When my little girl, Tala Ria was still a new born, I often heard people remarking about how she cries a lot or if she does. I used to be annoyed by these, because they say it as if it’s a bad thing. Well, I thought to myself, that’s what babies do! That’s their language. Maybe, just maybe, there are some who cry more than the others, because it’s their personality. However, I also thought that maybe babies cry more because they’re misunderstood. For instance, the first thing that comes to mind when a baby cries is that she’s hungry. Let’s not forget, they have other needs, too. Hence, my parenting technique is to be observant and responsive.
One of the best advice I got was to download a baby tracker app. The one I’m using now is actually the second that I downloaded, because I find it more user-friendly. When you search for it in the app store, it’s called Baby tracker – feeding, sleep and diaper. I used it primarily for these three things. But the app actually has other features, like tracking medications, growth, even leisure, and more. The best part for me is it has a reports feature that summarizes all the data up to a month, so I can check if there’s a trend. It makes analyzing and, yes, strategizing easier. I got used to gathering and analyzing data in my past jobs. I didn’t expect I’d be using this skill for taking care of my baby.
I actually support and do on-demand feeding, so it helped that I tracked the feeding schedule of Tala. During her first months, she breastfed almost every hour sometimes even less. Each feeding lasted around 5-7 minutes. If you’ll notice the screenshot of Tala’s feeding record in May, it shows that she already fed for a longer duration and for almost every two hours. She’s been growing and becoming more efficient in feeding. In fact, I’ve already stopped recording breastfeeding data, and is now just monitoring the meals, because I know now when Tala is whining about wanting to drink milk, and used the data from the app as basis.
Recording her sleep helps me make sure she doesn’t get overtired, and know when she is. This is important, because putting babies who are crying because they’re overtired is stressful for both the baby and the mother. Now, I continue to record her sleep so I know if she’s getting enough. I compare the information with the prescribed number of sleep hours for her age which I Googled.
Give it a try, but know that there’s a learning curve. At first, you may feel like it’s a bit of a hassle to be tracking everything when both your hands are already busy handling the baby. It becomes easy as you form the habit of using it. What I also did was introduce it to my husband, so he can also do the recording himself whenever I can’t. Nonetheless, if you don’t like the extra step of using an app, I recommend reading about the babies’ different cries.
An important reminder. If your baby’s cry seems unusual, looks like a cry of pain, or is non-stop, immediately consult with your pediatrician.