App of­fers par­ent­ing tips

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ALAS­TAIR LYNN

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.

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