Over the past year, I’ve gotten to know my baby and my iPhone extremely well. We’ve always been close, but we got even closer while I was on maternity leave. I also noticed that I’m a great multi-tasker. Not only was I breastfeeding my daughter, but I was also searching the Internet to find out “why is my baby crying”.
Here is a list of my favourite apps that I used while on maternity leave:
1. My Pregnancy Today and My Baby Today – Both apps helped me a lot during pregnancy and helped me learn about my baby milestones. Cute cartoons would show up once in a while, which I found great to be great comic relief and the to-do lists they provided helped keep me on track.
2. Relax Melodies – Since she was 8 months, we have been using this app. I’m actually listening to “slow waves” right now through the baby monitor while I’m typing this. When we sleep trained our daughter at 6 months, one of the tools it says to use is white noise. While I was in Florida, her crib was next to a bathroom that had a fan. It worked great for those two months. It offered a light glow and the fan as a noise machine. When I got home from our trip, I didn’t have any sound machines that would go all night. After doing some research on Amazon.com, I came across this app. We had an old iPhone 4 that we weren’t using and decided to put the app on the phone, plug the phone in all the time and let it run. It works so well. It never shuts off, but you can set a timer if you want. The best part, I didn’t have to spend $50+ on a noise machine, this app is FREE!
3. Candy Crush – Who isn’t addicted to Candy Crush? I certainly am. I’m not addicted enough to search for Candy Crush cheats, but I have paid .99 cents to get a few more moves to pass a level. Don’t judge. You’ve done it too!
4. Fisher-Price Giggle Gang – So we used this app mostly when we didn’t want the baby to fall asleep in the car, so that she could have a good nap at home. Our daughter was about 6 months when we started using this app. It was one of the only apps that would keep her attention long enough to keep her awake until we got home. Now I find she gets a little bored with that app, but it worked like a charm when it did.
5. Google Chrome – As mentioned above, a search engine app was key in the first few months of parenthood for us. I didn’t know what I was doing, I needed help. I searched for things like “why does my baby have goop coming out of her eye?” “Why is my baby crying?” “Does my baby have gas?” “How to stop a baby from crying?” and so on. It was extremely helpful. I don’t know how people did this in the olden days. 😛
6. Next Issue – If you’re reading this and now at #6 on my list, you’re probably a) a new mom b) a recent back-to-work mom or c) have a friend that is a new mom and plan to send her my list of mom apps for her to read. Next Issue is an excellent concept for anyone really. I have to be honest, I haven’t downloaded this app*, BUT I plan to tonight because I started work again on Tuesday and I finally have a few minutes to myself at lunch time to indulge in a good magazine. Next Issue is basically an all-you-can-read app for magazines. You know how magazines are normally between $3-$8 per magazine, well with Next Issue you can a basic subscription for $9.99/month or premium subscription for $14.99/month. This is a steal since you would probably end up spending more than that a month on 2-3 magazines, now you can have them all! Muahahahah. The best part?!? If you use this link, you’ll get a 30-day trial for free. FREE!
7. Instagram – While I was on maternity leave, I used Instagram a lot. I used it because I didn’t want to flood my Facebook with our family pictures, but did want to post a ton of pictures of our daughter to our friends and family that did want to see it. I currently use Instagram a little less for personal purposes and more for the blog these days. I guess that’s what happens when your little one turns one.
8. Netflix – Speaking of breastfeeding, we can’t forget our about pumping days. I actually really enjoyed pumping. I only did it a few times (which is probably why I say I liked it) and enjoyed every minute of it. Why? Because at that point, it was the only time of day that I had to myself. Our daughter was a terrible sleeper, so for the first three months, I actually had to sleep with her on me (bad I know, but you do what you have to do) and then beside me. We were attached to the hip (which I also loved)… BUT when I did want that alone time and I only got it when I had to pump. So, when it came time, I loaded up Saving Hope on Netflix, got my double breast pump ready and pumped away.
9. iBooks – I really enjoyed using iBooks on my iPad mini when I was in Florida. It allowed me to buy books and not have to lug around clunky books with me. Here are a list of books I downloaded on mat leave: The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet, The Sleepeasy Solution, Divergent and The Husband’s Secret (which I still haven’t read).
* Update: Since I have written this post, I have downloaded this app and love it. I use it to read magazines on the way to work, to relax after the baby is down for the night and to browse magazines during my lunch hour. I really wish I had thought to download this app while on Mat leave.