Friday, July 27, 2018

The giant pregnancy post

Soooooo I wrote this just a couple weeks after having Adrian, then kept telling myself I'd come back to it for editing and to split it up into a few easier to read posts about specific aspects of pregnancy. But that isn't happening, and today I realized that it's the one year anniversary of finding out that I was pregnant, so I'm going to just dump it here as is. Otherwise I probably won't get around to posting this until the kid goes to college. Things covered in this post - body image, first trimester misery, (not) exercising while pregnant, discovering I had a defect in the umbilical cord (SUA), dealing with contractions from 28 weeks on.

pregnancy

By the time we decided we were ready to try for a baby, I wasn't all that worried about the actual baby. I'm incredibly lucky because I've been able to spend a lot of time and develop a close relationship with my sister's kids, and even the newborn phase didn't seem too intimidating because I got to stay with them for the first two weeks both times. I wasn't stupid enough to believe that this was the same experience as actually parenting, but at least I knew how to hold a newborn and how to change diapers and that sometimes when the umbilical stump falls off it is really freaking gross but that doesn't necessarily mean that anything is wrong.

But I was pretty anxious about the pregnancy. I was afraid I'd gain a million pounds, or that I'd be incredibly sick the entire time, or that I'd hate the feeling of sharing my body and that my anxiety would spike up. I worried about it a lot. I wanted to have a baby, but I just couldn't imagine myself pregnant.

And then (several months later) I was pregnant and it wasn't bad. None of the things I was worried about happened. Other things happened, things that I wasn't expecting and hadn't bothered to worry about, which is probably some kind of lesson that I should learn except that right now I'm pretty tired from carrying a human around for 41 weeks and so I'm not in the mood.

I'm sharing this not to say that hey, pregnancy is easy and there's no reason to stress! Everyone's experience is so different and there's no way to really anticipate how pregnancy will feel. I'm just sharing to say that maybe it's not worth stressing too much in advance because you can't predict how you're going to feel or what is going to happen. And each pregnancy can be different, so even being pregnant before doesn't necessarily mean you'll know how you'll feel the next time around.

Physically, I had a pretty easy pregnancy, for which I am super grateful. As soon as I got a positive pregnancy test I decided to kick into super healthy gear. I was going to eat protein and vegetables and drink tons of water! I was going to exercise moderately every day! I would be my best self and then I would have the world's healthiest baby!

This lasted for approximately two weeks, at which point morning sickness kicked in, which in my case was more like a 24/7 hangover of epic proportions that dragged on until I was 20 weeks along. I was lucky that I wasn't actively throwing up, but the nausea and lack of energy meant that I spent a lot of evenings lying on the kitchen floor in front of the refrigerator trying to convince myself to open the door and eat something, anything. Even in the moment I was aware of how ridiculously dramatic this was, but I honestly didn't feel up to anything else. I ate a lot of peanut butter for "dinner" during this time. I also had to force myself to drink water, for the first time in my life. And I had this lovely pregnancy symptom where my mouth tasted weird all the time, but especially after eating. That sentence does not adequately communicate how incredibly disgusting and frustrating this was. If anyone else is suffering through weird pregnancy mouth, I can say that I finally figured out that eating protein (mostly cheese sticks, in my case) didn't make it any worse, but any kind of carbs, especially sugar, was a nightmare. Also, chewing minty gum helped a little. I ended up eating zero sugar for two thirds of my pregnancy because of this (so at least I had one healthy habit).

Even once the morning sickness cleared up I had zero desire or energy to exercise. I can count on one hand the number of times I worked out during pregnancy. My only saving grace was that I committed to taking the stairs everywhere I went, even though I park on the fifth floor of the structure everyday at work. I told myself that this sort of counted, but in practice I was basically a land slug. I want to say that if I had another chance I would do it differently but to be honest I'm just not sure I was capable of it.

