8 healthy apps every mum should know about
I’ve recently been researching a load of healthy apps through work, and I’ve started to incorporate some into my life. A few are helping me to become more organised, while others have the potential to make life a bit calmer in other ways. Here’s my guide to the unmissable:
1. Karisma Kidz Moodville
Having trouble deciphering your child’s grumps and moods? If your kid is aged between three and six, steer them towards this new game. Kids choose an avatar – one of the Karisma Kidz – and then have to look after the BloomaBears. It’s been designed by a child’s self-esteem expert as a tool to help children identify their emotions. They then learn tips on improving their mood, and your child’s feelings are reported back via a parents’ dashboard.
My kids have described it as ‘really fun’. However, I have high hopes that it will sort out some of the more dramatic mood swings in our family too.
2. Baby and Child First Aid App
You don’t need to have a baby or little child to appreciate this British Red Cross app – it’ll come in handy for parents with kids of any age. I like the way it asks you straight away whether it’s an emergency – it means you don’t need to waste time wading through unnecessary info when you’re in a heart-in-the-mouth situation.
In an emergency, the app takes you to a list of situations, and offers very clear step-by-step instructions, visuals and video aids. Knowing that I always have it stored on my phone for that kind of moment is very reassuring.
For the rest of the time, you’ll find lots of advice on preventing accidents and even multiple choice questions in their ‘test’ section, challenging your knowledge of how to behave in different first aid situations.
3. Tot It Up
If you have a fussy eater among your brood (please read my blog post My child doesn’t eat enough: 8 tips for fussy eating for my experiences on this), you may appreciate this app. The brainchild of the team of respected child experts at the UK’s Infant and Toddler Forum, it’s been developed to help parents compare the weekly food and drink intake of their child (aged between one and four years) against government guidelines.
It’s due to go live any day now, which is why I included it in my apps round-up. While I haven’t had a chance to use it, I think it will make very interesting reading regarding my ‘no dinner’ toddler.
4. Breastfeeding Friend
I wish this one had been around when my three kids were babies. It’s too late for me, but maybe not for you.
The app allows you very simply to record the length of time you’ve spent on each boob, so you know which to start with at the next feed. It’s exactly what an exhausted new mum needs.
It beats my far more befuddled methods. One of these was scribbling down things like ‘left boob, 25 minutes’. But as I’d then lose the scraps of paper, feeding times often turned into guesswork. Another trick was moving a hair band from wrist to wrist. That one worked well except that in my tired fog of babydom, I’d often forget what it meant. Had I finished on that one or started on it at the next feed? I’m still wondering today, years later.
5. Cozi Family Organizer
This app was named the top ‘must-have app for a better life’ by Radio 4’s The Today Show and was the Appy Award Winner for Best Family App. All sounds good enough for me.
Everyone in the family who has access to it can log on to this organiser, which includes a colour-coded shared calendar so you can see (and add) events and appointments at-a-glance. There’s also a shared shopping list so that everyone can add and remove items as they’re bought (ie not just you). There’s also lots of space for those never-ending to-do lists, and a journal so that you can jot down notes about the day.
This app is the first step towards wiping out my yellow Post-it note disease.
6. Baby Pack & Go Packing List
I’m the queen of forgotten items, so I definitely appreciate this packing list of vital child essentials for trips away from home. It makes for far fewer arguments in the car on the way.
You can customise your lists, create a list for a day out as well as sleepovers, and build different lists for each child. I’m going to put mummy things on it too to avoid leaving my own essential items behind.
7. Disney Magic Timer
I’m sure my kids would appreciate any old toothbrush timer, but we’re rather fond of this one by Oral B. It has Disney characters, and rewards with stickers if your child manages to brush for two minutes. Enough said.
You have to scan an Oral-B tooth product first, which is a bit irritating. But my daughters love it, and it’s helped them stick to the two minutes. My two-year-old prefers to watch the toothbrush on the screen instead of brushing, so he’s still a 20-second wonder.
8. Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson
I had trouble sleeping after my third child was born, so have been using this app regularly (okay, almost every night) for about a year to help me nod off.
As a mum, you need to grab hold of any scrap of sleep sent your way – after all, you never know when you’ll be called out of bed in the middle of the night. So any natural sleep boosters are appreciated.
Andrew, a clinical hypnotist, talks you through the stages to sleep as soft music plays in the background. I find that listening to his soothing Scottish tones is a very effective way to help me wind down and switch off. This app frequently features on the best sleep app lists.