Apps Help Parents Arrange Play Dates & Find New Friends

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork— If you need some help with your kids, it can be as simple as a swipe on your smartphone.

New parenting apps help moms arrange play dates, similar to how dating apps match singles.

Lauren Falconer says her two boys didn’t come with instructions.

“It’s impossible, because you have no idea what you’re doing and you have to fake it the whole time,” she said.

She was transitioning from working mom to stay-at-home mom and found it hard to find new friends.

“I wanted to find other moms and kids that were kind of in a similar situation,” she said.

That’s when she turned to an app called MomCo. Jillian Darlington launched it three years ago to help moms find each other.

“As a mom, you need real people sometimes. You need people to invite to birthday parties. You need a real mom friend that you can call in an emergency, like we need real friends,” she said.

The geolocating technology lists moms who live near you, and the profiles have the age and sex of your kids, as well as common interests.

There are similar apps on the market, such as Hello Mamas and Peanut, that match moms based on location, interest and schedules. Health experts say it’s the type of social support new moms need.

“When you talk to other moms who might be struggling in the same ways that you are, you can see that you’re not alone. And that’s really key,” Eynav Accortt, PhD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Falconer says she’s made life long friends.

“I’ve definitely created relationships I never would have if it wasn’t for MomCo, and I’m so thankful for that,” she said.

And now she has a network her family can lean on for support.

MomCo does not do any criminal background checks on users, but it does offer security tips, like always meet in public, especially for the first meeting, and tell a family member or friend your plans.

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