Though my wife and I have only been in the game for just over two and a half years, parenting is a wonderful, amazing (sometimes stressful) time. He's had plenty of milestones already; he can differentiate a cellphone from a BlackBerry and can even tell you some of the BlackBerry models. Okay, okay so there are obviously more important milestones that have been reached, but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree (or is it BlackBerry doesn't fall far from the bush?). They say that BlackBerry is a lifestyle. So since you can incorporate your BlackBerry into everything that you do, why not incorporate applications too?
I'm not saying to use it to look up a baby sitter. There are quite a few applications out there that may help you boost your already powerful parenting prowess. How many times have you quickly scribbled down the dates your child said his or her first words or took their first walk? How often do you try to get your child interested in studying? How frequently do you juggle children with a shopping cart and a missing grocery list? If they haven't bugged you for a snack, or got into anything yet, why not take a few minutes to check out some useful apps?
It was difficult to narrow down these applications, as there are so many out there that could be used in various ways. If there's one you have in mind that we missed, please share it with us in the comments. As we teach our kids, it's always nice to share! I've also tried to start this nearly from conception on.
Your Pregnancy: Week by Week
I remember scouring through bookstores looking for pregnancy books. We still have a few of them lying around. Since your BlackBerry is at your hip anyway, why not have a book on you? This week by week childbirth and pregnancy guide is loaded with topics including: baby's and mother's size (careful fellas), growth and development, trends, safety recommendations, products and even dad tips. You can cuddle together around your BlackBerry and learn what to expect together. The cost of Your Pregnancy is $15.95. I was a little hesitant of this, until my wife quickly pointed out that each of our books had cost us roughly $20 to $25 each.
This one would have been fun, as I could have forced, er, shared my BlackBerry addiction with our son earlier on. We will be trying for another one, so I'll be prepared this time. Woomby helps you sooth and entertain your new little bundle of joy. It turns your BlackBerry into a baby monitor, a music player (lullabies), sing-along video player, play soothing sounds and more. Woomby is free and I will be definitely giving this one a full review soon! So watch out.
This one was reviewed in the past, and is still a must have application. Baby FollowUp is a powerful organizer and record keeper. You can mark down your baby's weight, height and other information and then view their growth rate. You can keep track of their checkup, sniffles, prescriptions and pediatrician information. We used to quickly jot down first words and such on whatever we could find, but then we captured and kept the info on Baby FollowUp. Baby FollowUp is currently on sale at $9.99 until October 31st.
Money for BlackBerry
You always heard that babies can be expensive, but you never thought you'd go through money like you would diapers. We sometimes complain about the cost of apps, but what about cribs, strollers, and such? Your grocery bill almost doubles with the cost of diapers, wipes and baby food. Money for BlackBerry is one of the many financial apps that have been created to help you better manage your finances. You can keep track of multiple accounts, scheduled transactions and transaction templates. Money for BlackBerry is decently priced at $9.99.
"Daddy? Read me a story.."
Whether it's a timeless classic, a new favourite, or even off the top of your head, stories capture a child's imagination. Your bookshelf may be filled with stories, but they do little good if you forget to take them on a trip. shortcovers is as they say, "a global eBook store that fits in your pocket". There are thousands upon thousands of books (including free) to choose from. Sort through titles, genres, skip through chapters and more. Shortcovers is free to pick up.
Of course as they get older, life gets busier. The names and places may differ, but it pretty much sounds the same.
"I've got to go take *name* to the doctor, then go buy groceries, then pick up *name* from school and take them to soccer practice. After that I have to.." Your vehicle pretty much becomes a taxi. On busier days, stops may be missed or items forgotten, hopefully not children. The got-2Pro Task and Schedule manager steps in. This application brings your task list, native calendar and GPS into one impressive To Do list. You can receive alerts based on a date, time or even location! This eliminates unnecessary traveling or backtracking and keeps you on schedule. You can pick got-2Pro up for $8.99.
I love family outings, especially impromptu ones. There's nothing like taking your child to the park and watch them tear around with a beaming smile on their face. Though they may not care about whether it rains or not, you do. You don't want them to get sick or muddier than a monster truck. You want to make sure they are dressed appropriately. WeatherEye, powered by The Weather Network, grants you access to current conditions, short-term / long-term forecasts and warnings for nearly any city. WeatherEye is available for free.
Even if they aren't by your side, you want to share your love of your child/children with others. I chuckled at cliché wallets opening up and yard long photo sleeves rolling out. If you're going to show off your photos, show them off in style. SwooshPhotos easily rounds up your images and lets you create slideshows with numerous effects. You can also create and mange albums, zoom and pan around your images. Pizzazz your pals with a pretty picture presentation. SwooshPhotos goes for $9.99.
One second they're clinging to your legs as you walk, the next second they're out the door with their friends. You ask where they're going, but their answer is muted by a door slam. You hope they're safe and smart. WhereAreYou is a location tracking application allowing for GPS tracking with a simple text. Send a text to an enabled device and a reply is sent with a link to their location shown on google maps. Some may find it evasive, but it offers fantastic security it case something happens or if your BlackBerry gets lost. A trusted list is kept so the location can only be requested by a select few. WhereAreYou is available for $4.99
So there you have it Moms and Pops. Hopefully you decide you adopt the apps, or similar ones, into your daily routine. If you do decide to let your little one share your BlackBerry, keep in mind that drool DOES count as liquid damage. Again, if you have other applications in mind speak up. The best resources for parents are other parents. You can check out more apps at the CrackBerry App Store.