I am an iPhone user. It is always in my hand or my pocket. There are many days I say, "I don't know how I can live without it". Between traveling for work and reading emails and texts while rocking baby to sleep, the iPhone has become an essential tool in staying connected to work and social life. I wanted to share with you some apps that have made my life as an AT Specialist and a new mother easier.
For my job I travel between all the schools in our district. Some days I find myself at several schools and some days I find myself in my office for the whole day. Either way, I must keep track of where I go in order to be reimbursed for mileage. Instead of sitting down at the end of the week trying to remember where I had been, I decided to start using FourSquare to "check-in" to all the schools that I go to. Every school I stop at I check-in to. Then, when I have time to fill out my travel voucher, I can simply access the history of my check-ins via the FourSquare website. This has made keeping track of mileage simple, and more accurate.
Three months ago today, my son Connor was born. What an amazing thing it is to become a parent. During my pregnancy, my husband shared an article with me. "Five tech tools for new parents". From this article, I downloaded both the Labor Mate and Total Baby apps. Leave it to my baby to want to be an assistive technology baby. My water broke while I was attending Closing the Gap conference in Bloomington, MN. I caught a ride with a friend halfway to Fargo, where my husband met us and picked me up to continue to Fargo. I was having contractions the whole way. the Labor Mate app made it very easy to start and stop the timer when contractions began and ended. It also gave stats of average length of contractions and average time between contractions. This was very useful to show the nurses at the hospital once we arrived.
The Total Baby app is great for keeping track of diaper changes, feedings, milestones, baths, doctor visits, growth, and more. This is helpful for parents to remember when the baby last ate, how much, when his last diaper change was, and so on. The app continues to have updates which have recently added new features like a weekly timeline and graph. This app also syncs between iOS devices, so both my husband and I could enter data when we were with our son, and then merge the data at a later time. We used this app steadily for the first 2.5 months until we got comfortable with our son's schedule and understanding when and how much he needs to eat.
Lastly, I have been using the Milk Maid app to help me keep track of breast milk. It has a timer for pumping. The app allows you to track how much milk you have in the fridge, freezer, at daycare, and elsewhere. It also gives statistics of how much milk you make in a day, week, and month. This app has been essential for helping me to keep track of my freezer stash of milk and knowing how long it has been in there and when it expires.
I hope you new moms and traveling workers will find this information to be worthwhile. I am constantly amazed at how technology can streamline and improve our lives. I can only imagine what is yet to come!