Why Keeping a Daily Journal is Important for Moms and Nannies
Apr 15 2008

I see the world of childcare changing before our eyes and having a place to keep up with your baby’s precious moments and activities can be a great way not only to share with your family and friends but also to make sure your baby is getting what he or she needs.  More often than not, these days there are many people involved in childcare from dad, to nannies, to sitters, to grandparents, to aunts, and communicating effectively with everyone about when your baby ate, slept, or had medicine can be extremely important!

One of the ways I am currently trying to get the word out about Babble Soft is through marketing relationships with nanny and sitter agencies, and I recently had the honor and priviledge to write the following article for the International Nanny Association.  


Why Keeping a Daily Journal is Important for Moms and Nannies
By Aruni Gunasegaram, President and Founder of Babble Soft
Written for the International Nanny Association Spring 2008 newsletter

When a new mom leaves her infant in the care of a nanny or newborn care specialist, what are her concerns? What does she want to know? How can a nanny help her feel more connected to her baby and help her deal with possible feelings of guilt over leaving her baby?

A new mom’s perspective
As a new mom, I was so concerned about leaving my baby with anyone else … even my husband! When I returned, I wanted to know when he ate, if he slept, and practically everything he did. Now that I have two kids, I still ask their teachers and care providers what they did during the day. It’s so comforting to have an idea of how their day went. I sent our son to a home care on a part-time basis when he was a baby. I felt frustrated by the vague answers I received when I asked about the details of his day; but I bit my tongue, felt guilty, and walked away wondering what I had missed.

It was difficult to leave my son with someone else and thereafter, leave my daughter – but I wanted to work. My career is very important to me and I knew I would be a better mom if I was able to pursue my passion. However, I still wanted to stay connected to my babies. It would have been a pleasure to receive an email, a text message, a picture, or even have the ability to log in to a website to see how my babies were doing. It would have made my life so much easier if I was assured that although they might have cried a bit when left them, they were eating well, sleeping well, learning and having fun.

I was still breastfeeding when I returned to work, and I made every attempt to time my pumping sessions so that I could nurse my babies when I picked them up. If I arrived only to find out they had just been fed, I would have to go home and pump instead of feed them, making me feel very disappointed.  On the other hand, it was nice having breastfeeding support and knowing that I had expressed enough milk for them while I was away made me feel more connected to them.

What moms want to know
In the “old days,” moms had no choice but to stay at home.  They could get advice and make decisions based on one-on-one face time with baby, family members, and friends. Nowadays, moms rely on their nannies to communicate their baby’s daily activities, issues, fussy periods, smiles, and schedules. When moms are not present, having the opportunity to review their baby’s activities at a glance in a daily journal or report is not only powerful, it helps them and their nanny make better baby care decisions. It is also a great way to provide records for their pediatricians, which can aid in making medical decisions. Here are more examples that illustrate the importance of keeping a daily journal:

  • A new mom misses important milestones. While she is at work, baby shows off her biggest smile or makes a first attempt at crawling. Imagine a caregiver who captures the moment via a picture, includes a milestone caption, and emails it to the mom. What a way to brighten her day. Although the mom is not present physically, she can take delight in knowing that the true “first” was captured.
  • An infant spits up often but with no discernible pattern. Both the mom and nanny are busy and jot down handwritten notes, which might be stained or misplaced by the next day! Maintaining an online daily record of the baby’s feedings (with corresponding spit-up times) can help to establish a pattern of feeding times and a correlation between the feeding quantity and spit-up periods. The mom can forward the reports to the doctor to aid in a decision regarding whether her baby needs medicine for acid reflux or if there is a need to simply change the baby’s feeding schedule.
  • A baby has difficulty sleeping. Mom (or dad) puts the baby down in a specific manner and in a specific place during the weekends. The nanny arrives and puts the baby down in a different manner, thus she witnesses a different outcome. The baby appears confused, which results in additional stress for both the nanny and family. One solution is to review online reports that are designed to track a baby’s sleep patterns and reveal how the baby was put to sleep. The reports can serve as physical proof that specific baby sleep positions or methods work better than others for the baby. The reports can also give parents the assurance that their baby is okay, and shifting their behavior or the nanny’s behavior can make life easier for everyone.
  • A baby needs regular medications. Administering medications is a critical part of providing childcare. Therefore, it is beneficial to have a central place where medicine doses are recorded. This procedure can allow both the mom and nanny to ensure medicine doses, reactions, and duration are properly recorded and timed. Proper daily record keeping can help to avoid accidental overdoses and ensure a dose is not missed.
  • The nanny runs out of expressed breast milk for baby. If the mom keeps daily pumping records and both the nanny and mom keep daily bottle-feeding records, Mom can adjust her breastfeeding and pumping schedule to ensure there is enough expressed milk for her baby.

