Almost every parent relies on their smartphone to support their parenting efforts. Whether it’s scheduling tools or selecting a quick video to keep the kids entertained while you prep dinner, there’s something to be said for parents equipped with the right technology. Here are five key smartphone hacks to make you a better parent—especially if this is your first go-round.
Embrace Technology (But Don’t Overuse It)
People often talk about the negative impacts of technology on our lives. But when it comes to parenthood, your smartphone is an absolute lifesaver. Starting in the early days of parenting, you’ll use your phone as a baby tracker, an e-book library, a portable Netflix cinema, a music player, and, of course, as a camera.
Embracing what technology offers you as a new, exhausted, and overwhelmed parent is crucial. Of course, it’s also essential that you ensure your phone can keep up with tracking vital data and entertaining the baby (and you). With that in mind, set up a couple charging stations wherever you hang out with your little one. Whether you do late-night feedings in the nursery or your room, you’ll be surprised how often it seems that when you’re running out of steam, your phone is, too!
Be mindful of your data usage as well, especially when you’re away from the comfort of home Wi-Fi. Prepaid plans can give you the coverage you need without pricey overages.
All that said, Inc. points out there is such a thing as technology burnout—especially if you use your phone for work—so you’ll want to maintain balance with non-screen-based time, too.
Your smartphone is a great resource for prepping your home for your new baby. For example, you might need help babyproofing your home. You can set that up on TaskRabbit. Or maybe you’re taking steps to make your home’s exterior safer by putting up a fence. You can check out the Angi fence installation options via their app. Or maybe you need help organizing your closets, pantry, or baby’s room to clear clutter and make items easier and quicker to find? The Cozi Family Organizer is a great option for that.
When you’re in the trenches of parenting, it’s easy to forget those seemingly big moments as soon as they pass by. But with Glow Baby, you can track growth and other milestones, so you never forget the first time your little one rolled over or sat up.
Plus, VentureBeat highlights you may even notice signs of illness or developmental challenges earlier when using the tracker. Glow Baby is free, but there’s also a premium subscription option with even more insight and support for new parents.
Plenty of parents rely on online community (and affiliated experts) to get support when they’re newbies. And one leading parenting site—BabyCenter—is all about making it easier to connect. Their My Baby Today app provides growth tracking and other milestone information,
But My Baby Today also connects moms to their due-date clubs right on BabyCenter. While real-life mom friends are great, sometimes online support is the easiest for parents to access.
The Mommy Saver: High Contrast Baby Visual Stimulation app makes your Android or Apple smartphone an entertainment center that’s developmentally appropriate for even the youngest infant. Because babies cannot yet distinguish more neutral colors, high-contrast images are excellent for their development, Bausch & Lomb notes. Mommy Saver is available at the Apple App Store.
For nursing moms, keeping track of the baby’s feedings can get complicated. Since newborns should nurse about eight to 12 times per day, things get confusing, fast. With Baby Tracker, a breastfeeding (and other feedings) tracker, you can note each nursing or bottle-feeding session, solid snacks, and pumping sessions. Other tracking features include diaper change, sleeping, and height and weight details.
You can also view statistics about each nursing or pumping session, plus watch your baby’s growth trends over time.
Contrary to what some people may think, there’s more to technology for parents than zoning out on a screen. From connecting with other parents to saving every memory from your baby’s childhood, your phone offers rewarding and worthwhile benefits throughout your parenting journey. With just a few simple hacks, you’ll be parenting like a pro!
If you need help dealing with the stress of caring for your little one, Dina R. Schulsinger, M.Ed, CRC, MFT, NLP can help. Call her today at (480) 433-2800 to learn more about her counseling practice.
Article by Jenna Sherman, Parent-Leaders.com
Photo via Pixabay