If you have an iPhone and a new baby, chances are they don't often meet. Moving the former out of range of the latter (and by that I mean upchuck range, not just reach) will become second nature. But actually, your iPhone can be a big help in those first years of parenthood.
Apple has coined the slogan 'There's an app for that!' to promote the fact that with 65,000 applications available for iPhone, there's a huge amount of variety.
With that in mind, I've picked out five that I've found particularly useful. They work on any iPhone, or alternatively on any iPod touch, and the links will open up iTunes and go straight to their product page.
Some women tie a ribbon to their bra when breastfeeding to remind themselves which side they last nursed on. Which is a.) practical and b.) cheap. The more expensive and gadgety way to do it, of course, is with an iPhone app. Baby Tracker: Nursing works very well though: You tap the screen once when starting on the left or right, and again to stop. You can retrospectively add feeds where you forgot to switch the iPhone on, and it keeps logs for later reference. Get it here
2. Baby Soothe (£0.59)
If you haven't got one of those babbling brook gadgets to stick to your baby's cot (or if, alas, you've run out of batteries through overuse), Baby Soothe can help. It offers a choice of nine ambient sounds, from rain and waves through to a heartbeat, or the tried and trusted static. Turn it on, whack your iPhone's volume up, and - in theory - watch your baby fall into a slumber. Get it here
3. Baby's Animal Show (£0.59)
Penguins, monkeys, strange cartoon elephants... Toddlers love animals, although if my cats are anything to go by, the love isn't reciprocated until they've learned that tails aren't for yanking. Anyway, Baby's Animal Show is a slideshow of 60 animals: 30 photos and 30 computer-generated cartoon... things. All your toddler has to do is tap the screen to move to the next one. Perfect when you need a quick distraction. Get it here
4. Baby Sign ASL (£2.99)
Learning to sign with your baby? Baby Sign ASL was apparently picked out by Apple as a featured application to show iPhone's capabilities. It offers 229 video clips of baby signing phrases, sorted alphabetically or by category. The latter includes feelings, people, bedtime-dressing and food-kitchen. There's also a quiz mode to help you learn them quickly. It's simple, but a great aide-memoire if you're learning this new skill. Get it here
5. Baby Grand - The Piano For Kids (£2.39)
Toddlers love getting their sticky hands on your iPhone, but this app at least makes the process fun for you (as your eyes roam the room for tissues in panic). It's a virtual piano designed to let toddlers play along, complete with six nursery rhymes to play along to. Oh, and besides piano, it can be played as a marimba. Which alone makes it worth buying - think of the smugness value of being able to boast about your child's (virtual) marimba proficiency... Get it here
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