Thursday, April 8, 2010

There's An App For That?!

Pregnancy applications. No, you don’t need to apply in order to have a child…although in some cases that probably wouldn’t be a bad idea—these are applications for your mobile phone!

When I was pregnant with Sophie I read a bunch of books, consulted a few websites like and took a childbirth class to prepare for her arrival.  I thought I did my due diligence.  As I was researching books and web resources for my last two posts, I realized how woefully low tech my preparation had been.  This isn’t much of a surprise really, since technology and I aren’t tight and I am hardly an early adopter.  Making matters worse is the fact that my husband calls me the technology killer as most high tech things I touch seem to die.  (He’s convinced I have a magnet somewhere in my body…I kid you not, I am banned from using our home desktop computer.  I write these on my laptop)

So a few weeks ago (some two years after the iPhone came out), I finally got an “Android” smart phone (Motorola devour).  Once I figured out how to make a call on the touchpad (and stopped hanging up on everyone with my chin), I started checking out the phones other features, including the Android market (think iTunes store, but for Android phones.)  I found more than a dozen baby applications!  I checked out the iTunes store too, where there are probably two dozen baby applications!  I downloaded and read up on a bunch of the apps. 

Here’s the low down on some of the best baby apps I found so you can be a high tech mama. 

Android Pregnancy Apps

Free Apps

Pregnancy Calendar
Personal pregnancy calendar, allows you to follow your baby’s development week by week, as well as changes in your body during your pregnancy.  Well rated but many seem to prefer the paid app that is similar to this (Baby Bump).  No on screen widget.

Pregnancy Due Date Calendar
OB/Pregnancy Wheel
Pregnancy Wheel
Kind of lame in my opinion, but if you haven’t seen your doctor yet, any of these will help you estimate your due date.

Pregnancy Widget
This was the first app I downloaded.  It’s simple, but helpful and the widget is on your main screen.  Basically you fill in your last period and it calculates your due date and then the widget on your screen shows you how far along you are (ex: 19 weeks, 1 day) along with how big the baby is now and how much weight you’ve probably gained.  I know this is going to sound awful, but on most days I couldn’t tell you how far along I am! I feel a little bit bad about this, since with Sophie I could tell you exactly how many weeks I was.

Labor and Contraction Timer
Pregnancy Contraction Counter
Exactly what they say they are. Helps you or your significant other keep track of contractions, also has a time to go to the hospital alarm.

Pregnancy Health Guide
Basically a dictionary of terms associated with pregnancy.  Not all that exciting, but it’s free and might come in handy.

Genetics and Birth Defects
Basically a dictionary of genetic disorders and birth defects.  This seems like it would just stress women out. 

White Noise Light
In short—it’s a free sound machine. This saved me when we were visiting my in-laws in Colorado last week.  Sophie is used to a sound machine in her room to drown out noise.  We didn’t have one in CO and my in-laws heating system makes this awful popping noise.  So I checked out the apps on my phone and found this.  It worked like a charm.  You can choose from 10 different sounds including fan, rainfall, wind, white noise, clock, train and ocean.

Developmental Milestones
You won’t need this until after the baby is born but it’s an app that tracks your child’s developmental milestones from 3 months to 5 years. 

Paid Apps

Baby Bump ($2.99)
Sort of like the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book, but on your phone.  App provides weekly info on your pregnancy including embryo size and development.  Provides journal, calendar, waist graphs, kick counter, home screen count down widget, as well as FB and Twitter sharing. Very well rated.  Just downloaded it myself.

Baby ESP ($2.99)
No, not that ESP.  This one stands for Eat, Sleep, Poop.  Welcome to parenthood, isn't it glam!  During your baby’s first few months of life you need to track their inputs and outputs, as well as their sleep.  With Sophie, I tracked this in a notebook, until I wisened up and started putting it into a printed up excel spreadsheet.  This app will allow you to keep track of your baby’s naps, wet diapers, poopy diapers, medicine and meals (whether bottle or breastfed). If you breastfeed there is a timer that allows you to track how long your child nurses on each side.  Very cool and very well rated. I’m looking forward to using this one.

Daddy 511 ($1.99)
A countdown time and pregnancy calendar for dad! Also provides contraction timer and directions to your hospital so dad has all the info in one place. App even looks masculine! Very well rated.

iTunes Pregnancy Apps

Free Apps

BabyBump (Tulsa)
iPregnancy Tracker
These free apps are like the Pregnancy Widget on the Android phone. They’re simply countdown clocks that appear on your main screen.  Good for keeping track of how far along you are, but they don’t provide any detailed info. 

Pregnancy Tracker from What to Expect When You’re Expecting
App is based on the book and provides due date calculator, week by week details on baby’s growth and development, baby illustrations, info on your changes in your body, count down to your due date, among other things. Well rated on iTunes.

Hello Baby-Pregnancy Calendar
This app, sponsored by Pampers, is for the Ipad.  It is similar to the What to Expect app but provides some different and cool features.  Evidently once you put in all your info you can put the iPad up to your belly and it will show you a simulation of what’s going on inside of you that day or week.  Woah, freaky.

Pregnancy Countdown with Facebook Connect
People seem to be really split on this one. It does a lot of what the others do and has a countdown timer, but half love it and half hate it.  Thus far only 400 people have downloaded it (some 3000 have downloaded the “What to Expect App”)

Paid Apps

iPregnancy ($3.99)
Calls itself the “premier application for keeping track of your pregnancy.”  Has a due date calculator, info on baby’s weekly development, lots of 3d Ultrasound pictures, Ob appointment tracker, weight gain tracker, etc.  It pretty much has everything the others have and has the highest rating of all the apps (4.5 stars/6,500 reviews)

Baby Bump ($4.99)
Same as the Android version. Sort of like the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book, but on your phone.  App provides weekly info on your pregnancy including embryo size and development.  Provides journal, calendar, waist graphs, kick counter, home screen count down widget, as well as FB and Twitter sharing. Very well rated but ipregnancy is more popular.

Foods to Avoid (.99)
A list of foods to avoid during your pregnancy.  I wish I had this when I was at a restaurant last month trying to figure out how much lobster I could eat in one sitting.

Baby Checklist ($1.99)
Helpful list of all the crap you need to buy for your new bundle of joy J  Wish I had this first time around as well.

Total Baby ($4.99)
Like the Baby ESP app. Helps keep track of baby’s inputs and outputs and has a nursing/bottle timer among other things.  Very well rated.  Also has a place to log milestones, vaccines, doctor’s appointments, weight gain and allergies

***Don’t have a smart phone?  You can still get baby info and updates sent to your phone via text (yes, really)

Text 4 Baby Program
Text “Baby” to 511411

Text4baby is a free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health. Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth.

More than you probably ever wanted to know about pregnancy apps, eh?  Hope someone finds this helpful.  Have an app you love or hate?  Let me know!

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