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‘Tiny Beans’ – Watch your children grow

‘Tiny Beans’ – Watch your children grow

As with Instagram, I am a big fan of super simple ways of capturing daily memories of Ella growing up. Being able to capture photos on my iPhone has become something that is almost a reflex. Any app that can transform a somewhat hopeless amateur shot into a masterpiece is high on my list of Mummy friendly apps!  Then there comes the debate about sharing photos, and to what extent do we share them with the world. As a parent who is an avid lover of techno gadgets and anything starting with the letter ‘i’, I know that Ella will indeed be a well captured baby. I also know that being the first Grandchild, her family are always asking for current snaps and images that show her smiling, laughing, staring, slob erring….any old thing really. Never before has it been so easy to share our photos of daily moments with family and friends, and with social networking mediums such Faceboook, Twitter and Instagram, parents can share to their heart’s content.

The issue of ‘over posting’ of photos however, is a topic that is gathering momentum. As a new parent, I am happy to share photos of my gorgeous girl, but am conscious of bombarding people with more and more pics each day. There are some people in my social networking world who are only too happy to see a daily shot of Ella rolling around the floor or wearing her Essendon Beanie, but I also know that there may be some people who must curse the FB phenomenon of endless babies popping up every hour in some sort of cute pose or outfit! On behalf of new FB parents everywhere, we are indeed sorry! However I want to continue to share in the delight of capturing my gorgeous grow grow each and every day.

Tiny Beans is an app that came across my Mac desktop via the fantastic blog – Babyology. I have been looking for a way to be able to share a private photo gallery online with my family, so that they can still get their daily ‘Ella fix’ without needing to bombard all my FB friends at the same time. I mean, I know she is cute, but we are indeed biased like all parents!

Tiny Beans is just fantastic. It is a simple app that allows parents to capture moments on their smart phone and upload them to a daily calendar photo journal. This journal can then be as private or public as you like, with the ability to invite people to view, edit and add to the photo journal. You can access Tiny Beans either on your phone or with your log in online. You can even log in as a FB user.

Tiny Beans can also be linked to your FB, Twitter and Instagram accounts. When posting a picture to Tiny Beans, you have the option of sharing it on FB, or simply keeping it private to the journal. If you post a pic via Twitter or Instagram, you simply need to add the hashtag #tinybeanskids to also add the photo to your own Tiny Beans Journal. Tiny Beans also has a great range of  filters to enhance your photos, rather than needing to use a third party app. Those who can see the journal can add comments as well.

For those of us who love using technology to follow our kids grow each day, Tiny Beans really is a fantastic way to share the journey with your loved ones in an intimate way. Ella’s Nanna loves checking in each day to see her little ‘sweets’ – and even sends be a subtle reminder when I have forgotten to upload a daily snap! Which reminds me….I need to upload one for today!

Tiny Beans is available via the iTunes store

To visit the Tiny Beans website, click here

To view the Babyology Tiny Beans review, click here

Images via and a screenshot from my iPhone!

Apptastic Parenting!

Apptastic Parenting!

Being a new Mum, coupled together with being a bit of a technology nerd is proving to be quite a bit of fun. As a teacher, I have embraced technology in every sense of the word. I have been a Mac fan for the last ten years, and have spent much of that time searching for software programs and apps that engage learners and assist them to make learning fun and interesting.

As a new Mum, there are so many aspects of technology that I have stumbled across to help make my job either easier in some ways, or more exciting! The world of apps has really brought to life many of the every day jobs that a Mum has to complete. From breast feeding, to reading about developmental leaps, I have found a variety of apps that have really helped me over the past four months.  Having these apps on my phone has meant that I don’t need to remember or carry around pencils, pens, cameras, notepads, books etc. It is all stored in one simple place.

I thought that I would share some of the apps that I have used so far…these apps have been used by me, not Ella as she is still too young to understand that my iPhone is more than just colours and cool sounds! That said, I’m sure she will be ‘swiping’ in no time!

  1. 1. iBaby Feed

This App literally saved by breastfeeding life! I don’t know about other Mums, but I have felt like I live my life by a clock, but never know what time it is! This app is designed by and for breastfeeding mothers who want to track when and for how long their baby feeds, whether from breast, bottle or expressed milk. It includes a useful reminder for which breast to start on each time. This reminder can be altered to remind for chosen intervals as well as calculating a reminder based on the average time between your feeds.

For some Mums, using a notebook or pad to write down their feeds worked great for them. I know however, that I am a complete fruit loop when it comes to remembering where I have put things down, but I somehow always know where my phone is (most of the time). Using this app was easy, all I needed to remember was the different between right and left, stop and start. This was something that I could do!!! The app gives you a great run down of how many feeds that day, week and month, the average length of feeds and intervals between them. As a new mum this information gave me great peace of mind and also great information that I could give to my doctor or nurse when they asked during the early days. Honestly, I cannot recommend it enough!

             2. The Wonder Weeks

Based in the best selling book by Hetty van de Rijt and her husband Frans X. Plooij, the Wonder Weeks is based on scientific research that details your baby’s stages of mental development and ‘leaps’. I found that during 8-12 weeks, Ella’s sleep went hay wire…she was really clingy (we couldn’t put her down without crying) and generally a little more flat than she had been in the weeks before. The wonder weeks gives you an outline of how babies go through stages where they learn significant skills and new information that can really put a strain on their little bodies, hence causing them to be a little more ‘monsterish’ than usual.

This app is the summary version of the book. It contains sections to help you ‘know what is going on inside the head of your baby, and to help them make this leap more easily. It helps parents by:

  • showing when your baby makes leaps in their mental development
  • What your baby can understand and learn after this mental leap
  • what your baby can do after this leap
  • What you can do to help your baby

It also gives you a chart to help show where your baby may lie in terms of wonder weeks, stormy and sunny periods. The wonder weeks were recommended to me by our Maternal Health Nurse in our Mothers Group. As with anything, I’ve learned to read and then take away what makes sense, but not fixate too much on the detail. It sure does beat Googling (don’t do that!), but I always still read with a sense of objectivity.

      3.  Read me stories

Although Ella is only 4 months old, this app (available on iPhone and iPad) contains 30 great stories that are interactive and fun. The characters come to life with their cute little voices. The colours are vibrant and story lines simple enough for little kids to understand. My husband Daniel loves reading Mr Chilli to her and considering that Pizza is his favourite meal, I’m sure that he will be reading it to her for many years to come!

The app allows you to preview some of the books for free, but there is a small cost to purchase the entire library. They also make other apps for children with great stories for bedtime!

      4. Popsicolour

I am the biggest fan of Instagram and the effects that can transform any old photo into a Masterpiece. Popsicolour is awesome. It allows you to transform any photo into a water colour work of art. Imagine taking a cute photo of your gorgeous bub and then creating a water colour artwork for a frame in your home.

I’ve been tweaking with a few photos in my library and this is the best one so far….

This is the original….                                  This is the Popsicolour version!

I look forward to tweaking with these Apps to capture Ella as she grows in a cool and colourful way!