As a parent to a 2- and 4-year-old, I need every support I can get my hands on. Some days, my kids are adorable, providing endless laughs while my wife and I snap pics as if they were celebrities. Other days blur by in a constant state of panic. It can feel impossible to get anything accomplished when I have to constantly try to stop one kid from riding the dog while the other climbs on top of the wall-mounted TV.
There are plenty of apps focused on aiding parents in the task of raising children, but we’ve gathered a selection of 11 apps that help parents hold it together while doing so.
The In Love While Parenting App
Five minutes alone seems insurmountable when kids are always clambering on top of you, but setting aside a few minutes a day to watch a video on bonding with your tribe can feel super productive. Totally free, the In Love while Parenting App teaches you how to connect with the people you care for most, your significant others and kids, breaking down the science of bonding with lessons created by couples and family therapists. Sessions include: supporting each other during our lows, learning how to boost each other’s happiness chemicals, and knowing how to identify our emotions and teach our kids to do the same.
Doctor on Demand
It’s easy to neglect our health when we are taking care of little people. Whether your pinky finger is infected or you caught the flu, Doctor on Demand will connect you to a medical professional to help virtually. Even more essential, Doctor on Demand links you to mental help therapists and psychiatrists. Therapy sessions are $129 for 25 minutes and $179 for 55 minutes. Psychiatrist sessions cost $299 for the initial visit and $129 for follow-ups. But what sets this app above many other telemedicine apps is that it takes insurance.
Playgrounds are miracles. But if you are stranded in a foreign town, you can be lost without a good slide or monkey bars on which your kids can burn their energy out. Playground Buddy is a free app that maps out over 400,000 playgrounds worldwide, listing what each playground consists of, including swings, benches and other fun stuff. There are a couple of problems with the app. It rarely includes pictures and lists private playgrounds, so it’s best to do a quick Google search of the playground you intend to visit before you trek out.
Hoopla and Libby
Free library apps that give you access to movies, CDs, comics and audiobooks, including many new releases, are especially important when the kids are babies and won’t sleep (or if they are constantly latched onto your breast). Pop in some headphones, cradle your baby and ignore the crap out of them while you listen to the latest audiobook. As they age, download them their own books and movies, toss them your phone and go watch TV.
Formerly known as Ebates, this cashback app is connected to most major online stores, using affiliate links to score you some money back (via a “Big Fat Check” that is sent your way every three months). Since you are already spending buckets of dough on onesies and baby rockers, you might as well get some money reimbursed.
Target App (or any curbside app)
Wandering a store with aisles brimming with action figures is an unwinnable battle. Curbside pickup allows you to avoid the entire screamy excursion by choosing goods in the app and picking them up for free. Never venture into a store again.
Calm and Headspace
Everyone’s self-care practices are different, so this might not be for everyone. (It wasn’t for me.) If you’ve never tried meditation, these apps teach you how. Both claim to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and help you sleep with meditations specifically targeting your needs. Each has a free trial, after which Calm cost $69.99 a year or $14.99 a month, while Headspace costs $69.99 a year or $12.99 a month. Headspace also has really cute animations.
I am baffled why doctors’ offices and daycares still love physical paperwork. Genius Scan is a free app that allows you to take pics of the pages and turn them into a single PDF, so you don’t have to schlep upstairs to your scanner. Also, Pete Wentz really digs them.
When you realize you are out of overpriced diapers and need to find a store quickly, Flipp allows you to run a search through all the local circulars, finding you the best deals. You can also create a shopping list and save deals directly onto your savings card, though I’ve never used it for that. I’ve never actually spent more than a minute in the app because I never need to. I just type what I need and then zoom off to whichever store has the best sale.