Surprisingly, I didn't gain a million pounds, and I actually ended up really feeling okay with my body during pregnancy. I was shocked by this. I've struggled with mild to moderate body image issues for most of my life and they tend to flare up when I'm stressed or dealing with major life events. At the time I got pregnant I was already at the heavier end of my personal weight spectrum and I thought that adding on extra pounds would raise a lot of issues. But I think I ended up being so busy and distracted that I didn't really think about it much (postpartum body image is turning out to be a whooooole other thing that I'm still in the early stages of figuring out). Once I got over the morning sickness I expected my appetite to rebound like crazy but instead it just went back to normal. I never felt overly hungry while pregnant and I think I mostly continued to eat like normal, although I did make an effort to keep healthier stuff stocked, so I snacked on a lot of nuts and yogurt. I wasn't perfect and I was pretty stressed at work, so I admit that I sometimes had a pretty sporadic daytime meal schedule. I would start out well (I ate the unsweetened Trader Joe's instant oatmeal with a sliced banana for breakfast every single week day of my pregnancy, because it was easy and I could do it at work) but then I was trying to cram so much work into my day that I'd realize I'd been sitting at my desk for hours and hadn't gotten up to go to the bathroom or eat. I vividly remember sitting in the grocery store parking lot one afternoon after work crying because I'd waited too long to eat and I already felt like a bad parent and this kid wasn't even born yet and what was wrong with me and why couldn't I get it together? Turns out that there are a lot of dramatic pregnancy moments that feel either hilarious or embarrassing in retrospect but are dead serious in the moment. Anyways, long story short, I thought I was going to be dealing with massive body image issues while pregnant, but instead I gained a totally normal amount of weight and felt surprisingly good about my body the whole time. I do credit part of this to switching over to maternity clothes pretty early. It's hard for me to feel good about myself if I have buttons or zippers digging into my midsection. Over the belly pregnancy jeans are basically leggings that look work appropriate. I'm honestly not sure why we don't all wear them all the time. I also found that I wore tighter clothes during pregnancy than in my normal life. I tried the beautiful hipster tunic-y or drapey maternity clothes and I looked like a house. I figured out quickly that I felt my best if I was wearing form fitting clothing that made it clear I was housing an actual baby and not just an extra large burrito, so I stuck with that. I mostly lived in maternity jeans and a few long sleeved maternity tops. Since I was pregnant during holiday season, I also bought a couple festive maternity dresses (I got a few pieces from both Pink Blush and Asos and found that at both places the quality is super mixed. The holiday dresses I got from Pink Blush look cute but they are seriously the cheapest feeling things. D asked if I was flammable after he felt the fabric on the dress I wore to his holiday party BUT multiple people commented on how amazing the dress looked, so it served its purpose and I just made sure to stay away from candles. On the other hand, the maternity workout leggings I got from Pink Blush are ah-mazing, and I wore them non-stop for six months - they don't seem to have the same exact pair anymore but they were similar to these. So I would say just order stuff and then return anything that feels cheap once you try it on.)

