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{Review} Similac Baby Journal iPhone App #babyjournal

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Becoming parents for the first time can easily be classified as overwhelming. Not only is there a whole new tiny person to take care of (that you aren’t exactly sure HOW to), but also so much information that you need to keep track of like when did they last eat, how many diapers have I gone thru today, how much did he weigh last month and how tall is he, how much are they sleeping, when was the last time I brushed my teeth, how many days in a row have I worn this shirt and which boob did we start with last time?

A year ago when Whistler was born, I used several different methods to do all this. I used a baby sleep and eat timer (which was a big help), a bracelet that I switched placement on left and right hand wrist to know what boob I used, a baby medical book that I kept track of all his measurement stats and we had about 5 million pieces of paper like this laying around the house that listed eating and diapering info.

While we were really good at keeping track of the info in our zombe-like states, you could forget about asking us to give you back any sort of info from last week or trying to see a trend in any of the metrics. Yeah right – go look in that pile of papers over there somewhere!


Well recently I was introduced to the new FREE Similac Baby Journal app for the iPhone or iPod. Wow – do I really wish I had this back then – what a lifesaver! You can easily track baby’s eating, sleeping, and diaper changes – as well as track key developmental indicators, like weight, length, and head circumference.

Once you get some info inputted into the app, it will even predict the next feeding time. (although I’m not sure how useful I would have found this. I never “scheduled” his feedings, but instead just let him eat whenever he was hungry.)

The entries for feeding (whether it be breast or bottle) are designed for easy “real time” use. When you are ready to feed, you simply open the app and choose your method and click start. When finished, click stop and you’ll also be able to record how many ounces were consumed (for bottle feeding).

For breast feeding you can indicate which side you are feeding on and as an added reminder, the application will automatically suggest the opposite side from your last feeding :)

The app will also show you feeding trends like duration graphs and important stats like average time between feedings, average amounts consumed, average duration, and total bottles. My only complaint with this feature is that it keeps bottle and breastfeeding stats separate, so if you happen to do both (like I did), none of the stats are of any use to you because it doesn’t take into account ALL feedings for that day.

Just like the feedings, the app is setup to record naps and night time sleep like a live stopwatch. It will predict the next nap time and duration and you’ll be able to see at a glance when baby starts sleeping longer at night.

Of course, with any of the entries, you can go back and edit any of the times or dates so you can fill in any that you may have missed. I do think this needs to be an option though, because currently you have to “pretend” like you are doing an action by starting it, then clicking stop and then going in and editing all the info.

For those of you that are obsessed with the color and consistency of your baby’s poops, this app makes it easy to include all the messy details :) Record what comes out, including stool color and consistency. The trend charts will give you a breakdown of wet versus dirty nappies and the overall changes performed so you’ll be able to answer your doctor’s questions quickly and easily!

Got questions?  There is a small Tips & Advice section for each subject within the app that is pretty handy.  The app also allows you the option of emailing any of the info you’ve recorded to anyone you wish. This is very useful if you need to provide these details to your doctor.

Sample of Growth Trends Email

Overall, I really like this app. I think its a great free tool that offers a way to keep almost ALL your important baby metrics in one place AND provide an easy visual for you to review and interpret the data you’ve collected. (very difficult to do when everything is jotted down on scraps of paper everywhere instead!)

While this software definitely has a bunch of great features, there are a few that I would like to see added:

  1. Be able to “fast enter” any missed info instead of using “live” entry mode.  For instance, if you get this app once your baby is already 6 weeks old and you want to enter in all previous info.
  2. The ability to “skip” unknown info when making growth milestone entries.  For instance, if you don’t have the head circumference for one date.
  3. You only have the option to see trends for the last 3 months.  I really think you should be able to see “all” or specify a certain time frame.  This would be very useful in correlating life events with your baby’s habits or growth.
  4. National average or percentile should be incorporated in the growth trends chart.  Doctor’s are always saying which “percentile” your child is in and it really surprised me that this app does not include that info.
  5. All feedings for a day should be accounted for if you breast and bottle fed that day – instead of keeping them separate.
  6. Most parents begin feeding their child solid foods at 4-6 months old.  There is no option to record this info.
  7. It would be really great to extend this app into toddler use by including recommended meals and portions (ie 2 servings of vegetables per day) to make sure our toddlers are getting enough nutrition.  This stage of eating is just as confusing and filled with questions as it was a year ago!

I was compensated for my time by Collective Bias for this review. As always, all opinions expressed are 100% honest and 100% my own.

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Comments

  1. This is a great free resource that I wish was available when my son was born! I had to pay to use an online app called trixietracker.com, but it does have many of the desired features that you mentioned and was iPod friendly too. I don’t remember it having the poop color though, which I’m definitely obsessed with :)

  2. I have been using this app for about a month or so (whenever Similac sent me the email about it) and I love love love it! I wish I would have had it right after I had my baby and not right before I went back to work. I had a bracelet to help me remember when I fed and for which side but I would always forget to update it. I always have my phone with me and usually check emails when I feed, so I always rememer with this app. I agree with the combining of bottles and nursing information. And even better that it is free!

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