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They won't change diapers for you, but they'll get you through those first few months
Look alive! Mother’s Day is upon us. Have you put in your annual Mother’s Day order for a dozen Shari’s Berries yet? If not, you need to get on the ball.
Or maybe YOU’RE the mom and this is your first Mother’s Day. Or—better yet—you’re a mom-to-be and this is your first Mother’s Day knocked up. That’s what I was this time last year—at a buffet-style brunch with bottomless mimosas that I couldn’t drink. It was sad.
So for you moms-to-be out there, I know how much you love unsolicited parenting advice, so here’s mine: if you don’t have a smartphone yet, get one. You will spend many hours anchored to the couch with a baby in one arm, so if you want to stay connected to the rest of the world (because you haven't yet realized that motherhood is social death), you need a phone.
There are also lots of mobile resources that you should become familiar with now, because some of them will SAVE YOUR LIFE (capitalized for dramatic effect). I’ve compiled a handy list of the top ten apps you will need if you’re a new mom or cooking up a baby as we speak, starting with:
I know this isn’t an app, but I’m loosely categorizing this under the “mobile” category—because seriously, if you don’t have an e-reader or a tablet, now is the time to get one. No one ever told me that it’s physically impossible to turn the page of a book while holding a sleeping baby. It’s like, a two-person job, and you just won't be able to scrounge up enough sympathy to convince someone to stay nearby to turn the page for you. And with all the time you’re going to spend on the couch, you could practically hire a full-time page-turner. Do yourself a favor and get a Kindle, otherwise you’ll end up watching a lot of CNN, and that’s not going to help your baby blues.
This one is obviously for those of you who haven’t given birth yet. You know how you’re supposed to time your contractions so you can tell your doctor that they’re 60 seconds long and 90 seconds apart? You’re supposed to get that information while a HUMAN baby is trying to pass through your pelvis. That’s what makes Contraction Master a glorious $1.99 investment. You tap the button when a contraction starts and then tap it again when it stops, and the app calculates the duration, frequency, and you can even note how intense the contraction was.
From our friends at Quidsi, Diapers.com is a pretty handy site, particularly if you’re looking for baby clothes, which I always need for my son, who we nicknamed Gigantor Baby. The site offers a wide selection of different brands and styles, and it usually has a couple of big sales going on at any one time. And, of course, it’s Quidsi, so you get quick and two-day shipping, which is free for orders over $49. Get the app, and you can have all of that glorious shopping right at your fingertips.
I know you can’t technically classify this app as a necessity, but it is a pretty sweet all-encompassing portal for all of the things you’ll need during your maternity leave: parenting news and information, fetal/child development updates, and community. I love the fact that I can use this app to read up on where my baby should be developmentally, or to complain about my overbearing in-laws (via the Dealing With the In-Laws message board. It’s awesome.).
Yeah, at some point you’re going to be the fat girl cutting herself another slice of coffee cake and crying because she can’t stop (ex: me yesterday. Only it was a box of Junior Mints instead of coffee cake.). MapMyFitness offers a number of mobile workout apps, including MapMyWalk, MapMyRun, MapMyRide, MapMyHike, and MapMyTri. You probably won’t need these apps for a while, but they will come in handy when you get tired of the postpartum uglies.
You know that woman you always seem to run into at weddings and baby showers, who says something to the effect of: “I still pee when I sneeze. When are you going to have a baby?!” Don’t be that woman. Do your kegels. The Kegel Trainer app is $0.99, but you not only get the added help of timing your kegel sessions, you can even program the app to remind you to do your kegels.
This little gem is great for finding other moms or just getting out of the house. You can use it to find mom groups (the dreaded mom group that you swore you’d never join because the thought of sitting around, talking about the merits of shoe laces versus Velcro depresses you), or you can find local meet-ups if you’re not ready to commit to a group. I have to say, this one came in handy when I started to lose my mind and was posting daily rages on Facebook. Where the hell are the communes Charlotte Perkins Gilman talked about?!
This app from the American Heart Association is a must have, especially when your kid starts crawling and tries to swallow your tube socks whole. The app includes CPR basics, first aid info, what to do in case of specific injuries, and more. This is great when you find yourself face-to-face with a real emergency and your mind goes blank in frozen terror. The app will also come in handy in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
Not altogether necessary for breastfeeding success, but very helpful in those early months when you’re so terrified of your baby’s imminent starvation that you’re counting wet versus poopy diapers and calling your pediatrician to give her daily updates. Because that’s totally what she thinks about all day long.
The Amazon app WILL save your life. There will be SO many times when you’ll be sitting on the couch nursing (you’re going to get really close and personal with your couch), and you’ll suddenly remember that you need to get bigger onesies, or your sister’s birthday is this weekend and you haven’t gotten her anything yet. If you have your one-click settings all set up on your Amazon app, you can make a purchase as easy as pie. What’s important to note here is that you must have a Prime membership. You’ll get free two-day shipping on all your purchases, which will more than pay for itself when you remember the following day that you need an extra set of crib sheets, and then the day after that, when you remember you need a Boppy cover. And if you sign up for Amazon Mom, you’ll get 20% off diaper and wipe subscriptions, plus an additional 15% discount for Amazon moms.
While these apps won’t raise your baby for you, and sadly, they won’t get rid of the woman at the party who tells you about her lack of sphincter control, they will make those first months go smoother. Happy Mother’s Day to all of our Vator moms!
Image source: failpost.com
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