The parts of pregnancy I didn't anticipate were the hardest. At our 20 week anatomy scan we were so excited to finally confirm the sex of the baby, and instead we found out that I had an umbilical defect. Most umbilical cords have two arteries and one vein, but I had a condition called single umbilical artery (SUA). Five minutes of googling later and I was totally freaked out. An SUA can be isolated, meaning that it is just an anomaly and not associated with any other issues, or it can be associated with chromosomal abnormalities or heart or kidney defects. We found out on a Saturday and I was crushed and panicked. Everyone I talked to told me to get off the internet right away, and I tried to follow that advice and made it a full 48 hours. Then I talked to a friend and my therapist and they both told me that it was perfectly understandable to want to learn more about it and they reminded me that I had to advocate both for the baby and for myself. I understand why people tell you not to start googling, but how else are you supposed to know what questions to ask? I already spend a good chunk of time reading and discussing scientific articles for work, and so I went straight to the source and looked up every peer reviewed journal article I could find on SUA. At first it was pretty disheartening. Even if an SUA is isolated and not associated with any other issues, it can still lead to a higher chance of restricted fetal growth or late term miscarriage or stillbirth, presumably because the cord is more fragile and prone to damage. Dustin and I spent a pretty depressing night sitting up in our bed, surrounded by my stacks of highlighted articles. But after going through everything I felt confident that our doctor was following the best course of action. Given that the anatomy scan showed a healthy heart and kidneys, and that the prenatal screening and anatomy scan didn't show any signs of chromosomal issues, there was every indication that we had an isolated SUA and the only action indicated was closer monitoring during the third trimester. I'm not going to say that I was able to immediately let it go and stop worrying, but I did my best. The last month of pregnancy I was increasingly worried but the extra monitoring (two non-stress tests per week starting at 32 weeks, plus growth scans every 2 - 3 weeks) helped reassure me that she was growing just fine. And she was just fine, as it turned out! I did end up having an unplanned c-section, and the SUA factored into our decision on that. Her heart wasn't handling the contractions well but the doctor might have let me try to labor a little longer if they weren't concerned about the SUA already putting her at higher risk. I 100% do not regret that decision, even though the c-section was stressful and the recovery kind of sucked. I just feel so lucky that she arrived healthy and happy, after all that concern.

And then there were the contractions. At 28 weeks I had a particularly hard week at work and also felt terrible physically and then finally figured out that I was having contractions every five minutes. I spent two separate nights in L & D that week, but it became clear that the contractions weren't causing my cervix to dilate, so they told me to try to rest more and warned me that this might just be my baseline for the rest of the pregnancy. Ugh. I did what I could to modify my schedule, splitting up my work day between the office and home as often as possible. I found that I couldn't stop the contractions but with tons of hydration and lots of rest I could keep them to a manageable level. They weren't painful, just uncomfortable, so once I knew they weren't an indication of pre-term labor I was able to mostly relax and ignore them. Every single time I would go in for non-stress tests the tech would look startled and ask if I knew I was having contractions. YES. I KNOW. I was worried I wouldn't know when they transitioned into actual labor and that I'd have the baby on our bathroom floor. SPOILER - as uncomfortable as they are, those early contractions feel NOTHING like actual labor. I woke up with a contraction the morning I went into labor and immediately knew that this was the real thing. I can't even really describe how it was different, but I could tell it was. In the early stages the contractions feel similar, but with real labor they started getting painful and increasing in strength pretty quickly.

So that's a whole bunch of pregnancy stuff crammed into one post. Long story short, there is really no way to predict how a pregnancy will go, so my recommendation is to try not to stress (or build up big expectations!) ahead of time and then just roll with it as best you can when it happens. I know, I know. Easier said than done. I'm sorry! I guess my only real advice is to get into maternity clothes ASAP.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Baby gear for the newborn stage - what we needed and what we didn't

Baby gear is such a crazy subject. My first and strongest recommendation is to take the hand me downs, take all the hand me downs. Sure, it's nice to imagine one of those picture perfect homes where all your baby stuff is gorgeous natural wood and white linen and your baby is always wearing clothes that are perfectly aligned with your aesthetic, and maybe if we had unlimited funds I would have been tempted to go that route (110%). But you use the baby gear for such a short window of time, in my opinion it's better to just use whatever motley collection of hand me downs you can get and realize that you really won't care, partly because you're going to be tired and partly because your baby is going to be so cute that it won't matter what color her play mat is. You're going to have to pass most of this stuff along within a year anyways and then you'll probably barely remember it. If you don't have a network of friends desperate to unload baby gear (not exaggerating - bins of stuff started showing up on our porch as soon as we announced I was pregnant - people want that stuff out of their house) but you want to save money then join a local mom's group on Facebook or troll Craigslist.

baby equipment

This post has affiliate links to Amazon, but if you have a good local store in your area (shout out to the Pump Station!) I highly recommend going there instead. Not only because you support them, but because it can be a huge source of support for you, and having someone to talk to and ask for advice is amazing in those first few weeks. That said, if your local options are limited or if getting out of the house feels unmanageable sometimes, most of this stuff is easily purchased online. I'm basically on a first name basis with the UPS guy now that I'm working from home and can't get out much.

