The Best Smartwatch Apps for Parents

smartwatch apps for parentsDo you use smartwatch apps for parents? A few examples are Cloud Baby Monitor (iTunes), Feed Baby (iTunes and Google Play), and Baby Tracker (iTunes). We’ve previously discussed meal-planning app for working moms and apps that help working moms stay connected to school or daycare — but not specifically smartwatch apps for parents.

A couple of years ago, The New York Times’ KJ Dell’Antonia asked (at the NYT’s now-defunct Motherlode), “Is Your Child Your Excuse to Buy an Apple Watch?”

She wrote:

We can count on Apple, and app developers, to find ways to make the Apple Watch indispensable for parents that go beyond staying constantly connected. For now, there are some fun (pregnancy monitoring apps) and some convenience (you can monitor volume and other settings from the watch while your toddler watches the Nick Jr. app on your iPhone). For parents of teenagers driving some models of post-2014 Volkswagens, there are serious monitoring possibilities: The watch can alert you if the car leaves a designated area or exceeds a preset speed limit. The future holds watch-enabled baby monitors and, surely, virtual toddler leashes. Already, a parent and a teenager could use Apple Watches to stay more closely connected — if, that is, you’re willing to spring for a second watch.

For parents, the option to use apps like these isn’t the only benefit of a smartwatch. A mom who recently wrote a piece for Parents called 6 Ways the Apple Watch Elevates My Parenting Game noted that she can use it as a remote for taking photos of herself with her kids (how many of us have tons of pictures of our children without us?), for example, and it helps her find her phone when she can’t remember where she put it. Another mom wrote a piece for Baby Rabies called 10 Ways My Apple Watch Makes Life As a Parent Easier — for example, her watch alerts her to calendar reminders with a small buzz, and she can make or receive calls on her watch while one of her kids is playing a game or watching a video on her phone. (How cool is that?)

What are your favorite smartwatch features that make parenting easier? What do you think are some of the best smartwatch apps for parents in 2017? 

Picture via smartwatch apps for parents

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Family Friday: Made 2 Play Sneaker Winter Boot

For a couple of years, I’ve been buying my son these winter boots from Northside at Amazon. They’ve been OK, but he said that snow got into them sometimes. This fall I did some looking around online and settled on these unique boots from Stride Rite. The bottom part is built like a sneaker, and there are velcro fasteners that can tighten the boots in two different places. The flexibility of the top portion makes me think that they’ll be better at keeping out snow, but we shall see. (You can also fold down the top, as pictured.) They’re machine washable, too, which is pretty nice. These boots have a 4.4/5.0 at Amazon from 400+ reviews, and they range in price from roughly $20 to $54. The sizes available are Toddler (1–4 years) and Little Kid (4–8 years), and the color options are blue/green, pink, purple, and black, as well as designs with Frozen, Spider-Man, Star Wars, My Little Pony, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Stride Rite Made 2 Play Sneaker Winter Boot

Psst: Like I’ve mentioned before, Amazon often has Black Friday deals in the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday — including some of the best deals of the year on kids toys. Today, Amazon’s deal of the day is on Kidcraft dollhouses, train tables, and play kitchens —  prices more than 50% off in some cases.

Psst 2: One more sale of note: mega sale (“Premier One Day Event”) at Pottery Barn Kids and all sister brands — prices up to 50-70% off, including on furniture.

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How to Make Shots Easier on Your Kids

how to make shots easier on your kidsIt’s flu-shot time (hooray, said no one), and since that means it’s getting closer to peak flu season, which usually hits between December and February, today we’re discussing how to make shots easier on your kids. The CDC recommends that everyone older than six months get the seasonal flu vaccine and that certain children get two doses at least a month apart. The vaccine is especially important for kids because they have a higher risk than adults for serious flu-related complications that could land them in the hospital.

If your family gets the flu vaccine, get ready with these tips to make shots easier on your kids:


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Organizing Thursday: Car Seat Travel Tray

When we booked a flight to visit relatives in England this summer, I wanted to find something that would stop my son’s Legos, crayons, food, etc., from falling off the tiny airplane tray table. I spent way too much time reading Amazon reviews, and this product was the closest to what I wanted — it has its own bag, a detachable strap (in case we wanted to use it in the car one day), and handy pockets. Most importantly, all four edges were high enough to keep things from rolling off. The trade-off was that there was no good way to actually attach it to the tray table (which was an option for a couple of others). I MacGyver-ed a solution, however, by adding two of these velcro straps to the bottom of the tray (using more velcro), which made it possible to secure the tray to the tray table by wrapping the straps around it and fastening them. I’m so glad we had this on our two 7-hour flights, and I would definitely recommend it (for road trips, too). Car Seat Travel Tray

Celebrating Halloween as a Mom

celebrating Halloween as a working mom - strategies and tipsWith summer weather stubbornly sticking around this year, it’s hard to believe that October 31 is in just a few weeks — but since somehow that’s true, we thought we’d chat today about celebrating Halloween as a mom. So, do tell: Do you have any Halloween hacks that help you with celebrating Halloween as a working mom? (Ha, considering the context, that sounds a bit macabre, doesn’t it? Maybe “tips” is better.) Did you go all out when your kid was a baby but have scaled back now that he or she is older — or is the opposite true? Here are a few other Halloween parenting topics we can have fun discussing:

At what age did you start taking your kid trick-or-treating? On the other end of the spectrum, how old is TOO old, in your opinion? Ever since our son was really young, my parents have invited us to their neighborhood (they’re still in my childhood home, only about a mile from our house) to visit the selected neighbors whom they know well. Some of them have been there for 30 years or more, including the older woman who gives out little bags of homemade popcorn. For the last few years, my husband has also been taking our son around a small part of our neighborhood — lucky kid! I take on door duty while they do that. When he gets a little older, we’ll probably stick to our own neighborhood.

Who stays home? Or do you leave out a bowl of candy and hope for the best? 

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How to Find Time for Hobbies as a Working Mom

how to find time for hobbies as a working momWhen you become a mother, your sense of self goes through a major transformation (which we’ve discussed — from body image to overall identity), and one part of that is figuring out how to find time for hobbies as a working mom. Have you found ways to continue some (or all) of the activities that you enjoyed in your pre-parent days, and if so, how do you do it? For those of you who have gone through the “small kid” years, did you eventually find time for your hobbies? 

We’ve rounded up five tips on how to find time for hobbies as a working mom, below. Note that for all of these, if you’re struggling with mommy guilt, focus on what you get out of the hobby and how that end result helps your family. For example, if taking photographs helps you de-stress, your family gets a less stressed mom — win-win!

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