Technology is pretty much the best. I'm not a "techie" by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy the latest and greatest and I have my personal IT guy who makes it happen (i.e. the husband).
It's a phone and a remote all in one!
I remember back in 2005 when I got my first Blackberry. Putting my contacts in at my computer and immediately syncing to my phone -- I was in love. I had addresses at my fingertips when I went to the post office. My calendar went with me everywhere. I thought the only thing that could make this thing more perfect was having a mirror on the back for when I needed to put on lipstick. THEN it would have everything.
My teeny tiny brain couldn't even conceive of apps in 2005 and now I pretty much live and breathe by them. My most favorite app in the entire world is the Baby Connect app. It is also my favorite "baby gear" item, because it was the one thing that made my life easier to manage after Scarlett was born. I freaked out when I realized I was going to have to track her feedings, diaper changes, and weight gain. I was already afraid of being tied down to the kid, and logging every minute of her life only added to my anxiety. I was overwhelmed and immediately knew I would be terrible at it.
Enter Baby Connect! You can time feedings, keep track of diaper changes, log milestones and activities, enter medical information, etc. It also syncs to the web-based version, which is nice for those who have time to sit at their computer for longer than five minutes. After several months of using this app around the clock, I became well-versed in its strengths and weaknesses.
1.) Timer – The most obvious and greatest use for Baby Connect is the feeding timer. There is a timer for bottle feeding, nursing, and pumping. It logs the length of each feeding and also reminded me which side she nursed from last. I loved it because it meant I could think less in the middle of the night.
2.) Diaper Log – The second greatest use for Baby Connect is the diaper log. With the tap of an icon, you can log whether baby had a wet or dirty diaper. You can even keep track of stool color and consistency (totally gross, but it’s amazing the things you’ll do for love).
3.) Graphs and Charts – I admit that I am a total nerd. Baby Connect can compile all the data you enter into neat little graphs and charts that can be viewed in a number of ways. Do you want the total number of diaper changes, or just the wet ones? Do you want to know how often baby ate at each breast, or the average number of feedings a day? It’s all there!
4.) Syncing Two Phones – My husband changed our daughter in the middle of night and then brought her to me to nurse. It would be a pain if I had to remember to keep track of every diaper change he did, but we both installed Baby Connect and synced to the same account. He also admitted to checking in on us occasionally from work to see how the baby’s day was going and if she was eating well. Slightly creepy, but cute.
1.) Double Payment – I absolutely love that both mine and my husband’s phone can sync to one account. However, I did not love the fact that we both had to pay for it. Yes, it is only $4.99, but it’s still annoying.
2.) Battery Drain – Using the timer as often as I did throughout the day sucked the life out of my battery. This is because my screen is active the entire time I feed her. I combated this problem with phone chargers in places where I regularly nursed, like next to the rocking chair in the nursery and next to the big comfy chair in the living room.
3.) Unnecessary Features – There are some features of Baby Connect that I have no use for, such as the sleep timer. But I will say that even though some features are not useful to me, they may be useful to somebody else. And they do not get in the way of the features that I do use, so I guess it’s like they are out of sight, out of mind.
My other favorite app is Pepperplate. My sister-in-law introduced it to me and I LOVE IT. You can manage recipes, shopping lists, and menus all in one place. I was always pretty anal about my recipes and have a format that I've been putting my recipes in for years (so that they all match and my recipe binders look pretty -- I know, it's a problem). Anyway, recipe binders are so last century and I needed a digital way to stay organized, and this app does it all. I don't really love looking at recipes on my phone because the phone is too small, but I use my tablet and it's the perfect size. How many times has somebody asked you for a recipe at a party or something, and you're like, oh yeah I'll get that to you, and then you forget? With Pepperplate you can email it right then and there! I seriously love it.
The most important thing you can do is download the bookmarklet on your desktop. When you see a recipe on a website, you can click the bookmarklet to add to Pepperplate and it will take you through all the steps to do it. BONUS -- if it's a major recipe site, Pepperplate is already set up to recognize the website and download and format the recipe for you.
Yay for technology!