8 Must-have Apps for New Parents

Technology has made the job of new parents so much easier with information and tools right at their fingertips. From health information to white noise, mobile baby monitors to growth monitoring, and even apps to help vacationing with babies go a little smoother, these apps can help new parents with one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs in the world.

Cloud Baby Monitor

For only $3.99 you can use the phones you already have as a baby monitor. Simply download the app on both phones and set one of the up in the baby’s room. You can see and hear them from your room without having to buy expensive baby monitors you’ll only use for a season.

Precorder

This app is pure genius. You’ll never be too late to catch a cute sound, face, or moment because this app is designed to start recording a few seconds before you can even press play. Because babies don’t seem to perform on command and only display their tricks at unexpected times, this app will make it so you’ll never miss those moments again.

Chatbooks

Instead of letting photos take up all of your phone storage, download Chatbooks so that they’re automatically and instantly organized into small books and sent right to your doorstep. No organizing or laying out skills on your part. Simply download the app for free and sync it with your photo album or even social media account. The photos automatically fill up the pages and can even include captions if you want. Proof it before it’s sent, and for only a few bucks the books are printed and shipped to you.

BabyCenter’s Pregnancy Tracker and Baby Development

Get expert advice and information on milestones, development, and medical questions you may have at any time. With this app, you can get answers on the go without having to lug books around or call your mom or doctor. It’s free and great to have when your little one gets a rash or displays some symptoms when you’re out and about.

Baby Shusher

Baby Shusher is a sound machine right on your phone that makes a “shushing” white noise sound that emulates the sounds from the womb. Sounds can play for up to 8 continuous hours and you can choose the duration of the sound.

Eat Sleep

This app is specifically designed to track eating and sleeping patters and give you daily and weekly summaries so you can learn your baby’s habits and keep tabs on their growth and development. Knowing how long your baby naps for and at what times, how much they eat and for how long can help you get into a routine and have accurate information for caretakers.

Owlet

The Owlet app connects with the Owlet Smart Sock and shows you your baby’s heart rate and oxygen level right on your smart phone. With wireless communication, you don’t have to worry about heavy duty machines or cords to wrap around your baby. The Smart Sock uses pulse oximetry to send information to a small base station set up in your baby’s room, and that information is sent via Wi-Fi to your phone no matter where you are.

Baby Pack + Go

Babies can make trips complicated, but this app will be your best friend as you prepare for your vacation. You can load lists and create itineraries centered on your baby. Never forget the sunscreen again, and use the app’s soothing sounds to pacify your baby during flights or long road trips.

*Post edited to update BabyCenter app name from “My Baby Today,” to “Pregnancy tracker and baby development.”

 

What apps have you found to be useful for new parents? Share below!

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Meet the Dads That Founded Owlet

In anticipation for Father’s Day, we’re introducing you to the amazing fathers who brought Owlet to life. But before we dive in, I want to share a few observations regarding these men. First of all, coordinating a photo shoot is not easy – especially ones involving children. These men (with the help of their amazing wives) owned every minute of it. I was impressed to see how genuine and sincere each interaction was with their children during the entire session. As the day went on, it became increasing clear to me that these men are fathers first. Their passion to help children and infants around the world starts in the home. As a father myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a work-life balance and these guys get it. I’m grateful to know each of them personally and can’t wait to see what they dream up next. – Evan Griffin, Brand Director – dad to Vienna 6, Rome 4 and London 2

 

Kurt Workman – CEO & Co-founder

Age: 28

Dad Tip: Be more patient. My biggest regret as a father has been that I wasn’t more patient with my first child. I realized parenting is tough and new for me but everything was new for my child. Literally he was doing everything for first time and I needed to see it as an opportunity to teach rather than an opportunity for me to be frustrated.

