We live in a digital age, a time where one of the first things we do when we get up in the morning is to check our phones and see what's happening in the world of social media. We have news at our fingertips and we have the ability to stay in touch with friends and family across the world, at any time of the day. Not only that, but with the boom of helpful apps and sites tasks can become easier, less stressful and perhaps even enjoyable. There are apps for creating lists, apps for productivity, apps to take to the gym. There are also parenting apps. Parenting advice and schedules are no new thing, but the rise of parenting apps is. This week we're looking at the best parenting apps and sites to watch in 2018- let us know if you've tried any, and how you find them!
Before we let you in on our top five, let it be known that we totally approve of parenting apps if they help you along in this journey we're on. When you have a newborn baby and you're up in the early hours of the morning, chances are you will be feeling the strain at times. It can be lonely, and there can be moments where the people inside your pone are literally the only friendly faces around... that's fine. Social media, apps and forums can be a wonderful thing. Make the most of them when you need them, and don't feel guilty for spending time on your phone. As long as you are there for your baby when you're needed, and providing love, comfort and nourishment- who cares what you do as you feed, cuddle or rock?
And so on to our favourites...
We love Mush so much! This is billed as an easy way to meet local mums and make friends, and we think that alone makes it one of the best apps you can add to your phone. Motherhood really can be lonely at times, but Mush can help you to make the connections that might just be the difference between feeling lost and isolated, and potentially finding your 'village'.
Use Mush to find like minded mums with children of the same age as yours. Use Mush to chat, arrange meet ups and get to know others in the same boat as you. Use Mush to find and join local mum groups. Basically, this app helps you to stay connected, stay involved, and most probably stay sane. A must have!
Oh my goodness where has Hoop been? We've all been there. It's half term. It's raining. The kids are bored, restless and probably arguing. You're at breaking point. Soft play is most definitely NOT an option, so what do you do? Where do you go? How do other people even find out about the best events or places to take kids on a rainy day? Hoop!
Hoop is the got to place for your family's social life. Get information on events to check out the finer details before you go. List your own event if you're holding one. Find new and fun things to do where you are. You can tailor Hoop to your own children by entering their ages, so that it will only show you appropriate events. You can set filters so that Hoop shows you budget friendly options, after school options, close to home options... There is also a class finder section so you can literally organise your whole family with one clever app. Love it!
You know when you discover an app and you just think 'Oh my goodness I wish I invented that?!'- this is one of those! Baby 3G is so clever! This app allows you to link any two phones to work as a baby monitor with unlimited reach, wherever you are. So no need for expensive baby monitors! We love this.
Everyone knows about Mumsnet, but it deserves to be on our list none the less! What we love about this site is not only it's candid honesty and sometimes hilarious web chats, but the fact that it raises more issues than the colour of your baby's poo. What we mean is that Mumsnet is not afraid to tackle political issues, news stories that affect us all, and those debates that other parenting sites shy away from. There is also a section where you can find local events, plus the forums are always busy so you're bound to find a friendly ear at 3am too.
The Dad Network
Don't leave the dads out! This was the reason why Al set up The Dad Network, to give dads a space on the internet for parenting related issues too. The Dad Network tackles timely and relevant issues, along with personal and emotional topics that affect us all in our parenting journey. There are Facebook groups for the growing community and a recently launched The Dad Network Foundation, a charity which aims to help fathers and their families in need. The Dad Network is somewhere for the dads, but mums certainly not excluded!
What are your top apps and sites for 2018?