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Appy Monday! Mumsnet on the move - biscuits not included*

This North London Mum has been a Mumsnet obsessive since about two days after discovering I was pregnant. I remember googling something about my pregnancy symptoms that was making me anxious and google presenting me with a thread from Mumsnet that was just so reassuring and lovely that I was hooked from then on in. Since then, I credit the lovely women of Mumsnet with helping me to breastfeed my children when it seemed all health professionals were hellbent on stopping me and with helping me through some of the tougher moments of parenthood. So, as a keen smartphone user I was very excited when Mumsnet brought not one, but two apps to the app store in quick succession and here's what I think of them...

 Babies - The Mumsnet Guide

This was Mumsnet's first app. It aims to condense some of the most useful advice on the site into an app and includes advice on: First Days, Sleep and Breastfeeding. This is mostly quotes from mums on the site itself and so is reassuring and a lot less preachy than some books might be - acknowledging that there is no right answer but lots of different ways to do things. I was a second time mum when this app came out so didn't use this section very much but am sure first time mums would find it useful and comforting. The breastfeeding section is good but it would have been helpful if it linked to places where you can get more hands on help if you are experiencing difficulties.

Aside from the advice section there is a really fab Soothing Sounds button which you can use (and I did) to play white noise to your baby including Ocean, Bubbles and Bird Song. This really worked well for us and saved me buying an expensive white noise machine or CD. My baby also really liked the Nursery Songs, which are very soothing lullabies. I only wish that they were longer and that we could find out where to buy the CD as the music is really lovely.

What We Loved: The lullabies and white noise are really useful to have in cases of emergency and the advice sections are sound without being preachy. This was the most useful app for babies that we found during those first few weeks.

What We Didn't: The Rattle and Black and White Animals buttons are probably redundant unless you want your baby playing with your smartphone, which we didn't really. Instead we would have liked to see some video demonstrations of useful things e.g. how to position baby at the breast, how to bath baby etc.

Vital Stats:
Cost - Free
Availability - iPhone, IPad, iPod Touch

Mumsnet Talk

This app enables smartphone users to access the main Mumsnet site in a way that is mobile friendly.  The first screen brings up active conversations so you can see which threads are currently busy, or you can chose to go to Topics section and dive more deeply into the areas that interest you such as 'Becoming a Parent' or 'Childcare and Work'.

I have spent way too many hours using this, especially during a phase my children went through when they would only sleep in the car (stationary obviously)! This app is very useful for looking at the site but doesn't offer anything that you can't get from sitting at home on your PC as such it feels less like an app than a sophisticated way to use the site on your mobile. We would have liked to see the app doing something that differentiated it from the site.

What We Loved: This makes accessing Mumsnet really simple when on the move. You can quickly find any threads you are interested in or search for something you want to find out.
What We Didn't: This doesn't do anything that you can't do on your PC at home.

Vital Stats:
Cost - Free
Availability - iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Do you use the Mumsnet apps. What do you think? Can you recommend any other apps that are useful for mums?

*What's with Mumsnet and Biscuits? Not sure what the relationship is - read this article to find out more...For the record, North London Mums likes Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just saying.
amtstevens 31 October 2011 at 12:20 said...

I am an avid user of the Mumsnet Talk app. Once my son gets on the potty he likes to stay there for the long haul so I use it keep myself occupied during those times! I really love it but my main niggle is that when users link to other Mumsnet threads, for some reason those links don't work on the app. Also, you don't seem to be able to "unwatch" a thread so my watched list is getting pretty long now. It's my life saver when Twitter goes a bit quiet though ;-) I anticipate using it a lot when I'm up with my new baby (due next year).

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