Tracking Baby Milestones: Surprising Results Of Bringing Data To Parenting

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Project Infobox Question-icon.png
Self researcher(s) Morgan Friedman
Related tools Excel, phone
Related topics Social life and social media, Sleep, Activity tracking, Social interactions, Mood and emotion, Learning habits, Food tracking, Tears

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Has inspired Projects (0)
Show and Tell Talk Infobox
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Date 2015/06/20
Event name Quantified Self Expo 2015
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Tracking Baby Milestones: Surprising Results Of Bringing Data To Parenting is a Show & Tell talk by Morgan Friedman that has been imported from the Quantified Self Show & Tell library.The talk was given on 2015/06/20 and is about Social life and social media, Sleep, Activity tracking, Social interactions, Mood and emotion, Learning habits, Food tracking, and Tears.

Description[edit | edit source]

A description of this project as introduced by Quantified Self follows:

Morgan Friedman shows the many parenting lessons gleaned from tracking and analyzing his baby's data, even as a sleep-deprived parent. Morgan and his wife began tracking every little thing his baby did as soon after he was born. Soon after, he built an application and had data between 3,000 other parents to compare his baby's development with. By tracking and comparing baby milestones, they found interesting and important patterns and correlation. In this talk, he discusses data, patterns, and surprising parenting advice they learned from tracking.

Video and transcript[edit | edit source]

A transcript of this talk is below:

Morgan Friedman

Tracking Baby Milestones Surprising Results of Bringing Data To Parenting Hi I’m Morgan Friedman and yes I’m the actor! A year and a half ago my wife and I a baby. As a good Quantified Self super nerd, as soon as he was born one of my first instincts was, he does something new every day, I may as well track every little thing he does in Excel spreadsheets and start tracking it. I mentioned this to my good friend Nathan Pahucki who had a baby around the same time, he happened to be doing the same thing for his new born baby, so why not share a Google Excel document. Some friends of ours wanted to join in to. And then we realized wow, we’re crowdsourcing great data. We can actually make parenting and science happen. We built an iPhone app, and now a few months later we have 3,000 parents comparing and recording all their babies first times. Here’s some things that we’ve learned. First, I’ve conformed a lot of my instincts about my baby. I know he doesn’t sleep a lot. He’s always crying, and that turns out to be subjectively true. I took him months before he slept eight hours like other babies. My instinct is he smiles a lot. He’s also among the 5% early babies for smiling, which made me happy. I’m learning about myself as a parent because babies can’t talk and you need to be very cognizant of nonverbal cues, and it turns out with the audio cues I’m really bad. I didn’t notice a lot of the things until long after as a parent. Something else I learned about myself as a parent is I’m a little bit ear wax obsessed; who knew. I always clean out my own but from when he was very young as a new parent I was doing that – who knew. I’ve got great data in order to pressure my wife to improve her behavior. She’s a very be on the safe side type person. She’s taken the baby to the ER a few times for no reason. Know I can tell her, hey after taking to the ER for no reason long before most of the other average parents flip out, and so all the parent are laughing because they understand. And something else I learned to pressure is I want my bed to our self. He sleeps in our bed too often and before other babies. Something I learned about my baby is he’s ahead of most other babies on most cognition milestones, but behind on most dexterity related ones. So I’ve turned this into an action item of doing exercises with him to improve. I’ve a lot of data, and I’ve learned about the mom’s health. Women often lose their hair after birth. My wife lost less hair in months after most others do. Perhaps most importantly I learned about our friends right after the baby was born, our friends would start telling us, enjoy this time and the moment. The moment is all they do you know is just crying, shitting thing that we don’t know what to do and not sleeping, and our friends are bigger ass holes because we see that earlier than most other people did. To step back for a second, this is something that I’ve learned about myself and my baby, but collecting this data amongst the lots and lots of parents who have actually been analyzing and finding really interesting patterns and some significant learnings about parenting. For example the first time you do a double check to see that he’s alive has a super huge correlation to the first real smile. Why would those be correlated, I don’t know. but one possible hypothesis is the parents that are very paranoid tend to give their children a lot of structure. And a lot of science shows that to a young need a lot of structure in order to be happiest. Some other learnings. Some of the interesting learnings are about the differences on averages that we’ve discovered between boys and girls. Girls on average can recognize themselves in the mirror two weeks before boys on average. I won’t say it’s because they’re more egotistical because that would be sexist and I’m not sexist. Another learning is that the average boy makes friends with other babies 40 days before the average girl. Maybe boys are just very social.

We’ve been learning a lot of our own babies and helping the parenting in science and learning about parenting in general. Anyone here who is a parent of a young kid come and talk to me afterwards.

About the presenter[edit | edit source]

Morgan Friedman gave this talk.