We wanted to keep it fairly minimal, but here are the things we have ended up relying on:

Bassinet - they need a place to sleep. We use the SNOO. We've also used the Dockatot a few times because we got one from a friend. If we hadn't gotten the SNOO I probably would have gone with a simple basket set up, or a bedside "cosleeper" option. I'm not an expert here, because she's been sleeping with us the last few weeks at this point and I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever get her to sleep alone. (My first review of the SNOO is here, next update is due soon)

Car seat and stroller (duh) - we got a really nice infant car seat as a hand me down (only a year old) but I recently broke down and purchased a used car seat that was compatible with our stroller. Adrian hates getting in and out of her car seat, and it was making errands really hard. Being able to just pull the car seat out of the car and clip it into the stroller is amazing. I thought this was a luxury I didn't need, I was wrong. If possible, get a car seat that works with your stroller if you live somewhere where you're going to be driving a lot. We got the Cruz stroller (tip - look for the last year's model to save some money) and now have the Mesa car seat, which is great because you can wash basically all the cloth parts in the washing machine. If you're in a local mom's group on Facebook, car seats and strollers frequently pop up for sale. I wouldn't feel comfortable purchasing a used car seat on Craigslist (they expire and you can't use them if they've been in an accident) but I felt good about getting one because the mom's group is tight knit and I trust people in it.

Baby wrap - in the infant stage I find the wraps easier than the structured carriers, because it's more comfortable for wearing around the house. I got two of the Solly wraps because they seem to be the most lightweight, and we use them constantly. I actually got the second one a week after the first, because I was having trouble getting a chance to wash the first one because we used it so much. I wear her for several hours a day, both in the house and when we go out. She loves it (luckily) and I feel like it's our best bonding time. We also have an Ergo that we'll be using once she's a bit bigger.

Place to set baby down - our friend gave us this bouncer seat and it's been a lifesaver. She has no interest in sleeping in it like some babies do, but it's perfect for when she's awake and happy. She likes to sit in it while I work in the kitchen or shower. Side note - everyone raves about the Rock N Play, but I got one for free with points and she just isn't interested in it at all. Just a good reminder that babies don't all like the same things!

Changing pad with extra liners - we just used an old dresser as a changing table but we got a changing pad and some cute covers. I impulse registered for some of these changing pad liners, which you lie over the cover to reduce how often you have to wash the cover, and then we liked them so much we ended up ordering another set. I still love our changing pad and I'm bummed that we ended up needing to switch to the Hatch Baby Grow so we could have a scale (but I loooooove the functionality of the Grow - see my full review here).

Play mat - I didn't realize this was a thing, but our friends gave us their old one (similar to this one) and we use it all the time. It's nice to have a place for her to lie down and do tummy time and she really does love having her toys suspended above her.

Cheater swaddles - our bassinet comes with a velcro swaddle, so we use that. My sister used the halo swaddles with her kids and I liked those too. I know that it isn't hard to learn to swaddle them with a blanket, but I just have zero interest. I've already had to learn how to operate several bewildering pieces of baby equipment and that's enough.

Receiving blankets/swaddle blankets - despite not knowing how to swaddle I do use swaddle blankets all the time, mostly for breastfeeding or tucking around her when she's sitting in her bouncer. They are scattered all over our house, so I'm glad we have a lot in patterns/colors we are okay with. Personally, I prefer the swaddling blankets over the receiving blankets because they are bigger and lightweight so if I had to do it again I'd probably skip the receiving blankets. There are a million cute options out there, but you'll probably get a bunch as gifts anyways. If you want super soft and organic, we were given a two pack of the Wee Sprout brand and they are the softest, but you don't get the fun patterns.

