I’m all for limiting screen time, but the fact is the phone is an invaluable tool and when you’ve got a newborn, you take all the help you can get. Apps can make life so much easier and they don’t even have to cost a penny! These seven apps are completely free and essential downloads for all new parents.
Updated February 2020.
1. Baby Tracker
Baby Tracker has been an absolute lifesaver for my confuzzled baby-brain. Half the time I wake up in a complete fog, vaguely wondering what time it was and when I last fed William. Sometimes my husband got up in the night and did a night feed (happy days), but I don’t want to wake him to say “yo, did you remember to feed the offspring?”
Baby Tracker does exactly what the name suggests. It tracks things. Things relating to babies. It can track how much you’ve pumped, how long you breastfed for, how much formula your baby drank, when a nappy was changed and if it was dirty or wet. It’ll tell you how long since these things happened and it can create neat little graphs and charts which I don’t really see a particular use for but are certainly interesting. In the early days when you’ve changed your 15th nappy for the day you can show it to the health visitor when she comes along and says “plenty of wet and dirty nappies?”
For me the main use of this is simply that William is formula fed by multiple people (me, my husband and my mum on her days of having him) and it allows us all to sync up together and as someone who suffers from anxiety, it helps me to be reassured by information written down.
All basic tracking functions are free but there is a permanent upgrade feature to unlock charts and graphs.
I cannot say how much I love this app. It has a calendar and you can upload as many photos or videos as you want and they get sorted by date. It gives you a daily time line / progression based on your pictures. You can also use it to record milestones and weight / length with graphs, but I just use it for the pics. I don’t want to share my kids pics on Facebook to the masses, but it’s tedious sending them in individual messages especially since his grandparents and aunt don’t use Facebook.
It has a website login for those who don’t have a smart phone too and you can set email updates if you want a daily round up!
TinyBeans allows you to sync up any family members you want and they can all add / view photos. You can have hidden photos if you only want certain people to see them, or share with all. Family members can then comment on photos if they want. At the end of the month you get a cool graphic of the months calendar, but I find it a really easy way to share photos with family and for my own personal use, to see how much he’s developed by scrolling through pictures day by day.
You can share as many pics as you want but only 30 second videos in the free version. It does have a pro version which has some extra features – I’m quite happy with the free version though.
Hoops takes the data you give it such as your area and the age of your kids and it gives you all the events in the area for any given day, including community events, play centres, soft plays, libraries and so on. You can just say “What’s on today!” and it’ll tell you everywhere you could possibly go to within your set distance. Pretty handy and completely free.
This one may be hit and miss depending on your location, but I’ve found it pretty handy. It’s sort of like a local Facebook group but without having to use Facebook. It connects you with other mums in your local area and allows you to share how old your kids are and what you’re looking for. It has a message board where you can organize events and ask questions. The app is really easy to use and uses very little battery – unlike Facebook!
It also has a local places recommendation with reviews from local mums, and if you show the Tesco Cafe page you get a free muffin with every hot drink. I’m never going to turn down a free muffin!
I’ve found it just a good way to communicate with mums in the local area, and it’s completely free.
5. Baby Story
Baby Story allows you to take any picture and add cute and fun filters, text and images to it. It has a bunch of free designs, but I paid extra to unlock everything. It makes it really easy to add milestones and sharing information and I’ve actually used it for sharing pet photos and food photos too. It has lots of illustrations that are perfectly suitable for other photos. It makes my Facebook feed a little more fun and I enjoy adding captions within a few seconds to send to friends or family.
6. White Noise Lite
This App isn’t specifically made for newborns, but can be a blessing if you’re struggling to get baby to sleep. It has a wide range of sounds and noises, you can record and loop your own soundtrack and create relaxing background music or white noise. You can easily share them too. I actually use this app because I suffer from tinnitus, but found it really helped my newborn fall asleep.
7. Google Calendar
There are a lot of calendar apps out there, but I still think that google calendar is the best. It’s available on all platforms and syncs between all of them and you can add multiple people to the same calendar. This is an invaluable resource for the whole family and will help you keep track of all your appointments and plans together.
8. British Red Cross Baby and Child First Aid
This completely free app is an invaluable resource. It provides important information about all aspects of first aid for babies and children, from allergic reactions to broken bones, burns, choking and common problems. It also has the ability to track medication, making it very easy if you need to give medication for colic, constipation, a fever or anything else. It’s simple and easy to understand with videos, tips, checklists and even quizzes and tests to see if you remember what to do. Of course it should never replace medical advice, so if you’re at all worried about the health of your children make sure you chat to a medical professional – but it’s always a good idea to read up on first aid and health before anything happens.