MUST-HAVE PARENTING APPS

I know I’ve been MIA for the last few months. It’s only because I recently became someone’s mom, and getting into the swing of parenthood took some time. A lot of time. And a lot of apps.

I can’t help much in the way of parenting advice (I’ve mastered little other than surviving on five hours’ sleep), but listen when I tell you that an app can change your life. Here are the four that are keeping me sane, even when my appearance would suggest otherwise.

Feedbaby

Feed Baby

Everyone in Lebanon talks about the “40 Day Rule,” which marks the post-delivery date when everything magically becomes rainbows and butterflies. I don’t know who started that rumor, but they were lying.

After 40 days, baby was still eating constantly and splitting the rest of her time between sleeping and demanding to be held. Her inconsistent eating/sleeping patterns made leaving the house a nightmare.

This app won’t get your baby on a schedule, but it will allow you to easily track patterns in her routine. Record when she ate, for how long she slept, and even the time of her last diaper change. I was able to work out that we had one hour each day that was always safe to venture beyond our living room.

Now that she’s a little older, I use Feed Baby to monitor how much she’s eating. It breaks down breastfeeding sessions into Left and Right, making it easy for even the most sleep-deprived mom to keep track of where baby left off (note: there’s also a way to record bottle feedings).

Get it here.

LACTICA

Breastfeed Proudly

Even confident breastfeeders face situations that make nursing in public uncomfortable. Thanks to this app, those instances will be fewer and farther between.

Users can find star ratings for restaurants, shops, and public places in Lebanon, with criteria including how welcoming staff is to nursing moms and how child-friendly the establishment is. Because reviews are contributed by registered users and the app is new (it’s still in the soft-launch phase), there are just a few locations with ratings. Hopefully that will change when Lactica, the NGO behind the app, launches it officially.

Get it here.

babysleep

Baby Sleep Instant

My daughter is the very definition of curious, which always meant that the chances of her falling asleep in public were slim. Despite rigging her stroller with a blanket to block out light, she’d peek out the side at the slightest sound. A friend suggested a white noise app, and after a bit of searching I found Baby Sleep.

This app is brilliant in its simplicity. There are 13 sounds to choose from, including “In utero” and “Vacuum.” Just set the timer and tap the one you want to play. That’s it – no bells and whistles. You can also record your own voice singing her favorite lullaby. So even if you’re at the Souks on a sunny Saturday (when it’s overrun by screaming children), just cover the stroller, tuck your phone into the top of it, and hit play. Baby will be out like a light.

Get it here.

Electricity

Beirut Electricity Cut Off

We’ve all learned to deal with electricity cut-offs, but having a kid takes that inconvenience from a 3 to a 10. I made the mistake of visiting friends when their elevator was out and ended up carrying a car seat up five flights of stairs (just kidding, I made my husband do that).

I’m not suggesting you make plans based on the electricity schedule, but knowing when it’s cutting out allows you to make necessary adjustments – like wearing your baby instead of keeping her in a car seat, or waiting a few hours to go grocery shopping.

Get it here.

Parents: What’s your favorite app? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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