Kids: 2 (Ages 3 & 1)

Favorite Children’s Book: Llama Llama Red Pajama

 

 

Jordan Monroe – Co-founder

Age: 28

Dad Tip: Realize that your kids can teach you about being happy and how to be in the moment. It’s really easy to want to just get from point A to point B and get frustrated that your kid is not walking fast enough. Instead I try to enjoy whatever is slowing down my son. We might get detoured by a bird for 20 minutes or a puddle for 15 minutes but the reason my son wants to stay and see/play with it is because he is interested and is enjoying himself. I try to enjoy it with him and it makes me a more patient and happy dad.

Kids: 2 (Ages 2 & 10 months)

Favorite Disney Movie: Zootopia

 

Zach Bomsta – CTO & Co-founder

Age: 29

Dad Tip: Be sure to find time each day to truly be in the moment with your children and not just physically present. This is harder than it sounds when you have so many things competing for your attention. Email, deadlines, notifications; they can all wait.  Spend quality time with your kids.

Kids: 2 (Ages 4 & 2)

Favorite Snack Time Treat: Oreos

 

Jacob Colvin – International & Co-founder

Age: 33

Dad Tip: Give your kids your best time. It will be tempting or most convenient to give them whatever you have left at the end of the day but that isn’t fair to them. I ask myself, “How do I want my kids remember me?” The answer never is tired, exhausted and stressed with work. Find the time of the day where you can be the type of dad your kids deserve.

Kids: 3 (Ages 8, 6 & 7 months)

Favorite Playtime Activity: Science experiments, building forts and singing silly songs.

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16 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant 

I’ve taken 12+ hour road trips while pregnant, and flown on a cross-country flight while pregnant.

I wouldn’t recommend doing either, but traveling while pregnant is not always avoidable, and sometimes can be a nice break if you do it right. With a few extra preparations and manageable expectations, you can travel (somewhat) comfortably while pregnant.

Here are 16 tips for traveling by car or plane during pregnancy.

By Car

  1. Factor in several stops. Your bladder isn’t going to slow down for your road trip, so add some time to your ETA to factor in a few bathroom and stretching breaks.
  2. Wear very loose, comfortable clothing. Tight clothing is your enemy on a road trip (for any person, but especially those who are pregnant). Wear loose pants with a loose waist band (I personally would opt for draw-string rather than elastic so you can loosen it up if you want).
  3. Leave space for stretching out. Make sure you sit in the car as you pack to make sure you have plenty of leg room and reclining room. Consolidate and leave gear behind if you must, because you won’t last very long if you’re cramped and uncomfortable.
  4. Pack craving snacks. Bring a cooler stocked with your favorite snacks and drinks. Try to avoid too much caffeine so that you can rest and avoid unnecessary bathroom stops.
  5. Bring your body pillow. Yes, it will take up a lot of room, but you will be so glad you did when you don’t have to rest your head against the window to sleep.
  6. Anticipate car sickness. Even if you don’t have morning (afternoon, evening, night, etc.) sickness, you could still become nauseous from the motion of the car. Pack some nausea meds that are safe during pregnancy just in case.
  7. Drink a lot of water. Cars can get hot and stuffy, and it’s easy to skip the water in favor of sugary and caffeinated drinks on road trips. But during pregnancy your body requires a lot of water, so make this a priority.
  8. Wear your seatbelt. As uncomfortable as it may be, you must keep your seatbelt on and worn appropriately at all times.

