My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Friday Declutter Challenge: baby records

Besides decluttering my blog this week with a new design and layout, I also tackled my baby's record file. Since our royal mess of a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, I went back and cleaned it up considering we'll be referring to it on a regular basis now.

I'm just naturally an organized person, so it was never a mess or anything, but basically I kept throwing papers in there thinking I needed all of it. I sat down and got rid of a lot of duplicate paperwork (i.e. the packet they hand you every-time you get shots). Since she was born, I've always kept track of her weights and stuff, but they were on various random pieces of paper. We need a simple go-to point to see her progress (or lack thereof) over the past few months.

The "meat" of her folder is the stuff in the little 3-ring insert thingy. I made a table of her measurements at various ages, along with where they fall percentile wise. It will be a lot easier to keep track of the numbers now, instead of writing it on the first piece of paper on hand and tossing it in the folder. I mean to get to it, but let's face it...I never do. Behind my table are some growth charts, and then I kept one copy of the packet they always hand out when you go in for shots. It covers stuff like reactions and what each vaccine actually is. I never remember that stuff so it's nice to have it on hand, but I certainly didn't need 4 copies of it.

Besides just having all of her weights in one location, I also wanted them on the baby growth chart. After a bit of digging, I came across two very useful websites. Birthcare offers customized baby growth charts - simply register for a free account, enter in your baby's weight and height, and they will not only plot the data for you but also save it. It's not an exact replica of the CDC growth chart that the doctors use, but it's the same idea and the layout is just different. Personally I like this one better, since I won't go blind trying to read it.

The second tool that I found is a children's growth chart percentiles calculator from This does not produce the actual growth chart, but rather the percentiles. For me, it was important to have both on hand, because I guarantee you I will not be able to determine her percentiles from looking at the chart.

Her records file is basically just a folder. In the front flap, I keep important current information, such as upcoming appointments and her shot records. Since there's about 10 different names for shots and the combinations in which they come, I have her official shot records, and then I have an unofficial checklist that I go by.

In the back pocket, I keep old information like discharge information, test results, and the like. I also keep her Child Safe Kit in the back pocket. I am so proud of us as a family that we managed to make one, because let me tell you...trying to get the fingerprints of a 6 month old is near impossible. Most of them are smudged and pretty much useless, but the fact that we still did it was really important to us. It's all about habit. Besides, it'll be a cute keepsake =).

It's always a good idea to have a copy of your child's medical records, but it's just that much more important when you're a military family and you bounce around constantly like an aimless pinball. She wasn't born here, and the last place we were at used a different system. As a result, they had absolutely NO information whatsoever on her before we came here. They didn't even have her name - she was listed as "baby girl". But even if you're not a military family, it's really not a good idea to have just one copy of medical records, especially shot records. I have her actual shot card, and then the computer system at the doctor's has a record, and every time she gets new shots I scan the card into my computer.

Decluttering is important, but just as important is making sure that important documents cannot be lost forever. Even if all you have is a copy of something, it's better than nothing at all.


Marcia said...

That is a great idea!

I've had this on my to-do list for a while (well, I have a file for our medical records) but I want to do a thing in Word with all the stuff they keep asking us. Then when I go for my check-ups I can just print out the doc and take it with me and not fill out all those FORMS!

Great job - I'm scheduling some time to do it!

forgetfulone said...

You've been busy! I think the child safe kits are a great idea, and I keep mine in a file folder with other important records. I love that it has a fingerprint in it.

I think it's a great idea to keep medical records, whether you need to refer to them often or not. You never know.

I'm also naturally organized, but lately, it's been a struggle keeping up with things - big family, not natural organizers except for one, work, home. I've got lots to do this weekend.

HDMac said...

I could only WISH for naturally organized! lol Great ideas. I am going to start a doc in Word also for both DH and I. It will save a LOT of time at the doc's office filling out forms that is for sure. :)

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