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5 New Mom Apps That Saved My Sanity

5 New Mom Apps That Saved My Sanity

Being a new mom is stressful, especially if you’re doing it all for the first time. You constantly worry if you’re doing it right. I’ll admit it, I Googled EVERYTHING for the first six months. My smartphone became my best friend. It’s easy (with practice) to hold a brand new baby and a phone at the same time. Within the first month of my maternal journey I rounded up a posse of mom apps to keep me from losing my mind.

My Favorite Mom Apps

Which Breast

I am lucky to be a breastfeeding mom, but the cluster-feeding induced sleep deprivation had me quickly confused as to which breast I’d last used. I was even too tired to use a safety pin in my bra on the last side I’d used, a trick recommended by my mother. In my first few days of motherhood I tried out a variety of breastfeeding tracker apps, and I like this one the most. It’s straightforward and really easy to use. I used it far longer than I probably needed to, but it kept me feeling on track.

It’s free, but it’s only on Android. The good news is there are similar mom apps for iOS. If you bottle feed, there’s an app for that too.

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mydlink Baby Camera Monitor

Because I only let go of my phone to change diapers, and on the odd occasion when I would shower, I wanted a camera with a video baby monitor app, not a separate screen. You can watch your baby sleep from anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection. Like on date night when grandma is watching the baby, but you miss them so much, even though you really needed a break. Yeah.

This app is free, but you do have to buy the camera. I’ll be honest, I chose it because it was on sale, but I have never had a problem with it. It may be the second best thing to happen to me. This mom app is available for both Android and iOS.

Relax and Sleep

When you spend a lot of time on the Internet searching “why won’t my baby sleep?”, you often get the answer “use white noise”. Again, I went through a lot of white noise apps and I just liked this one the best. With this app you can become a white noise DJ, mixing different levels of wolf song and thunderstorm, or ocean and campfire (my daughter’s favorite). My cousin’s son will only chill out for vacuum sounds. And the best part? It comes with you wherever you go.

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This mom app essential is free, but only for Android. (Sorry guys, I’m a Galaxy gal). However, iOS has some great free apps too.

The Wonder Weeks

If you are worried about the dreaded four-month sleep regression, The Wonder Weeks is for you. This app was recommended to me by a mom with experience and it is fantastic. It warns you about impending fussy periods and keeps you up-to-date on mental milestones. Having this mom app at my fingertips has taught me a valuable lesson that all moms need to learn: your baby isn’t crying because it hates you and you are terrible, it’s just going through a phase. Wonderfully, this mom app gives you tips on how to help your babe through these leaps.

This is the only app I have ever paid for, no lie. My only regret is that I didn’t get it sooner. It is available for both Android and iOS.

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Netflix

This may seem like a cop-out when it comes to mom apps, but I spent a lot of time with Netflix in the first few months of motherhood. Three A.M. fussy feedings are maybe not the ideal time to read ‘The Girl on the Train’, but they are perfect for bingeing all seven seasons of Parks and Recreation. Which I did on my phone, while nursing in a rocking chair.

Bonus: when your baby is a bit older, you can put them in their bouncy chair in front of BBC nature documentaries, and know that you are doing something good for their brain. And then that tiny infant will be 13 months old and you will pass them your phone with Puffin Rock on it and pray they stay quiet for six minutes.

The Netflix app is available for free on Android and iOS, though you do have to pay for the subscription.

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This article is entirely my own opinion, and I have not been paid by any of these companies to share their products. I hope that sharing my lifehack with mom-kind will ease someone else’s transition in to motherhood, and save their sanity too.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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