Must Have Apps for Parents of Babies & Toddlers
Before I became a parent, I swore I wouldn’t let technology interfere with my parenting. I also swore my kids would never use technology as toddlers.
And then I had kids.
Turns out, I’m more reliant on my phone than I should be (you know, for social interaction) and my toddler is so tech savvy that she could probably teach Apple® a few things. And you know, that’s not really a bad thing. There are good (and bad) ways to utilize technology for yourself and your children; and I have no shame in handing my toddler an iPad® full of educational apps so that I can have a few minutes of peace. Sorry not sorry.
Anyway, back to the point of this post…..
There are tons of apps available for parents and toddlers, but it can be hard to find the good ones. No parent wants to waste time (and sometimes money) on an app that promises to help them but ends up falling flat. And no parent wants to download “free” games for their toddlers and be surprised when their credit card has $100 worth of charges on it from “in app purchases”. So, I’m going to share the apps that have literally been lifesavers for me as a parent and that have kept my toddler entertained for hours!
Apps for Parents:
I honestly don’t think I could function as a mom without this app. First Year is a tracking app for babies/toddlers that allows you to easily log things like feedings, wet/dirty diapers, etc. What I really love is how user friendly it is. The app has a “quick input” feature allows you to log information with just two taps and includes a journal to record baby’s milestones. My favorite feature is how it will give you an estimated time for your baby’s next feeding or diaper change, based on your logs, which makes it easy to get an idea about why your baby might be fussy!
Price: Free & Paid Versions
The Wonder Weeks
The Wonder Weeks is by far one of my favorite apps. Why? Because it basically gives you a timeline of when to expect to lose your sh*t. No, but seriously, this app will save your sanity. Studies show that all babies go through fussy periods at around the same time. This is due to 10 major developmental leaps in the first 20 months of a baby’s life. With each leap brings new abilities but also lots of crying, clinging, and crankiness (aka – the three C’s). The Wonder Weeks helps take the guess work out of why your baby may be acting differently at times throughout those first 20 months, which can definitely save new parents some stress.
Baby Got Colic
So, technically this isn’t an app…..it’s a “song”, but hear me out. If your baby has never suffered from colic, consider yourself extremely blessed. Colic is “severe, often fluctuating pain in the abdomen caused by intestinal gas or obstruction in the intestines and suffered especially by babies” and it affects around 20-25% of babies. A colicky baby is often very fussy and will begin crying suddenly, for no apparent reason, and will continue to cry for long periods of time. Dealing with a colicky baby isn’t easy, and because there is no cure, it can become frustrating for parents. But, there are a few things that may help a colicky baby, and white noise is one of them. Enter: Baby Got Colic. A fellow mom introduced me to this video whenever our second daughter was born and it seriously saved my sanity. Every night, at around the same time, she would begin to cry; sometimes to the point of turning purple. We would go through the motions of feeding her, changing her diaper, burping her, etc. but nothing would calm her. This “song” was the only thing that helped. She’s 5 weeks old now and we still use it daily!
WARNING: The YouTube video for this is kinda creepy…..just so you know.
Price & Availability: Free sample on YouTube. Available for purchase on Amazon & iTunes.
Apps for Toddlers:
Sago Mini has the CUTEST games for kids. From puppies and monsters to cars and robots, these apps have everything your toddler will love! I really love Sago Mini because the games are simple yet entertaining. Each app has a different “theme”, so you can download the ones your child will enjoy best. The games are also educational, which is really nice. What I like best is that there is no third-party advertising, meaning there won’t be ads popping up every two seconds. Sago Mini has kept my toddler entertained for hours (during long flights or car rides) and she has learned so much from playing them!
Price: Free & Paid
Endless reader was the first app I ever downloaded specifically for my toddler. She was only 18 months old, so I didn’t expect her to be that interested in it. I would let her play it whenever we were out to eat or at a doctor’s appointment, just to keep her occupied, so I’d say she maybe played it once a week and for only an hour or so. Anyway, when she was around 20 months old, we were reading the book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.” We got to the end of the book, where the entire alphabet is listed, and she pointed to the letter “W” and said it. I was shocked because I knew I hadn’t taught her about letters yet. Turns out, she had learned the entire alphabet from the Endless Reader app. Playing the app also taught her how to pronounce big words, form sentences, and really widened her overall vocabulary. She’s almost 3 now and the app is still teaching her new words. It’s truly such an awesome learning tool for kids of all ages!
Price: Free & Paid Versions
There are thousands of apps out there and I’m sure my “must haves” may not work for everyone, but just give them a shot! Hopefully they will be as helpful to you as they have been for me!