Baby Schedule

Mapping baby behavior with a no-touch tool

Our childcare provider sends us text messages with our daughter’s daily schedule: when she took a nap, when she ate, when her diaper was changed. The messages were always structured the same way, and I realized I could extract the information and create some useful graphs. It is now much easier to monitor my daughter’s patterns as she grows and changes (looking at a graph is way nicer than trying to dig through a bunch of text messages on my phone!)

I call this a no-touch tool because I didn’t ask anyone to change anything they were doing. Too often workers are burdened with extra reporting and data entry duties, and I didn’t want to do that. This app was developed opportunisticaly as an attempt to extract and understand data that already exists.

The project had three steps:

  • Extract the data from the text messages into a format I could use.
    • This ended up being relatively easy, macs have an sql database with all the messages, and I wrote a little query to pull them.
  • Parse the raw text data.
    • Here I am fortunate that the messages were so regular. It ended up being pretty trivial to write some regex matches to get everything I needed.
  • Create an interactive display
    • I wanted to make this data easy to look at and share interactively with my wife, so I made a simple shiny webapp (locally hosted only) to explore what was going on.

All the code is on Github. But the data I’m keeping private.

Lief Esbenshade
Doctoral Candidate

My research interests include teacher evaluation, teacher mobility, and measurement theory.