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Monday, December 6, 2010

Nursing Reviews - the itzbeen Timer

I saw and read about the itzbeen timer in a parenting magazine while waiting for one of my prenatal checkups and thought it sounded like an awesome idea! I remember the fogginess of the first few weeks in keeping the time when Andrew was born. So I ordered it from amazon.com along with my diaper order several weeks before Ethan arrived.
The main functions of the timer are the four buttons: last diaper change, feeding, sleeping, and misc. You push the button to reset the timer as you do the certain tasks, and that way you can look at the timer to see how long it has been since you had done something last. There is also a 'alarm' feature, where you set the number of hours that you want the timer to go off in - This can just be a blinking light reminder or an actual beeping reminder. You decide whether the volume is on or not.  There is also a 'lock' button. I can't tell you how many times Andrew decided this looked like a fun toy to play with, and therefore I was able to lock him out of resetting my timers! And for nursing moms, there is a switch on the bottom that you can change to remind yourself what side you fed from last, so you know where to start the next time.
This device can be very helpful while you're getting almost no sleep and you've taken pain meds and your brain is just not functioning properly. It is nice to see when the last feeding was, to know how long it has been since their last diaper change, or to see how much sleep you're getting even!
Now, Granted - I did not use this timer as it suggests that you use it for the most part - this timer was almost a life saver for a the first few weeks of having Ethan.
What I used the timer for in the early weeks was to keep track of Ethan's feedings, as well as my medication schedule.  I was allowed to take percocet every 4 hours and ibuprofen every 6 hours.  I quickly realized that if I got behind in these meds, the pain would set in fast, and it would take extra pain meds to get my pain back into check. Therefore I was able to set one timer for four and another for six hours that would buzz to tell me it is time to take them again.

Here are the things I found to be a bit more frustrating about this device:
  • There was no way to edit the time.  If I got up and fed Ethan, then thirty minutes later remembered that I didnt push the button - When I push the button is when the time started. I'd then have to remember that I pushed the button thirty minutes later and compensate in my head for that.  
  • There is no way to set the alarm function for anything less than an hour - With being a Babywise mom, I've come to understand the importance of not over-stimulating our child, otherwise resulting in an over-tired child that is unable to put himself to sleep.  In the first few weeks, this can happen in a matter of 30 minutes or less of awake time. Therefore, I was wanting to set the timer for 30-45 minutes so that I would have an alarm that would go off to tell me that it is time to get Ethan into bed. 
  • The 'lock' function is a switch, not a setting of the timer - therefore, there was a few times where Andrew did reset my timers.I learned fast. :)
  • I had become way too reliant on this timer, and therefore never looked at the actual clock. So when I did forget to start the timer, or forget to lock it and Andrew pushed a button to reset the timer, I had NO clue what the last time was that I had done something!
  • The only other thing that really frustrated me about this, was that when I was finally getting more sleep at night I wanted to find the normal pattern for Ethan's sleep life; but there is no way to monitor a pattern on how he is doing, unless if it is written down! Therefore, defeating the whole purpose of the timer itself. This is when I decided to put the timer away. 
Overall, This device is a VERY helpful tool for the first few weeks of baby's life, when Mom and Dad are still SO tired that they cant think straight. It would also be helpful for a daycare provider or someone who has several children and is too busy to look at a clock and write something down. I think it is an awesome device for medications, especially when some of those meds are narcotics and therefore leave your brain pretty fuzzy! This device would also work perfectly for the parent who doesn't really schedule their child into a particular schedule and is just curious about how long it has been since baby's last feeding, etc. I, on the other hand, am more of a 'need-to-know' organization-freak, and that is why the 'Babywise' method works so well for me :) (But that is a whole other topic!)

This device can be purchased from amazon.com, target.com and I'm sure several other places. They carry them in pink, blue, and green. I believe they run around $20-25 depending on where you buy it from.

**I purchased this product on my own for review purposes and was not compensated for this review. My opinions are my own and reflect my experience with the product. Others may have a different experience with the product.


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