As a first time parent, I’ve become almost obsessed at times with keeping track of what Eden is up to. How much is she eating? Is she sleeping enough? Did she poop today? Especially with the pressure put on by healthcare professionals to make sure she is eating/drinking/growing enough, its hard sometimes to have all of the answers to their many questions.
Consequently, I was very interested when asked by the team at Mumsnet to trial and review their “Baby Bundle” app for Iphone. Like most twenty somethings nowadays, my Iphone is pretty much always attached to me, so being able to use it to track Eden’s vitals is helpful.
Downloading the app was as easy as downloading anything else from the app store, and once I got it installed I created an account, which was quick and easy. Having an account function is a great idea as at one point I had phone issues and needed to reinstall the app. Having an account meant that all my logged information was still there for me to view rather than having to start all over again. You can also add profiles for several children in the same account. The home page is colourful and all of the information easily accessible via the control panel at the bottom of the screen. Most features are free, but there are three “paid for”features at the bottom. Its handy for keeping track of appointments and has a helpful “Check-up Planner” which tells you what to expect at each check up and tick them off when that’s done. You can also log baby’s height, weight and head circumference.
The thing that I log the most when it comes to Eden is food. I like to keep track of what she’s eating day to day. This is very easy to do on the app however you feed your baby. It has a handy timer for breastfeeding and allows you to pick which breast you are feeding from, even reminding you which is next when you come back to the app. You can also log pumping time. For formula feeders like myself, you can easily track how much is taken per bottle and at what time. There is also a function for solids, but obviously Eden only being three months old we didn’t test that function.
During the testing period Eden had a stinking cold and was obviously eating less because of not feeling so good, so it was good to be able to log what she was eating and easily compare it to other days. It made me confident that – although I knew she was eating less – I knew she was eating enough because I had the numbers in front of me.
Another feature that we make great use of is the sleep timer. It’s hard to make a note of how much sleep a baby is getting when your brain is fried, so being able to just open up the app and hit “start timer” was helpful. I did find that sometimes I forgot to stop the timer, but that was always easily rectified. It is always interesting to see Eden’s sleep patterns and it’s allowed me to be more in tune with her and realise when her cries mean “mummy I want to go to sleep now”. I can also see how sometimes what actually is five hours sleep can feel like two hours!
The other feature that we use a lot is the nappy logging function. As you can see from the screenshot, the page (like all of this app) is laid out in easy to understand illustrations. I’m pretty sure it was made for a sleep deprived parent to be able to use easily. I’ve used other apps where you have to click through several different menus in order to get to where you want and sometimes I just couldn’t be bothered, but this one is very simple. Just a few clicks and what you need to log is logged.
We also use the “note” feature, where you can log anything from milestones, to moods and medicines. When Eden had her vaccinations or was unwell, it was helpful to log when she had had her Calpol doses to make sure we were keeping her dosed up as needed. I would imagine it would be great for logging milestones too if you wanted to use it for that. Basically, you can use this function to fill it with as much or as little information as you like – it’s a very flexible function.
The app very helpfully works out a summary of each day, week and month, so you can see how your child’s needs are changing. This is helpful as it might help identify a problem, for example with food, early on if there was one. It’s very easy to see if baby is keeping to their usual routines and averages, which can be very comforting when going through a fussy period or a period of illness.
The app is free except for the paid features, which cost £1.49 a month after the 7 day trial periods. The vast majority of features are free, making this app a very attractive one for parents wanting to log what their baby is up to. It gives a bit of control back in those first few weeks, which I thought was very helpful indeed and we will probably continue to use the app going forward to see how Eden is growing and changing.
The app is available from the App store. Click here to download it.
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post