Get Smart! The Best Apps for Parents
Your smartphone is good for more than texting, photos and the occasional phone call. It's a virtual goldmine of making-parenthood-easier apps that can help you with everything from getting the baby to sleep to monitoring your family's budget. Here are a few of our favorites:
Baby Pack and Go Packing List ($0.99) -- Whether you're just going to a play date or taking a weeklong family vacation, you'll need to bring a bunch of baby gear with you. This handy, customizable app helps you keep track of what you'll need, wherever you are going.
Babyphone ($2.99) -- Putting the little one down for a nap at grandma's house? Babyphone will transform your smartphone into a sensitive baby monitor that will call you on a landline (or any other phone) when your little one wakes up.
Sound Sleeper ($3.99) (lite version with limited functionality is available for FREE)— A three-in-one sleep solution offers a Play Mode with sounds such as rain, womb, hush and the option to record your own; Listen Mode turns on the play mode when baby cries for immediate soothing; and Sleep Tracking Mode keeps record of baby's sleeping pattern.
Family Matters ($1.99) -- Believe it or not, this is a smartphone game that actually engages everyone. Family Matters gives you questions and activities based on where you are -- at a restaurant, an airport or in the car. It's designed to start conversations and get the whole family talking and interacting!
SurfBalance Safe Browser ($4.99) -- This is basically a beefed up “net nanny” for your phone or tablet's internet browser. SurfBalance lets you set parental controls to ensure your kids don't see websites you don't want them to see, provides a catalog of more than 1,000 suggested family friendly sites, and lets you monitor and limit how much time the kids spend browsing.
Potty Chart ($2.99) -- With a star chart to keep track of successful bathroom visits, a rewards tracker to keep track of rewards, a "running water" sound effect to make "going" easier and a wealth of potty training tips and tricks, this app aims to make one of parenting's biggest challenges a bit easier.
HomeBudget ($4.99) (lite version with limited functionality is available for FREE) -- Keep track of your household expenses with this thorough, easy to use app.
ChoreBank ($1.99) -- With ChoreBank, you can create a virtual chore allowance account for each of your kids, including which chores they're responsible for, what they're earning for each task and how much they've already earned. You can also create a chore calendar and send text message reminders to the kids when tasks are “due”!