A new app for military parents of children under three-years-old is a quick way to access helpful tips while getting a view into what might just be going on in that baby head.
The app, created by the early childhood experts over at the organization Zero to Three through a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, was made specifically with military parents and veterans in mind.
Zero to Three has a long history of working with small children -- and of catering that help specifically to military families since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan first started. You've probably seen their flyers and pamphlets on base. The app is an attempt to get that information into even more hands, they said.
And since it's written from the perspective of the baby, it helps lend a voice to what your child might be feeling and experiencing as you navigate military life.
"We wanted to take some of that good core content we had developed that was very much about early childhood development and parenting strategies, parenting and self care with that military lens," said Dorinda Williams, Zero to Three's director of military family projects. "Those younger families are looking to get that information not only from a booklet, but they are looking for apps more and more. It just became another platform to make our content really accessible to our families."
The app is very simple to use and offers a straight forward navigation menu.
But the content isn't just generic. The developers designed the app to be responsive to user preferences. For example, what tips and articles populate each section are based off of the age you input for your child.
One of the things I particularly liked about the content in this app is the broad number of people the information in it applies to. Unlike some resources created for military families, this is a one-stop-shop for a variety of military stages. Not only did they include advice for the families of wounded warriors, but they also included veterans.
That's important, and here's why: as more and more of us leave the force, this kind of veteran advice is going to be something that we absolutely need. And it's great to see an organization thinking that through.
Another unique app feature may be particularly useful for the more scatter brained among us -- or those who have trouble with memory thanks to a brain injury. The "Feeling Photos" section allows to load into the app photos of your baby when you realize they are expressing certain emotions -- and then refer back to them later.
That may seem a little excessive on the surface, but think about it. How many times have you been mystified by something with your child only to remember when it was all over that - OH YEAH - this is exactly how he acted the LAST time he had major teeth coming in. This could save you the delayed eureka moment.