App offers parenting tips
NEW mother Lusi McCabe says a smartphone application aimed at providing information to parents has been hugely helpful since her son Mason arrived seven weeks ago.
Lusi and husband Grant have found the steep learning curve of parenthood a ‘‘shock to the system’’.
‘‘I was trying to find everything that I could to help figure things out, what to do and how we should be doing things,’’ she says.
The Raising Children app was derived from a TVNZ series which followed 20 prominent New Zealanders with children between newborn and 10 years old.
The Grey Lynn family caught on to the television series when they found out a good friend of theirs, former rugby league player Henry Fa’afili, was going to appear on an episode with his wife Amy and their son.
After watching the programme the couple wanted to apply the lessons learned to raising Mason.
‘‘Having the app, you’ve obviously always got your phone with you whether it’s 4am when you’re feeding, and you think: What was it again that I needed to do?’’
The app also provides the opportunity for parents to look into the future and grasp an understanding of what they should expect.
‘‘Mason’s only seven weeks old but you go through these moments where you feel like you’re starting to get the hang of it,’’ Grant says.
‘‘But then the next day something new happens and you think: What was that?
‘‘It’s great to be able to look ahead and see what’s coming.’’
In a world where information is at everyone’s fingertips, contradictory advice is a common issue and many new parents struggle to know whose advice to trust.
Raising Children producer and app developer Jude Dobson felt there was a need to bring trusted information together into an easy to use format.
‘‘I’ve felt that there was always a lack of really good information,’’ the Epsom resident says.
‘‘I wanted to curate it and get stuff checked off by reputable organisations. I wanted to pull a group together to develop good content.’’
With experts from organisations like Plunket, the Ministry of Health, St John, the University of Waikato, Starship Hospital and SKIP, Dobson was able to make it happen.
She says the information will be helpful to many parents, but it is not one size fits all.
‘‘Every child is different, every parent is different but there is a basic idea of how a baby operates . . . for many it’s a foreign world.’’
New mum Lusi McCabe says the Raising Children app developed by producer Jude Dobson has been a huge help since she had Mason.