I am an app-addict. I download thousands of apps on my phone convinced that this new one might help me with my time management, directions, shopping or tracking daily habits and whatever life task you can think about. Some work really well, and some are just good marketing – all talk and no action.
Through my app journey I’ve tested many apps to help with parenting. There’s been a rise in parent tech in the start-up scene over the last couple of years, which means app stores are now booming with apps for parents. Some are great and some aren’t so great.
During the first year of parenthood there are a few categories of apps that will help you out – taking you from maternity leave when you’re thinking what-do-I-do-with-this-newborn-and-where-do-I-go through to their first birthday.
The Milestone App
At some point a new parent has signed up for the emails or downloaded an app that tells you where your baby should be doing / saying / eating for their age. Milestones are a way to help gauge development. The milestone ages are a mid-points of development, and are useful to give you a heads up to what’s to come.
Best app: The Bump
Why we love it: Because unlike the typical baby apps they give you lots of information about what your child should be doing at the specific age, The Bump publishes a variety of relevant and insightful posts for you, about your baby and family.
The Baby Habit Tracking App
Sleep deprived? Tick. Can’t remember last shower? Tick. Then these apps are for you. They track everything from nappy changes, nursing times/durations, sleep, medication to weaning. Great when you’re in a sleep deprived haze. It will give you the last time you did a specific activity and some even have alarms that go off to remind you to do others.
Best App: Baby Tracker
Why we love it: It has beautiful graphs so you can identify patterns in behavior easily, which is great for identifying nap/bed times that work for your baby. It’s got a clean and uncomplicated user interface which makes tracking a doddle.
Price: £4.99 (Pro Version)
The Baby Monitor App
No need to go out and buy a baby monitor, all you need now is two smart devices connected to WiFi. Set one as the baby monitor and one as the parent monitor and you can hear and see your sleeping baby from another part of the house. Fab!
Best App: Baby Monitor 3G
Why we love it: It’s got lots of features. It has the ability to play lullabies, switch the torch on so you can see your little one on the screen in a pitch black room, only picks up the key noises and not ambient background noise and a whole host more. Best thing is, if you purchase using an iTunes family account you only have to purchase the app once and it can be downloaded on all your family devices with no additional cost. Win win.
The Mum Friends App
There’s been numerous new articles about how being a new mum can be isolating and lonely. Even the Duchess of Cambridge came out and said she felt lonley being a new mum. So hurrah for anything that helps you connect to mums going through the same thing, and are local.
Best App: Mush
Why we love it: It’s more than a connection app. It’s a lifestyle app. They have witty blog posts guiding you through the various stages of parenting, a community chat area that allows you to post up local events and functionality that allows you to arrange large meet ups or mush ups as they’re called. Best thing – it’s run by 2 amazing mums who created this app because they felt lonely too. They met at the park one day and became friends, cooked up this idea and Mush was launched. Talk about mums supporting mums. Created by mums for mums – what more could you want.
The Baby Groups App
Spending all day in the house with a small is tough. They need distractions and so do you but it’s so hard to find anything locally without trawling loads of websites, Facebook groups, or hearing something in a fleeting conversation. This takes up so much time that we don’t have.
There’s a new breed of apps which pull events from loads of sources and puts them into an app, so you can find out play groups and activities that are going on today, tomorrow, or even 5 weeks from now.
Best App: Hoop
Why we love it: It’s really intuitive to use and you have a whole range of filters to narrow down results – age of child, distance from home, day of week etc. You can even favorite events that you like, and it saves you from keeping to search for them.
The Weaning App
What do I feed my baby and when?! This question has been asked by many a mum when they start to wean. When you start to wean, some mums go down the route of making everything homemade. Out come all the accessories, the kitchen is turned into a tip and suddenly you have made some Michelin starred meal that has been wazzed up into a puddle, that you baby refuses.
Weaning apps give some staple recipes to try with your baby and are relatively easy to create.
Best App: Baby Led Weaning Cookbook
Why we love it: Because the person who created is a mum and she’s tried these recipes on her kid. The pictures on the app are actually the ones she made! Each recipe tells you how long it takes to make and the instructions are easy to follow. You can add the recipes to an in-app meal planner, helping you plan out your weekly shop.
The Entertainment App
Having the ability to have TV on the move is priceless for when you’re having one of those days where nothing you do seems to settle your child, you’re travelling somewhere and they’re kicking off, you need to get something done, or just because.
Best App: BBC iPlayer Kids
Why we love it: Access to CBeebies!! On the move!!! Need I say more?