“How many diapers a day?”
I always dread newborn checkups. I’m expected to answer a deluge of questions when I’m so tired I’m not even sure what day it is or when I last showered. For this reason, I’ve always been a fan of baby-tracking apps. I can store pertinent info on my phone and be ready with all the numbers our pediatrician will ask for at a moment’s notice.
Project Nursery’s Parent + Baby Smartband is part baby tracker, part fitness tracker. The wristband’s touch interface allows you to log baby events (fetal movements, diapers, naps, pumping sessions, etc.) as well as parent health and fitness data (medications, water intake, exercise, etc.). The band automatically logs steps taken, parent sleep, calories, active minutes, and distance walked.
On top of its tracking abilities, the Smartband also buzzes the wearer in the event of incoming texts, calls, and app notifications from your phone. Custom alarms can be set, and the band even allows you to choose between dismissing the alarm or snoozing via the touch interface on the band. Even though the band was sending me notifications many, many times a day, I only had to recharge it every couple of weeks.
I gave birth to my third child last year, and the Parent + Baby Smartband was a huge help during the pregnancy. I was dehydrated and anemic, so I used the band to track my iron and water intake. I honestly
don’t think I’ve ever consistently drank as much water as I did during those nine months. And I was able to report back to my midwife exactly how much I’d been hydrating and how much iron I’d been taking.
When it comes to fitness tracking, the Smartband is not a Fitbit. It gives a bird’s-eye view of your activity level but nothing terribly in-depth. However, most expecting and new mothers I know aren’t logging daily exercise routines, anyway. If we can manage to move around a bit, hydrate, get some sleep, and eat right, we’re doing well. The band allows a simple Yes or No response in the daily exercise log, and that’s plenty for me.
After a while, I stopped using the Smartband as my sole baby tracker for two reasons: I very much wish there was a timer function accessible on the band itself or even just in the app. Being able to time contractions and baby’s nap length would also be a huge plus. There is currently no option to log contractions, and naps can only be logged as time already slept. For example, I can log that my baby just napped for two hours, but I cannot log that my baby has just fallen asleep.
I wish the app would do more with the data collected. I can see how many diapers I changed each day, but there are no averages given. I can view each day’s naps and how long they were, but I can’t see that data in a bar graph, which would help me pick out how well she sleeps at different times a day or how many naps a day she is averaging. The Smartband collects tons of data, and I think much more could be done to make that data usable.
After a few weeks, I went back to tracking baby information in my favorite app, Baby Connect, but I continued using the Smartband for its fitness tracking and smart notifications. I’m excited to see what future updates will bring to this app; my vote is for more data visualization and timing capabilities.
At the moment, you can nab a Smartband for only $19.99; that includes three bands in blush, gray, and black.