MyPreemie App available through iTunes ($4.99) serves as a virtual keepsake of your time in the NICU. It is loaded with many features a NICU parent would find helpful. The developers of the app know intimately what it’s like to have a child in the hospital, since they’ve spent time there themselves. Preemie Parents Dana Wechsler Linden and Emma Trenti Paroli, and Neonatologist Mia Wechsler Doron, MD, who wrote the very popular Preemies: The Essential Guide to Parents of Premature Babies, created the app to meet parents’ practical and emotional needs.
Visually the app is beautiful, soothing and intimate. It’s a fresh change from the harsh climate of the NICU. The navigation is intuitive and simple. Even a sleep deprived and overwhelmed parent could set up their baby’s profile in under a minute. It allows tracking multiple babies within the app from the home screen which is great for parents of multiples or those in the NICU for another tour.
When you open the daily diary, the date and how old your baby is that day appears. The diary lets you track the day’s events, such as a daily picture or which nurse is on duty, and add any firsts that might have happened, such as first bath or first kangaroo care, with the simple click of a button! Within the daily diary you can also add baby’s progress, setbacks and big events by checking a preset button or by creating your own entry. The diary also encourages you to check how you are feeling that day, add things you are looking forward to, are grateful for and more.
The app also features a weight, length and head size tracker. You can enter as many updates as you wish and see them in chart form or choose to graph them to see baby’s progress over time.
Ask or Do
The “Ask or Do” section is the to-do list within the app. It is divided into two sections and is easily switched between by clicking “ask” or “do” at the top. Once you complete the item, you have the option to check it off or delete the item. A very simple, straightforward, yet effective tool for navigating your child’s care in the NICU.
The “pocket guide to preemies” extensively covers preemie basics, preemie parenting, preemie health, NICU staff and gear, as well as breathing, feeding and development issues you might have questions about. Each section is full of terminology specific to the NICU and preemies to help parents understand the new world they have been thrust into. Not only does each section define terminology and abbreviations, but also it describes why the condition might occur, how it might be treated, the usual outcomes and gives suggested questions to ask your NICU staff. A very handy feature of the app is the “remember to ask” button which when clicked adds the question automatically to your “ask or do” area within the app. There are also related topics listed that might be of use to follow up.
The “Treasured Moments” section of the app serves as a reminder for tired and overwhelmed parents of the many keepsakes you might want to gather as your time in the NICU goes by. The list includes hand prints, your baby’s name card, clothing they wore, their hospital bracelet and also gives you the option to add special items to the list you don’t want to forget to check off!
Best of all parents can print, create a PDF or email each entry for easy updates to family and friends. And with customizable fields, you can continue using the app even after you get home. MyPreemie is a great app for parents who are looking for a simple way to track the ups and downs of life in the NICU and beyond.