Parenting is arguably the most challenging job humans ever do. It’s 24/7, for an indeterminate amount of years, and every child and adult has different needs, wants, and desires. It’s non-stop orchestration and choreography to the most detailed degree.
Parenting: There Are Apps for That, Too!
Fortunately, a handful of the right parenting apps work together to keep your life as healthy, sane, and efficient as possible. However, over-apping is as stressful – or more so – than not having the right apps at your disposal.
Too many apps make for a cluttered screen and an abundance of intrusive alert interruptions. The goal is to have three to five good apps that cover all of the necessary bases for your family and household(s).
5 Of Our Favorite Parenting Apps
To that end, we’ve selected five of our favorite parenting apps. They’re based on our preferences, solid backing from patients and fellow parents, and their ability to do more than one app’s job – meaning less is more. In some categories, we’ve included two apps in case either one calls to you the most.
1. Healthcare: Baby Connect & Child Health Tracker
If you’re a soon-to-be or new parent, we recommend downloading Baby Connect. It is a one-stop shop for tracking all of the pertinent information that’s easy to forget in the exhausted overwhelm of newborn life, such as feedings, diaper changes, sleep habits, moods/symptoms, and medicine schedules.
Perhaps best of all, you can save and archive photos to frame, display, share, or add to an album when you have more time. Primary app holders can add multiple users to Baby Connect so other caregivers, daycare providers, or nannies can input, share, and connect. Once you’re out of the baby zone, we recommend shifting to Child Health Tracker.
This app, created by HealthyChildren.org, and overseen by the American Academy of Pediatrics, stores medical information (appointments, vaccination history, growth charts, healthcare provider contacts, and more). Like Baby Connect, the Child Health Tracker can have multiple users to ensure all caregivers have equal access to vital information.
2. Nutrition and Diet: Fooducate and Yummly
Fooducate was initially designed to support weight management goals. However, the app offers so much education about nutrition, calorie counting, nutritional needs based on health history, and the quality of calories users consume. It’s quickly becoming a favorite for a range of users. There is so much misinformation out there about “eat this, not that,” as well as unhealthy ingredients disguised as “healthy” or “natural,” that Fooducate is an app that benefits everyone.
If you feel you have the nutrition thing down (more or less), you may prefer to skip Fooducate and download Yummly instead. Yummly helps busy parents, families, or children who cook get outside a rut. You can explore menus, search for recipes by the ingredients you have on hand, or organize store lists based on the recipes you’ve saved in the app. One reviewer sums it up: “I have found so many incredible and interesting recipes on Yummly…I really enjoy the ability to research so easily… it’s always a pleasure to come on to the app and be able to research in less time than books, especially when the recipes give you nutritional information that is accurate.”
3. Mental & Emotional Well-being: Headspace
We are huge fans of Headspace, which was also featured in a post about our favorite health apps. The things you learn and practice by making Headspace a part of your life are guaranteed to make you a more calm, more centered, and more present parent. It offers many different types of practices, including breathing techniques, meditation prompts, visualizations, and other methods for taking a beat, slowing down, and unwinding.
Headspace is designed for anyone who wants to destress, unwind, sleep better, and keep themselves in a more positive and healthy frame of mind (or… Headspace). As your kids get older, we recommend using the app together. The sooner our children learn to bring stress management into their daily lives, the better.
4. Family/Schedule Organization: Cozi Family OR Our Family Wizard (for multi-household families)
Holy cow, keeping the household and family schedules straight is challenging. Fortunately, these two apps are designed to streamline that and keep everyone on the same page (or in the same app). Studies show that one person (typically the maternal figure) usually does the lion’s share of the emotional labor in any family, which takes its toll on their health. These apps help that persona set boundaries and make all adults – and young-adult children – accountable, too!
● Cozi Family is a multi-user app that syncs everything you need it to do. Everyone in the family shows up as a different color, and schedules are shared accordingly. All users receive an alert when anything is added or changed, so there’s no excuse for “I didn’t see that….” You can also use it for menu planning, grocery lists, chores, etc. If you co-parent or have a multi-household parenting situation, we recommend passing on Coze Family and trying Our Family Wizard.
● Our Family Wizard does much of the same family member color coding, scheduling, and other organization features – and it’s designed for parents living in separate households. The co-parenting app also offers tools for tracking shared expenses and payments. Communication is key in co-parenting, and transparency (and respect) between households is essential to children’s well-being. Our Family Wizard is a great way to keep things neutral and shared.
5. Young Adult Safety: Life360
Life changes drastically once children can drive. Yes, you’re no longer the chauffeur, and with that can come a lot of worry, stress, and sleepless nights. Life 360 serves several purposes, including tracking teens’ and young adults’ locations, monitoring driving speeds, and an emergency alert system, so one tap alerts up to five contacts. Upgraded plans also offer crash detection and dispatch, roadside assistance, and other features that increase the safety of new(er) drivers and teens getting used to a greater amount of freedom.
Women’s Health Associates Supports Whole-Family Health
WHA is a for-women, by women healthcare provider that focuses on women’s reproductive health. However, we know that women’s health is 100% connected to the health and well-being of their families. We hope these parenting apps will help your family find more ease, which makes for happier children and households. Happy apping!