Ditch the Baby Tracking Apps

When I become a mother for the first time I discovered a nifty little app that I downloaded onto my phone and tablet. It tracked everything you could think of. I could record how many poopy diapers my baby had, how many ounces of milk he drank, how many hours he slept (or didn’t sleep!). I thought it was the best thing to ever happen to motherhood. I’m sure my own parents thought I was a little crazy, after all, they never needed fancy apps to take care of me – but I was sold.

It got to the point where I had to meticulously record every little thing my baby did. Every cry, every diaper change, every middle of the night wake up. It was all stored right there in the app. It was nice to have the information. It helped me to understand my baby’s patterns and remember which breast he nursed from last. When we would go to the pediatrician I could tell them exactly the information they wanted to know. It was empowering, in a way, to be able to know my baby so well.

But I soon began to notice that I was becoming a little too obsessed. I would get upset when my husband wouldn’t log every burp and began to take over all care for our little one. I would stare at the app for hours trying to figure out why my son slept for four hours straight the night before, but only two hours the next night. I began to analyze every little thing wondering where I had gone wrong or what I could do to improve his sleeping habits.

A great tool ended up being an unhealthy one. I was getting too stressed out trying to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I was making myself crazy recording and analyzing all the numbers.

Before my son’s first birthday I decided to finally ditch the app. I had to quit cold turkey. I knew that if I kept it up I would become ever more stressed out than I already was. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to why a baby has decided to skip a nap or why they are no longer interested in a certain food. I was doubting myself and forgetting that I didn’t need an app to help me mother.

Soon I was pregnant with my second child and I decided before she was even born that I would not be using the baby tracking app this time around. I started thinking about how silly us modern moms can be. We think we need all these special tools and equipment to raise a baby, but I’m pretty sure our moms and grandmas raised their children just fine without the use of specialized baby tracking apps. Sometimes I think a return to simpler times is better for everyone, moms and babies. We don’t need to stress ourselves out trying to be perfect moms, we just need to love our babies the best we can. You were made for this job. You can do it.

So maybe you’re a new mom and you’re wondering if you should download that baby tracking app to your smart phone. Let me just encourage you not to do it. You don’t need a fancy app to be a good mom. You can do this all-important job the same way moms have done it for ages – instinct, good advice, a helpful village, and lots of love.