There are many more sound reasons to keep daily records. However, the most important reasons in my opinion, are for the health and well-being of the baby, and improved communication between the nanny and family. Although moms today have many more opportunities than they did in the past, they also have more decisions to make and more balls to juggle. Keeping daily records of an infant’s activities helps nannies and moms make better baby care decisions – and it helps moms feel more connected to their baby. A happy mom means a happier baby!

Aruni Gunasegaram is the President/Founder of Babble Soft and she blogs at entrepreMusings. To learn more about Babble Soft, please visit http://www.babblesoft.com.

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby advice, baby care, baby sleep, baby tips, breast milk, breastfeeding, breastfeeding schedule, mom, mother, nursing, parenting, sleep, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

5 Comments on “Why Keeping a Daily Journal is Important for Moms and Nannies”

  1. 1 Jill Notkin said at 9:37 AM on April 15th, 2008:

    I still find it frustrating to not get 100% accurate answers when I ask our nanny these questions. She’s only human though, and I’ve never asked that a journal be kept. A good tip for new moms!

    Jill Notkin’s last blog post..Working vs. Staying Home

  2. 2 paisano said at 9:58 AM on April 15th, 2008:

    Totally agree here. As the father of three babies (now 9, 5 & 2), I wish we had BabbleSoft available to us! I think parents would be wise to use technology to assist them with the care and feeding of their precious gifts.
    By the way, I think this informational journal could be merged into a more fun and memorable traditional baby journal, thus making its use all the more enjoyable and personal, even for nannies and other caregivers. Allow the ability to easily include digital photo’s from special moments in the day instantly from cellphone cam straight to the baby journal which is possible today. Perhaps short movie clips as well. Utterz would be great for this. Audio recordings of first words as well. Possibilities are endless.
    Obviously, the parent can then edit the day’s recordings/data and shape the digital baby book any way she wants.

    I love what BabbelSoft is doing. Keep up the great work!

    Proud pappa pai

    paisano’s last blog post..Collaborative Browsing

  3. 3 Aruni said at 10:13 AM on April 15th, 2008:

    @Jill Notkin – Thanks. I was frustrated too not knowing the information and that’s why we created Babble Soft!

    @paisano – We do have a baby album called Baby Say Cheese that integrates with our Baby Insights application. 🙂 You can save milestone pictures and even send cool picture postcards from inside the app! We also have plans to integrate pics from phone/camera to the site and it’s a matter of time and money. All problems solved with time and money… 🙂

  4. 4 Mica said at 1:30 PM on October 23rd, 2008:

    I really like this.
    I am a nanny of triplets. The parents are first time parents.
    For the first year and a half I used Microsoft Word on the computer and I would jot down who did what, bowel movements and little milestones.
    Now that they are older I no longer keep the journal but I call the babies’ mother twice a day and give her updates so she knows who used the potty, who said what etc.
    I think it helps her feel included in the babies’ day.

  5. 5 Aruni said at 6:15 PM on October 24th, 2008:

    @Mica – sounds like you have your hands full! I wish you would have heard about Babble Soft when they were babies because we would have loved to have been able to help you make your job easier. 🙂