Baby Buddy

by cdubz


Baby Buddy

License Gitter

A buddy for babies! Helps caregivers track sleep, feedings, diaper changes, tummy time and more to learn about and predict baby's needs without (as much) guess work.

Baby Buddy desktop view

Baby Buddy mobile views

Table of Contents


A demo of Baby Buddy is available on Heroku. The demo instance resets every hour. Login credentials are:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: admin


The default user name and password for Baby Buddy is admin/admin. For any deployment, log in and change the default admin password immediately.

Many of Baby Buddy's configuration settings can be controlled using environment variables - see Configuration for detailed information.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk

A basic Elastic Beanstalk configuration is provided in .ebextensions/babybuddy.config. The steps below are a rough guide to deployment. See Working with Python for detailed information.

  1. Clone/download the Baby Buddy repo

     git clone
  2. Enter the cloned/downloaded directory

     cd babybuddy
  3. Set (at least) the SECRET_KEY environment value in .ebextensions/babybuddy.config

    *See Configuration for other settings that can be controlled by environment variables.

  4. Create an IAM user in AWS with EB, EC2, RDS and S3 privileges.

  5. Initialize the Elastic Bean application (using the IAM user from the previous step)

     eb init -p python-3.6
  6. Create/deploy the environment! πŸš€

     eb create -db -db.engine postgres

The create command will also do an initial deployment. Run eb deploy to redeploy the app (e.g. if there are errors or settings are changed).


A Docker deployment requires Docker Engine v18.06.0+ and Docker Compose v1.22.0+ to create two containers: one for the database and one for the application.

The example docker-compose.example.yml file provided in this repository is intended for production deployments. Baby Buddy is deployed to Docker Hub as babybuddy/babybuddy so this is the only file needed for a Docker deployment with Docker Compose.

  1. Copy the contents of docker-compose.example.yml as docker-compose.yml and set, at least, the ALLOWED_HOSTS and SECRET_KEY variables under services:app:environment.

    See Configuration for other settings that can be controlled by environment variables.

  2. Build/run the application

     docker-compose up -d
  3. Initialize the database (first run/after migrations updates)

     docker-compose exec app python migrate
  4. Initialize cache table (first run/after cache configuration updates)

     docker-compose exec app python createcachetable

The app should now be locally available at See Docker's "Get Started" documentation for detailed information about deployment methods with Docker.



For manual deployments to Heroku without using the deploy button, make sure to create the following settings before pushing:

heroku config:set DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=babybuddy.settings.heroku
heroku config:set DISABLE_COLLECTSTATIC=1

See Configuration for other settings that can be controlled by heroku config:set.

And after an initial push, execute the following commands:

heroku run python migrate
heroku run python createcachetable


There are many ways to deploy Baby Buddy manually to any server/VPS. The basic requirements are Python, a web server, an application server, and a database.


Example deployment

This example assumes a 512MB VPS instance with Ubuntu 18.04. It uses Python 3.6+, nginx, uwsgi and sqlite and should be sufficient for a few users (e.g. two parents and 1+ child).

  1. Install system packages

     sudo apt-get install python3 python3-pip nginx uwsgi uwsgi-plugin-python3 git libopenjp2-7-dev
  2. Default python3 to python for this session

     alias python=python3
  3. Install pipenv

     sudo -H pip3 install pipenv
  4. Set up directories and files

     sudo mkdir /var/www/babybuddy
     sudo chown user:user /var/www/babybuddy
     mkdir -p /var/www/babybuddy/data/media
     git clone /var/www/babybuddy/public
  5. Move in to the application folder

     cd /var/www/babybuddy/public
  6. Set pipenv to install locally.

  7. Initiate and enter the Python environment

     pipenv install --three
     pipenv shell

    Note: Python dependencies are locked on x86-64 architecture. Installs on other architectures (like Raspberry Pi's ARM) may result in a THESE PACKAGES DO NOT MATCH THE HASHES FROM Pipfile.lock! error. Add the --skip-lock flag to the above command to suppress this error (i.e.: pipenv install --three --dev --skip-lock).

  8. Create a production settings file and set the SECRET_KEY and ALLOWED_HOSTS values

     cp babybuddy/settings/ babybuddy/settings/
     editor babybuddy/settings/
  9. Initiate the application

     export DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=babybuddy.settings.production
     python migrate
     python createcachetable
  10. Set appropriate permissions on the database and data folder

     sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/babybuddy/data
     sudo chmod 640 /var/www/babybuddy/data/db.sqlite3
     sudo chmod 750 /var/www/babybuddy/data
  11. Create and configure the uwsgi app

     sudo editor /etc/uwsgi/apps-available/babybuddy.ini

    Example config:

     plugins = python3
     project = babybuddy
     base_dir = /var/www/babybuddy
     chdir = %(base_dir)/public
     virtualenv = %(chdir)/.venv
     module =  %(project).wsgi:application
     env = DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=%(project).settings.production
     master = True
     vacuum = True

    See the uWSGI documentation for more advanced configuration details.

