If you’ve gotten to know me, even just a little, you know that I’m a bit Type A. (OK, maybe more than a bit.)
Although I’m actually pretty messy at home, when it comes to my work and my kids, I file everything. Even if that means scribbling on pieces of paper torn from a notebook (or the back of envelopes) and filing them into my kids’ folders in the filing cabinet or into their memory boxes. I even – painstakingly – wrote something down on a Ziplock once. Yeah, the sandwich-bag kind. Do you know how hard it is to write on a plastic bag? I was desperate (and later transferred it to real paper, in case you were wondering).
But when it comes to my kids’ health, apparently I’m pretty lacking on the organization front. Sure, I’ve got those little yellow immunization cards and their health cards (with no photos. Weird. What’s up with that, Province of Ontario?), but other than the short record of my first pregnancy that I wrote down in the back of my copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and a few letters I wrote to my unborn daughter, I don’t have a centralized system that keeps all of the kids’ health-related stuff together.
I’m excited to share with pregnant and new moms – and the highly involved (and evolved) dads – the (HealthPod) baby infant and child health binder. The company provided me with one to review.
When (HealthPod) baby – a company conceived by three Canadian moms – agreed to a review, I was slightly concerned. I couldn’t gauge online how big this thing was going to be. I worried that it might be the size of one of those binders I used to rock in high school – the three-ring binder kind. I have way too much crap shoved into my diaper bag already for something that big. Thank goodness the binder is much more day-planner size, so it could even fit right into a mom purse.
I’m a big fan of writing down questions in advance of doctor’s appointments. Inevitably, you go in thinking it’ll be a routine visit and your normally chill kid starts wailing uncontrollably. In that moment, there’s no chance you’re gonna remember to ask how much vitamin D your baby needs now that she’s a year old. There are designated areas in the (HealthPod) baby to do just this.
I wish I’d had this when I was pregnant the first time around. There’s a lot of room for prenatal notes, and with your first pregnancy, you’re typically pretty gung-ho about getting it all down on paper. (Trust me, you won’t know what week and day pregnant you are in subsequent pregnancies.)
There are loads of great tips and suggestions throughout the binder to help you use it as effectively as possible. It’s very clear that these mompreneurs worked through the blueprint for the (HealthPod) baby with more than just a few health experts. In fact, they thank an entire roster of health-care professionals for their input.
Have you ever had to answer questions about your family’s medical history at your own health visits? Whenever I have to do that, I must appear like I’m trying to look directly into my brain, eyeballs all rolled back in deep thought. (That’s not a pretty look, I assure you.) Now I can write it all in my (HealthPod) baby and just cart it with me to my own doctor’s appointments, too. And, if – God forbid – you find yourself in emerg in the middle of the night with your babies, bleary-eyed and too choked up to even speak, you could literally just hand your binder over to nurses and doctors.
Heck, leave it for your nanny or, in my case, Grammy and Grandpa who graciously take care of my kids when I’m working. It just removes any guesswork, and no matter how much time they spend with your little ones, they aren’t you.
The shell (the binder’s cover) is really high quality, and feels durable. It’s also spill-friendly, so if one of those annoying straw sippy cups explodes everywhere (as they are wont to do), you can easily wipe it clean. It zips closed so nothing’s going to slide out, either. There’s even a pen!
There are so many smart nooks. Places to file loose notes (jotted down, perhaps, on the back of an old Hydro bill envelope – no one needs to know), those vaccination records, etc.
Every (HealthPod) baby system comes with four different-coloured zipper pulls so you can sort of customize the look of your nice gender-neutral green binder. It’s a little thing, but the devil’s in the details.
OK, I love this: register your health binder here, and you’ll be notified of additional tabs that don’t currently come with the (HealthPod) baby, including hospitalizations, expanded dental health and surgeries.
You can download free calendars for your (HealthPod) baby. I heart free.
While a $60 price tag may give a few people sticker shock at first, consider price-per-use; over the course of the first 10 years of your child’s life, this is only going to cost you $6 per year. A bargain to have it all at your fingertips, in my opinion. This is a great price point for a shower gift – if you’re a good friend of the mom-to-be, that’s probably what you’re going to spend anyway; and if you were invited to a baby shower for that girl who your broader group of friends know but you really don’t but you’re going so that you don’t look like a cheapskate, then go in on it with someone else in your boat.
There are refills available for every section of your (HealthPod) baby, but they don’t come cheap. Yes, there’s one that’s only two bucks, but some are as much as $10. Yikes. It’s only paper, after all. So, all I can say is: write small.
This has nothing to do with the product itself, and I promise I’m not factoring this in to the overall rating. But I’m super-confused about the diaper pouch that’s for sale. At first, I thought, Oooh…how clever! It holds a couple of diapers, wipes and a (HealthPod) baby binder for quick in-and-out well-baby checkups! But no; it really is just a diaper pouch – with no room for the binder at all. So odd.
The one thing that’s a real miss for me here is that the system feels like it fails to take into account that you may have two or more kids on the go. I’d love to be able to split the binder between both kids rather than have to buy a separate binder for each kid. I suppose I could technically do this by inserting a blank tab and splitting the pages in half and feeding into both sides, but – holy wow – that’s a pile of work. You could also purchase the (HealthPod) baby twins version and customize it, but it’s an extra $30 to do this.
So…where can you buy it?