Baby

Trixie Tracker, Or When Nerds Have Babies

John Sides Jul 26 '08

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.

ethansleep.PNG

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.