- Free app available for iOS and Android devices
- Trackers for breastfeeding, pumping, bottle feeding, diapers, sleep, weight and height
- Data is easy to interpret, with graphs, lists and a visual representation of the daily overview
- No limits on ages or number of children being tracked
- Data cannot be shared between users, but can be exported to email
Along with a new baby comes a ton of gear and a lot of information to remember—and not a lot of sleep to maintain a great memory. Tracking apps make it easy to keep feeding, diapering, napping and growth info all in one spot. The Medela Family app can track all of these things. While the app connects to the Medela Swing Maxi, FreeStyle Flex and Sonata pumps wirelessly, it also allows for manual data entry, so it’s helpful whether you’re bottle feeding, breastfeeding or both. A sleep timer keeps tabs on how long baby sleeps, and the diaper tracker lets you record the date and time of every pee and poop. The app also offers articles and videos to help with breastfeeding, as well as checklists for what to pack in your hospital bag, basic equipment for pumping and the gear you need for life with a newborn. We tasked a group of parents and editors in our Today’s Parent Approved lab with testing the Medela Family app to see how well it works and how helpful it is. It earned high praise for ease of use and design; parents especially appreciated how easily the app kept track of all the little details so they didn’t have to.
SET-UP & NAVIGATION
Getting started with the app is as easy as typing in your name and when you’re planning on going back to work (you can also choose “don’t know” if you prefer). After that, the menus are easy to navigate—the interface is organized in a user-friendly way, with intuitive features. The bright, cheerful design and occasional pats on the back for entering new data (“Awesome!” and “Good job!”) give you some incentive to keep using the app. Stats are presented all on one page that’s easy to read.
Personalizing the Medela Family app is easy: It asks whether you’re breastfeeding or pumping exclusively, or combining the two, and then presents relevant articles and tips. The majority of our parent testers felt it was easy to set up a profile, set reminders and personalize their experience. And there’s no age limit or restriction on how many babies you can track at once, which makes this a great app for parents of multiples.
TRACKING FEEDING, GROWTH AND MORE
The Medela Family app does a very good job of tracking exactly what it says it will—breastfeeding—and parents appreciated the support and confidence it gave them. It lets you maintain records of how long and how often you feed and/or pump and which breast you last used, and even reminds you when you haven’t logged enough feeds for the day. One parent noted the app was great for keeping track of night feeds done by her partner while she was away, while another who struggled with milk supply appreciated that she could monitor how much she pumped each time.
The other great tracking features allow you to monitor baby’s growth (weight and height), sleep (including a timer), and diapering frequency (including contents!). When it comes down to the nitty-gritty of entering data, the various feeding and sleeping timers are a great help. Plus, the app prompts you if you forget a step, such as putting in how many millilitres you gave baby during a feeding session. You can view the information by day or category (breastfeeding, pumping, bottle feeding, diapering or sleep). You can also see how your baby’s height and weight measure up to the standard growth chart, which reassured one of our parent testers that her baby was growing well. The majority parents said it was easy to spot sleep irregularities and feeding patterns. One mom noted that charting all the different aspects of her child’s progress allowed her to understand why she was feeding more often, such as during a growth spurt, which eased any worries.
Most of our parents felt the Medela Family app made tracking their baby’s health and development easier, and while you can’t share that info with someone else who has an account, you can very easily choose the data you want to share, and then tap “export data via email” to send it directly to your inbox.
Medela Family’s My Page features a feed of articles and tips based on your stage of pregnancy or your baby’s age—at first, in days, then weeks. Topics focus mainly on breastfeeding, pumping and combining bottle feeding and breastfeeding, including everything from latching to avoiding nipple confusion. There are also a handful of articles on other topics, like managing your stress as a new mom and tips for soothing a stressed baby. You can favourite articles for easy reference later on.
The Medela Family app was a hit with our parent testers because of how reliably and easily it keeps a detailed account of all the feeding, diapering and rocking to sleep that’s done in a wee one’s first year. Almost all of them would recommend it to other parents and parents-to-be, and most testers gave it good or very good ratings for overall ease of use and quality. Editors also appreciated the range of features and the clear display of data. A simple yet comprehensive app, Medela Family makes all the tracking you’ll do that much easier.