As a new momma, I have an insatiable urge to monitor my itty-bitty 24/7 - has she eaten enough? Does she sleep too much/little? Has she pooped today? ... All that fun mommy business - and, luckily, there are a multitude of easy to use apps out there to help me do so. Unluckily, because of how many app options are available it's hard to know which one to choose - the one I used for baby #1 being annoyingly MIA, I have to choose another. So, acting as my anally-retentive self, I downloaded the top 4 baby tracking apps in Playstore and fiddled around with them, while making notes, in order to find which was the best all-round baby tracker for the average - neurotically attentive - new momma.
Here's what I came up with:
Baby tracker: feed nappy log 4.6☆ - Although highly rated overall, this one is very limited in its ‘FREE’ form. The analysis charts - which look really cool and extra smarty-pantsy for the inner nerd in all of us - lock after 14 days unless you upgrade to the full version - totally bogus and misleading. This app allows extra logs for just about anything you could possibly keep track of but all extra logging is in one category so, depending on how many things you're monitoring,it might be tricky to keep track. You want to track bath time, tummy time, and outdoor time… they all have the same symbol and show up under the same category in the - useless beyond 14 days without spending money (and who wants to do that!?) - analysis charts.
Baby manager 4.8☆ - This one is highly effective as long as you are happy with only tracking 5 things at a time - you only get one ‘special activity’ with the ‘FREE’ app, which you get to choose, so that’s not too bad - (the upgrade provides all of them: bath, temperature, walk, play, medicine etc.). The main things to track are food, diaper, height/weight, sleep. I chose to track medicine/ vitamins for my one other. The interface is VERY easy to use - it literally has big round ‘play, pause, stop’ buttons that my toddler helps me use - and the main screen offers a convenient summary, ‘time since last…’ section, and a history of today and past days all in one. It also has a charts section that is deeper fun to analyze, if you're a statistical nerd like me, where you can tell which growth percentile your baby is in - how many standard deviations from the norm... - , feeding and diaper trends, and much more!
Rainbow: baby journal 4.9☆ - This one has a widget to help track the multitude of activities that it allows you to track - like, mul-ti-tude(!); as in: food (all forms of baby consumption), pumping, bath, sleeping, potty, diaper, walking, milestones, teeth (with a chart that you can select which teeth have come in)...and more! Your tracking is shown in a daily summary as well as in a long term chart. The interface looks like ‘My fitness pal,’ if you’ve ever tried that - it’s good too! Helped me shed some extra weight after baby #1 hit me with the momma pounds, but that review is for another time - and it’s is reasonably easy to use. Since it has so many items to track, the selection process can be a bit overwhelming to start. However, you can specify the items/activities you want to see using a little screw-like symbol in the top right corner - not sure why it’s a screw but it does the job nonetheless. The information is backed up with Google drive so no worrying about looking any of your vital diary-esque baby information if your device goes kaput. The premium (paid) option provides access to edit the items that you are tracking while the ‘FREE’ one does nit. The 'FREE' one also has ads - normal -and the PDF watermark if you want to print - yeah, you can create a PDF of your kids info to print for whatever you need). The other big drawback with this one though… it only works on ONE mobile. No sharing and co-recording information with your partner - bummer. Hopefully this is an item on the creator’s ‘to do’ list that will be fixed in a timely manner.
MeGrow 5☆ - For such a highly rated app, i was less than impressed. I don’t have much to say, really. It offers a baby BMI tracker - WTF does a baby need a (completely unreliable and conventionally outdated, often misleading and incorrect) BMI tracker for - and has no timer for recording your information, you have to time and enter the duration in manually. In order for the information to show up on the “diary”(summary) page - whose sequencing is lackluster, at best, - you must fill in all of the fields provided, even if you don't feel they are necessary - temperature of the bath...really?. The app does have a comprehensive vaccination checklist available and it is backed up with google+ so you won't lose the data that you so painstakingly entered into the app’s database.
In summary, my preferences, in order from best to worst are:
Rainbow: baby journal
Baby Tracker: feed nappy log
All of these trackers have their pros and cons but the ease with which the Baby Manager handles the important features of your baby's life without over complicating your already over active parenting brain is superb. Sure, you can't monitor a bajillion things at a time but, really, do we need to? The way I see it, monitoring the top 5 most important things that your baby does is more than enough for our busy parenting minds to handle. It helps us to prioritize what matters and, on that note, it still leaves loads of time for snuggles.
Take this information with a grain of salt - tequila and a slice of lime - from one basket case detail oriented momma to another. Try them out yourself, if you must - I did, so I get it - but hopefully this review can save you some time so you won't have to. That way you can spend more time snuggling and doting on your little one instead - it's easier to triple check their breathing and general comfort without looking at your phone while comparing trackers anyway.
Good luck and enjoy!
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