Maybe it’s just me, but when it comes to apps and my child, I have been extremely overwhelmed. There are so many apps serving a variety of needs. Nowadays, everything from teaching your child a foreign language to a keeping track of your baby’s sleeping and feeding schedules can all be done with the touch of an app. So, how do you find the good from the blah, especially when apps can cost upwards of $10?
First, I knew I needed to figure out what was important to me when it came to an app. How would this app benefit my child? Who makes the app and what is their mission statement? If the app was going to cost me money, what did it offer that its competitor did not? How many downloads did the app have? Were the reviews positive and helpful?
After answering these questions, I came to these conclusions:
· At this time, since my child is only 8 months old, I am not looking for an app that intends to educate, distract, entertain or occupy my child. In my opinion, (and in the opinion of the American Academy of Pediatrics) many of the educational, creative or developmental apps might do more harm than good if used for children ages 2 and under. There have been multiple studies linking infants who view educational videos (be on TV or on a smart device) with attention problems* and a slower development in learning words. *(iPads are considered so new that much data is still being collected)
· I am not saying that these apps don’t do what they say they do. But, I feel that any screen time should not be used on infants or toddlers, and no matter the age, should be used few and far between. I know I have been oh so tempted to turn on Disney Jr. or hand Camden a tablet when he is screaming, especially when I’ve done the pomp and circumstance all day (I have to resist it daily). But for me, the potential negative effects far outweigh my struggle with patience.
· With this said, I was hunting for apps that would help organize my life as a mom, provide me with useful information, and educate me on the development of my child.
So, with these factors in mind, I went on a mission to find the best apps for my needs. After weeks of research, studying over case studies and reading through hundreds of reviews from moms with children the same age as my child, I found a collection of apps that have truly been beneficial thus far.
I really do love this app as it gives me the information I’m looking for with quick and easy access. Month by month, you will be up to date with everything you need to know for the first year. It’s free, which is another bonus.
Official Description: Wondering if your newborn’s getting enough to eat? Sleeping enough? Growing and hitting milestones fast enough? Make the most of every amazing moment of your little one’s first 12 months with the FREE What to Expect Baby Tracker — your mobile partner in parenting. Stay on top of your baby’s development and pick up pointers on baby care and behavior with this new app from Heidi Murkoff’s best-selling parenting guide, What to Expect the First Year.
Apple - FREE
This is probably one of my favorite apps! I look at it weekly. I love the chart that lets me know about “stormy” or “sunny” stages as well as describing each “leap”. It really is on point with the stages your baby goes through.
Official Description: The Wonder Weeks is now in an iPhone app and Android app! Picking up on the international bestselling book, The Wonder Weeks, and more than 35 years of international scientific research, this app will keep you informed about the (mental) leaps and bounds of your baby — any time of day or night. This app won prizes in several countries as best parenting app!
Android - $2.05
Apple - $1.99
This is by far my new favorite app! I can quickly tell I am going to use this daily. This app was created with the help of Ali Landry, who is a fabulous mom of three, actress, host and TV personality. This lady knows her stuff when it comes to parenting, and I value her expertise. This apps helps weed through the blah to find the ah! It allows you to find products that truly fit your needs and gives you reviews from moms first hand. Another perk is that they are doing an amazing giveaway right now. Make sure to follow me and I'll do the same, you can search by name. And, the app is free!!
Official Description: Favored.by helps you break though all the clutter of negative meaningless reviews, confusing rating systems and overwhelming choices by only concentrating on peoples ultimate favorite products in a given category. Find out instantly which products your friends, family and like-minded people favor the most. But be careful, it’s very addicting and will change the way you shop!
This is truly a life safer for moms who may have organizing OCD problems like myself. You can basically track every waking (and sleeping!) moment of your child’s life with this app, and I love it!
Official Description: Baby Connect is touted as the most comprehensive baby tracking application around. This nifty app tracks everything there is to track about baby---feedings (nursing and bottle), pump schedule, solid foods, diapers, sleep, moods, milestones and medicines. It will graph, chart, list, even share your data via Facebook, Twitter and Email. Best of all is that it synchronizes with iOS devices, Androids, and to the web, which means sharing baby's particulars with each other or the babysitter is a cinch. This app doesn't miss a beat.
Apple - $4.99
Android - $5.21
This is a must have for when we travel. Camden cannot sleep with noise, and the shushing is the best kind. Ever since he was born we have used a shushing machine at home, so when we travel, this is the perfect companion. I love the adjusting volume option.
Official Description: Baby keeping you up? Not getting enough sleep? Then you may want to give Baby Shusher a try. According to the developer, the app "safely stop baby from crying with rhythmic shush sound that engages a baby's natural calming reflex by reminding them of still being in the womb". The shush sound automatically adjusts to the baby's crying, so if baby is crying loud, the sound will play louder (no point if baby can't hear it). When their crying subsides, the sound will also auto adjust to a lower level. Even mom, dad, grandma or grandpa can record their own custom shush.
Apple - $4.99
Android - $2.97
I love learning sign language to teach Camden. He hasn’t signed back to us yet (he’s still too young) but he is starting to recognize the different sign words. It’s a great way to communicate with your child before they can talk.
Official Description: Baby Sign has over 200 American Sign Language baby signs. It is a great reference for parents who want to connect and communicate with their child at a very young age. On average, babies who learn to sign know 50 more words by the age of two than babies who never learn to sign.
What are your favorite apps? Any tips you can share on finding the right app? Any that you would not recommend? Feel free to share your thoughts on the comments below.