Picture credit: Hello Magazine
Being a new mum is absolutely exhausting – from the lack of sleep to the attempting to keep your little one alive, let alone entertained, it’s easy to see why many mums will download any app going to help out!
As a brand new (clueless) mummy myself, I have put together the apps I have found most useful in the first three months of my baby’s life:
Hoop – The one for keeping your sanity by getting you out of the house
Despite how difficult it is some days to get out of the house, (the sheer organisation and logistics behind ensuring the change bag has everything you need, the travel system folding in and out of your car, and praying that the traffic lights won’t turn to red as you HAVE to keep moving so that your baby won’t scream) going out even once each day definitely kept me sane during those first whirlwind weeks.
Hoop helps you to find drop in sessions and bookable classes for you and your baby. You can easily select your location, how far away you’d be prepared to travel, and then it displays all the classes on each day of the week in your area. You can also search by category, day of the week and age range of your children! This really helped me to try out new activities with my baby and therefore to have more of a structure to my day, and meet other mums, as well as stimulate and interest Baby R.
Hoop is a free app, downloadable from all app stores.
The Wonder Weeks – The one that explains why your baby is being a nightmare
What I didn’t realise before I gave birth is that there are key age-related developmental leaps in the first few months that every baby goes through. What I also didn’t realise is that babies become DEMONS during this time as they process new skills and sensations.
The Wonder Weeks is an app based on a best selling book and audio book, and the app includes free links to the pertinent chapters. It highlights the particular leap your child is going through, helps you visualise through informative videos, and gives you hints for games to play to further develop key skills. Despite the sometimes slightly archaic language, this app is great for knowing what your baby is going through, and even syncs with your calendar to give you fair warning of when your baby will need some extra love (and patience – I’d recommend getting the wine in.)
The Wonder Weeks is £2.99 from app stores.
Baby Sensory Signbook – The one to help you communicate with your baby
Baby Sensory is my favourite baby class of the week. Singing songs, flashing lights, fun themes, different textures and new games – all so helpful for those of us new to the baby business to inspire playtime. Babies love singing, and by signing as you sing, you are developing their language and communication skills.
This app contains the signs for the key words to the opening song ‘Say Hello To The Sun’ (sung worldwide to tens of thousands of babies each week in the Baby Sensory classes!) and hundreds of other signs to help you and your baby learn to communicate with each other. You can search for key words on the home page. Each sign has a clear video showing you how to do the sign, and you can select your favourites to keep handy.
Baby Sensory Signbook is £3.99 from app stores.
Mush – The one that’s like a dating app
So the thing I wasn’t anticipating as a new mum was having to make new friends as an adult. It can be excruciating if (like me) you are at all socially awkward, however new friends will help you make plans to get out of the house, and also give you adult conversation and a sounding board for all the ‘is it normal for my baby to….’ questions you will have.
Mush allows you to create a profile, and then browse profiles of other parents in your local area. There are also scheduled meet ups, and message boards for questions and recommendations. It feels a bit like a low pressure dating app when you try and connect with other mums, but is great to broaden your friendship group when on maternity leave.
Mush is free from app stores.
Apps I did not find useful
I really loved the idea of apps such as Kinedu and Baby Sparks – who doesn’t want tailored games and activities to play with your child each day? In reality however, I was extremely disappointed.
The free trial I had with Kinedu was brilliant – I was given four new games to play each day with my baby that suited her age and upcoming developmental milestone, with instructional videos, and lists of equipment I would need in upcoming days. In order to continue with this, I would need to pay a large subscription fee, which on my statutory maternity pay was not feasible, so sadly I deleted this initially free app.
Baby Sparks worked on a similar premise, where you were shown activities to play with your baby, however only a couple of these (the most basic) were free – the rest (which looked far more exciting) were locked until you paid a fee to release these. Boo.
Which apps have you found useful to use with your new born baby?