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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6 Labor and Delivery Tips for Dads

While you may think mom does all of the work during delivery, dad plays a vital role in ensuring a smooth, stress-free delivery and can make all of the difference in how it goes. Here are 6 labor and delivery tips for dads to help make the big day run smoothly.

1.      Educate yourself about the delivery

Don’t be caught off guard by the medical lingo you hear the doctors and nurses discuss regarding your wife and baby. Take the time during pregnancy to read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts, etc. that are educational and helpful about the process of labor. Understand the various procedures that will or could happen, and as much terminology as you can. Look up things about your doctor or the doctors who could be on call, what their experience is and what they believe. Some doctors will list articles they’ve published about natural labor, or the importance of skin-to-skin, or the avoidance of the use of forceps. Knowing what’s important to your doctor and what they’re areas of expertise are can help you in your interactions with them and the decision-making process.

2.      Pack yourself a bag

Of course make sure your wife has a hospital bag packed with everything she and the baby will need, but you’re going to be spending a lot of time there, too. Don’t get stuck greeting visitors with stinky breath from not having a toothbrush, or worrying about your BO rubbing off on the baby when you hold him/her. Have your own bag packed ahead of time with all of the essentials you’ll need for at least 2 days in the hospital. Hopefully you’ll be able to get out of there on time and with no complications, but 2 days should get you through until you can leave or can ask someone else to pick up anything else you’d need.

3.      Take charge of communications

On that note, you’ll want to announce the baby’s birth when he/she is born, but probably want to avoid your phone’s ringing off the hook during that precious time. Allow mom the chance to bond and recover peacefully by taking charge of all communications. Set up a phone tree where you’ll call 1 or 2 people, and then they will make calls or announcements according to your wishes. Make sure your wife is feeling up to visitors before people are allowed in the room, and basically be a buffer between the rest of the world, your wife and new baby. There is no feeling like holding your brand new baby in your arms for the first time. Savor that feeling and moment as much as you can before letting the rest of the world in.

4.      Learn relaxation techniques for yourself and mom

Labor can take a while, and result in long stretches of discomfort and uneasiness. Waiting for test results or progress in the labor can be stressful, but it’s extremely important that you handle this stress constructively. Learn breathing techniques, learn how to relax your muscles, learn how to slow your heart rate, and learn how to coach your wife to relax. There are recordings you can find that can help you relax, and don’t hesitate to use them. Clear minds make rational decisions, and this a time when you need a clear mind.

5.      Be strong

You may have to make some tough decisions. Sometimes emergency C-sections happen. Sometimes when the baby is born, he/she needs immediate care and is taken away right after delivery. Doctors will still be focusing on your wife and ensuring her body is taken care of, so that leaves a lot of wondering what you should do. In these situations, it’s important for you to keep your composure. Difficult decisions may need to be made, and they will likely fall on your shoulders. Keep perspective and a level head to make decisions in the best interest of your family, keeping in mind your wife’s wishes if she is unable to be a part of the decision-making process.

6.      Love her unconditionally

This may seem obvious, but hear me out. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery cause huge changes in the body not only physically, but emotionally as well. Hormones necessary to help her and the baby’s body grow and develop normally can take a while to go back to normal, and can result in actions and emotions from your wife that you don’t recognize. Realize that her words and behavior are largely influenced by hormones and body chemistry, and while she may even get easily frustrated or take out her stress on you, remember to love her, “through sickness and health,” and that this is the time she needs you the most. Be strong for her. Talk calmly; don’t let yourself get caught up in the emotions. When one of you is weak, the other must be strong. Continue being kind, continue serving her, and try to meet her needs. This time will pass and things will change, but your life for each other should not.

 

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7 (More) Ways to Include Your Partner in Your Pregnancy

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you’ve probably read our first post about seven ways to include your partner in your pregnancy. Today, we’re back with seven more ideas, to help your partner feel the excitement and experience of preparing for your baby to arrive.

 

1. Plan a birth announcement/gender reveal party that focuses on the two of you.
Collaborate on fun ways to announce that you’re expecting, whether it’s a “We’re expecting” card, or a fun social media proclamation. If you’re into the whole gender reveal party trend, plan it together to up the fun factor. And make sure you have someone on hand to document your reactions.

2. Help his friends plan a “Dadchelor” party. 
This is a fun way to give your partner a fun night out with friends that can also be about the baby. Help or encourage them to plan a night at his favorite restaurant, or get tickets to his favorite sporting event. Or have a fun barbecue in your backyard… baby-themed decor optional, of course.

3. Register for baby items together. 
If you’re married, this is a fun throwback to when you registered for wedding gifts, and it’s also a great way to jointly select items for your baby. That way, you both can discuss your thoughts about what baby needs, and decide together. Also, using the scanner is super fun.

4. Jointly write your baby letters in a journal or blog. 
Take it week-by-week, and write your unborn child letters about how you feel about her and her impending arrival. Document these in a physical baby book or on a private blog. Trust me, these will be treasures both before and after baby is here.

5. Read a baby book together.
Reading a baby book together (like this one) is a wonderful way to plan for your baby’s arrival together. It can also open a dialogue about expectations and goals that can be really constructive. Be open to your partner’s suggestions and don’t be afraid to try things that you might not have considered on your own. After all, you’re a team!

6. Plan a Babymoon
Make room on your schedules for some quality one-on-one time before baby. Whether it’s a staycation at home or a fun destination location, take the time to bond and talk, because your dynamic will change once the baby comes home.

7. Ask him to baby proof the house. 
This is an especially good idea if your partner or spouse likes to be handy, as he can install all the baby gates, doorstoppers and outlet covers throughout your home. Nesting activities like this help create excitement for the new baby, and make her forthcoming debut all the more exciting.

 

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