By Plane

  1. Look into an easy security check option. Many airports have express security lines that don’t require the same protocol as standard security, making it much easier for passengers to get through quickly and comfortably.
  2. Check as much luggage as possible. While it may sound like a good idea to take as much as you can in carry-ons and personal items to avoid baggage fees, that extra $25 is a small price to pay to avoid lugging a lot of heavy bags around while pregnant.
  3. Wear slip on shoes. If going through security in an express lane is not an option, wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, as bending over isn’t exactly easy when you’re in your third trimester.
  4. If your seats aren’t assigned, talk to someone at the gate immediately to try to get a comfortable seat on an empty row or next to an empty seat. You will want the extra room and vacancy in case you need to make frequent trips to the bathroom.
  5. Stock up on snacks beforehand. You are allowed to bring food through security, so pack your favorite snacks before you get to the airport so you can avoid airport food prices and not have to rely on airplane pretzels for nourishment.
  6. Bring a sleep mask for long flights. Sleeping on flights is not easy, but if you bring a sleep mask you are better able to block out your neighbors reading light or iPad screen.
  7. Bring your own pillow (or two). Many airplanes only have small lumpy pillows, so bring your own. They make these awesome new pillow wedges that strap on to the seat in front of you so you can lean forward into the pillow and avoid neck-flopping, so I’d consider one of those.
  8. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Much like the road trip situation, airplanes require a lot of sitting and waiting in a tight space. Loose clothing is your friend on airplanes, but I would suggest wearing layers because airplanes can be very stuffy, but my feet always seem to be cold on airplanes. Be prepared for both.
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How You Can Help a New Mom

Adapting to life with a new baby can be difficult for parents, especially for new mothers as they also deal with recovery from childbirth. With all of the changes and added responsibility, it’s important that their “village” step up and help out wherever they can. Whether you’re a grandparent, sibling, cousin, neighbor, fellow church member, co-worker, or longtime friend of a new mom, any act of service or kindness you can show her will be much appreciated and strengthen your relationship.

Here are some ways you can help a new mom.

Help them sleep

Unfortunately there is an ironic paradigm that occurs after childbirth: babies don’t often sleep through the night or have good sleep habits at all, but new moms need extra rest to recover from delivery.  The term “mombie” has been coined to describe new moms dealing with this paradigm. But this is where her tribe can save the day. Offer to come over for an afternoon and take care of the baby while she sleeps. Change the baby for her, put the baby down for tummy time, if possible feed the baby a bottle, etc. so mom can get rest. This might be the most helpful thing you can do for a new mom.

Get the groceries

This is something you can help with before the baby is born, too. Getting to the grocery store is going to be tricky for a few weeks at least, so offer to pick up at least the essentials for mom in the week after the baby arrives. With several grocery stores offering pick-up service, you can even have mom do her grocery shopping online and then go pick it up for her to make sure she gets everything she wants. She needs to keep her energy and health up, so make sure her fridge and cupboards are stocked for when she needs a snack.

Clean the house

Again, recovery and sleep deprivation will make it hard for mom to take care of her usual responsibilities. Especially more intensive chores like vacuuming and scrubbing floors will be difficult while her body heals. Offer to come over once or twice a week for a month or so to help with basic housekeeping. Offering to do the dishes, laundry, clean the floors (especially), and scrub the tubs and showers will be so appreciated.

Clean the car

If it’s hard for mom to clean her house, you can bet the car isn’t a priority. And with another family member to add clutter, mom’s car could probably benefit from a good clean-out. Offer to clear it out, vacuum it up, and make it shine so she can travel in comfort (at least for a little while).

Walk/play with the dog

Fur babies don’t often make the top of the priority list, either, when a new baby comes home. But it’s important that they don’t develop jealousy issues and behavioral problems from a sudden lack of attention replaced by the baby. Offer to come over to walk or play with the dog to keep him/her content. Bathing and grooming the dog would also be very helpful to help keep the home clean and prevent the new baby from being exposed to unnecessary dirt or allergens.

Carpool for her other kids

For a while, the other kids in the family will also have to cater and adapt to the new baby, and this can be difficult for them. Having to miss practices, recitals, play dates, or other social events can be hard on a kid, and helping them out helps mom out a lot. Offer to have them over to play, to drop them off or pick them up from school or another activity.

We all need our support system to get through hard or changing times of our lives, and having a baby is a major life event that can be made easier by the support of a good tribe. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any new mom you know and offer help. Even if she’s reluctant, she will later thank you endlessly for being there in her time of need.

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