Trixie Tracker, Or When Nerds Have Babies

Early in Ethan’s life, my wife sensed that he wasn’t getting as much sleep as some people recommend, and as a flyer on the bulletin board of our pediatrician’s office suggested. (That’s the foundation of good parenting: flyers.) I wasn’t sure she was right, so we decided to count how much he slept. A friend (and fellow nerd) had mentioned a website that they used to keep track of their daughter’s activities. I couldn’t remember it, but a little Googling led me to Trixie Tracker.

Trixie Tracker is a site invented by a stay-at-home dad. It allows you to keep track of basically everything your kid does—sleeping, breastfeeding, bottles, medicine, poop. The part I liked best was the graphs. Although the website will dump your data into a file, allowing you to manipulate them yourself, I just relied on the canned graphs that the website produces.

Below is an example. Each chart covers roughly a month of Ethan’s life up until a month ago, when we stopped keeping track. The charts capture the probability that Ethan was asleep during each 10-minute increment within the average 24-hour period from that month. The darker the area, the higher the probability that Ethan was asleep.


Ethan went from a typical newborn with an irregular schedule, to more consistent sleep at night with some lighter areas indicating feedings, to uninterrupted sleep for 11-12 hours every night with, after a few weeks or so, consistent naps. This is not because of any herculean Ferber-esque efforts on our part. We’re just very, very, very, very lucky.

The upshot? My wife was right. And Trixie Tracker is cool.

I welcome humor at my nerdy expense in the comments.

4 Responses to Trixie Tracker, Or When Nerds Have Babies

  1. Seth Masket July 26, 2008 at 7:43 pm #

    I want to mock you, but I am envious. I wish my kids had been born more recently so I could have used this wonderful tool. On the other hand, I don’t have the energy to deal with a newborn right now.

  2. erik July 27, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    Ok, I’ll bite. Where’s that bowel movement chart that I know you have?

  3. Ben MacNeill July 27, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    Hi John,

    Thanks for writing about TT and sharing your charts! I never get tired of seeing how stable sleep patterns emerge out of the chaos. good luck!
    Founder, Trixie Tracker

  4. Juli August 1, 2008 at 8:24 am #

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been looking for something like this for awhile now to track all this stuff for our 3-month-old. My wish was that the Itzbeen would have exporting functions that led to exactly these graphs, charts, etc, but it’ll work without the device, too.