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Do I really need a baby tracker app?

Updated: Mar 26

The short answer: No, you don't. You can simply forego the apps and timers and listen to your baby. Watch their cues. There's really no need to track every feed, nap, and wet diaper, I believe that can be more harmful than good, increasing anxiety and obsession for moms.

However, some find that the trackers can be useful, so let's go over their purpose and the alternative:

  1. tracking feeding times: if you're going to use an app to track the time you started the last feed or pumping session, so you don't let too much time go by before feeding or pumping again, that's totally fine with me (but you could easily just write down the time on your notes app or set an alarm 3 hours from that point to pump again). If you're tracking the total time spent at each breast, I would encourage you to focus on your baby and the suck swallow breathe pattern. It doesn't really matter if the baby spends 5 minutes or 15 minutes at the breast, it's the swallows that count. You can also look for cues that your baby is full after a feed- relaxed body with shoulders away from ears and open hands, they might even have that drowsy milk-drunk look. My breastfeeding guide goes over all the cues!

2. tracking which breast was used last: you can use a hair tie on the wrist or bra strap instead!

3. tracking sleep: tracking naps and how many hours and minutes your baby is sleeping during the newborn period is a big no for me. Way too anxiety inducing, and it can make parents feel like they're failing if their baby sleeps less than some made-up "ideal" number.

4. tracking dirty diapers: if your baby doesn't poop often and you're having a hard time remembering the last time they pooped, then I could see it useful to have an app keeping track for you. If your baby is on track with poops and pees and you just want to make sure they stay that way, you can set out X # of desired diapers for the day on the changing pad. If you're at the end and you haven't gone through that stack, it's a sign that your baby might need more breastmilk or formula. I have a sheet in my breastfeeding guide dedicated to diaper output and poop colors!

I hope this post sets you free from the tech and encourages you to confidently care for your newborn without a tracker app.

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