5 Ways I Use My iPhone as a Mom of Young Kids

by Wendy Copley on November 8, 2009

screen shot I resisted getting an iPhone for quite a while. “Why do I need one,” I’d ask my husband. “It’s not like I need to keep track of clients or appointments or anything and I already have a regular cell phone to make calls with.” Oh, how naive I was! I finally caved to my desires and now I think I use my phone more as a stay-at-home mom of small kids than I ever would have in my former professional life managing a multi-million dollar website.

Beyond the obvious parental-type things I use my iPhone for (texting my husband to pick up bananas on the way home, calling the day care to say my son will be late) here are some of the ways I use my phone to be a happier mom:

1. I Entertain Myself While Breastfeeding

I love breastfeeding — let’s just get that out of the way right up front. I talk, sing and make contact while I nurse my baby. But after he starts to get sleepy, I need to be quiet and avoid eye contact so he’ll relax enough to go to sleep and at that point I’m stuck sitting quietly in the rocker for another 20 minutes or so. And when he was a newborn I did that 10 times per day! Besides normal web surfing and blog reading, I love to use this time to play games. Some of my favorites include: Wurdle, StoneLoops of Jurassica, Bejeweled 2, CandyMania PileUp and my most recent favorite, Blowfish Lite (sorry, couldn’t find a link). And even though it’s slow going to type on the iPhone keypad, I even use it to write sometimes. In fact, this post was partially written using the WordPress app!

2. I Take Photos of My Kids When We’re Out and About

This one is sort of a no brainer, but as a photography obsessed mom I love being able to take photos of my boys without lugging my big camera everywhere. I use these photos for scrapbooking in general and my Project 365 photo essay in particular and I recently had a “Duh!” moment when I realized I could email these photos to my mom and dad to give them a grandkid fix when they’re at work. No one ever said I was the sharpest tack in the box….

3. I Listen to Podcasts to Keep Myself From Going Insane

So very many of the mommy things I do in a day require that I use my hands and pay attention to my surroundings but don’t require that I be particularly mentally engaged. Housework and driving around running errands are a few examples of these horribly boring, mind-numbing chores. To keep myself from spiraling into a deep depression triggered by mental atrophy, I like to listen to podcasts while I do this stuff. Some of my favorites are the Manic Mommies, NPR’s StoryCorps, Meal Makeover Moms, and I’m looking forward to checking out this list of creativity podcasts Lain blogged about the other day.

4. I Record My Kids Laughing

…and babbling and telling jokes with the voice memo app. Photos are great and all, but those recordings of their little voices take you back to the age when they were recorded in an instant and oh my, they are sweet.

5. I Entertain My (Big) Kid at Restaurants and in the Car

I’m obviously not handing my iPhone to my 14-month-old baby, but my five-year-old is careful enough to be trusted with it occasionally. I don’t often let him use it, so when I give it to him to play with it’s a very, very special treat and he is absolutely thrilled. Some places I let him use it include: doctor’s office waiting rooms, in line at the post office, drives of over an hour and a half, and on airplane flights. I have a number of kid-friendly apps on my phone, but he also likes “playing” the same games I do. I also have an episode of Handy Manny on there for extreme circumstances and my husband has Wall-E on his phone for even more dire distraction emergencies.

I also use it to take notes for my son’s #babybook, but I already wrote about that.

How do you use your phone to make parenting your kids easier or more fun?

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  • Yes and yes! The same kid who, at nine months old, slurped and crushed my old cell phone (forcing me to get an iPhone in the first place) is now careful enough at thirty months to play easy games and watch movies. And it makes me a very happy mom!

  • Mary

    Thanks for sharing. I have twin boys and just got an iPhone 3 months ago. I started using a app called NeuroMobile. It has be great help to me as Mom. If you're not already using it, you should take a look at it.

  • Maj

    As a workin' mom with one of those round-the-clock web-gigs, I love being able to check my mail without actually getting on the laptop (where I'm quickly sucked into work related stuff or, say, reading the NYTimes). I can hang out at the park for an extra hour knowing I'll get any frantic emails from clients who don't need to know I'm playing in a pile of leaves and not sitting at my desk…

  • Love my iPhone! I am happy to have the 3GS, so I can take video too, which I do often and love! It's so easy to upload everything straight to Facebook. And once it's on Facebook you can use their embedded linky thing to easily post to blogger.
    I use the app Awesome Note to keep lists of important things – like, birthday gifts and Cmas gift lists that I don't want my 7 year old son who reads everything in sight to see! And better, I can easily password protect these lists for extra insurance.

    For the kids I have a lot of memory match and word search type games on there. We also have blowfish and a favorite of my autistic son is the virtual acquarium app (he loves fish!). Love love love my iPhone. I really can't imagine going without it at this point.

  • Spot on! Great post. I love my iphone now too even though I don't work out of the home it gets used. Although I DO hand it to my 14mo old babe and she is pretty good with it. Her fave is the PuppyParade App which she knows to shake. It's pretty cute watching her enjoy all those puppy faces by herself. She also gets a kick out of it playing music.

  • pigsdofly

    I had almost the exact same conversation with my hubby over the iphone. It seemed like way more phone than I needed. I heart my iphone so much now. He is always rubbing it in my face. My 5 year old is already a tech nerd like his dad, and he loves to use the phone. It's great while waiting at the doctor's office or in the line at the grocery store to keep him entertained. I keep my price book on it. I love that I can surf the web anywhere; I find myself consulting it a dozen times a day (the last time was at World Market, trying to figure out if the weird mexican fruit was something we'd want to try ;)). I'm particularly bad at directions, so having the gps to get me where I need to go is wonderful. Big love to my iPhone!

  • Mushy1127

    I have an unhealthy relationship with my iphone. I am considering leaving my husband for it. This all started when I was nursing my second son (name AUGGIE, but we call him Dogger). I would often think about how much the quality of my life would have been improved if I'd had it the first time around. Baby number 1 was a marathon nurser. Oddly enough, I often take pictures of my children's laptop lunches. Glad to see I'm not alone!

  • Mushy1127

    I have an unhealthy relationship with my iphone. I am considering leaving my husband for it. This all started when I was nursing my second son (name AUGGIE, but we call him Dogger). I would often think about how much the quality of my life would have been improved if I'd had it the first time around. Baby number 1 was a marathon nurser. Oddly enough, I often take pictures of my children's laptop lunches. Glad to see I'm not alone!

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