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? 

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4 Free Apps for Privately Sharing Photos

apps for privately sharing photos Many, many articles and essays have been written about the potential dangers of posting photos of your kids on Facebook and other social media. Whether or not you agree (that’s a topic for a whole other post!), there are some great alternatives out there for sharing photos of your children with family and friends. (Psst: We recently did a post on apps that help working moms stay connected to school/daycare, and we’ve also talked about how to organize family photos and make photo projects.) Sure, you can safely use platforms like Instagram, Flickr, and Google Photos to show off pictures of your kids (as long as you adjust the privacy settings carefully), but there are some great apps for privately sharing photos on the market right now — and all of them have a “free” tier for pricing.

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4 Apps That Help Working Moms Stay Connected to School or Daycare

Apps That Help Working Moms Stay Connected to School2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on our favorite apps to help you stay connected to school or daycare — but you may also want to check out some of our newer stories on tech for working moms.

Does your child’s daycare or school use any apps that help working moms stay connected to school (and dads, of course, and parents in general)? It’s helpful and reassuring to get regular updates when your kid is too young to tell you about his/her day, and when yothe best apps to help working mothers stay connected to daycare or schoolur kid is older, you can get around the “What did you do at school today?” non-answers. (My son’s favorite is “I forgot!” when I ask him about certain things that happened during his first-grade school day.) It’s especially nice if you don’t have time to volunteer at school and don’t ever get to see what goes on during a typical day. Today we’ve rounded up some parent communication apps that you can consider recommending to your child’s school if they don’t currently use one (before the year is out).

With various features and options (and prices), here are four apps that help working moms stay connected to school:

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Totally Tuesday: Qeepsake

qeepsake-reviewReaders mentioned Qeepsake in the comments on our post about remembering the little things as a parent, and I’ve been trying it out and really like it. How it works: Qeepsake texts you a question about your kid(s) each day, and then you text an answer back. You can also send texts that aren’t responses to questions — plus edit the journal entries and add photos. I like being able to text my answers back and to know that there’s only one question a day for each kid. I don’t answer every question they send me, but a few examples include: whether H. has any nonverbal ways of communicating, whether J. has any bad habits, and what H. likes to do on weekends. It makes me feel like we’re preserving some of the little memories (even though they’re not always the things that I would preserve). Right now, there’s a 3- to 4-week waitlist to sign up, but if you get two friends to join the list, you can have immediate access to Qeepsake. The premium plan costs $35/year, and I believe there’s also a free plan that sends you one question per week. Qeepsake