Parenting apps for baby’s first two years

You’re pregnant. Congratulations! Whether you’re a first-time parent or a veteran, there are hundreds of apps to help with everything from picking the perfect name to remembering when the last time your bundle of joy had a bundle of poop.

It’s easy to get lost among all these parenting apps, so I’ll walk you through the ones I found most helpful with my little girl. Also, since parenting apps span a huge range of ages and uses, I’ll focus on the best ones for the time between baby’s impending arrival and toddlerhood.

Baby names finders

My favorite baby-naming app is Stork Drop. This $2.99 app is packed with useful features, the coolest of which is “snoop,” which lets you anonymously peek in on the favorites lists of other users. I also like Baby Names Pro. This 99-cent app helps gauge name popularity, but apart from the ability to scroll through names, it doesn’t offer much in the way of name suggestions.

On the free end of the spectrum, 25,000 Baby Names is a good for looking up name meanings and origins. Tip: tap the intro screen after starting the app. If you don’t, you’ll just stare at the splash-page baby until your phone turns off.

Nursing, dirty diapers and vaccinations

Bringing baby home can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to remember, and Total Baby (4.99) can help. This intuitive app is great for tracking diapers, sleep, feeding, and upcoming doctor’s appointments. You can also export data via email, and the developer is promising an update that will sync data between devices.

If the feature-packed Total Baby is too overwhelming, its developer offers Baby Tracker: Nursing and Baby Tracking: Diapers. I love these easy-to-use baby apps, and think they’re well worth their $4.99 and $1.99 costs. Still, Total Baby does everything that these two apps can do, and is a bargain at $4.99.

Sleep! Please, sleep!

Baby wont’ nap? The 99-cent Baby Soothe comes to the rescue. This app has ten sleep-inducing sounds, such as Brooke, Heartbeat, and Vacuum. You can also combine sounds, which is cool, and the auto-off feature has a range of one to 90 minutes.

Another baby soother can be found in the $1.99 non-baby app, Ambience, which features more than 50 sounds, including baby-soothing classics as oscillating fans, running water, heartbeats, and, yes, light saber. 

Of course, once baby’s asleep, you’ll want something to help negotiate the darkened nursery. While there are more than 30 “flashlight” apps to choose from, I prefer the free Flashlight. app from John Haney Software. I’ve been using it happily for more than a year.

Toddler Diversions

Eventually, your iPhone is going to find its way into the hands of your toddler. Accept this now and be prepared.

A good toddler toy to have on hand is BabyCenter’s 99-cent PhonyPhone. My toddler definitely prefers this slick app to her plastic “cell phone,” but BabyCenter needs to figure out a way to lock the app so children don’t start making random-button calls to Brazil with your real phone.

Also, an interesting toddler toy hack can be found in the 99-cent Adorable Babies by Empire Apps. Toddlers love baby faces, and you’ll be surprised by how much mileage you can get from the 72 pictures of babies and toddlers in this free app.

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