Pacifier - opinions vary on this, but I was in tears during the first couple weeks of breastfeeding because we'd have 45 minute stretches at night where she was using my boob as a pacifier and I was in pain. I'd heard you had to wait six weeks to introduce the pacifier but our lactation consultant gave us the okay to go for it sooner. Of course, she didn't accept it right away but by four weeks it was my savior and I'm okay with it. She only takes it when she needs to go to sleep and it's easy to tell when she's hungry vs. when she only wants the pacifier. Our lactation consultant recommended using Soothies, but initially she wouldn't take those and we found that the Mam pacifier was the perfect gateway. After a few weeks with the Mam she graduated to the Soothie and now she happily takes it anytime she's feeling tired and ready to go to sleep. I also got a little pack of pacifier clips, which are critical if you don't want to have to pick the pacifier up off the floor a million times a day. (FYI - the reason I didn't stick with the Mam is that I found it harder to sterilize. Water would get into the nipple and it didn't seem to fully dry and one day I saw mold growing in it. I'm not sure if I was doing something wrong, but yuck. The Soothies are all one piece, so there's nowhere for water to get trapped.)

Clothes - footie pajamas and a couple hats. If you wanted to go super minimal, I think you could get away with a few sets of pajamas and 1 - 2 hats for the first three months. We are obsessed with the Cloud Island footie pjs from Target (pattern options change all the time, so that exact link might not work but just search their website). They come in packs of three, they're lightweight (pro for us, might be a con for you) and they have an inverted zipper, which is amazing for nighttime diaper changes because you don't have to fully undress them to get at their diaper.

Nursing pillow - I relied on the Brestfriend really heavily for every feeding the first few weeks but by two months in I was mostly just using it during the day and by three months I've stopped using it almost entirely. It does make breastfeeding much more comfortable in the beginning.

Nipple cream - so critical during the first weeks, now only used sporadically. They sent me home from the hospital with a tube of Lasinoh cream but my lactation consultant recommended this option from Motherlove because it's more moisturizing and I liked it better.

Hand pump - I got a free electric pump from insurance, but this Haakaa silicone hand pump is amazing for night time feedings. Adrian only eats one side during her early morning feeding, so my routine is to pop her on one side, then put the pump on the other. It is a simple vacuum system, so there's no noise and I just massage a little to help it out. It's surprisingly effective this way, although the set up takes a bit of juggling (let's not talk about the time she kicked the pump off my boob and I spilled four ounces of milk all over the bed and myself). It's a single piece, so cleaning it is so, so easy. I've been able to build up a freezer stash of milk this way too. (I didn't get anything fancy for freezing milk, I'm currently just using our regular silicone ice cube trays and then double ziploc bagging the cubes)

Bottles - we started trying to get Adrian to take a bottle at 6 weeks, per the recommendation of our lactation consultant. It's been up and down. I've tried four different types of bottles and so far her favorite is the Nuk Simply Natural. She will also take the Comotomo, but those are three times as expensive and while I love how they look I hate how they tend to tip over. My only recommendation for bottles is not to register for a ton of one style, because you have no idea what your baby will take. If possible, borrow a variety from a friend, or just buy a couple to test out. We try to give her one bottle a day, in the hopes that she won't starve once she starts daycare. Some days are better than others, honestly. We don't use a bottle warmer, we just put some hot water in a cup and then swirl the bottle in it until it warms up. Works fine since we aren't heating bottles constantly.

Drying rack - I'm not sure if this is necessary but I like having a separate drying rack just for her stuff. Most of it is small enough that it would fall through our large rack, plus this seems cleaner. We got the Boon strip, which takes up minimal space and I think it's cute.

Diaper pail - we got this fancy Ubbi diaper pail and it does look nice and it works well. My sister happily used this much cheaper option, and as she wisely pointed out "No matter how nice it is, it's still just a trash can full of baby poop." I also have friends who avoided the diaper pail altogether and just made more frequent trips to take the trash out.

