My daughter will be eight days old by the time I'm done writing this. She's on food intake and diaper watch, so among the things we brought home from the hospital was this pink sheet where we were supposed to record full diapers and feeding patterns. Of course we then filled it out, and when my wife tried to download a fresh one from the hospital website she could not find any such thing.

No big loss that, because I don't approve of pen-and-paper data entry anyway. Instead, I propose, below. It time-stamps feeding and excretion events and records them to baby_watch.txt:

set more off
set type double
pause on


   How this works:
      Update the locals breast, wet, and dirty with bytes 0 or 1
      as needed -- e.g., 1 0 0 means baby was breast-fed, and
      diaper was clean; or 0 1 0 means a wet diaper was changed.
      Update the local named bottle with ounces of formula drunk
      (if you don't need to supplement, count your blessings and
      leave it at zero).
      The clock() time is in seconds since 00:00:00 on Jan 1, 1960.
      That's a very large number. It's easier to just have a string
      that can be converted into Stata format date if needed, sorts
      in chronological order, and is legible. The mask that I thought
      worked best on all counts was %tcCCYYNNDD_HH:MM.


// --- update these as needed, every time
local bottle 2.5
local breast 0
local wet    1
local dirty  0

// --- change these with what works for you
local whereis  "//oldirons/public/baby/"
local myfile   "baby_watch.txt"

// --- no need for any changes below this line

// ### time-stamp the latest event
capture program drop latestEvent
program latestEvent

args bottle breast wet dirty

drop _all
set obs 1
local when clock("`c(current_date)' `c(current_time)'", "DMY hms")
local when: di %tcCCYYNNDD_HH:MM `when'
gen when       ="`when'"
gen bottle     =`bottle'
gen byte breast=`breast'
gen byte wet   =`wet'
gen byte dirty =`dirty'


// ### update the baby status file
capture program drop updateFile
program updateFile

args whereis myfile bottle breast wet dirty

capture confirm file "`whereis'`myfile'"
if _rc!=0 {
   latestEvent `bottle' `breast' `wet' `dirty'
else {
   insheet using "`whereis'`myfile'", clear
   tempfile latest
   latestEvent `bottle' `breast' `wet' `dirty'
   save "`latest'", replace
   append using "`latest'"
sort when
outsheet using "`whereis'`myfile'", replace



updateFile `whereis' `myfile' `bottle' `breast' `wet' `dirty'

There you have it. If you or somebody you know decide to take for a spin, please let me know how it goes.