First of all, I'd like to wish you all a belated happy new year; 2014 was a life changing year for me with the birth of my son; it's amazing how fast a tiny human grows, he'll almost be a year in March!
I've always been the type to take motherhood very seriously and like a lifelong project; I wanted to become an educational psychologist as a teenager but fell in love with Nutrition at college and pursued that at university (with the odd psychology module of course).
Being the most important and influential person in a child's life is a massive responsibility in my eyes and though it's never easy, watching them learn new things every day and form their own personality traits is so beautiful.. I can't help but wonder what my little bubba will be like when he's in school, when he's a teenager and one day a man!
Seeing as time flies, I've been noting his developments through his health book, apps and occasionally on my social media pages (#frootibaby).. It's always nice to look back at photo albums and see how much you've changed, so I hope to do this for little man too.
I thought I'd write this post recommending some of the apps I use to note developments and also for general helpful information that may be useful to check out.
Initially in my pregnancy I had a few apps I would read on a daily basis to check the development of the tiny foetus growing inside me; I was fascinated by the scientific side of what was developing and at what apparent equivalent size my baby was (a kidney bean, an apple, a watermelon etc); if you are a longterm follower of mine on twitter you now know why I tweeted a weekly vegetable or fruit coupled with an emoticon haha!
I loved that the Emma's Diary app also allowed you to keep a diary of all you're feeling (another great idea to read back to your child one day) as well as read "Emma"'s diary and see if you're feeling the same.
My Baby Today | BabyCenter (free)
After baby was born, the BabyCenter "My Pregnancy Today" app prompted me to download the "My Baby Today" app, which consistently follows on from the pregnancy app but is baby development related. I now use this app and like that it gives supportive, handy advice on yours and baby's life, as well as activities to do and "weekly giggles" based on your baby's age timeline.
Baby Tracker (free)
At the beginning of baby's life, you'll have constant midwife and health visitor appointments, so I liked to keep track of feeds and lengths of feeds etc and have this information to hand if needed. There are plenty of Baby Feed Tracker apps, and most allow you to record lengths of feeds (if breastfeeding) or amounts of feeds if bottle feeding, as well as wet and dirty nappies and sleep times.
Also handy to have is a growth tracker app that you can note down baby's height, weight and more, for those appointments with the health visitors.
For those who love checking out what stage your child is at cognitively, physically and emotionally, this app explains the fussy moments in relation to brain developments (or "leaps").
I like that this app has a personalised chart too, so you can see approximately where your child is - and also predict when they're next going to be Cranky, Crying or Clingy (the 3 C's).
The wonderful world of weaning is next; I've had a few people ask me what kind of recipes I recommend and haven't got round to replying, but from a Nutrition point of view, I like this app because it's got UK based recipes/measurements.
This app actually has many other points I like about it too:
- The recipes are easy to make (a lot with simple ingredients that I use for myself too) which is great for when bubba starts having "mummy's food".
- You can choose to follow the app "Week-By-Week" based on the weeks you start weaning (not age) or you can choose your own "Meal Planner" where you add the recipes you/your bubba will like to the days of the week
- Ingredients from a recipe can be added to a shopping list within the app
- You can add recipes to your/your babies favourites
- There are articles and tips to read within the app as well as "Help from Heinz"
Baby Sign And Learn (free for lite/£1.49 full)
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me post a picture of my bubba's certificate for attending Baby Sign Class (which I wholly recommend). I love that learning sign can help a baby communicate with you more effectively, even though they can't say proper words yet (so far my little man gets excited/impatient when I sign for "drink milk"!).
If you don't have a sign class that you can go to, this app is pretty helpful and teaches words that you would use on an every day basis in your routine with baby (drink, eat, nappy etc), which is always handy if it helps calm (or excite) baby.
Lifecake - Baby Photo Journal and Slideshows (free)
Last but certainly not least, is the Lifecake app; this app is one I've recommended to friends and family who've also recently had babies (of course we all want to see how each baby is developing so we can swap mum stories!).
I like that this app automatically puts any pictures uploaded into age/date order (from the date the picture is taken).
The pictures, videos and notes can be thus sorted in date or age order; or if your timeline has more than one kid on it, then just date order.
Privacy is important and the pictures uploaded to the app are private (unless you choose to share the timeline with a member of family/friend), and if they have an account it doesn't automatically mean you see their pictures, they have to invite you.
You can upload up until 1GB (I think there's a premium version thereafter). And yes you can order a photo book too, which I certainly plan to do as a keepsake =)
Best of all, every so often, Lifecake email you a "flashback" to see how your bubba has changed (e.g. a picture at 4 months next to a picture at 8 months) and it's amazing because you don't see it when you're with them every day but you can see it when they're put together!
So here are some of my favourite apps that I'd recommend; of course there's a plethora of baby apps that you can download to even entertain and engage your baby, but for now I thought I'd share the ones that would interest the parents out there =)
Let me know which ones you'd recommend or really love and why; it's always lovely to discover new apps seeing as there are so many!