Having a little creature who is totally dependent on you to make sure her needs are met is an awesome responsibility. I can’t count how many times I’ve run through this list in my mind:
When did she last eat?
When did she wake up?
When did I change her last diaper?
Eat, sleep, poop. Repeat.
When your brain is addled by sleep deprivation, remembering the answers to those questions gets harder.
When Alexis was born, we started out writing down every time she ate or had a diaper change. After awhile, we relaxed and stopped documenting everything. Then she got her two-month vaccinations and went on a major nursing strike. There is little more stressful than a hungry, screaming baby who refuses to nurse. I had to be sneaky about feeding her… catching her right as she drifted off for a nap or was just waking up, creeping into her room in the middle of the night to nurse her while she slept. And I got so anxious that she might not be eating enough. Weeks passed before I finally felt like she was nursing normally again.
Out of this anxiety, I discovered the Baby ESP app for my phone. Suddenly, I had an easy way to track the number of times she nursed each day, and how much time she spent nursing. I could also track wet and dirty diapers, sleep, medicine, and anything else I wanted. Having this data helped to assure me that she was eating enough, even if it didn’t feel like it during the day.
Now that things are going smoothly, I really don’t need to use the app anymore, but I’m hooked on it. There’s a special place in my heart for nerdy data, and I love that I can make little charts and graphs of the data I collect with this app. It tells me average number of diapers per day for the last 7 or 30 days, and even exactly how much time I have spent nursing EVER (it’s 10 days, 16 hours, and 47 minutes in 1,446 sessions.) Maybe I don’t need to know that, but it’s pretty cool anyway. I can also sync all the data I collect with the app on someone else’s phone, so Daddy can track every time he changes a diaper, and it will magically appear on my phone.
Getting enough nap time in each day is a challenge. Tracking sleep intervals, and recording how much sleep she gets per day really helps me to make sure that she is getting enough sleep. I’m not really interested in putting Alexis on a schedule, but I am interested in being attentive to the schedule she’s naturally on. Using the Baby ESP app, I can track how long she’s been awake, and using the wisdom from Lucie’s List (Respect Thy Intervals), I can do a pretty good job of predicting just when Alexis will be ready to sleep again. Thanks to the app, I know that Alexis tends to fall asleep after about 2 hours and 20 minutes of being awake, like clockwork, whether I spend the 30 minutes before then trying to get her down or just wait until the last minute. That’s useful information to have.
In all, I love this app. I generally don’t like paying for apps or shipping, but I gladly paid $4.99 for this one and I would do it again in a heartbeat. You don’t have to, though. Right now, it’s on sale for 30% off.