When you put down your baby do you pick up your phone or tablet?
Smartphones have opened up a whole new world for mothers. Whether it is to connect with friends or other mums, ask parenting questions or just play a quick round of the latest game to take a bit of time out – they really can help mums overcome some of the feelings of isolation when you’re home alone with babies and young children.
They also useful for online shopping, doing the banking, distracting children on flights, taking photos and of course – calling people for a chat (how old school!!).
But there’s so many apps out there that we’ve decided to help you narrow it down a bit to find the best apps for pregnancy, parenting and entertaining yourself and the children as well.
We’ve asked out Bub Hub forum members for their favourite apps and here’s what they’ve told us.
Best apps for conception, pregnancy and parenting
A complete tracking and timing device for your baby. Monitor everything from feeds to baths to growth. You can store info for six kids and has dual timing for multiples.
Records your periods and calculates your cycle length and fertile times. Also has the option to add symptoms. – chloeandme
Pregnancy Tracker from What To Expect
Keep track of your pregnancy with this app. It features a quick reference screen outlining how far along you are and the size and weight of your growing baby. Has weekly and daily updates also.
This pregnancy tracking app features 3D images each week, baby name finder, an OB visit tracker and a mood tracker.
Um, only the best pregnancy and parenting app there is! Catch up up the forums, ask vital parenting/pregnancy questions and access our blog section, parents’ reviews and directory!
Super Baby Food
This app helps you to know what, when and how to feed your little one when they are starting on solids.
If you’re stumped for solids recipes for your little one this app has plenty of advice on starting solids as well as recipes for each stage of weaning.
My Baby & Me by Phillips Avent
Allows you to track your baby’s weight, height, sleeps and feeds (breast and bottle). You can take your own photos to put into albums that can be shared online. There are sections for advice, local retailers for Philips products and registered breastfeeding locations near you. – bellalika
Pink pad period tracker
The Wonder Weeks app
Best apps for children
Farm Sounds Lite
This app has four screens each with a different farm animal. Let you kid touch the screen to hear the animal make a sound. Upgrade to the full version to see and hear many more farm animals.
Do you try to sing kids songs to your little ones only to realise you don’t know the words. This app could help – it features lyrics and melodies to 220 songs including On Top of Spaghetti, Pop Goes the Weasel and London Bridge.
White Noise Baby
This features 15 looped ambient sounds, such as air-conditioner, heartbeat, vacuum cleaner, to help your baby sleep. Also detects if your phone is (or isn’t) in flight mode so that no extra noises will wake bub.
Play School Art Maker
Your kids can make their own artwork, movies and slideshows using their favourite Play School toys!
Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer
Discover an underwater world with Fins the fish in this cute easy-to-use app.
ABC For Kids
This music-based app from ABC 4 Kids, features songs and video clips from your child’s favourite ABC shows – including Hoot’s Lullaby and clips from The Wiggles.
Create an even soundscape for your sleeping baby. You can even set iPacifier to gently fade as bub nods off. Sounds include white noise, river, forest night and big waterfall.
I Hear Ewe
This kids’ app has three pages and each page consists of 12 buttons. Each button on page one is a farm animal. When pressed the children are told the name of the animal and then they hear the sound it makes. Page two in wild animals and page three is different forms of transport. – emmwill
ABC Kids iview
Now your kids can watch their favourite ABC shows on their own dedicated iView app – no need to scroll through all the adult ABC shows.
Read Me Stories
You can subscribe to this app (about $2 a month) once your free trial is finished. Each day a new book is downloaded into your library of books. These are not animated but they are read to you as you turn the page. My 2-year-old loves this app. – emmwill
Monkey Pre-school Lunchbox
Wonderful for toddlers. A series of puzzles that are age-appropriate based on fruits that could be placed in a lunchbox. Memory, puzzle and size differentiation are just a few examples. – bellalika
LEGO DUPLO train
Learn about shapes and colours while building a train and driving the train around a colourful, fun LEGO DUPLO landscape. Also try the LEGO DUPLO Circus App, Food app and Icecream app. And all the LEGO apps for older children. They are all awesome.
Play School Play Time
Join the Play School toys in celebrating Humpty’s birthday! They can learn more about ‘time’ using this easy-to-navigate app.
