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To think that baby-tracking apps aren't the work of the devil?

(73 Posts)
NewAccount270219 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:10:51

I've just been reading this Guardian article - https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/mar/02/apps-that-track-babies-and-give-data-to-tech-firms-parents - on baby tech and found it really interesting but parts of it a bit overblown. The comments are pretty much without exception 'all modern parents are idiots and you should be able to raise a baby on pure instinct'. It's made me feel a bit guilty, or at least a bit uncomfortable, that we use an app to track when DS (eight months) sleeps - nothing else and no wearable tech. We were doing it on paper but that got annoying and fiddly. Still, though, while I instinctively feel defensive about it, maybe we should stop? I thought we were actually quite go-with-the-flow, baby-led parents - no Gina Ford here! - but this article on how using apps raises parental anxiety has, ironically, really made me doubt myself!

Faster Sun 03-Mar-19 08:12:08

Why do you need to track when he sleeps though? Not having a dig, just curious as it’s never something I felt I needed to do when DS was little.

NewAccount270219 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:12:43

Sorry, clicky link: www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/mar/02/apps-that-track-babies-and-give-data-to-tech-firms-parents

NewAccount270219 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:15:06

Because he seems to nap much better if we go on awake times than relying on waiting for him to look visibly tired (he's then really hard to put down) but because he wakes up anywhere from 5 to 7.30 in the morning and then his naps aren't regular lengths (sometimes sleeps for 30 minutes, sometimes two hours) it's hard to remember roughly when the next nap should be if you don't note it down.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 08:15:43

You think you are go with the flow parents, yet you track sleep? For real? Why?

Soontobe60 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:15:46

All I can say is, babies have been raised successfully for thousands of years without an app in sight.
A colleague of mine lost a baby a few years ago through SIDS, at a time when apps didn't really exist. She's had another child last year and had every device possible but unfortunately the baby also died of SIDS. I know this is an extreme case, but apps are no substitute for actual parenting.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 08:17:12

I don’t actually think I have met anyone in real life so het up. I am not surprised you feel defensive reading that.

NewAccount270219 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:17:17

Also, I find being able to look at his night-time sleep quite helpful, mostly because it reveals that there are more good-ish nights than it feels like to me - if I rely on my memory I'd say he wakes at least four times almost every night, but it's actually not as bad as that, so I find it cheering!

TitsAndTomatoes Sun 03-Mar-19 08:17:58

Im on the fence. I tracked feeds as i breastfed and i had zero concept of time. Then id track her naps.

I stopped around 4 months. I wouldnt track her sleep now. I do look at the clock and mentally note what times she wakes and sleeps for naps etc but thats it. I felt a level of freedom once i stopped. And much ledd anxious.

I dont know. They can be handy. But i agree it does raise anxiety and u can become obsessed very easily with seeing how much your child sleeps and why is it more or less today etc. I advise stopping. 8 months seems a bit long to track.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Sun 03-Mar-19 08:18:16

I started using one this weekend, just for sleep, DS is twelve weeks and it feels like he's starting to get a bit of a routine sleep wise of his own accord, but then it goes out of the window , I was going to do it on paper but this felt easier. I'm very much baby led, but I need a bit more consistency in my own sleep now, so thought by tracking his sleep for a few weeks I can look at his pattern and try and support that where possible

Faster Sun 03-Mar-19 08:18:48

Ok fair enough. I just put DS down for a sleep when he was needing one, I didn’t base it on when he ‘should’ be asleep. I just left him to figure out when he was tired and reacted accordingly really. Each to their own.

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sun 03-Mar-19 08:20:02

“Soontobe60* you may not have meant it, but your post reads like you are saying sids may be related to parenting. Which is very shitty.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Sun 03-Mar-19 08:20:10

I'm not someone prone to anxiety and won't be keeping it up long term, I was already making a note of feed times on my phone, just because sometimes I'm tired, he wakes up and I can't remember how long ago he fed

NewAccount270219 Sun 03-Mar-19 08:21:52

I just left him to figure out when he was tired and reacted accordingly really. Each to their own.

I'd love to be able to do that, but I think it's a baby personality thing - if left to his own devices DS doesn't sleep, he just gets grumpier and needs more and longer active intervention to get to sleep. He doesn't self-settle, but getting in there before he's yawning and eye-rubbing is the difference between 5 minutes rocking to sleep and 30 minutes while he screams...

ZippyBungleandGeorge Sun 03-Mar-19 08:22:32

@Faster I feel like sometimes I might be missing his sleep cues , he goes from happy to overtired very quickly so wanted to get an idea of when he likes to sleep so I can be more alert to it, I won't be going down a gina ford prescribed pattern route!

Her0utdoors Sun 03-Mar-19 08:23:02

I did start wearing a watch after my first was born, so I could plan when to get stuff done eg. she's generally awake for 2 hours, so I need to go to Aldi before that.... but no apps. I worked with someone who recorded on a spread sheet, every sleep and poo both children had/did for over a year each. She admitted she had no use for this data.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Sun 03-Mar-19 08:23:13

@NewAccount270219 I think we have the same baby...

53rdWay Sun 03-Mar-19 08:25:39

They can cause a lot of anxiety. They did for me when I used them to track sleep and feeding with my first. (Baby didn’t seem to feed for ‘long enough’ according to HV and didn’t seem to need enough sleep.)

It made me anxious and obsessive. It did not actually help with anything - baby didn’t sleep any more or feed for any longer. It made me feel like I was doing something about a problem, but I wasn’t actually doing anything and I’d lost perspective on whether it even was a problem.

Deleted and would never use in future, unless to track very specific things like meds.

Parly Sun 03-Mar-19 08:26:35

I read this thought and it meant a sort of GPS collar / tracker for babies that might get lost or run away and thought "Hang on... something's not right here surely" hmm

Jeez imagine that?

"Baby lost sometime between 10pm Saturday and 8am Sunday. Last seen in garden not wearing anything" grin

CherryPavlova Sun 03-Mar-19 08:26:41

It feels like corporate profit created by making parenting harder. The whole modern pressure to parent perfectly, to do everything right, to have perpetual happiness and to support the myth that only smiling, indulged children can grow into healthy adults (when the opposite is true) is driven by corporate profit rather than common sense.

HeyNannyNanny Sun 03-Mar-19 08:27:06

A colleague of mine lost a baby a few years ago through SIDS, at a time when apps didn't really exist. She's had another child last year and had every device possible but unfortunately the baby also died of SIDS

Oh my god that poor woman

Maneandfeathers Sun 03-Mar-19 08:28:39

I never bothered with apps of any kind and had no idea sleep tracking was even a thing. Seems a little ott to me but if it works for you then why worry!

Faster Sun 03-Mar-19 08:28:43

I used to let DS sleep on me a lot when he was little and I’m positive that made him nap better but I’m fully aware that’s not something for everyone.

Piewife Sun 03-Mar-19 08:28:55

I've never felt the need to use a baby tracking app myself, but I wouldn't call them the work of the devil. I'm sure they help some people.

One of my friends used one for the first year or so... tracking sleep and feeding, including how long each feed was and on which boob. Apart from anything else I probably wouldn't have even remembered to put in every feed, especially in the early days! No way I could be bothered with that.

LadyGregorysToothbrush Sun 03-Mar-19 08:32:35

It feels like corporate profit created by making parenting harder. The whole modern pressure to parent perfectly, to do everything right, to have perpetual happiness and to support the myth that only smiling, indulged children can grow into healthy adults (when the opposite is true) is driven by corporate profit rather than common sense.

Yes!

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