Sunday, September 27, 2009

Product review: Trixie Tracker: Discover amazing patterns in your child's life!!!

Here is something a little different - this is a product review of something really cool I found out on the web called the Trixie Tracker!
Some time ago, due to some very cool circumstances I tripped over the coolest invention for your kids ever! If you have kids or grand-kids you simply have to check out The Trixie Tracker .

What is it? Trixie Tracker is a BABY tracker named for the author/inventors daughter, Trixie! I have been using TTT Since Saturday 9/5 and I am so excited to share this with you all - even those of you without babies will want to share this with your friends who have babies.
This program is so incredibly robust that it is usable both by parents who follow the "Ferberizing" method of parenting and parents who attachment parent.

I am proud to tell you that I parent in a child-led style and my children are both velcro babies. No amount of prodding will ever convince me to "schedule" my babies, and I have NEVER forced them to cry it out or anything remotely similar. I feed on demand and if my physiology had cooperated I would have nursed. My son is on formula for medical reasons - but that is what it's there for!!! I think they call people like me "Hippy" and that's fine by me! Trixie Tracker works great for crunchy parents (dirty hippies!!! that's me!) and for not so crunchy parents.

The methods you can use to display information are amazing.
When I first read statements on the website that discussed "eye-catching graphs" I have to admit that the snark in me rolled her eyes!! After using this program for almost a month I have to say that I totally agree with the writer on everything. The program is terrific. What you see to the right here is a summary of one of Tyler's days. If I were having problems with him I could print these out and take them to his doctor and we could work on whatever was wrong using these as references of his days.
The program also creates graphs that help you see patterns that normally wouldn't be evident, you can actually learn things that way!! As you add new foods to your "pantry" and feed them to your baby the program remembers the first contact of a new food so you can even journal and write notes in entries to remind yourself. This can be particularly helpful in discovering food allergies!!

The diaper tracker portion is pretty cool and it is actually FREE. You can use it no matter what which is AWESOME for brand new parents who are trying to figure out if their breastfed baby is getting enough in each day of his/her nursing! Since you can add this to your iPhone I would say it's one of THE most useful programs out there.
Trixie Tracker allows you to see patterns you may not have seen previously. Especially with sleep. The top chart here is Lila's chart and the bottom one belongs to the boy.

I can tell you based on this information it is extremely UNLIKELY that Lila will be asleep before 9pm and it is just as unlikely for her to wake up before 6:30am. Looking at Tyler's graph here it is highly unlikely for him to be asleep between 1 and 2pm and it is also unlikely that he will be in bed for good tonight before 11pm. The White areas are times when he is always awake, the jet black he is always asleep and the gray scale shows variation. The longer you use the program I have to think the more accurate it is because it reveals your baby's circadian rhythm.

This could help you to schedule your baby based on his circadian rhythm. It's much easier to put your baby down for a nap when he is ready to go then to try and force him to sleep during a time he's not really tired. (Boy don't I know that!!)

Other things I've learned using this program:

*Tyler rather enjoys a 37 minute cat nap. He has taken 10 of these over the past 5 days.

*His next favorite length of nap is the 2.5 hour nap (give or take a few minutes) 4 naps qualify for that.

*His favorite nap times? 8am and 2pm and he sleeps the longest when I put him down at either 10pm or 12:30am.
Other features include:
*Medicine tracking (You can set up a prescription to remind you it's time to give the meds to your kid!!)
*Browsing sleep charts of other children by age to see how your child measures up to the other children. (helpful to determine if your child is sleeping more or less than normal)
*Growth measurements tracking.
I have to admit that over the past week I have been overwhelmed with other things and since I don't have an iPhone I have been having trouble remembering to enter my information :( so my data is not totally up to date but I am getting back on track as of tomorrow.
Reasons I would recommend the Trixie Tracker:
*Small in-home daycare - this could help you to manage the kids & know when you last changed diapers or what they ate and you can even print off a daily summary for each child when their parents show up for them to take home - it could add a little bit of extra "professionalism" to your daycare.
*Brand new parents - I tracked all of this with BOTH Of my kids, with paper and pen. and I have to say - I was never able to print out beautiful charts like this!!
If your child is having any of the following problems:
*Digestive problems such as chronic diarhea or constipation (could definitely be something s/he is eating!
*Child gaining too much weight (Tyler WAS drinking 46 oz of formula daily - this helped me discover and adjust that!)
*Child not gaining weight or losing weight (Maybe the baby doesn't take a bottle often enough or nurse enough or eat enough solids) (Sometimes the doctor may need proof of what you are feeding your child - like a detailed list due to slow weight gain - this can help you!)
*Diaper count to help with previous list item
*Food allergies
*Sleep Problems
If you are interested - feel free to slide on over to the trixie tracker website and sign up - it's free for the first two weeks!!
You have a 2 week trial period to see if you like the program - if you love it (and I can't imagine you not loving it) then I recommend the six month pricing - it's only $24.95!!! (Works out to $4.16 a month!!!) He also offers a 3 month plan ($14.95 - $4.98 a month) and 1 month plan - $8.00 monthly.
Here is the link to the pricing page.


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