I make a concerted effort to be a phone-free parent 99 percent of the time. Except when I’m trying, and failing, to get a cute, in-focus photo of a toddler (it’s near impossible – trust me). It means I can enjoy spending real time with my daughter, and it means she’s not competing with my iPhone for my attention. Both fantastic reasons. But… and this is a big but… there are a few great reasons to spend that one percent on your phone WHILE you’re parenting – or while your kids are watching yet another mind-numbing episode of Paw Patrol. Parenting Apps!
I’m sure that the billions of parents who came before the glorious invention of the smartphone did just fine. But I have to say, there are a few apps on my phone I’d have a hard time making it through the day without. And I’m a big fan of sharing anything that makes parenting a little bit easier. So I’ve rounded up five of my favourite apps that will help you feel like a superhero parent.
Cozi Family Organizer
I’m a bit of an organization freak, so this app makes me pretty happy. It’s not your average family calendar. Yes, Cozi lets your store your family’s schedule and activities, and you can share and communicate it easily with other members of the family, but it’s got so much more! There’s a spot to keep your grocery lists, to-do-lists, and a section for recipes and meal planning. And the Family Journal section makes it easy to capture little moments and memories with a photo (and a brief description if you’re feeling ambitious) that you can share directly with family and friends.
Baby by Smallnest
There’s a lot of things to think about when it comes to babies – and most of us are trying to keep track of them while we’re sleep deprived and suffering from serious “baby brain”. Smallnest syncs to all your Apple devices, including your parenting partner-in-crime’s, and gives you one place to keep track of feeding times, sleep schedules, and diaper changes. It comes with automatic reminders, a double backup, and one-tap stopwatches make it super easy to use while you’re stuck holding that baby for the entirety of its three-hour nap.
This isn’t the flashiest or trendiest app on the list, but it is by far the most practical. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency, and that’s exactly what it’s there for. It’s a place to store a list of emergency contacts and all of your important health information, like medications, allergies, and your medical history. You can create multiple profiles, so be sure to include your kids and other important family members. There’s also a special alarm button that will allow you to send an emergency text to everyone in your contact list letting them know you’re in need of help. It’s the app you hope you never have to use, but it’s nice to know it’s there just in case.
I just discovered this adorable app and I’m kicking myself for not finding it sooner. Canvsly lets you capture, organize, and share your kid’s artwork directly on your phone. It’s genius! Set up a profile for each of your kids, create albums to organize them in any fashion you like, and you can carry all of their creative creations around with you. Plus you can invite multiple family members to join and share the fun. Get ready to start tossing out those finger-painting masterpieces guilt-free.
PBS Parents Play and Learn
I was skeptical of this one at first, and I’ve done my best to keep my two-year-old daughter away from my phone, but this play and learning app is kind of awesome. PBS is pretty pro at making learning fun for kids. This app divides activities into three stages – baby, toddler, and preschool – and helps build math and literacy skills with cute (and not-super annoying) games. Don’t worry too much about letting your kid play with your phone because they’ll be learning important stuff like numbers, letters, and colours.
Alright, that’s my list of super awesome parenting apps. What’s on yours?