When my wife first told me about the Itzbeen, I thought it sounded ridiculous. Who needs a device to keep track of how long ago you changed, fed or slept your baby? Like pretty much everything baby-related, I deferred to her wisdom and she wound up getting her own Itzbeen thanks to Amazon for around $20.
And thank goodness she did because now that I’m both watching Lucy on a daily basis and busier than I’ve ever been as a freelancer, this thing has become indispensable. When you’ve got a lot on your mind, it’s really easy to forget the last time you changed a diaper or put the kid down for a nap and this thing keeps track of it for you. Basically you hit the assigned button for change, feed, nap and a fourth bonus button and it restarts the clock from zero so you know how long it’s been (get it?) since the last time you did whatever that thing is. There’s also a clock, switch on the bottom to help women remember which side they last breastfed on, nightlights, optional sounds (which we have turned off) and a lock so you don’t accidentally hit a button when it’s rolling around in your diaper bag. Yes, I have a bitching diaper bag, but I’ll get to that when I’ve got more time.
More tech-savvy folks might just as soon use use an app or some such to keep track of these things. I would assume that kind of app would keep track of everything that happened in a day, collate that information and give you a detailed read out of your kid’s pooping habits for the week. I don’t have a smart phone or an iPad or an iPod Touch so that’s not an option, but I will say that sometimes having a gadget at your disposal that does one thing and does it quite well is an asset. If I had to fumble through a series of icons to find the one I wanted and then tap the right button with my fat fingers while I’m trying to respond to an email and figure out if the baby is crying because she’s hungry or tired or poopy, I think that might be too much. I’d much rather grab the white thing on my coffee table, glance at it, get the info and move on. I just wish it didn’t look so much like our baby monitor, that gets a little confusing at times.
Of course, the efficiency of the Itzbeen completely relies on how disciplined you are with hitting the buttons. I’ve forgotten to hit the button on several occasions (heck, several times today), but overall it’s a great little tool to use when you’ve got a million things going on in your head at once. If I had a stamp of approval, the Itzbeen would get it. Hmm, now I need a stamp…and a logo…
And now, the Barenaked Ladies video for “One Week” because it pops into my head every single time I write, say or think about the Itzbeen. And it’s all because of those first two words.
I was 15 when that song came out in 1998, it will be 28 years old when my daughter is the same age in 2026. Almost everything about that sentence makes me wince.