Mums have a new helping hand with bringing up their little ones – right at their
The Baby Buddy app – designed by parents’ charity Best Beginnings – will be piloted in Blackpool and aims to give new mums advice through pregnancy and the first six months of a baby’s life.
The handy tool allows mums (or dads) to create a virtual buddy, who can offer them advice on giving their child the best start in life, explain crucial issues like breastfeeding, information on the baby’s weight and how the baby is growing in and out of the womb.
On top of advice, there are also educational videos available through the app and a diary to plan important events and appointments.
The app has the backing of Blackpool Council and will be promoted to all new mums in the resort, in local children’s centres and through midwives and other health professionals. It has also been endorsed by a number of medical nursing and paediatric colleges. It is downloadable for free on Android and Apple devices.
Delyth Curtis, Blackpool Council’s director of children’s services, said: “Pregnancy and having a new born can be a daunting time for any parent. Questions about what is happening to your body and what to expect when the baby arrives are only natural.
“Those worries can be a barrier for some parents – who are left not knowing the best way to look after their child and themselves, which has an effect on both of them in the long-term.
“This app appears to answer a lot of those frequently asked questions, while at the same time providing a virtual friend to refer to in tough times.
“I’m really enthusiastic about the benefit this technology can have on every Blackpool parent to help give children a better start, so they can go on to fulfil their potential in future life.”
And the app has already been a hit with local parents, who have been trying out a trial version over the last few months.
Rebecca Durning, 27, from the Claremont area of Blackpool, was among the first to try out the app.
Rebecca, who lives with her husband Paul and four-and-a-half-month-old daughter Lowenna, said she found the app really helpful.
“There’s so much information and help on the app and it’s just in one place, so you don’t have to go trawling the internet and looking at lots of different sites.
“Sometimes there might be something you’re just not too sure about and want to check and it gives you that reassurance. It just helps to know you’re on the right track with things.
“It gives you advice every day for a different activity or a piece of information about the baby. For example, one day it suggested I read to her, another day it suggested we could talk to the baby in different languages to help her learn them as she gets older, another day it advised me to take her swimming.
“All these things as a new parent you might wonder when the best time to start is, if they’re too young and so on, so this is great.
“And the appointment diary is really handy, especially when you have ‘baby brain’ and sleep deprivation. It helps you to be organised.
“There are all sorts of questions that occur to you as a new parent, you don’t always remember to ask the health visitor or you might not want to keep bothering them with little things – this app can help answer those questions. It’s really helpful.”
And The Gazette’s Julia Bennett, who writes a weekly Mum’s The Word column about her experiences as a new parent, had a look at the app for herself.
She said: “The Baby Buddy app is a great source of advice.
“I’ve often scoured the internet for help over sleeping patterns, first solid foods and ideas for playtime, but with conflicting views out there, it can leave a new mum quite confused – especially after a few restless nights.
“So with this app, it’s reassuring to know the answers are right there for you on your phone.”