Keeping Track

New parents have a lot on their minds. Luckily, there are plenty of tricks and gadgets to help keep track.

In the hospital with my gorgeous newborn baby girl, the nurses handed me an information booklet that I could take home with us, and turned to the back page printed with a chart.  They wanted me to write down every time we fed or changed the baby, so they could judge if she was eating and excreting the way she was supposed to.

I happen to be a little type-A anyway, so the record keeping was somewhat soothing to me.  In fact, I had already bought a little notebook (with my daughter’s initial on the cover!) for keeping track of just that information.

The notebook was great, and I would recommend every family have somewhere they can write down little bits of information that might otherwise slip away with sleep deprivation. It’s a great place to keep track of questions for the doctor, information the doctor tells you, milestones, and so on.

But you may find you need more than that.  My sister highly recommended to me the Itzbeen Baby Care Timer. With the press of a button, it can help you keep track of how long it’s been since baby ate, how long she’s been asleep, or how long it’s been since you changed her diaper.  It has a little nightlite for those late-night rendez-vous with your little one and a slider to help mom remember which side she’s on for feeding.  It even has an alarm, which came in handy for us those first few weeks when our angel baby would sleep through feeding time (oh, the good old days…).

The only drawback I found with the Itzbeen is that it doesn’t record any of the information, so if you’re looking for patterns, you still have to write things down in your notebook—or, better yet, there’s an app for that.

Similac, the formula company, offers a free Baby Journal app that will record how long you feed, how long baby sleeps and when and what kind of diapers she has.  But my favorite feature is the next feeding prediction: the program looks at all the data you’ve put in about when and how long your baby eats and estimates when she’ll want to eat again.  For us, it’s been scary accurate, and it’s helped me build a little more predictability into our lives.

Another great feature allows you to email the data to yourself or anyone else.  So when you want to go over sleep habits with your pediatrician, you can send her the facts about what’s going on at bedtime.

So whether you like to go it old-school, high-tech, or somewhere in between, there’s a solution to help you keep track of the details so you can focus on more important things.

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