Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 23rd 2016 Contents A29
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
How can busy working mums
and dads keep tabs on their tod-
dlers and stay connected to
them during the working day?
A growing number of tech
entrepreneurs believe they have
But does using more technol-
ogy offer time-starved parents
valuable new ways to interact
with their kids or simply make
them more paranoid?
Molawa Adesuyi is co-founder
and chief executive of Mytoddlr,
an app that gives you updates on
what your little one is up to at
nursery or creche.
He is in no doubt about the
usefulness of such tech.
"Most working parents drop
off their children in day nurseries
"And in this time, they have
absolutely no way of keeping in
touch or staying abreast of their
children s welfare all through the
day. This is a major, major prob-
lem." With the Mytoddlr app and
website, nurseries input data
about the child s routine and
behaviour throughout the day---
from potty breaks to naps---and
parents receive these updates in
real time on their phones or com-
"The nursery is happy, parents
are happy, it s a win-win for
everyone really," says Adesuyi.
But isn t this an extra admin-
istrative burden for nursery staff?
Adesuyi claims not, as it can
actually reduce paperwork and
provide an easier, faster way of
communicating with parents, he says.
"There are such great apps out there
now for parents... solutions to real
problems parents have. It s just nice
to see technology change parenting,"
Launched in 2015, Mytoddlr is
being used by 2,000 parents in Lagos,
Nigeria, and is currently being trialled
by some nurseries in London. Harsh
Songra, 19-year-old founder and chief
executive of smartphone app My
Child, was inspired to launch his child
development monitoring app after
having dyspraxia when growing up.
This developmental disorder affect-
ing co-ordination and movement can
be difficult to diagnose if parents
don t know what to look out for.
"I have known the struggle of a
family where the child has a disorder,"
he says. "It took my parents over nine
years to figure out the specific prob-
lem, and I still go through some health
issues," says Songra.
The My Child app helps parents
monitor the development of a child
up to 24 months old, asking ques-
tions, aggregating relevant content,
and identifying local experts.
Launched in early 2015, the app
has been downloaded more than
11,000 times in over 140 countries,
and is particularly popular in the US,
India, Singapore and the UK.
Songra believes technology is a use-
ful parenting tool, but concedes that
it may sometimes interfere with the
work of professionals.
"At times it does affect their rela-
tions with doctors, because parents
become paranoid about their child
because of what they searched on
Google," he says.
"The problem is that we tend to
believe the content of one link over
100 others, and then take actions
based on that knowledge.
"But we believe all this will surely
change with time, as there is going
to be more awareness about these
issues in the future." Parenting apps
- from webcam baby monitors to
location-tracking services, interactive
games to health checkers - are def-
initely on the rise, as busy parents
integrate the latest tech into their
One woman in Australia even used
Siri, Apple s voice-activated iPhone
assistant, to call an ambulance when
her toddler daughter stopped breath-
But for New Jersey-based entre-
preneur Amit Murumkar, the moti-
vation for creating an app was purely
"My daughter was three... and
would bring a piece of art back daily
from her Montessori school, but there
refrigerator door," he says.
"I also was a good artist as a kid,
and when I became a parent I
thought, If only I could show the art
I did to my own kids. "
So he built a smartphone app called
Canvsly, that allows parents to capture
these works of art on the app, organise
them into albums, and invite grand-
parents or other family members to
see and comment on them.
The artwork can also be printed
through the app and used to create
gifts. As long as you trust the app s
cloud storage provider, you could then
ditch the originals.
"Parents can go guilt-free and clut-
ter-free," Murumkar says, adding that
the app has been downloaded in more
than 100 countries.
Anesu Charamba, a tech analyst at
research consultancy Frost & Sullivan,
believes such apps are helping parents
raise and interact with their children
in "new and exciting ways"
And as smartphones and cheaper,
more reliable Internet access spreads
beyond developed economies to the
rest of the world, early adopters will
be joined by the majority, he believes.
Is parenting tech making mums and dads more paranoid?
New technology can help mums and dads keep tabs on their toddlers.
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