Being a parent has always been challenging, but a plethora of excellent iPhone apps may just make it a bit easier.
I’m going to recommend a group of apps that can be used by parents of just about any age level, but I find them extremely useful for managing day-to-day life with my toddler. Whether they’re for finding entertainment or connecting with other parents, you’ll love these apps if you have small children.
Mom Maps is useful for all parents, but it’s a downright godsend for full-time parents. Use its GPS search to find parks, museums and even kid-friendly restaurants nearby. Whether you’re looking for a big outing like to the zoo or art museum, or you’re just looking to kill an hour one Tuesday afternoon, you’ll find plenty of ideas with Mom Maps. And it’s invaluable if you’re visiting grandma out of town and want to get some fresh air. Finally, users can add their own entries, so its database is both robust and (for the most part) accurate. ($2.99, App Store Link)
I personally find Mom Maps to be a better discovery tool, but the social networking and planning aspects of RedRover are extremely useful. I can arrange playdates and share them through the app’s own social network (don’t worry, it’s available on Android, so your misguided friend with a Samsung Galaxy can partake as well) or through Facebook/Twitter. (Free, App Store Link)
I don’t use this app much, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. Fire up the app and it will start recording video instantly. Heck you might have already captured a precious moment using 1TapVideo by the time you would have just started recording with the built-in camera app. ($.099, App Store Link)
Much has already been said about this excellent music streaming service, but you might be surprised how useful it is for parents of children and toddlers. When my little one just can’t calm down in the backseat, the Pandora app set to the toddler radio station does just the trick. Plus, I can use it in the living room over iPod speakers. (Free, App Store Link)
Now, I’m not a big fan of letting the littlest ones spend their time playing video games, but damnit, there’s times when you need something to keep them occupied (airplanes, restaurants). Peekaboo Wild is an excellent game for children from about 18 months to 3 years. You’ll both have fun as your child taps the screen to reveal animals hiding in the bush. (Free, App Store Link)
Due offers a ready-to-go timer for all your toddler needs. Unlike the built-in iPhone timer, this one enables you to create and save multiple timers, so you can flip them on at a snap instead of fiddling with a dialer while your little one is squiggling around. A one-minute time-out? It’s ready. A 10-minute timer for your kids’ mac-and-cheese? Set. Plus, you can set reminders to help you with medicines, nap times, and other daily needs. ($4.99, App Store Link)
Ashlee McCullen is a staff writer for www.apronaddicts.com, a website about fashionable aprons and sexy kitchen style.