There are a variety of apps out there to help you get started in your parenting journey. One that caught my eye recently is the Baby Tracker – a newborn activity logger by Nighp Software. Depending on your personality, preference and parenting style – this app may become your BFF that helps you through the first year with your newborn.
The app offers a breastfeeding timer, sleep timer, diaper log, growth chart, vaccine record and temperature tracker. And that’s the short list. In addition, you can set alarms, say, to remind you when the next feeding should be or when her next round of medicine (if need be) should be given.
There are things I love and things I don’t-so-much-love about this app. Here they are:
Baby Tracker is helpful in understanding and establishing feeding habits – how long did baby nurse on one side vs. the other…then tie that in with the diaper log to gain an understanding of her general intake and output.
You will have a legitimate, reliable answer to your pediatrician’s questions about the aforementioned feeding schedule and soiled diapers. This is very helpful during those first months – or, um, years – when you are a little fuzzy brained and sleep deprived. I’ve personally had moments where the days all blur together and cannot for the life of me give a straight answer on when my baby’s last dirty diaper was. Friday, right? No, Thursday. No, um, Monday?
I love that there are settings for nursing, formula, solids, or any combination.
You can hit start, pause, and stop during feedings.
The information can be shared with multiple caregivers in an easy, trackable manner. This is super helpful for nannies or when dad is on duty.
The app can be maneuvered primarily with one hand, which is often all you’ll have free.
Important medical information can be kept such as medications, vaccine shots, and temperature checks.
It allows for a paper free way of documenting all things “baby” – one less piece of paper to keep track of.
The app allows you to add photos.
Baby Tracker documents baby’s “firsts” so you will have record of when she reached what milestones.
The app can sync on multiple devices.
What’s Not So Fabulous
This is one of those products that promises to “simplify” your life when, in fact, it can complicate it. Depending on your personality style, it may feel like just one more thing to do each day – entering in the info and tracking everything.
Even if you are gung-ho about the app, the other caregivers in your life may not be. And either way, it would require training for anybody caring for your little one.
While many babies do settle into a routine…to the point of being able to set an alarm to remind you it’s time to nurse again and she, indeed, is ready…other babies may not. And you must be prepared to be flexible. For instance, even if the app is telling you baby is “supposed” to eat right now, she may be going through a growth spurt and expand her nap another couple of hours. Babies are babies, and not something that can be programmed.
It’s one more thing that draws your eyes toward a screen instead of real life that is happening right before you. Like your husband who just walked in the door from work and would love a little eye contact, a smile and some conversation. Or that brief little grin your baby just offered. Or the way she is sleeping with her hand suspended in the air. (I love that newborn move.)
The app takes away from simple maternal instinct and awareness. Rather than relying on an electronic device to notify you of baby’s patterns, perhaps it’s best to just make your own observations and base your responses to her needs around that.
As with most of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, there are multiple ways to go about it and you need to choose what’s best for you. If the app sounds intriguing, give it a whirl for a while. I have a feeling you’ll know whether it – or any baby tracking app for that matter – is right for you, sooner than later.