Be good parents? There’s an app for that

Today, I’m thinking back on the last couple months and all the wonderful advice we got from friends and family after finding out we’re expecting our first child.

Kidding! Come on, it’s 2017. We each grabbed our respective Macbook in one hand, smartphone in the other and Googled our hearts out.

In our defense, we had more than two months before we could safely tell anyone. It’s not like we could just ignore the situation until then. We were eager to learn all we could as soon as we could.

Today, I want to share some of the hit and misses I’ve come across in my search for parental resources on the Internet.

First, a little more on what I’ve been looking for. There are a couple books in my Amazon wishlist for dads about what to do when the baby arrives. I intend to read some of these… eventually. It’s not that I’m being lazy. I just figure that if I get these books now, six months before our anticipated due date, I’ll probably forget most of what I learned anyway.

I was looking for a prequel baby guide. What should you do while waiting for the baby?

What I came to quickly realize is there are several such guides for the mom side of things ranging from what you can’t eat (it may have saved time to just list the things a pregnant woman can eat) to a map of the female anatomy that looks suspiciously like a maze I competed on the placemat of a kid’s meal.

“The Bump” and “What to Expect” apps offer the usual information (your baby is the size of a lime!) and some useful info and articles. Kayla did mention she’s a fan of The Bump because it prompts questions to ask when visiting the doctor. 

What to Expect’s emails are also helpful to get you to use the app, but get ready for a whole lot of spam. I don’t need my baby app to tell me how I can win a $1,000 Amazon gift card.

Really, the options for apps to help expectant dads are lacking. Searches for the best apps for fathers typically direct you to apps that could come in handy, but really have nothing to do with pregnancy. Various task apps, cooking apps and WebMD were recommended, but my personal favorite was an article that recommends an app to find a handyman in your area. Because who can be bothered with such nonsense as fixing a sink when there’s a baby in the picture?

One app, New Dad – Pregnancy for Dads, did offer some good, manly worded info, but not to the extent What to Expect did. Still, I kept the New Dad app installed and browse it from time to time, mostly for its helpful tips:

Well OK, if you say so, New Dad app. 

At this point in proofreading the blog entry, Kayla went on a pregnant-woman rant (Get out of the way!) about how every app/book/website uses the terms husband and wife exclusively. What about partners? Parents? Elders? Givers of life? We’re surely not the only unmarried couple to have a child. As I mentioned in the second paragraph, it’s 2017. Is marriage still even a thing? End rant.

Now, we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well over the last few blog posts. I’ve shared a lot of personal information about this process. Here’s the most embarrassing thing I’ve shared to date. One of my favorite apps is called “BabyName.” I missed the boat on the whole “Tinder,” swipe right, swipe left thing. This app is that for baby names. Swipe on a name you like, and if your partner also likes it, that name goes to a joint list.

Just don’t be a fool like I was and forget which way to swipe for yes or no. If you want to undo a swipe it’ll cost you a cool 99 cents. Come on BabyName, I have a kid coming I need to save for!

Now apps are great, but I spend 80 minutes a day on the road commuting to and from work. I see this as the perfect opportunity to learn something new, but Nebraska law enforcement has this thing about reading your phone while driving. So, I turned to Podcasts.

There are several options to choose from, but for new fathers my favorite so far is “The Podfathers.” The show consists of three dads sharing their stories and experiences. That’s what I like about it.

Many of the others I tried out come across as preachy, and make you feel like you’re going to be a terrible father if you don’t buy their book.

The Podfathers comes across as more conversational, and they’re quick to point out that every case is different and to not put too much faith in one source. Specifically, if your smart phone app says your baby should be the size of an orange and your doctor says he or she is the size of an avocado, don’t go into a tailspin. Every pregnancy is different. This is the biggest lesson I’ve realized when dealing with pregnancy apps. Don’t take their word as gold. Their goal is to generalize something that in reality is unique for everyone. 

The Podfathers can get graphic, however. Kayla listened to one episode with me about the birthing process, from the man’s perspective. When they got to the part about cutting… that area… rather than letting it tear, the show was promptly turned off. So you could say we’re not looking forward to everything that comes with having a baby, but at least we’re putting Verizon’s unlimited data plan to good use. 



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