe don’t get to see your children very often. You can add them to the account and then they can see the photos you upload so will help make them feel like they get to see them more often!
My totally favourite app of the last few months – I just hope we don’t use up all our storage too quickly!! Definately have a look at downloading this one!