iPhone apps to help parents keep tabs on kids

We've hand-picked key apps for things like monitoring and soothing that might help make the tough job of parenting kids just a little easier.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
4 min read

Parents' jobs are extremely difficult. From time to time, it's nice to get a little help from technology to make the job just a little easier. That's why I decided to sift through Apple's App Store to find applications that help parents monitor and ensure the safety and well-being of their kids. Some of the apps listed below are for young children, while others are designed for teenagers. But in the end, this roundup is for any parent with an iPhone.

Get parenting help from the iPhone

Baby Monitor Since some baby monitors don't have the kind of range parents hope for, the Baby Monitor iPhone app will deliver.

Baby Monitor provides a relatively simple experience. You can place the iPhone next to the baby while the application is open. You'll also need to input a phone number. When the baby starts making noise, the Baby Monitor places a call to the number you input into the application, so you can listen from another phone. It's a great way to monitor what your baby is doing, but beware that it costs $4.99.

Baby Monitor
The Baby Monitor lets you listen in while your kids are sleeping. Baby Monitor

Baby Soothe Sometimes getting your child to go to sleep can be a difficult task. That's where Baby Soothe comes in.

Like Baby Monitor, you'll need to put the iPhone next to the baby for it to work properly. When you do so, you can pick from several different sounds that, according to the app's developer, will help your baby go to sleep. You can choose from relaxing water sounds, like a waterfall or rain. You can also choose a heartbeat option, which mimics the sound babies will hear in the womb. The app also features white noise, like fans and static. All the app's audio features high-quality sound that should appeal to most babies. Even better, it's affordable at just $0.99.

Baby Soothe
Baby Soothe helps your kids get some sleep. Baby Soothe

iCurfew For parents who are worried about where their older kids are and what they're up to, there's iCurfew. The app attempts to get you and your kids communicating through your iPhones. Most importantly, it tells you where your kids are at any time.

When your child sends you an e-mail through the application, his or her exact location is returned. The app's makers created the application so kids can't modify their locations. When you receive the e-mail from your kids, you'll be provided with a Google Maps display providing you with their exact location at the time of the e-mail transmission. Kids can also add a message in to accompany the map. The app obviously requires kids to send their locations when requested, but if your kids do so, you'll know where they are when they're away from home. It might be a useful app for $0.99.

Find out where your kids are with iCurfew. iCurfew

Kids ID One of the worst nightmares any parent can experience is a missing child. It's awful to even think about it. But being prepared is important in case the nightmare ever becomes a reality.

Kids ID not only has you to take recent pictures of your kids, so you have a readily available image of how they look, it also has you input their size, medical history, and other important data that would help law enforcement find your child as soon as possible. The app allows you to send all of your child's information directly to law-enforcement agencies. For $3.99, Kids ID seems a must-have for any parent.

Kids ID
Kids ID lets you input information about your kids. Kids ID

KidStatz Like Kids ID, KidStatz provides you with the opportunity to store information about your kids in the iPhone that can later be shared with law enforcement if they go missing.

As with Kids ID, the app lets you to take a picture of your kids, input important identifying information, what kind of medical conditions they have, and any birth marks or other identifying information that might help law enforcement find your children. The app also provides a way to e-mail or call law enforcement to quickly react to your missing child. It costs $0.99.

KidStatz has lots of information to fill out. KidStatz

Teen Ticket Sometimes, when kids are in a dangerous situation or they feel uncomfortable, they can't simply step out and call their parents for help. Teen Ticket takes that problem out of the equation by making it easy for your kids to contact you without drawing attention to themselves.

When kids are in an unsafe situation, they need only to open Teen Ticket, click the "help" button, and a message will be sent to the desired person's e-mail address. Upon receiving the message, you'll find location data, a Google Maps integration to see exactly where your child is, and, if they choose to include it, a personal message. The e-mail is sent directly from the app. It takes just a few seconds to send it. Seems like a good tool for teenagers who might be unable to remove themselves from a bad situation. Plus, it's affordable at just $0.99.

Teen Ticket
Teen Ticket allows your kids to call for help when needed. Teen Ticket

My top 3

1. Kids ID: Being prepared for the worst is always important.

2. Teen Ticket: Teenagers sometimes need help and Teen Ticket will allow them to find it.

3. Baby Monitor: Have the peace of mind of knowing how your baby is doing at any time.