While I swear I’m not turning this blog into some sort of mommy diary, I do plan to post more often about other items outside of marketing that interest me, like balancing work & motherhood, opining on virtual offices and workshifting, my favorite tools & apps, starting & running a business, living in New Hampshire, and getting a little bit more personal from time to time.
This might be one of those times. Yes, it’s about pregnancy, but to be fair, I still talk about apps, so it’s not totally far off, right?
Like everything else in life, I turned to apps and other online resources to research this whole pregnancy & motherhood thing. Knowing that my little goldfish brain would retain nothing important when it comes to creating a human (and don’t call it “baby brain” – I have the crappiest memory even when not pregnant), the following 4 apps became incredibly useful to me:
This one is the ultimate fertility tracker. Oh, TMI? Suck it up; I prepared you for what this post was about. To be fair, I have friends who use this app to make sure they DON’T get pregnant, too.
Anything you can chart in regards to fertility, you can with this app – and for free. The best feature for me was the charting of my basal body temperature. For me, that was the best indicator of which days to try to get pregnant. I probably tracked it for 5-6 months to identify some opportune days before we were ready to start trying. What can I say? It worked!
My Pregnancy Today
This app, from BabyCenter (a pretty reliable, less spammy site than TheBump.com), gives you a great week-by-week breakdown of your baby’s development, accompanied by insights on what’s happening to your body, and suggested ways to prepare for your peanut. There are even day-by-day tips and information that keep you coming back regularly.
When I found My Pregnancy Today, I was in search of a checklist that was similar to what I found when planning my wedding – a step-by-step planner that suggests what you should be doing to prepare throughout your pregnancy. This app offers a healthy list of things to do, and includes customization so you can keep track of things like questions to ask the doctor, things you need to be thinking of, tests you might opt in to, and more.
This app would’ve worked for me… if I had actually believed I was in labor (long story, but it ends in me driving myself to the hospital because I had convinced my husband to go to work). For normal women who can tell the difference between “a little cramping” and legit labor pains, this app is great. Not only can you track the beginning & end of each contraction, but then you don’t have to do the math in your head to figure out their overall duration and frequency. Being able to see trends develop on the screen in front of you in between each excruciating moment is priceless. Again, if you truly realize you’re in labor. For silly people like me, an on-screen alert saying “CALL THE DOCTOR, DUMBASS” would’ve been helpful.
A Type-A new mom’s best friend. Worth every penny of the $4.99 it costs. Track sleep, feedings, pumping, peeing & pooping (which is apparently important to track, particularly those first couple weeks), which boob you fed from, medicine, doctor’s visits, tummy time, baths, spit up – pretty much everything you can think of that you’d need to track. And, if they don’t have a specific category you want to track, you can create your own. And, if you want, there’s a journal for notes or milestones.
My nanny probably thinks I’m neurotic because this app has turned me into an obsessive tracking monster. She writes down his day in a notebook and I translate it into BabyESP the second I get home so I can see how his day has shaped up.
The best parts? The charts are pretty cool (see things like average sleep, average nap sleep, average time between naps, bottle amount, nursing time, etc.), and stats are helpful (I appreciate the left/right percentage stat about how much he’s nursing on each side), but the SCHEDULER. The scheduler is the most amazing part of this app. It allows you to visually understand your baby’s routine as he develops. This has been a huge help in understanding how he has consolidated naps, if he’s getting used to eating immediately after waking, to remember which night it was that he slept 6 hours before eating (thank god for those nights), to see if he’s cluster feeding and potentially entering into a growth spurt, etc. This is the feature that will help me get him on a schedule soon, and I am THRILLED about that. Momma needs some predictability in her day again.