8 must-have iPhone apps for parents

Remember when you used to mark your child’s growth in pencil on the kitchen door frame? That’s so 2005.

Today, you can put your child in timeout, find the nearest public bathroom and keep track of your child’s medication, all from the palm of your hand.

Cost: .99
Good for: Couples trying to conceive
Not-so-good for: People whose traumatic experience in high-school calculus makes them start sweating at the sight of a coordinate graph.

The gist: Seemingly borrowed from military intelligence, this puppy can sort through mountains of fertility data, from cervical fluid to body temperature to severity of premenstrual symptoms, and tell you when you’re at your most fertile. It’s more expensive than some similar apps on the market, but does a LOT more. Not for the faint of heart, but for couples serious about getting pregnant (or serious about avoiding it), it’s worth the .
Buy on iTunes

Woman Calendar

Cost: Free
Good for: Everyone
Not-so-good for: Anyone with a phobia of public toilets

The gist: This app finds the nearest public restroom, a must-have for families on the move. Just enter an address or use the iPhone’s GPS to find your current location and you’re on your way to your next pit stop. As far as free apps go, this is about as good as it gets (though, really, can you even put a price on the just-in-time bathroom break?)

Buy on iTunes

Sit or Squat

Cost: Free
Good for: Busy Moms
Not-so-good for: People whose traumatic experience in high-school calculus makes them start sweating at the sight of a coordinate graph

The gist: This app’s tagline is “Life Simplified” and it delivers. It syncs your calendars, errands, grocery list, coupon drawer and recipe book in a remarkably easy-to-use interface. Connect to your social networks like Facebook and Twitter, sync with your Google calendar and create custom categories. You’ll never forget the dry-cleaning (or the kids) again. Perfect for busy moms — and dads, as long as they don’t mind the pastel palette and flower-shaped interface.

Buy on iTunes

Intuition: Mom’s Assistant

Cost: .99
Good for: Seriously commemorative parents

The gist: A delightful hybrid of baby book and daily log, this powerful app allows parents to record and chart their child’s routines. For the seriously data-driven parent, there’s an option to export the information to a personal computer. At .99, it’s about the price of your afternoon latte — and think of all the money you’ll save in scrapbooking supplies and sticky notes.

Buy on iTunes

Total Baby

Cost: .99
Good for: Everybody, especially those with klutzy, messy or especially exploratory kids.

The gist: Stains happen. And Tide’s mobile app is right there when they do. Simply choose your poison from the homepage (options include common stains like grass and mud and some “how-the-heck-did-that-happen?” ones like poop and wax), and this app serves up Tide’s official treatment plan, as well as user-submitted tips.

Get FREE on iTunes

Tide Stain Brain

Cost: Free with ads (.99 for ad-free upgrade)
Good for: Parents with kids of all ages

The gist: Need to discipline your kids on the go? There’s an app for that. There are actually several time-out apps, but this one is our favorite, mostly because it’s free. It’s basically a spruced-up version of the iPhone’s own timer feature, but with the nifty (if slightly unnecessary) option to add time for bad behavior. Have more than one unruly tot? The app can run up to four concurrent timeouts.

Get FREE on iTunes

Time Out

Cost: .99
Good for: Parents without a medical degree
Not-so-good for: Hypochondriacs

The gist: Parents can enter their child’s symptoms in the interactive tool and receive up-to-date advice about how to treat minor illnesses at home, or when to call the doctor immediately. The symptom checker also includes pediatric dosage tables by weight for common over-the-counter medications, images to help identify rashes, stings and bites, and first aid illustrations. Immediate connections are available to 911, your pediatrician or a nearby emergency department.

Read our full review

Buy on iTunes

Kids Doc

Cost: $4.99
Good for: Families who travel light
Not-so-good for: Those who also use their iPhone as an alarm clock.

The gist: On your next family vacation, leave the baby monitor at home and grab this app instead. Simply set your phone next to your sleeping baby and if he wakes up and makes noise, the device automatically calls a pre-programmed number. (Just make sure it’s not set to call your iPhone)

Buy on iTunes

Baby Monitor

Cost: Free
Simply wave your phone’s screen over the barcode of any product and you’ll get the cost. This app can also tell you if a food item contains gluten, soy, peanuts or lactose. It can help you locate any book at a nearby library or help you compare prices with other local retailers.

Red Laser

Working on potty training? By keeping track of your toddler’s diet and liquid intake, this app offers several alarms to signal regular potty breaks as well as a reward-based virtual sticker that helps kids keep track of potty success. Cost: $3.99

Potty Predictor

Tired of all those preferred customer tags on your key chain? This app uses scanner technology to recreate those barcodes and allows your phone screen to become the scan-ready image. Cost: Free

Key Ring

This app draws on thousands of recipes from All Recipes (allrecipes.com). What makes this best for moms is the ability to search for recipes by meal, ingredients or time (I’ve only got 15 minutes before we have to leave for soccer practice).

Cost: Basic version, Free.

Dinner Spinner

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