Amazon Prime Now (Free) I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s a lot faster than most of the other e-commerce options and the selection of baby essentials are pretty decent. In the first few days of Giggles’ arrival, we found ourselves leaning heavily on their two-hour deliveries for more pacifiers, nipple shields and even a SleepSack when we gave up on swaddle origami.
Grab (Free) Food and transportation. We all have a story about a time (or ten) when the service let us down, but it works most of the time – and hopefully when you need it to. On the commuter end of the app, the GrabFamily option allows you to select between a 1-3-year-old or 4-7-year-old ride – each comes with one car seat suitable for the age range you select. If you pick a normal GrabCar, I cannot stress this enough: please only travel with a car seat. You’ve seen Singaporean drivers on the road, whether you’ve been on a bus or are a driver yourself. Accidents happen, and your kiddo is the most helpless person in the car to protect him/herself from sudden impact. [PSA over]
iHerb (Free) Another essential to have if you’re an advanced planner (not quite like me). Brands such as Happy Family Organics, Annie’s Homegrown and Aveeno can sometimes be a few dollars cheaper than what you’d pay for locally. If you’re new to the service, I hope you’ll consider signing up with my referral code (HAH4717), or by using this link.
Seedly (Free) More for budgeting, after all your many purchases. I love how the app links up directly to your bank account to pull out your transactions. Categorising them into sub-categories like Groceries, Family and Bills after to track your spending is quite easy peasy too.
Shopee (Free) Good for budget finds, if you can wait. Some kids products are listed by Chinese retailers so your items can sometimes take more than a week to arrive here in Singapore. If you’ve got the patience, you can get away with paying $3 for shoes, dresses and hats for baby, and maybe even find an alternative to Daiso when it comes to picking up knick knacks for kiddo’s birthday goodie bags.
Taobao (Free) My kryptonite. Unfortunately, you can’t Google Translate the app so everything’s in Chinese. But if you have a Taobao account and use it on the desktop, I find the app much better at recommending things you’ll like, so scroll away and click the ‘star’ on your favourite products to save them for later viewing when you’re back on the comp.
BabyCentre (Free) An absolute essential. Week by week, the app curates useful articles on baby’s development and any topics that might be relevant to baby’s nutrition, sleep and play. The app also includes a bunch of tools, such as an ovulation calculator (if you’re trying again), kick tracker, an ‘Is it safe?’ guide to most things you might have questions for during pregnancy, and a growth tracker for when baby arrives.
BabySparks – Development App I was a little torn on whether or not to add this to my list, but I suppose I did find it a little useful for the three months I paid for a subscription. This app features a rotation of exercises daily to help your child reach his/her developmental milestones. When I was feeling a little clueless about what to do with Giggles in the hours I would spend with her in the day, the program of videos were a useful resource, although she wasn’t too cooperative when I tried them on her.
The Wonder Weeks (S$4.48) When it comes to parenting, our methods might all diverge as soon as baby is ready to walk. One thing I find most fellow parents and I can agree on though, is the wisdom behind The Wonder Weeks. Based on the book by Dutch psychologist Hetty van de Rijt and behavioural biologist Frans X. Plooij, the app helps you keep track of upcoming/ongoing leaps (a crucial, key period of mental development) and lets you know what’s happening in baby’s brain, and why he/she may be a little more cranky than usual.
Doctor Anywhere I haven’t personally tried this out myself, but I like how this one is helping the local medical industry catch up with the smartphone era. On it, you can arrange for video calls with a GP (for minor conditions or to get a quick first opinion), get an MC via email and prescriptions delivered to your home within three hours. For moms, the app can arrange a video chat with a lactation consultation for breastfeeding issues ($15/10 minutes), and if you have a 6-monthly medical examination (6ME) for your helper due soon, you can also schedule a home-based or in-clinic appointment on the app.
Another plus is that the service runs 24/7, so there’s always someone you can speak to if kiddo is say, projectile vomiting at 2am at night, and you’re not keen to rush him straightaway to the A&E. I’m not in a hurry for anyone in my family to fall sick soon, but if they do, I’ll be giving them a go and will let you know more about my experience.
I’m not advocating turning over your device to your kiddo. I’m not keen for Giggles to turn into an iPad baby too, but in a pinch, these could be useful.
Epic! (Free, $6.98/month) Another app I’m not too keen to shout about from the mountains, but I found it useful when I was travelling and didn’t want to bring all our books with us (check out the books we’re currently loving here). While the selection is vast, the titles aren’t all of really great quality – they kind of remind me of the old stock you’ll find at a mall plaza book sale. Plus, I couldn’t find old classics like Seuss, Good Night Moon, or Guess How Much I Love You. Still, if you look deep into the selection, you might find enough books to keep kiddo entertained on a flight or a long car ride.
Meetup.com Surprising, but true. I found a few useful groups for playgroups and parenting groups on the app, and I’ve joined a few of them to find entertainment options for Giggles. Some groups I would recommend include Conscious Parenting Training and Playgroups, New Mothers’ Support Group – Singapore (it’s free to join the Meetup group, but you’ll still have to pay the $15 membership to attend their events), Mindful Mums.
That’s my list of the apps I’ve found useful so far in my mum journey. What are some of your favourites? Tell me in the comments below!