Ok, so here’s the thing about tracking journals. They are super useful, but only if they are really good! I have to say, I’m pretty picky about what information I want to record, and how I want to record it.
By the time I realized I needed/wanted to be tracking all of Caroline’s habits (eating, sleeping, wake time, diaper changes, which side I breastfed on, etc.), I was in full on stay alive mode and too busy to search for one that would be useful.
I ended up just recording information about her schedule on a blank notebook that I kept handy. I also made use of my phone. None of the apps seemed to be what I wanted, but there was one simple solution that was going to help me- setting alarms.
Every time we had a schedule change, I set both feeding alarms and nap alarms on my phone. This way, I could better keep track of the time and when things were supposed to happen.
With schedules changing frequently, that was THE most useful tool that I had at the time.
Fast forward 2 years, and I’ve since designed a printable baby tracking journal for the basics (eat, wake, sleep). It has recommended schedules, places to keep track of the times and to record any observations.
It’s basic, but useful. You can check it out in my Etsy shop. It will make things much more organized than simply using notebook paper like I did the first time around!
Right as I was designing this printable option, I was contacted by a fellow Babywise mama about a baby tracking journal that she has in production. I agreed to do a review on the journal, and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised! I definitely plan on using this journal for baby #2. Let me tell you why:
1. Tracking of schedules (goals and actual) is easy to do with this journal!
The schedule portion of the journal is an easy tracking system with a grid that you simply draw on. If baby was asleep for 2 hours, you just make a line from 10am-12pm in the chart to indicate a nap.
Here’s how I plan on altering this for my use. At the top I’m going to write “eat”, “wake”, and “sleep” in different colors. All on the same chart I’ll record these different tasks in different colors. I’m also planning on putting our goal at the top of the chart.
I’ve filled out the week 8 schedule with what this goal will look like for you to see. As we go through the week, I’ll just record what actually happened in the spaces below to see how well we are doing with the current scheduling goals.
I’ll still be setting my phone alarms to help me remember the times, but this all in one recording tool is going to be fabulous!
2. Visual analysis of a full week at a glance.
I love a good visual look at data. It really helps when trying to analyze what’s going on with your baby’s schedule and deciphering what (if any) changes need to be made.
This tool provides just that. Instead of trying to look through notes that hardly make sense, I’ll have a color coded visual graph for a full week at a glance to help me process the data that I’m looking at.
This will be HUGE in making adjustments to the schedule!
3. I can easily keep track of feeding times, L or R breast, and/or ounces given in a bottle.
Keeping track of L or R breast, which was first, how long on each side, is something I did for quite awhile, as it really proved to be valuable information.
This is a great all in one tool to help complete this task for the week, as well. In addition to writing things down, a neat trick is to put a bracelet on the arm that coincides with the breast you last fed on!
4. Poop tracking has never been easier.
I recorded wet diapers and poop diapers for the first several weeks. It was so annoying to track. This chart really does make it easier since it’s all in the same place and it has easy visuals.
The way I would use this chart is to fill in circles throughout the day, instead of waiting for a total count. For example, if there are 7 wet diapers in one day, I wouldn’t just have the number 7 circled in, I’d have 1-7 marked off as they happened.
5. This journal is also taking the place of a “babies first year” type of journal.
It includes a page where you can record basic birth information, baby’s growth over time, diaper counts for the first two weeks (in addition to poop tracking for a full year), immunization records, medical history, medication log (would have been super helpful when Caroline was on zantac for reflux), milestones (smiles, giggles, first words, etc.), first foods and reactions, plus weekly schedule tracking for a full year.
It’s impressive. The only thing it’s missing…. a place for monthly baby photos- that would have made this journal absolutely perfect in my eyes, but it’s close none the less, and that’s difficult to achieve!
6. Just as a mention, this journal would make an excellent baby shower gift!
It is a quality made journal with spiral binding. It’s well thought out, and the design is functional and cute. And, the awesome part, is that it’s great for baby #1, 2, 3, 4, etc! It’s always a valuable tool for any mom! There is also a twin version of the journal!
Ok, so how can you get one of these? You can order them directly from amazon! See below links:
Single Journal Product Description:
- Keep track of baby’s growth, immunizations, medical history, and first foods
- Create routines with this “weekly” format of feedings and sleep patterns
- Record daily notes and reminders for on-the-go parents
- Mark milestones and use as keepsake
- Great for new moms and as a baby gift
- 129 pages
Twin Journal Product Description:
- A “weekly” format of feedings and sleep pattern to help create a routine
- Record daily notes and reminders for on-the-go parents
- Mark milestones and serves as keepsake when life is a blur in the first year
- Monitor twin babies’ growth, immunizations, medical history, and first foods
- Great for new moms and as a baby shower gift
- 248 pages