When it comes to parenting, technology offers an equal mix of advantages and disadvantages. How much screen-time is too much for our kids? Do we pay too much attention to our digital devices? What are the effects of technology on our children’s development? As there first generation of parents to navigate our way through the digital age, many of the answers may, for the time being, remain ambiguous.
Yet one thing is certain – there are apps and websites available to make parenting easier. But with new apps coming out all the time, it’s easy to feel inundated. While they all claim to be indispensable to parents, which ones actually are?
I try not to spend too much time in front of a screen and have regular digital detoxes. I also limit the number of apps on my phone. However, there are some I use or have used regularly.
Find events, activities and classes near you with Mi Local For Mums (and there’s no reason why dads can’t also use it). The app hosts over 7000 listings, which you can search by distance from your postcode. The listings include classes, toddler groups, nurseries and free activities and events.
You never need to be bored again with this handy app at your disposal.
Brought to you by the charity of the same name, Kicks Count helps you to keep track of your baby’s movements. With the app, you can easily identify any changes, as well as read useful pregnancy information. If you’re worried about your baby’s movements you can even call your midwife or maternity unit from the app.
This app can save lives; it is essential downloading for all pregnant women.
Motherhood can be a lonely experience, but Mush Mums is challenging that. You can now find like-minded, local mums in the palm of your hand with this app. Simply fill out your profile and the clever matching tool will show you a list of mums nearby who you have similar interests, schedules and circumstances. Let’s be honest, friendships are built on more than just having similar aged children and Mush Mums helps you find mums you are likely to have something in common with.
Once you have your matches, you can scroll through and message other mums and arrange to meet up.
Mush Mums aims to alleviate the isolation and loneliness faced by many mothers. If you long to find other women to share the highs and lows of your parenting journey, this app is a must.
Are you drowning in lovingly-made pictures, cards and other artwork? As much as I love my kids, it’s simply impossible to keep all the fruits of their creativity. But before they hit the recycling bin, I’d like to have some memory of them…
Enter Keepy, with the perfect solution.
Advertised as ‘the new family album’, this innovative app allows you to store photos, artwork and other memories. You can even record yourself saying a few words about each memory, so you never forget the important details. The app also enables you to share your precious memories with family and friends.
So you can do away with boxes full of artwork, certificates and other bits of paper and replace them with this nifty app.
Cost: Free but contains in app purchases
Many of us worry about how much screen time we allow our kids, but with this app you can make that screen-time really count. It is as educational as it is fun – the perfect combination.
If you take out the full subscription, your kids will have access to 500 nursery rhymes, songs, games and activities, which captivate toddlers and slightly older children alike. Most of the content is interactive, resulting in squeals of delight when little fingers are able to make the sun shine or animals laugh and sing. As well as educational activities, Kidloland teaches numbers, colours, letters, animals, days of the week and much more.
When my kids were younger I had the full subscription of Kidloland and I can honestly say my kids loved it and never grew bored of it. But by far the best aspect, from my point of view, was the educational value it provided.
Cost: The basic version is free but it’s well worth paying for the full version. Children won’t tire of this app, as it offers so many interactive games, activities and songs. It really is the only entertainment app you’ll need.
It can be a challenge to constantly create healthy meals the whole family will enjoy. Throw in a busy schedule and fussy eaters and mealtimes, if you’re anything like me, might just leave you tearing your hair out. When I’m struggling for mealtime inspiration, I let the NHS’s Change4Life app help.
With 160 recipes covering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks, Smart Recipes offers a solution to the problem of what to feed the family. You can also keep track of ingredients with a shopping list and bookmark your favourite recipes.
Parenting is an expensive business. Checkout Smart enables you to earn cashback on your supermarket shopping. The rewards soon start to add up – what’s not to like?
All you need to do is browse the app to find offers and upload an image of your receipt once you have purchased the relevant items. Checkout Smart will then put cashback into your account. Wherever you shop, using Checkout Smart to claim cashback on your shopping makes perfect sense.