Baby on Board: 9 Best Apps for Expecting Parents
If you’re expecting a baby, you’re overjoyed and probably just a little bit anxious. This mix of joy and anxiety is likely causing a ton of questions to swirl around in your head. You’re probably also overwhelmed by the buzz of advice from friends, family, neighbors, and well-meaning strangers. This is where technology can be a life saver. There are plenty of apps that can help new moms and dads successfully navigate life with a baby.
Dr. Sherry Ross, an OB/GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, told The Cheat Sheet apps are a great way for parents to track a pregnancy. “Reliable information is out there through trustworthy apps,” Ross said. “You can find information on everything from helping you home in on ovulation dates to choosing a baby name.” She also laid out the pros and cons everyone should know.
Some of the pros:
Apps provide endless information at every stage of the pregnancy.
Apps are easy to navigate and help you better translate and understand medical terms.
Apps use images to show the changes in a pregnant body and growing baby.
Apps help count down weeks and days leading up to your delivery date in great detail.
Some of the cons:
Not all apps are created equal.
Apps can create confusing, misleading and incorrect information.
Apps can cause anxiety and fear.
While apps are easy to use and convenient, it’s still important to consult with your physician when it comes to making a medical decision. Dr. Jaime Knopman and Dr. Sheeva Talebian, founders of Truly, MD, similarly advise parents. “While there are several pros to online forums, apps, and accessible medical information, these sources do not replace the knowledge and experience of a medical professional,” they said.
Now that you know some of the limitations and benefits of parenting apps, you’re ready to go app shopping. Here are nine of the best apps for expecting parents.
1. My Baby’s Beat
The My Baby’s Beat app ($4.99, available on Android and iOS) allows parents to hear the sounds their baby is making while inside the uterus. No accessories are needed, and app users have the ability to record and share the sounds through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. All you need is your iPhone or iPad’s microphone, and you’re on your way to hearing the sound of your little one’s heartbeat, kicks, and more.
It is recommended that parents wait until the 30th week of pregnancy before attempting to use the app to hear their baby. The app creators also remind excited parents not to substitute this app for a formal appointment with their doctor.
2. Labor and Contraction Timer
This handy tool ($1.99, available only on iOS) uses a stopwatch feature to help moms- and dads-to-be keep track of contractions. If you’re nervous about knowing when to grab your hospital bag to head to the hospital, worry no more. This device will guide you by tracking the time between each contraction as well as each contraction length.
Shopping for your new addition can be overwhelming, but BabyList (free, available on iOS and Android) makes the process easy. Instead of having friends and family go through the hassle of searching multiple baby registries, this app syncs all of your items from different stores into one registry.
If you love getting text messages, the Text4baby app (free, available on iOS and Android) is for you. Once you type in your due date and phone number, you’ll receive text updates on your baby’s development throughout the pregnancy and notices up to one year following the birth. You’ll be able to take quizzes, watch educational videos, see your baby’s growth, and keep track of medical appointments. What’s even better is this app is backed by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
5. WebMD Pregnancy
The WebMD Pregnancy app (free, available for iOS only) provides a wealth of information for expecting parents. Users will be able to access weekly pregnancy updates, an appointment tracker to help keep up with doctor’s visits, a list of questions to ask the doctor, nutrition information, and checklists of things to do, purchase, and pack before the baby makes his or her appearance. There are also educational videos, quizzes, articles, tips, and more.
6. Cozi Family Organizer
The Cozi Family Organizer app (free, available on iOS and Android) will help you stay in charge of your hectic life. This free app allows you to keep track of medical appointments (there will be lots of them during and after the pregnancy), create and share shopping lists, and even store recipes.
7. What to Expect
This app (free, available on iOS and Android) is based on the popular guide of the same name. It contains features that help you make sense of the pregnancy journey on a daily and weekly basis. When you plug in the due date for your new bundle of joy, you can even get personalized information. The app also has the latest parenting and health news.
8. Perfect Pregnancy and Postpartum Pounds
Are you having trouble maintaining your ideal pregnancy weight? The Perfect Pregnancy and Postpartum Pounds app ($2.99 on iOS, $1.99 on Android) makes it easier to stick with your weight-gain or weight-maintenance goals. This app will help you calculate pregnancy metabolism during all three trimesters. It also assists you with figuring out your ideal daily calorie target. After pregnancy, you can use the app to assist you with tracking weight loss and assessing breast milk production.
9. The Bump
The Bump app (Free, available on iOS and Android) is an extension of the popular website of the same name. This app features parenting advice in addition to articles and a forum where parents can ask questions and support each other during their baby journey.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo
[Editor’s Note: This story was originally published January 2017]