All the books, and the doctors, and family, and friends, and strangers in the supermarket will all offer helpful advice that boils down to: it’s probably one of three things: she’s tired, she’s hungry, or she needs a new diaper. And sure enough, running down those three will get you home most of the time. But what if you could have a Star Trek tricorder device that you could wave in front of the baby and get an instant readout on which one it was, so you could get right to action making a bottle, or grabbing the diaper bag, or getting the little one to sleep somehow. (Or more importantly, knowing to get her to sleep before the meltdown)
For me, my go-to baby answers machine is an iPhone app called Total Baby. It is, in a word, awesome.
When my daughter starts crying, I go right to my phone and check the top of the app: I’ve got five icons telling me exactly how long it’s been since she last ate, pooped, and napped. When one of those numbers jumps out–three hours without a diaper? This girl’s gotta be soaked! I know what to do. It makes me look much, much smarter than I am.
I also know when it’s time to get her to sleep to avoid massive crankyness.
The other cool function is a doctor’s visit tracker that records all her shots, appointments, and her milestones–those critical, gotta tell the family measurements of height, weight, and head size.
As they take the measurements, my wife and I have our phones out, typing in the numbers. What’s really cool is that as soon as we enter the latest info, we can pull up statistical information from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization putting our daughter’s growth in perspective. More than once, we’ve said, “wow, she’s in the 81st percentile for height” while the doctor was still flipping through paper printouts. “Oh yeah? Wait. How’d you get that so fast?”
When something changes, like a baby who sleeps through the night starts waking up, the app’s great for going back over the last few days to see if something’s up–not enough naps? Not eating enough? You get daily totals that give you a good idea of how you’re doing–and work wonders for answering questions doctors ask all the time. How many bowel movements? Well, doc, let me pull that up for ya.
You can also sync it with other phones, so my wife and I both have all the info, no matter who records a 4 a.m. feeding. (It also helps with breast feeding, as it has a timer designed around that) And you can avoid all kinds of troubles–you are sleep-deprived, remember–by keeping an eye on the rubber ducky icon at the top. If that ducky has “5 days, 15 hours” underneath, you best be getting your baby into the bath post haste.
Get it. Get it now.
Okay, where’s my phone? My daughter just dozed off–gotta start the sleep timer.