The Baby Chart: A Memory Aid for Mothers

I’m sure I have confessed elsewhere to being somewhat anal retentive about information, so this post should come as no surprise to those who know me or have read enough of the blog to have made an accurate assessment of my personality.

As a new mum I have found that a lack of memory seems to be one of the side effects. When asked by my midwife how many feeds Miss O had been having in her first week at home I happily stated the regulation numbers of 7 or 8. Unfortunately the scale did not match this and the little Miss did not show the weight gain one would expect from such a number of feeds. At that point, partly because I felt guilty at the low weight gain and partly because it occured to me that I really, really didn’t know for sure how many times a day my little one was eating, I decided that my list-making mania would be allowed out into the light.

My first forays into this was just a pad and pen, noting down when she started to feed, when she stopped, and which side she fed on (because I kept forgetting this each time too). That worked just fine for a month or two, and then as her development progressed it became possible to have playtime. That meant things like tummy time became more important to her. And now the Plunket nurse asks questions about number of feeds, wet and poopy nappies, tummy time and other developmental issues.

So what was this poor, memory-challenged mother to do? Easy. Spend fifteen minutes on the computer and generate a memory aid to beat all memory aids. No more scruffy pen and paper notes, oh no. This had to have colours, dates, and separate sections for the important playtime items like tummy time.

Nevermind the idea that mothering should be all instinct. Rubbish.
Instinct, schminstinct. That only takes you so far. If you can’t remember what that darned instinct did 3 hours ago, how can you possibly trust it! I mean to say!

Anyway, for those of you mothers out there who may be struggling to keep your sanity together and then have to answer authoritatively those questions from Plunket nurse, doctor or other support persons, feel free to download and use the Baby Chart.

It was created originally in MS Excel, but because I am happy here at WordPress and they only allow certain file types, I have converted it to a doc file for you to download. Feel free to use it as inspiration should you prefer your own headers and important things to remember. If you are feeling generous, find it useful, and have a blog, then a link back here to its creator’s blog would be appreciated. Otherwise, enjoy the freedom from random memory failure.

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