Project: Baby Croinc
Many of us probably had a classic “baby book” where our parents painstakingly recorded our early milestones in handwritten ink, along with newspaper clippings, a lock of hair from our first haircut, and photos of us smashing into our first birthday cake. While of course it’s fun to look back through a hard-copy journal, most of our record-keeping has become digitized–so why not do the same with our diary of our childrens’ milestones?
Here’s where Baby Croinc comes in handy: instead of having to remember to pull out that baby book and update it every once in a blue moon, Baby Croinc allows you to create a personalized online diary of your child’s early developmental milestones. You can choose custom milestones that are significant to you (“Ella started saying ‘Grandma’”), or choose from suggested milestones based on your child’s age–such as “rolled over for the first time.” You can also include stories if you’d like to save a little memory to go along with the milestone, creating a convenient, secure, easily-accessible online record for your little one. If you have more than one child, you can create profiles and diaries for each of them–much easier than trying to keep multiple, separate hard-copy record books up-to-date, right?
You may be thinking, “well, this sounds like a great website, but how does this relate to citizen science?” Ah, yes, back to the point of this blog! Baby Croinc is the brainchild of Dr. Ayelet Ben-Sasson from the University of Haifa in Israel. Dr. Ben-Sasson has 20 years of experience studying child development, and particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her vision, Baby Croinc allows parents to “harness crowd wisdom to understand your child’s unique developmental path.”
The site allows you to visually compare your child’s milestones with the the average age that it was reached by other children of the same age (keep in mind, though, that your personal information is kept secure, so there’s no need to worry about your child’s privacy). While obviously all children reach new stages at different paces, Baby Croinc allows parents to build age appropriate expectations for their child’s development. Parents can include “tips” when they enter a new milestone, so that other parents can get ideas for what they did to foster this new trait or skill. Basically, every time you enter a milestone for your child, you contribute to a larger pool of data that other parents can learn from!
The data will also be used by researchers studying the use of online diaries to track child development. Here is a tutorial video about the program (you have to create an account to actually enter the site and begin recording your child’s information). They say it takes a village to raise a child–so give Baby Croinc a try and contribute to a virtual “village” for other parents to learn from!
Photo Credit: Pixabay