Parenting in the digital age is not easy. From the first few days after a child is born to navigating college applications, parenting will throw everything at you. Military spouses, who are also the must-have and often solo parents, need all the help they can get.
These 16 apps are a great first step in keeping things organized and safe for your children from the beginning to the end -- just kidding, there is no end -- and everything in between.
Baby and Toddler Phase
Everything feels new and overwhelming with a baby. And then the sleep deprivation kicks in, and you can barely remember your own name. Luckily, those of you parenting a baby in this day and age have smartphones and apps that can help out. Here are some that your military family may enjoy.
1. Baby Feeding Log. Feeding the baby is the thing you'll do the most, but it can get confusing if other people are helping out. With this app, you can track feeding sessions. It works for bottle feeding and breastfeeding, so it's great for everyone.
2. Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame. As your child grows and learns to communicate, you'll go through a stage where they get frustrated but don't know how to express it. This app helps with that. It's a fun app for kids, but it also teaches them to problem-solve and control their emotions.
3. Lifecake.This app is a great combination of function and security. You can take photos and journal all about your little one's firsts -- but keep it private for your immediate family and friends. It's perfect for a spouse who may be away during some of these milestones.
4. Cloud Baby Monitor. Baby monitors have come so far in the past decade, and this app turns your phone into one. You can see live video, hear noise from the area and set motion alerts to go off or on. No more sneaking into the room or wondering whether the monitor is working.
Beyond the apps you need to help your children manage schoolwork and behavior (yup, we're talking about you, Remind and Class DoJo), you may find there are other apps that help your elementary school-aged kiddos go through life.
5. FamilyTime. At this age, your kids are probably having some screen time (right, probably a lot of screen time), but you'll want to keep a close eye on it. With this app, you can control how long, when and what they're doing.
6. Alexa. If you have an Alexa at home and install this app, you can use it to "call home" when you're out. This is a great tool for older kids who may get off the bus alone or you can leave for a few minutes home alone -- but who aren't ready for a cellphone yet.
7. ChoreMonster. If your child gets dramatic over chores, this app may help. You can make a list of chores for each kid, keep track of them and even have a separate login for your children to record what they've done. And you can let them buy things with their points. It helps reduce the nagging and fighting but still gets chores done.
8. Artkive. Elementary school means so many papers -- like all the projects your child has ever done will come home. While you know you don't need to keep them all, it's a challenge to find the right time to ditch them. With this app, you can store them digitally and keep them forever. Or delete them when the kids aren't looking.
Tweens and Teens
By the time you figure out all the elementary-school parenting secrets, your kid hits the next stage. And the tween/teen period brings a lot of changes. (One of those is probably a cellphone for your kid.) But with these apps, you can still keep a handle on things and them.
9. Cozi. Keeping all of the things and all of the people organized is a full-time job. But with this app, you can keep on track of everyone's schedule. On top of managing appointments and activities, everyone can add things to the shopping list, and you can even keep up with virtual school schedules.
10. Photomath. Parents like to commiserate over new math techniques, but when your student starts moving into advanced math, you may struggle to keep up. This app allows you to take a picture of the problem and learn how it's solved.
11. Headspace. For help managing mindfulness, try the Headspace app. (It often offers discounts for military families.) With help establishing routines, particularly sleep routines and advice on meditation, you and your kid can work through some of this together.
12. Life360. While we wish we knew exactly where our kids were at every single moment, it doesn't always happen that way. If you've got a rogue teenager, this app may help. Kids can check in when they arrive somewhere, so parents can see where everyone is. You can even monitor your kid's driving.
13. Scholly. When it's time to start applying to colleges and looking for scholarships, this app helps you find them. Well, really, you should make your student download the app and have them do it. But it helps by sorting scholarships that are relevant to your student.
Many families co-parent, and military families do it across the globe. These apps make co-parenting easier and can even be used to help keep your deployed or geographically separated spouse in the mix as you navigate this journey.
14. Our Family Wizard. This is one of the original co-parenting apps and is designed to help reduce scheduling conflicts. There's a calendar where schedules, appointments, drop-offs and pick-ups can be shared, as well as an in-app messaging system and an expense log.
15. Coparently. Again, the goal here is to ease conflict, but this app also has a phonebook for shared contacts and a color-coded custody calendar. Expense tracking and in-app messaging are also available.
16. 2Houses. With the focus on keeping the kids out of any post-divorce tension, 2Houses can help relieve stress. It has all the same features as the other apps, but options are always good.
Do you have a favorite parenting app? Let us know what feature you'd like to see in an app for parents.
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