Sunday, 23 February 2014

Nuunest – a new breed of newborn app

I first came across Cindy and Jana on twitter (@cindyandjana) and thought they had a nice mix of interesting and educational/informative tweets for parents. So when they said they were releasing a new app to help parents of newborns I was really interested in seeing it - from a dual perspective to be honest.

Professionally, looking after newborns and answering their parents' queries are what I do day-in-day-out so I was curious to see what sort of apps were being released that could help inform parents - and whether what was being said was accurate and sensible advice. And then on a personal note I'm currently expecting baby number 2 and so am always on the look out for things that might make life a bit easier/more interesting etc after baby comes.

So when Cindy and Jana sent me a promotional code for their app I was really excited to try it out. It was very easy to download from the iTunes store onto my iPhone and then I was ready to investigate.... I should point out at this stage there are two ways to enter the app - one as a "guest" and one by inserting the birth date of your baby so you get tailored messages based on your baby’s age - linked to their expected growth, development etc on that specific day. Therefore as Doofling is yet to be born I have so far only entered as a guest.

This app contains a lot of useful information but it is very cleverly broken down into small bite-sized chunks and easy to navigate sections so you never feel at all over-whelmed and always want to read a bit more.

There are 9 different sections (see below) – some of which are pretty standard for a newborn app and some of which are so much better. One thing I particularly love is at the top of each page there are hundreds of rotating “tips and tricks” covering all aspects of newborn care – tidbits of knowledge :)

Example of "tidbit" giving information about skin-to-skin

The 9 sections are:

1. Breastfeed
Allows you to enter the time of last feed and which side you finished feeding on. Has an extra section to add top-up volume if you are mix breast/bottle feeding and answers common questions like: positioning and latching, how do you know baby is getting enough milk and has a link to a FAQ section about BF. The only downside is I couldn’t see how to insert the length of feed. Maybe this is because I am only looking in the guest version? Even though number of minutes is not necessarily an indication of amount of milk taken, it can help as a rough guide and I definitely found that really useful when starting BF with Doofy.

2. Weight
You can insert baby’s weight on different days and it is then displayed in a chart form. Also contains useful section on what normally happens to weight over the first few weeks – a common concern of parents. However it would have been nice to have a growth chart with the weights plotted or another form of visual representation of what the weight was doing (rather than just a list) – again I will have to wait and see if that is something which is in the full version or not…

3. Summary
Displays total number of feeds, nappies and milk expressed. Another nice feature is how you can easily send all the inputted information to your email in case, for example, you have an appointment with a doctor or lactation consultant and want to take a printout of feeding/nappies etc.

4. Informed feeding decision
Cindy and Jana are breastfeeding specialists so although they give very balanced advice and do have specific sections for formula feeding etc, they obviously (and rightly in my opinion) provide a lot of information on breastfeeding – for example the benefits of breastmilk, BF rights, milk banks (although this info is for Canadian readers) and advantages to mum of BF.

5. Vitamin D
You can record if you’ve given it that day – the Department of Health recommends all breastfed babies are given vitamin D from 6 months with some higher risk groups from 1 month (

6. Expressing breast milk
You can detail the time and amount of milk expressed, and which side you expressed on (useful for middle-of-the-night-half-asleep-pumping sessions!). It also has a wealth of information including hand versus pump expressing, safely storing your milk and tips to increase your supply.

7. Diapers
You can document the number of wet and dirty nappies and learn the answers to common parenting questions such as what colour stools are normal (with photos of poop to illustrate!) and the normal number of wet nappies to expect in a day.

8. Bottle feed
Let’s you enter the time, amount and type of milk aswell as set a feeding reminder. It also has lots of useful information on, for example, how to prepare formula safely (you would not believe how many people are unwittingly risking their babies picking up infections by not following recommended procedures – and even how many health visitors advise the wrong thing as they are out of date with their knowledge!) and how much formula to give. Initially I was a bit wary as all the information is Canadian (nothing against Canada but I wasn’t sure if their guidelines were the same as the UK) but actually everything I’ve read so far seems to tally very closely.

9. "All about mom"
This section was so informative and not something I’ve seen in any of the other newborn apps. It answers all your random queries like:
-          what afterpains are normal
-          when to be concerned about your nipples
-          what changes to expect to your breasts – whether or not you breastfeed
-          what blood flow is normal after delivery
-          different BF positions to try if you had a C-section
-          when you can start to exercise
-          tips to help your perineum heal
And as a very helpful touch each section has advice on when to seek medical help.
This "All about mom" section covers 14 areas and has so much useful information - things you want to know but never think to ask - definitely a plus point over other newborn apps

In summary

Overall I think this app is excellent – especially as I have only seen the “guest” version so far! It is much more informative than the feeding/nappy charting one I used with Doofy and would be a really useful tool to any mum, especially first-time ones. It is definitely well worth paying for (bargain at under £2!) as it actually contains enough information to rule out needing to read much other information during the newborn period. And, in my opinion, reading information in small chunks like this is much easier to digest than trying to leaf through a book when you’ve got a breastfeeding baby balanced on one arm - perfect to dip in and out of during feeds.

One area this app doesn’t cover which some others do, is sleeping. But to be honest I found with Doofy I would often remember to press the ‘start’ button at the beginning of a nap and would never remember to press ‘stop’ when he woke up so it was a bit pointless! So I won’t miss not having that option with this app.

I will definitely use Nuunest when Doofling is born and if it had a growth chart linked and a timer for breastfeeds then I couldn’t think of anything else that could improve it.

Definite #sealofapproval

***Disclaimer: I was sent this app free to try but with no obligation to write a review and all opinions are my own***

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