Smart Apps for Parents

Thanks to the advancements in technology and smart phones we now have the availability of endless resources right at our fingertips. Apps make our lives simpler and there seems to be an app for literally everything! I have a few that I use frequently on a regular basis, some of which were actually recommended by my doctor. I thought I’d share some of my favorite parent apps with you.

Favorite Parent Apps

Apps can be a great life-saver. They help you keep your sanity whether it’s organizing or simply keeping the kids occupied while waiting around in the doctor’s office. Most of them are available for iPhone and Android smart phones as well as other iOS mobile devices for free.

MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter
As a breastfeeding mom I try to keep track of my calories to be sure I’m getting in enough for my baby (I know this doesn’t seem like a problem for most people, but I’ve always been underweight so monitoring calorie intake during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is a must for me) I know most moms would use it for the complete opposite. I LOVE the calorie counter app by MyFitnessPal. This app helps you stay up to date on your fitness goals. It asks you a few questions pertaining to your weight and fitness goals, calculates how much you need to gain/lose per week to get there and has over 2,000,000 foods listed in its database (including fast food chain restaurants) I also loved how it lists the nutrition facts in addition to the calories. I’ve never tried any other calorie counter app but this one has to be the best one by far.

My weight goals are different from most other people that I know but others who have used this app for weight loss have raved about it. Here is what others have had to say about this app:

This is the best calorie counter, free or paid, and I’ve tried them all.

The first diet tool that has ever worked for me! I’ve lost 30 pounds!

 

LactMed
This app was actually recommended to me my son’s pediatrician. I wish I had known about it a little sooner. If you are a nursing mom  and concerned about what medications you can take, the LactMed app gives you the specifics on particular drugs taken while breastfeeding. You just type in a drug name and search and it gives you detailed information about its effects on lactation as well as the infant. It also lists alternative drugs you may want to consider taking. The only problem I had was that there were several drugs I tried to look up and there was no info on, although I already know what I can and cannot take. It’s just nice to read the potential effects it can have on your baby and particularly the alternative choices, which I’m pretty big on alternative medicine.

Best Baby Monitor
I happened to stumble across this app while searching for something else and it blew my mind. We already have a baby monitor that we use, nothing fancy, but now there are smart apps that you let you use your iOS device as a video baby monitor!  This would probably qualify as one of the best parent apps while on-the-go in my book. You download the Best Baby Monitor app to two iOS or Mac OS X devices, place one with your baby while you keep the other one with you; you cannot only hear but also see your baby right from your mobile device. It has night vision and also features lullabies to help your little one stay asleep. I just thought it was the neatest thing. You do actually have to pay for this app (for $2.99) but it’s one of the best ones that also let you video so you can watch your baby. I would not rely heavily on it as a baby monitor on a regular basis, however because it connects using WiFi or bluetooth thus leading to the possibility of a lost connection enabling it not to work.

Sleepy Sounds
Some babies, such as my son, just sleep better with some type of background noise. There are several white noise apps available that you can download. Personally I really liked Sleepy Sounds for its ease of use. It gives you the option of nature sounds, lullabies, and white noise or you can create your own playlist from your music library. You can select the amount of time you want the music to play for up to 99 minutes or choose indefinite to let it stay on all night. It also displays an animation on your screen that acts as a night light in a dark room (if you’re planning on leaving it on all night be sure your device is plugged in as it will use up the battery. You can exit out of the app while the music or sounds are still on so your screen goes off to conserve the battery if you don’t want to play the animations.) I use this app on my iPod Touch every night to help my son sleep.

First Aid
First Aid by American Red CrossIn my experience as a former medical assistant, I’m fortunate to have first-hand knowledge and certification on first aid procedures in emergency situations. For the average mom, however, I strongly encourage the First Aid app by American Red Cross. It gives you easy step-by-step instructions and videos for handling situations in which first aid is needed. This app could literally save a life. You never know when you might be in a situation where you, your child or someone else’s child will need the immediate action of first aid. It also tests you on the information which you can earn badges for to ensure you fully understand the advice given so if you are faced with a first aid situation you know what you’re doing. Plus you can call EMS right from the app.

Pinterest
Who doesn’t like Pinterest? There are so many ideas you can get from this site and of course, there’s an app for that! If you aren’t familiar with it, Pinterest is a site where you can save ideas, recipes, craft projects, pictures, and so much more by ‘pinning’ them. You can use it to organize recipes or DIY projects you find that you like. If I had an iPad, it would be perfect to use in the kitchen to look at recipes I’ve pinned while cooking/baking (with my phone, I have to scroll through as I go since the screen is small)You will have to have an account with Pinterest in order to use the app.

The Coupons App
Coupons are a great way to save money at the grocery store, but going through papers and magazines and clipping can be quite time consuming. I used to use Coupons.com from my computer but since discovering it, I liked the coupons app better. You can get great deals on groceries at the store and also save at restaurants and gas stations! When you have a coupon for an item you just pull it up at the register and they can scan it right from your device. How cool is that!?
There are hundreds more apps out there available, but these make my top list of favorites that I recommend. It amazes me how many tools are available right on our mobile phones that help to organize, save money, and simplify your life. Many of these also make great traveling necessities (i.e. minimizing the need to pack the baby monitor, sleep sound machine, and helpful first aid information when you are away from home) If there’s an app that you just can’t live without, share it with us!

Comments

  1. Hi Carol,

    Thank you for this review. I really love the Coupons App. I always scan this app before planned purchase and I’m usually amazed at the number of coupons available. The app is very easy to use and search with and I highly recommend it for anyone!

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