Baby sites for the new baby boom

More babies were born in 2007 than any year in U.S. history. Here are some sites for helping parents document how their little ones are growing up.

A recent report claims more babies were born in 2007 than any year in U.S. history. Since then, baby Web sites have become all the more important as a tool for parents who want to document and show the world how their little one is growing up.

I've found four baby sites that provide parents with the option to share photos with friends and family. They also let them track milestones in the baby's life. And they're all worth trying out.

Baby sites

BabySpot

BabySpot is a social network for parents to share some of their favorite pictures of the baby in their life.

Once you get to your baby's page, BabySpot lets you upload pictures and tag them. You can connect with others and share your photos. You can even write blog posts, post events, and upload videos of your favorite moments. Think of BabySpot as a Facebook for babies.

One of my favorite BabySpot features is the ability to add applications to my profile. Though there aren't nearly as many apps as you'll find on Facebook, one app, called BuboMe, lets you customize your baby's photos. You can add holiday themes, bubbles, and more. It's a neat tool that will help you add some flair to your pictures.

BabySpot is well designed, has an active community, and creating a profile that's filled with all your baby's special moments is easy.

Lil Grams

Lil Grams helps you secure your memories and send them off to friends and family, no matter where they are.

Once you get to your personal Lil Grams page, you can start uploading pictures of your kids. If you don't have access to the portal, you can add pictures to your profile via e-mail. Lil Grams even has a desktop app so you can drag-and-drop images into your profile without using your browser.

It's a nice touch, but the real value of Lil Grams shows itself when you start sending those images to family members. You can e-mail them a link to view the photos, you can send them an SMS if it's easier to reach them on their mobile phone, or, if you want to send photos to your parents who don't have a computer, Lil Grams will let you create prints and send them through snail mail. I didn't order any prints, but I did share some photos of my cousin's child through e-mail and SMS and it worked beautifully.

Overall, I was quite impressed with Lil Grams. Though you can share images through services like Flickr and Shutterfly just as easily, Lil Grams uses its focus on babies to attract parents.

TotSpot

TotSpot is an electronic scrapbook for sharing photos, milestones, and anything else that matters to you.

When you sign up for TotSpot, you're asked to create a specific TotSpot page for your baby. That unique URL can be shared with anyone, but you'll need to provide them with the page's "secret word" to give them access.

Your TotSpot page has a Twitter-like message box letting you input what your child is up to at any given moment. You can also add photos, write notes about something going on in their life, and post videos. TotSpot even lets you share their growth by periodically updating the site with your child's height and weight.

My favorite TotSpot feature is "Milestones." When you click on it, you'll be shown a listing of different milestones in a baby's life, like smiling or saying his or her first word. When you click on the milestone they've achieved, you're brought to a page that has some relevance to the event. So, if you want to update the site with the first time your child smiles, TotSpot gives you the option to pick the day it happened and say what the smile was in response to. It's a really great feature that I think many parents will like.

TotSpot is an ideal resource for helping you remember all the important things in life. And since you can share your page with others, it ensures that friends and family can enjoy those special moments with you.

Wee Web

Wee Web is quite similar to TotSpot. It lets you create a page for your baby, share it with friends and family, and update it as your child grows.

The sign up process on Wee Web mimics TotSpot's. After you create a user name, you need to pick a unique URL for your child's page. You can then send that link to friends and family.

Once you get to your baby's page, a Twitter-like message box is displayed, giving you 140 characters to update your loved ones about something going on in your baby's life. You can also add video, photos, and find friends who also have a Wee Web page.

Wee Web, while a fine service, doesn't quite match TotSpot. You can't track your child's milestones. And when I tried adding photos and videos to the site, I found that it wasn't as appealing as TotSpot's uploading process. Unlike Wee Web, TotSpot lets you add a description to every image you upload. Wee Web only lets you add a caption and the day the picture was taken.

Even with those setbacks, Wee Web is still a nice service. But it isn't better than TotSpot.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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