Use a baby app to better understand your little one

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.

Netflix shows to binge watch while you breastfeed your little one

It’s always been my plan to quit work when I decide to have children, that’s why I resigned when I found out that I was pregnant. I really want to be hands on with taking care of my baby for at least the first two years, if possible. Luckily, I got the privilege to do so when I moved to Biliran to live with my husband in their family’s resort. Since I’m far away, I can’t just meet up with friends and likewise, they can’t easily visit to chat and catch up. So aside from my husband, Netflix has been my best friend.

Below are my personal picks of Netflix shows that I enjoyed watching while breastfeeding my daughter. These are not ranked, just a simple quick list.

TRAVELERS

This one really got me hooked. Some episodes I even watched a third time. Too bad it looks like the show’s not going to renew for Season 4. The story is about, well yes, time traveling; and what I really liked about it is it was done in a very futuristic way minus a tacky time machine (you can consider that old tech now). Check it out and imagine what if their kind of time travel happens in the future. Travelers is able to present a lot of global issues we experience today in a very creative and sci-fi way. It sends a reminder of how the people of the future will blame the 21st century for seriously damaging the world. The suspense is neatly done, it never failed to surprise me. I fell in love with the characters in a way that I felt like I am already part of their lives and Season 3 just kind of left me hanging. Can I see more of them please? I’m not really giving away parts of the story. No spoilers. I will let Imdb give you the synopsis here

HOUSE OF CARDS

I only watched until Season 5, because sadly they had to remove Frank Underwood‘s character, played by actor Kevin Spacey, and he’s basically the heart of the whole story. Though my mistake was Googling what to expect in Season 6. I never gave it a chance, because I got affected by the bad reviews. The thing about Frank Underwood is he’s evil but he speaks the dirty, dark truth, so you don’t really know whether to hate him, admire him, or respect him for his no-bullshit, ambitious personality.  House of Cards follows the story of Frank Underwood as a congressman playing politics, the dirtiest it can possibly get, to become the president of the United States. Watching the series reminded me of real world politics, and it just disgusted me how real politicians can actually do what the characters in the series do. The show successfully captures attention and curiosity with the suspense, intrigues, deceit, and conspiracies it presents. You’ll keep wanting to find out what’s going to happen next. More information in Imdb here

LOVE, DEATH & ROBOTS

It’s like an animated Black Mirror, just much shorter. The different animations are just so impressive and amazing. It’s like futuristic art. It’s like watching a painting while it triggers all these emotions and thoughts. All of the short animated films in this series did not fail to tease my thoughts. Since the stories only take a few minutes, it’s a quick binge watch, and at the end you’ll feel like asking for more. Like ‘Hey Pixar, can you do an extended version?’ More about Love, Death & Robots here.

SUITS

It’s about days in the lives of corporate lawyers. Very, very good pilot episode. It’s like it had me at hello. The good thing about series with an office setting is it’s something I can relate to. It’s a window to the familiar (but, no, I’m not a lawyer). Since it’s a show, so you really just expect things to turn out well at the end of the episode. I enjoy watching it, because it’s an alternate universe where the perfect is the norm, and the bad things just happen so things don’t get boring. I’m so jealous of Mike Ross‘ super memory skills like it’s some sort of mutant power. And everything about Harvey Specter is just so smooth. Actually, I’m still watching this series, and like the House of Cards, I’m not sure whether I’ll watch till the end. As far as I know Mike Ross’ character also left the show when her love interest Rachel Zane, played by now Princess Meghan Markle, wife of Prince Harry, got married and quit the show. Check out Suits on Imdb.

You know how they say books will take you to places. Netflix does that job now. So stay entertained while you stay at home to take care of your newborn baby. Pick the show of your interest or try the shows I’ve mentioned if you still have not seen them. I would also love to hear what you think about these shows or if you have recommendations, just leave a comment below.