One of the best things I have done, as a new mum, is track my baby.
I have always been someone who keeps notes, lists and jots things down. As a Teacher - being organised and planned is a huge aspect of the job, so it has become second nature to do so in other areas of my life.
One of the best things I did was start tracking baby Jake. I do it all by hand and keep it all in one little notebook that cost less than £1. If there was a half decent app for this I might consider it, but in all honesty I feel pen and paper is best for this.
What do I track?
Every day I keep note of his sleep and awake times (naps and bed time). I also keep note of when he feeds and how much he has. On top of this, I find it useful to track when he has a poop or if he is sick, or if his poop/ behaviour changes dramatically. I then note in how many weeks old he is.
Why do I keep track?
Firstly, your midwife and health visitor always ask you how. Uh your baby is feeding and pooping when they come to visit you after the birth - so it's really good to know, so you don't feel too clueless.
Secondly, I like to track because it helps me establish patterns and routines - you start to see trends in their sleep and behaviour. I also know when to expect a poop and this prepares you for outings etc.
Thirdly, keeping track allows for consistency - so if JD goes to stay with Nanny for a few hours then she knows what to expect.. Or, if Daddy is looking after JD he can see what we've done and use it as a guide.
Finally, a great reason to track is to spot any illness or changes in baby - it was through keeping track that I noticed JD showing signs of not being quite right, which has led to the Doctor prescribing him with Milupa 1 milk. We're yet to get anywhere further with this as we need to do a full 4 weeks.
What do my notes look like?
Essentially they're scribbles on a page, but they date right back to the day JD was born and his first ever feed, which was breast milk in those days.