I was very kindly given the opportunity of sampling this software programme developed predominantly for new and expecting Mum’s, which follows their child’s development from conception through until the age of five. The programme was put together by a couple of GP’s and parents, so with that wealth of knowledge I felt confident the information would be practical and informative.
When I first found out I was pregnant I turned straight to the baby books and magazines. I would spend ages finding the ‘best’ books out there looking for guidance through this unknown territory. Besides online baby sites taking you through the steps of pregnancy, I found little else that enabled me to keep a track of everything. It was very exciting but looking back now, a programme like this would have pieced everything together much easier, as well as organising me!
Now from the start this programme is easy to navigate through with prompts along the way. This I found very useful as although I am not technically challenged, if something isn’t easy to follow I will more than likely stop using it. If it is taking up too much of my time then I will simply deem it counterproductive. Wellstart makes for a refreshing change. It is designed for both PC and Mac users and is an essential development guide and digital baby journal for parents and parents to be.
So to start with this software can be downloaded straight onto your desktop to appear as a pop up from your toolbar. It appears automatically and is situated at the bottom right hand side of the screen.
This then enables you to open up the software and takes you to the main menu which consists of this:
The first screen you see gives you a few options where you can add an existing child, start conceiving a child, add that you are pregnant and enter the details of the parents of your child/children. Once you have added all the details you want you can view the development calendar like the one I am showing here:
There is an icon displaying my child and depending on what your circumstances are you may have several along the top. This helps you navigate between separate entries, so if you have more than one child they will have an icon each and if you pregnant this will have it’s own icon aswell. The calendar is a brilliant tool to use as you can add appointments and reminders, much handier and more reliable than my diary (that I never look at). Those crucial immunisations and weigh ins won’t be missed.
The software is based around conception, pregnancy and child development, so can be used for a variety of stages. The section on Trying to Conceive is very informative, you can complete an ovulation calculator and use basal temperature tracking. The built in reminders make it much easier for the users to chart their progress and changes as you can tailor it to your own needs.
Once you are pregnant you can then add the baby’s due date which will then add a new icon to the calendar. Once in the calendar view you will see some icons on the top right hand side which include medical, measurements, development and achievement reminders.
As I have added an existing child, the orange tabs down the side of the screen (as shown in the screenshot above) are related to the milestones expected for his age. They ask a variety of questions and if any interest you, you can click on the tab and it will tell you in more detail as shown below. It it also gives you the option to add your own notes should you wish, including sound and video clips. Very clever idea.
As I have a two year old toddler I wasn’t sure whether this software would apply but I have found this was not the case. I am still learning so much everyday and it’s not always clear when to expect developments in your child. It is all too easy to get concerned that your child is not doing what they should be for their age, with questions along the way this helps eliminate those worries. If there is cause for concern it also provides information and where you might find advice. It is clearly designed to be used from the very start but still has plenty of valuable information to take on board until your child reaches five. I know that when I have another child this will be a fantastic resource. With my child I do regret not documenting all of his milestones, partly due to exhaustion and partly due to not making the effort. However if you are being prompted to document these special moments then you are much less likely to forget. The beauty of this software is that if you have written down these milestones (ahem) then you can simply add them to your child’s details. You can add photo’s too which will all add to the keepsake records for your children in years to come.
There is also an option on the main menu to click onto Online Resources which takes you to the Babycentre website. This website was a goldmine of information to me whilst I was pregnant (once I had dumped the books) and I found the birth group forums to be source of comfort and reassurance!
If any of what I have said interests you then you can find out more about Wellstart by looking on their websiteand reading their glowing testimonials, they really do speak for themselves.