We did register for other little things - a forehead thermometer, hooded towels and washcloths, baby nail clippers, some rope baskets that we use for toys and laundry (separately). I got this back of the door storage organizer and use it to hold diapers, burp cloths, and other daily essentials, the stuff that you want to be able to grab quickly but don't necessarily have counter space for. I got a bath sling because it was cheap and simple and it's fine (I have this one but it cost $6 in store). Having some high contrast cards and books are nice, and I love these Wee Gallery alphabet cards in particular. A friend gave us this Silly Tails crinkly book and it's been a huge hit and I have to remember to take it with us everywhere.

What we realized we didn't need: a ton of clothes (as I mentioned, a few pairs of footed pajamas are probably all you need initially), a ton of toys, a full infant bath, a bottle warmer, a real changing table (dresser works fine). Probably a ton of other stuff that was on the recommended registry list that I'm currently forgetting.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hatch Baby Grow review + my new favorite baby app

We've been having some issues with weight gain over here and I wasn't really prepared for the emotions that go along with that. Adrian was in the 80th percentile for weight at birth, but dropped to the 60th at her one month check and then down to the 30th at her two month (she's been steadily 95th for both height and head since birth). After we got the news at her two month appointment our ped suggested that if she was still falling lower on the chart in another month we would want to discuss formula supplementation. While I'm open to doing whatever we need to do to make sure she's getting what she needs, I immediately started feeling guilty and stressed about her eating. The thing about breastfeeding is that it's a total black box. All I could do was time how long she was eating but that doesn't really tell me how much she's eating. When we'd visited our lactation consultant back in the very beginning she would weigh Adrian before and after eating so we could calculate how much milk she got. It was so cool that when we were at the baby store and saw the Hatch Baby Grow we definitely considered purchasing it, but we convinced ourselves that it was ridiculous and over the top and obsessive.

Hi there, week one us! This is two month us, and we are ridiculous and over the top and obsessive and we have zero regrets. Nice to meet you.

So yeah, we purchased a changing pad that is also a baby scale, so that we can weigh our kid obsessively and know how much she eats at each feeding. And I love it. We've only been using it for two and a half weeks (I will update this review if we have any issues down the line) but it's been amazing. And as it turns out I love the app that goes with it so much more than the previous one we were using (and you can use the app even if you aren't using the scale, so I'll give a little detail on it below in case you're just interested in that).

FYI - this is 100% not sponsored, I purchased it myself and the company has no idea I exist.

Hatch Baby Grow

Thoughts about the Hatch Baby Grow -

They made an attempt to make it look modern, but honestly, I liked our regular old changing pad better because I could put cute covers on it and it was brighter. I feel like the grey is a little dark in our space. I can understand why they didn't go with white, but I kind of wish it was white or a super light grey.

The material is a soft-ish plastic foam. It isn't hard or slick but it definitely isn't cushy at all. Again, I prefer our conventional changing pad because with this one I have to be super careful to set her down gently or I risk bonking her head (which wouldn't injure her, this isn't a brick surface, but it does startle her). On the other hand, you can just wipe this surface clean with a wipe, which is kind of amazing.

The functionality of the scale outweighs these cons, though. I love the scale. There's no digital display, so you have to connect it to your phone via Bluetooth and use the Hatch Baby app. But it's super easy to use and I've only had issues connecting with it once. Basically, you open up the scale in the app, lie your baby down, and then tell the app if you want to record a weight or do a feeding. If you record a weight, it just saves the info for you. If you are starting a feeding, it takes a pre-feeding weight and then you come back after the feeding and weigh the baby again and it will automatically calculate the feeding amount and then save it for you. Being able to track her feeding amounts has given me so much peace of mind. I can see that she's a pretty consistent eater, taking in pretty much the same volume every day, and I can also see that all my efforts to get her to eat more often aren't really making a difference. I realize that sounds discouraging, but it's actually great info to have! Adrian naturally seems to want to wait and only eat every 3 - 4 hours during the day, sometimes even stretching it out to 5 hours if she's having an epic nap. If I go by her schedule and let her do that, she'll eat 3 - 5 oz per feed. If I try to encourage her to eat more and wake her up every two hours to feed her, she eats 1 - 2 oz per feed, and my daily total comes out the same, even if her total eating time is much higher. She also doesn't sleep any longer at night. Knowing this makes me feel so much more comfortable about letting her set her own schedule. (Standard disclaimer here - every baby is different, this is definitely not medical advice, and I'm consulting both my LC and my pediatrician as I figure out what works for us - we might still need to supplement with formula).

