This is a collection of tips that we have used as new parents, or that I’ve discussed with others.
Most are not groundbreaking but aim to reduce the mental load for new parents.
Automation is incredibly powerful and allows one to ‘forget’ about repeated and other admin tasks until they’re are needed to be acted upon.
There is an Apple/iOS focus because that’s what we mostly run on – I imagine there are equivalents for Android.
iOS & your phone
Learn the power of the iOS Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
For example, when I set off home, I can say “Hey Siri, on my way” and my wife receives a text message from me saying “🚗 👍🏻”.
When our son was very little and my wife was feeding him upstairs and I was downstairs, I installed an icon on her iPhone home screen which, when pressed, sent me a message asking me to pop up to help out – great when you don’t have the time (or hands!) to write out a message and don’t want to wake a sleeping baby. Get the shortcut here, customise and in the settings section (top right under ‘Done’ choose ‘Add to Home Screen’).
Develop shortcodes when messaging (e.g LN=Leaving Now).
Use shared calendars and shared Reminders lists for the ‘life admin’ – you’ll remember things at the strangest times and not always remember to tell your partner!
Consider using a set of shared Apple Notes to keep scans, photos and notes about your child – anything and everything that might be needed by either parent. Schedules, GP details, vaccinations, doctor visits, allergies and intolerances, preferences, emergency contact details etc.
Create a Shared Album and invite your family. Post regularly – it avoids the “can you send me a picture” and is also great for videos.
AirPods or other wireless earphones are brilliant for taking calls, sending messages etc hands-free.
Use your phone to scan documents into Notes for saving important info – it’s always searchable (even text in images, via OCR).
Using Apple Notes, or AnyList (or favourite) create a shared shopping list. With AnyList, you can add favourites and each week simply tap through and add all your favourites to your shopping list. Want to reorder how categories appear based on the aisles in your local shop? No problem!
Consider Amazon Subscribe & Save for the basics or bulk stuff. Fortnightly delivery of water wipes? Monthly delivery of cat food as you always forget? Make life easier!
Invest in a starter kit of Philips Hue lights, maybe a switch and install the mobile app. Put a bulb in your nursery/bedroom/feeding room lamp for remote control or timer control. Pop one in the hallway outside the baby’s room and have an instanced dimmable lamp, on a timer or controllable via app or switch.
You’ll misplace things! Attach a Tile tag to your house & car keys, your daily carry bag etc. Bonus, if you have a Tile tag but can’t find your phone, pressing the Tile’s button will ring your phone