iPad App Review: Baby Connect - Tracking all of those diapers, feedings, and much more.

baby connect iPad appUsually, it is this author who approaches his wife regarding a cool new technology tool, application, or website. She's not always as intrigued by things, but she'll at least hear me out. An interesting thing happened following the birth of our son on Monday. Here's a brief excerpt of the conversation:

Me: OK, I'm writing down - nursing, 10 minutes, right side.
Wife: Great, thanks. I wonder if there's an app for keeping track of all of this.
Pause...
Wife: Did you hear me?
Pause...
Me: OMG! There is an app, and it's got everything!

I'm still not too sure why I didn't think of it first, but sure enough, a quick search of "baby" in the app store revealed Baby Connect, for both the iPhone and the iPad. Find out why the iPad app is now on my front page and has been the go-to app for this past week.

Keeping Track of Everything...and more.
I honestly don't know where to begin with this app as there is just so much available. I'll start with the most used feature for me, and the main reason I spent the $4.99 to purchase it. During the first week of a baby's life, it is important to make sure that baby is having regular bowel movements and wet diapers. In addition, getting off to a strong start in feeding is dependent on consistent attempts to get baby acclimated to mother. Baby Connect takes away the pen and paper option and allows you to set a timer for each feeding, or manually enter the start and stop time. Just to give you a sense of how detailed the app is, for feeding along, you can set timers for both the left and right side, an alarm to remind you when a set time amount is reached, or indicate when a bottle, solid, or pumping was used instead of nursing.

Syncing - iPad, iPhone, Web
baby connect iPad app
So, what happens if you don't have an iPhone or iPad handy? Baby Connect offers a website that is free to use and you can keep track of the same data as you can with the native app. What this means is that when I return to work, I can still keep track of what baby is doing at any time of day. The developers promote this seamless syncing as beneficial for caregivers, as they can use the web or mobile device to enter new data (sleeping, activities, moods), while the parent can check anytime, anywhere with his or her own mobile device. It is for this reason that I'm considering purchasing the iPhone app as well (wish I could get a discount as an iPad buyer) since we have an old 3G gathering dust and this could be used solely for baby monitoring. Unlike other apps that I've encountered, syncing takes place in the background and does not seem to slow down the performance whatsoever.

baby connect iPad app
Graphs - Visualizing your Data
Entering data would be no fun and little use if there wasn't a quick and easy way to see the fruits of your labor. Baby Connect provides a variety of ways to visualize your data. First, at the bottom of your home screen lies a 6-day snapshot of the 24 hour time period where you can get a sense of how often baby is sleeping, feeding, and pooping. To get a more quantitative sense of how things are going, the graphs option gives you the ability to get the count, longest, and interval data for a 5-day period. This was particularly useful today when we had our first pediatrician visit and wanted to share the number of diapers and feedings baby has had during these first few days. As a science teacher, I'm accustomed to instructing my students to look for trends in graphs, and with Baby Connect, I'm able to heed my own advice, this time as a parent.

Where's the Android love?
Honestly, there's not much to poo-poo (I had to) about Baby Connect. Despite having so much detail integrated in the app, it does not go unnoticed how easy and intuitive the interface is, and how the bulk of the activity occurs on just one screen. Often, as an application includes more features, the interface becomes more complex multiple screens and touches are then required. This is not the case with Baby Connect, as the developers have found a great mix of adding more yet not forcing users to do more. My only complaint is the lack of an Android app in the Marketplace. Aside from that, Baby Connect is your one stop shop for all of the data you'll want to collect for your first, second, or tenth child.

Baby Connect is on sale for the iPad and for the iPhone in the App Store.

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