Our neighbour recently had her third child and her mother (the grandmother to be) was excited to be using an app she had downloaded to assist her during labour. After announcing that she was now a ‘digital granny’, it got us talking in the office about how digital could help new Mums and Mothers-to-be.
After finding out the happy news that you are expecting, there are a wealth of apps that can help you throughout your pregnancy. These range from Pregnancy+, which is the world’s most downloaded pregnancy app, to Sprout, which shows you 3D images from the womb and hear your baby’s heartbeat from week 9. Baby Buddy, which is endorsed by the Department of Health, allows you to create your own avatar and you will get personalised content throughout your pregnancy and for the first 6 months of baby’s life.
There is also a pregnancy app for men, to help them support their partners throughout their term – M Pregnancy. It is a humorous take on the pregnancy but does give useful information too.
Whilst you are pregnant you may want to register your baby’s domain name, to ensure it doesn’t get taken by anyone else! This trend hints at the potential importance of domain names in establishing one’s future digital identity. It’s not known exactly how many, but more and more people are starting to register their unborn baby in case they grow up to want their own named site. It is said that parents worry that the name of choice may not be available by the time their baby becomes a teen, just as someone claimed the ‘.com’ for Britney Spears’ 11 month old son before she could.
Sites such as totsites.com and ourbabyhomepage.com can help you in securing your child’s website, otherwise you can use any hosting site to check whether your baby’s name is taken, and if not, register it for yourself!
Some parents-to-be are also choosing to set up Facebook profiles for their unborn babies, but be aware that it is a breach of Facebook guidelines to set up anything other than a ‘page’ for somebody else. A couple found this out when their unborn daughter’s account (with 350 friends, who regularly updated her profile with posts such as ‘swimming around my mummy’s tummy’) was removed from Facebook without any explanation. Remember that you must have a personal profile to then create a ‘page’ for your child. You also then have ownership of that page.
So, the day arrives and the contractions are starting. It’s time to get your labour app going. Choose from Contraction Timer, iBirth or my neighbour’s app of choice; Full Term. These apps are very easy to use and guide you through the labour process while timing your contractions. There are many, many more and is even one for the men – The guys guide to the delivery room, which is packed full of advice, support and testimonials.
For most new parents, those first few days and weeks are terrifying, especially if it is your first child. You can’t stop checking your baby in case she or he has stopped breathing, and you worry about their lack (or too much) of sleep. Are they crying too much? Are they too hot? Too cold? Each day is a different worry! But with aids such as Sproutling, Owlet or Mimo you can rest easy (or a little easier at least…)
Depending on your choice, you can get a device which can connect to your baby via a boot, ankle or onesie and record heart rate, breathing, sleeping and give you the results on your smartphone. You can even log bowel movements and feeding. But beware that you enjoy this time with your newborn rather than focusing too much on your baby’s movements. After all, it’s not a tamagochi you have given birth too!
Friends and family are always desperate to see photos of your new bundle and to make that easier for you, Facebook has launched a new feature called Scrapbook, which allows you to add all your uploaded images into one page for your baby. It allows you to ‘tag’ your child in the photos (as long as they are added onto your personal profile) and automatically adds the image into your child’s scrapbook.
Perfect for uploading to their own website - which you obtained before they were even born!
How about you - have you any experiences of ‘digital babies’, or what are your thoughts? We’d love to hear them…