Thursday 12 January 2012

Baby Milestones - Software for Parents

This week I learnt about Baby Milestones from Gurgle. I gave the free trial a go, because I wanted to see whether it was something I could recommend to parents of premature babies. One of the reasons I wanted to review Baby Milestones is because as a parent, I have found I haven't kept notes or a baby book, as at the time I didn't know about specific baby books. I do have all the information on Facebook though and now with Timelines I can look back and enter it in!

I love how easy it is to enter information on Baby Milestones and its pretty software too. One comment I had initially is that the images on the software are clearly bubbly, big, term babies which could be a bit upsetting, especially to a new parent, but once you start importing your own images of your baby, these are replaced.

The software is pretty impressive I think.  You can use this software for trying to conceive and it helps chart your most fertile times and then you can enter a pregnancy, and use it to chart your pregnancy. The instructions that I read explain what to do if your pregnancy ends, in a very sensitive manner, and it appears this has been well thought out. You can easily chart twins and more on the software too, which I think is great, and additional new babies too.

Once your baby is born the software tells you the milestones to look out for. My first concern is that you cannot enter the date of birth and expected due date, however I have raised this with the team looking at the software and they are looking into this issue. So it is up to you as a parent to make sure you correct this yourself, either by lying about your babies date of birth, or remembering to look back to the appropriate month of your baby's development.

Having said that, however, the milestones are very broad, and I found that for a lot of things Joseph would have fit the appropriate milestone, albeit at the last moment, for a lot of things, other than his sitting, crawling and walking.

Another thing I love about it is that you can use it as an appointment diary, which is really helpful for parents who have a young person who has a lot of appointments. I really love that you can store all your baby photos and videos, you have everything all in one place rather than files of this and files for that and information written here there and everywhere!

One thing I would like to see, and wish I had the skills to develop, is an adjunct program for parents of premature babies where you can record our special milestones - the day baby came off ventilation, the day baby came off CPAP, when tube feeding was removed, the first breastfeed, the first bottlefeed, when the baby came out of an incubator..... These are the milestones that are special to me and I am sure are special to a lot of you, and I would love to have recorded.

So having used the software retrospectively these are my suggestions for parents of premature babies using this software.

  • If using it in real time, particularly if you have used it to chart your fertility and/or pregnancy, enter the date of birth and forget the software until your baby reaches term, then look at it again. In my opinion, it would be too much of a trigger to look at what your baby "should" be doing.
  • Until the software has the ability to enter the expected date of delivery with the due date, consider entering the due date for the milestone calculation, but be prepared that you may need to adjust that further. It's easy for me now, to realise Joseph was 3 months behind again physically from his expected due date, but at the time it was tough going, especially as Joseph was such a late walker even by 27 weeker standards!
  • Upload images straight away to get rid of the bouncy babies! Although they are very cute, but I think its nice to have your own images.
  • I think using it retrospectively once your baby has closed the gap somewhat is a great application of the software, especially if your purchasing this software for a new additional baby.
  • If your baby has another condition as well as prematurity I would advise perhaps not using this software, and indeed there is a disclaimer when you first use it that it is intended for babies who have been born at term, with no conditions.
Overall I think this is a lovely piece of software, it costs £14.99 and considering you can use it right from when you start to try to conceive until the baby is 5 and you can use it for more than one child, I think its a worthwhile investment.

Disclaimer: I approached Baby Milestones to trial this software, I have received no payment and my opinion is completely unbiased. 


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