The World of Baby Apps
Technology might have come along a bit since we were born and there will have been tweaks to the advice over the years, but one thing is for sure as a new mother – you will want to seek out some advice from friends, family, doctor’s and Google! Giving a helping hand on your phone are the latest baby Apps. There’s a plethora of baby apps out there at the moment so we’ve put a list of some of our favourites:
Bump – there are plenty of free pregnancy apps out there but the free Bump app was popular with mums. This comprehensive app has everything parents-to-be could want. The Planner+ preps moms for upcoming doctor’s visits, while an interactive 3D visualization shows the baby’s growth. The app features daily pregnancy and baby editorial articles, real-time answers to all your questions, a registry and a photo album to document that growing belly.
What to expect
This is a global app but does seem to have a few more U.S mums on it. It's good for several reasons from before birth to many months after.
Firstly, it helps you document your growing bump by encouraging you to photograph it each week. It then stores those photos and you can come back to see it when you like.
It shows you what fruit your baby is while you're pregnancy which is always fun as it is hard to imagine how big your baby is otherwise. It's even more fun when you pick up that fruit at the supermarket.
The forum is really good pre and post birth to speak to other mums with the same due month / or from the same area. (You can choose the groups on the forum you would like to join). This is really good for strange questions you might have that you'd like to hear opinions of from mums at the same stage as you or with experience.
Getting through the Birth Apps
Freya – brought to you by The Positive Birth Company, Freya is the world's first hypnobirthing-friendly surge (contraction) timer and virtual birth partner. She will coach you through each surge with a simple breathing technique and help you to relax in between with positive affirmations, calming visualisations and guided relaxation.
Raising your Baby Apps
Huckleberry – this free app helps you to monitor the timings of your baby’s sleep, feeds and nappy changes etc– great whilst you settle into a rhythm. For the paid version, sleep consultants and algorhythms analyse the sleep patterns and create a sleep plan with summary and schedule.
Kinedu – this app helps you monitor your baby’s developmental progress with daily suggestions for activities. The free version gives you three activities a week whilst the paid version gives you full access. Perfect if you’re struggling think of simple activities to do with your baby at home.
The Wonder Weeks – This low cost app highlights your baby’s development in terms of ‘leaps’ where your baby goes through physical and neurological changes. Great if you’re searching for an explanation as to why your baby has suddenly started whinging more, sleeping less, scared of strangers etc.
This is a great app and has been recommended by numerous mums - it makes them feel normal when they see their child has been going through a leap and explains they 'why'.
Hoop – Hoops lets you know what baby and child activities are occurring in your local area. From baby sensory to music and dance, you can find an activity that suits your baby and family life. You can book onto most sessions through the app.
Just for pregnant Mums Apps
Squeezy – this is really an app for before and after birth – to help strengthen your pelvic floor with a handy timer and reminder schedule and pelvic floor exercise programme. It’s £2.99 and recommended on the NHS Apps Library.
MindBody – This app is handy source for fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more, it also includes pre- and post-natal yoga workouts for mum.
We’d love to hear from you what your favourite apps have been during your pregnancy/birth/child-rearing. This is a great weight loss app which helps you to lose your mum tums.
Leave us a comment below and share the love!
So you want a drug-free, pain-free birth?
If you fall pregnant, after the initial wave of emotions, your next thought might go to the actual labour. Here at the Baby & Toddler Awards, we’ve spoken to a group of new mums for their top tips on how they managed their labour, without the drugs.
1. Research! We found that the mums’ with a good idea of what to expect reported the most comfortable experiences. From reading books, chatting to others to watching YouTube videos, those who knew what to expect and were aware of their options had the more positive experiences.
2. Breathing – sounds simple but when in the midst of labour, thinking about your breathing might not be at the forefront of your mind. The mums who had practiced their breathing and/or used birthing apps to help control their breathing gave positive reviews. We were a big fan of an app called ‘Freya’ from the Positive Birth Company which helped with counting your breaths with each surge/contraction.
3. Birthing Pool / Warm Bath – warm water helps to relax the muscles as well as takes the weight so you can go into certain comfortable birthing positions more easily. Some mothers having Birthing Centre/Delivery Suite births also found that in the early stages of labour, whilst at home, a warm bath also helped them manage discomfort before going into the hospital.
4. Gas and air – offered in the hospitals and by homebirth midwives, this mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas comes via a mask or mouthpiece that you can hold. The technique here is to draw in long deep breaths in and out at the beginning of a contraction. The mothers who didn’t feel the benefit of gas reported that they were taking short sharp breaths and were not timing it with contractions.
5. TENS machine – all the women asked who used the TENS machine found it had made a noticeable impact on the earlier stages of birth. Standing for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, the TENS machines involve sticking some pads onto your back and pressing the buttons and controlling the intensity of the shocks as they gradually increase. These machines can be hired from a hospital, bought online or in Boots or you can borrow a friend’s – if this is the case we recommend buying new pads, which cost around £6.
6. Positive Mindset/Hypnobirthing – women have given birth for thousands of years and will continue to do so. Their bodies were made to do this! Reading/Watching hypnobirthing or attending classes can really help prepare you mentally, taking you away from it being a medical procedure, to being something perfectly natural.
At the end of the day, no matter what kind of birth you have, you soon forget about it because you have a much greater challenge ahead of you…raising your child! However, if you have tips on how you managed pain during your labour, we’d love to hear in the comments section below!
Keep an eye out for the winners of our baby awards to see our best picks for baby skincare and mummy skincare before and after the birth too.
Read blogs from our friendly team who are parents too!
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