Technical stuff - it's accurate to 0.25 oz, which is good enough for our purposes, and it seems to be pretty consistent with our doctor's scale. Baby weight obviously fluctuates day to day, based on how many fluids they have on board, etc. I do daily weigh ins for her but don't stress about her being up and down on the day to day. If day to day fluctuations are going to stress you out, then weighing once per week is probably better. The weights you get for feedings throughout the day aren't meant to be weight checks, because you don't bother to undress or undiaper them for those. Just keep them consistent by not doing outfit or diaper changes. I weigh her in whatever she's in (with paci, if she's using it), feed her, and then immediately weigh her again before changing her diaper or anything. That gets you the most accurate weight.

Adrian is super wiggly and this scale still works well. If she's moving like crazy it won't get a reading, but I've found the leaning over her and talking to her gets her to smile and hold still long enough for the scale to capture the weight.

Max weight is 44 lbs, at which point I'm pretty sure Adrian will be way too big for this scale anyways.

The app calculates the weight percentile automatically. They use the WHO growth charts, FYI, which may or may not be what your doctor uses.

Hatch Baby app -

Hatch Baby app

Even without the scale, I think I would still love this app. We aren't at the point where we're making any attempt to put Adrian on a schedule, other than trying to set bedtime for approximately 8pm, and trying not to let her stay awake much longer than 1.5 - 2 hours at a time during the day. But my favorite thing about the app is that it gives you a chart that lets you line up the last several days and see the eating and sleeping patterns. This has been awesome for me, because I can kind of see how she's developing her own schedule and it gives me an idea of when to expect her to be awake or asleep or hungry. The visual just helps my sleep deprived brain so much.

Other things I love about the app (we were previously using Baby Manager, for reference):
You can easily navigate through it even while you have a feeding running. With our other app, if you were in a feeding you couldn't do anything else until the feeding was finished. This sucks because I like to be able to enter diaper changes, check sleep times, etc, while I'm sitting there feeding.

The feeding interface is nice because it times the overall feeding and also the time spent on each breast. You can just tap to switch sides, and the app will save which side was last and show you that info when you go to start a new feeding. My previous app showed each side as a separate feeding, which made it really complicated to add up how many feedings she'd had that day, since she sometimes eats from both sides but sometimes only eats from one.

Cute little detail - you're prompted to upload a photo for each day and it's just way cuter to scroll through your data this way.

Things I don't love - no place to enter head circumference, which we had previously been tracking as well. Sometimes the app is a little glitchy about letting me delete entries and they reappear (this only seems to happen with the auto entries from the scale, so it might be an issue specific to that). I also wish the visual distinguished between wet and dirty diapers. You can see that info if you are looking at the list of diapers, but it would be nice to see it in the daily summary visual. At some point we'll stop tracking wet diapers and then it will be more clear, but since we're still worried about her weight gain I'm trying to make sure we're tracking everything.

Random thing that only a parent would ever request - I wish there was an app that let you attach photos of your diapers to the diaper entries. I realize this is disgusting and before I was a parent I would never have imagined that I'd want to request a visual, timed record of shit. Now, I want a shit slideshow, with dated entries, so that I can figure out what is normal and what is weird and pull it up later without having to scroll through my entire camera roll. I can't be alone here, right?