Take it from the father of a five-week old newborn: when you have a baby, you’ll be spending a lot more time on your phone. Frantic Googling of breathing symptoms. One-handed WhatsApp-ing your NCT group, during late night feeds. And inevitably, a whole lot of Instagram. As such, it helps to be prepared. And, thanks to the burgeoning market for parenting tech (call it Mumsnet 2.0), the app stores have never been more bounteous with pregnancy apps and baby-related paraphernalia. Here’s a WIRED-vetted pick of the best pregnancy, baby and parenting apps.
The pregnancy app from the makers of the conception app Glow, Nurture gives you everything you need to track your pregnancy. From daily updates on baby size (which will have you frantically trying to remember the size of a cumquat, versus a small kiwi) to developmental milestones and forum discussions, it’s a solid resource, while inputs of daily intake and symptoms will help you track your own health over your pregnancy. glowing.com/nurture(iOS and Android, free)
Set up by British entrepreneurs Katie Massie-Taylor and Sarah Hesz, think of Mush like a Mumsnet for 2017. The mobile app connects you with like-minded Mums in your local area – which will come in handy during parental leave – as well as providing useful parenting guides, forums, and a place to buy and sell second-hand baby gear. Want a more social focus? There’s also Peanut, more explicitly a Tinder-for-mums alternative.Letsmush.com (iOS and Android, free)
You’re on leave. The calendar is a horizonless stretch of entertaining a tiny, needy, stimulation-starved child. Sound familiar? You need Hoop. Simply put, think of it as the Time Out for parents. Sign up with your location and child’s age, and Hoop will show you all the family-friendly activities going on in your area. Sensory play? Messy fun! Toddler aquatic yoga? You probably live in Peckham. hoop.co.uk(iOS and Android, free)
Baby Monitor 3G
Why shell out on an expensive video baby monitor, when your house- if it’s anything like ours- is already full of internet-connected camera devices? Baby Monitor 3G lets you pair two smartphones (or iPads) to use to keep watch on your little one. Great for trips away, or a little piece of mind while sleep training. (iOS and Android, £3.99)
Ask The Midwife
A new contender, Ask The Midwife lets users pay to interact with a professional midwife through the app, either by text message or video chat. It’s not cheap, but a potential alternative to late-night emergency room visits when you’re worried and can’t reach your NHS Healthcare Visitor. askthemidwife.co.uk (iOS, fees from £0.99)
There are plenty of feed timer apps out there (for good reason, as new parents quickly discover in the spreadsheet-filled first days after birth). Baby Feed Timer is a favourite, but for the slick design and ease of use, WIRED likes BabyTime. The app makes it easy to track feeds, bottles, expressing, nappy changes, and even sleep, with a one-button change-sides feature, and intuitive visualisations. babytimeapp.com (iOS and Android, free)
The Wonder Weeks
A favourite with new parents – not least due to the popularity of the book of the same name – The Wonder Weeks provides week-by-week updates on your child’s development. Curious why your vaguely-sleeping angel is now a wailing insomniac? It may be a developmental leap. thewonderweeks.com (iOS and Android, £1.99)
Finding a babysitter is stressful. Bubble lets you find sitters recommended by friends, each of which has been vetted and security checked by the company. You can even pay them within the app. joinbubble.com (iOS and Android, free)
It’d be tempting to add one of the numerous lullaby or white noise apps to this list. But in our experience, there’s often a better selection on Spotify – from surprisingly soporific rainfall and womb noises to nursery rhymes. Ewan The Dream Sheep’s four track options pale by comparison. (iOS and Android, free)
Created by the nightlight manufacturer, Pabobo’s app is a billed as a travel-friendly alternative – although to be honest, it’s almost as good. The app uses your iPhone as the light; pick a colour, brightness, and a lullaby, and use it to try and send your little one to sleep. (iOS, free)
Netflix/NOWTV/your favourite reading app
Because let’s be honest, you’re going to have a lot of time on your one free hand. If you’re in need of a recommendation, try our lists of the best Netflix series, best movies on Netflix and the best documentaries.