First Words – Animals
A picture of an animal will appear and the voice will say what it’s called. The letters of the names are placed on tiles that have to be arranged in the right order, and the letter is spoken when touched. My 2yo DD loves this game and even though it’s American it has taught her SO many words and letters. She recognises almost all letters of the alphabet with help from this game. – chloeandme
Talking Tom Cat
Talking Tom is your pet cat, that responds to your touch and repeats everything you say in a very annoying voice (really annoying for parents!) – The C Team
Tozzle is a puzzle game for toddlers. Toddlers choose from 39 (and counting) puzzles to solve. It is a drop and drag system. A hint is given after the second attempt if needed. – bellalika
Best useful apps for parents
Centrelink Express Plus app
A very handy app if you receive Family Tax Benefit or other government family benefit payments. You can use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app to view, estimate and update your family income estimate.
Head straight to the Google app for easy searching.
Remember the olden days when you would read magazines then cut out the pictures you liked and maybe stick them on a pinboard for inspiration – maybe if you’re planning a wedding or reno etc? These days it is a virtual pinboard and it virtually impossible to stop browsing and pinning once you start.
Struggling to name that guy … from that movie … with that girl in it …? Struggle no more with the The Internet Movie Database app. – BH Editor
Not sure if you’ve heard of it but Facebook is this website where people chat to their ‘friends’. Weird I know! Sometimes they ‘poke’ each other too! Anyway you can also use it on your phone … – BH Editor
My Shopping List
If you’re like me you make a shopping list then leave it on the kitchen table. If you download this app you’ll never leave your list at home again (unless you leave your phone at home of course, but who does that?)
Check your auctions or shop on the go with this app version of the popular auction site.
Pocket Weather AU
Check the weather conditions for the upcoming week in your local area. Radars are also available to check rain and cloud. The home city can be changed. Is also great for checking out the weather in your upcoming travel destination. There’s also an international version and a free Lite version. – Me&MrMagoo
Listening to the radio and love a song but have no idea who sings it? Hold your iPhone up the radio with the Shazam app open and Shazam will tell you all the song details! You then have the option to purchase it from iTunes. – Me&MrMagoo
This is a cross-platform mobile messaging app that allows you to send messages without having to pay for an SMS.
Track your reading. Chat about the books you’re reading and check out reviews from other readers.
You can’t get more basic than this app. It is a screen of light that stays on despite your screen lock setting so you can read in the dark – great for when you’ve got a sleeping baby in the same room!
Best apps for photos and photo-editing
A photo editing and social networking app that is great for turning happy snaps into something different … It has a selection of filters to choose from, including cross process and black and white. – Me&MrMagoo
A photography app that gives your photos a really cool polaroid effect. Really quick and super easy to use … upload to Facebook and Twitter capabilities. – Me&MrMagoo
Adobe Photoshop Express
Just like the PC version, this app lets you edit your photos using tools such as contrast, saturation, and black and white. There is also a selection of frames and effects. Upload to facebook and twitter capabilities. – Me&MrMagoo.
Best game apps
SimCity Build It
Design, build and manage cities in this addictive game.
The best app for trivia lovers. Test your knowledge in an incredible array of subjects. It is multiple choice and you have to beat the clock as well as a random opponent from anywhere in the world.
Cut the Rope
A fun and totally addictive game. Use strategy to devise the best way to feed “Nom nom”, an animated creature, candy. Collect as many of the three stars as you can in each stage to unlock the next level. – bellalika
Sally’s Spa is a time management game. You control Sally, the owner/operator of a day spa. Purchase upgrades, equipment and staff with your profits. Trade your way to running spas in luxury locations around the words. – bellalika
A puzzle game where you have to slingshot birds at pigs. The aim is to destroy all of the pigs on the playing field. (This game is THE best!) – The C Team
Words with Friends
Virtual Scrabble that you are able to play with everyone you know. It’s also linked to Facebook enabling you to play with even more people. – The C Team
A totally addictive game where you run your own fashion boutique. Design your store, manage your stock orders and watch the customers shop up a storm (hopefully).
This game – where you have to find items on your screen – is great when you’ve got only a few minutes to spare. There’s not much to it but it is very addictive.
Swipe your finger across the screen to deliciously splatter fruit like a true ninja warrior. The aim is to slice, chop and cut your way through as much fruit as you can in the time provided. Don’t let your fruit fall untouched and watch out for bombs! – The C Team
* We have decided not to include the price of the apps as they may change often.
Thanks for the following Bub Hubbers members: summastarlet, SAgirl, Me&MrMagoo, emmwill, bellalika, The C Team, chloeandme, A mothers love, Just*Ace, iLOVEthree, Fuchsia!, iMischa, Chelleylane, Annabella, jadorevous, buttonbub, One of THOSE mums!, decambla, WorkingClassMum, CGsmum as well as all our Facebook friends who contributed to this article!!
Image credit: jfkimage/123RF Stock Photo