  12. Symlink config and restart uWSGI:

     sudo ln -s /etc/uwsgi/apps-available/babybuddy.ini /etc/uwsgi/apps-enabled/babybuddy.ini
     sudo service uwsgi restart
  13. Create and configure the nginx server

     sudo editor /etc/nginx/sites-available/babybuddy

    Example config:

     upstream babybuddy {
         server unix:///var/run/uwsgi/app/babybuddy/socket;
     server {
         listen 80;
         location / {
             uwsgi_pass babybuddy;
             include uwsgi_params;
         location /media {
             alias /var/www/babybuddy/data/media;

    See the nginx documentation for more advanced configuration details.

  14. Symlink config and restart NGINX:

     sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/babybuddy /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/babybuddy
     sudo service nginx restart
  15. That's it (hopefully)! πŸŽ‰


Environment variables can be used to define a number of configuration settings. Baby Buddy will check the application directory structure for an .env file or take these variables from the system environment. System environment variables take precedence over the contents of an .env file.


Default: * (any)

This option may be set to a single host or comma-separated list of hosts (without spaces). This should always be set to a specific host or hosts in production deployments.

See also: Django's documentation on the ALLOWED_HOSTS setting


Default: True

Whether or not to allow uploads (e.g. of Child photos). For some deployments (AWS, Heroku) this setting will default to False due to the lack of available persistent storage.


Default: None

Required to access your AWS S3 bucket, should be uniquely generated per bucket for security.



Default: None

Required to access your AWS S3 bucket, should be uniquely generated per bucket for security.



Default: None

If you would like to use AWS S3 for storage on ephemeral storage platforms like Heroku you will need to create a bucket and add it's name. See django-storages' Amazon S3 documentation.


Default: False

When in debug mode, Baby Buddy will print much more detailed error information for exceptions. This setting should be False in production deployments.

See also Django's documentation on the DEBUG setting.


Default: 18:00

The maximum start time (in the instance's time zone) before which a sleep entry is consider a nap. Expects the 24-hour format %H:%M.


Default: 06:00

The minimum start time (in the instance's time zone) after which a sleep entry is considered a nap. Expects the 24-hour format %H:%M.


Default: None

A random, unique string must be set as the "secret key" before Baby Buddy can be deployed and run.

See also Django's documentation on the SECRET_KEY setting.


Default: Etc/UTC

The default time zone to use for the instance. See List of tz database time zones for all possible values. This value can be overridden per use from the user settings form.


Baby Buddy includes translation support as of v1.2.2. Language can be set on a per-user basis from the user settings page (/user/settings/). See for information about how to create/update translations.

Available languages

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ English (U.S.) (base)

πŸ‡«πŸ‡· French

πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ German

πŸ‡²πŸ‡½ πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ Spanish

πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Swedish

πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡· Turkish


Baby Buddy uses the django-import-export application to provide import and export functionality.


Export actions are accessible from Baby Buddy's "Database Admin" area (the Django admin interface). For example, to export all diaper change entries from Baby Buddy as an Excel file:

  1. Log in as a user with "staff" access.

  2. From the user menu, click "Database Admin" under the "Site" heading.

  3. Click "Diaper Changes" in the list of data types.

  4. Click the "Export" button above the filters list on the right side of the screen.

  5. Select the "xlxs" format and click "Submit"

Note: any applied filters will also filter the exported entries. Alternatively, on the Diaper Change list screen (step 3 above), it is possible to select one or many individual records and select "Export selected Diaper Changes" from the "Actions" list.


Import actions are accessible from Baby Buddy's "Database Admin" area (the Django admin interface). From the list of entry types in the Database Admin, select the type to import and click the "Import" button on the list page. The import screen for a particular type will list the fields generally expected to be present for an import. Multiple file types -- including csv, xlsx, etc. -- are supported for the import.

The import pages do not provide detailed information about the required data and formats. When an import is attempted, all rows will be checked for errors and any issues will be reported on screen and will need to be resolved before the import can be performed.

See the example import files used for tests to get an idea of the expected data format.


Baby Buddy uses the Django REST Framework (DRF) to provide a REST API.

The only requirement for (most) requests is that the Authorization header is set as described in the Authentication section. The one exception is the /api endpoint, which lists all available endpoints.

Currently, the following endpoints are available for GET, OPTIONS, and POST requests:

  • /api/children/
  • /api/changes/ (Diaper Changes)
  • /api/feedings/
  • /api/notes/
  • /api/sleep/
  • /api/temperature/
  • /api/timers/
  • /api/tummy-times/
  • /api/weight/


By default, the TokenAuthentication and SessionAuthentication classes are enabled. Session authentication covers local API requests made by the application itself. Token authentication allows external requests to be made.

❗️ In a production environment, token authentication should only be used for API calls to an https endpoint. ❗️

Each user is automatically assigned an API key that can be used for token authentication. This key can be found on the User Settings page for the logged in the user. To use a key for an API request, set the request Authorization header to Token <user-key>. E.g.

Authorization: Token 2h23807gd72h7hop382p98hd823dw3g665g56

If the Authorization header is not set or the key is not valid, the API will return 403 Forbidden with additional details in the response body.

GET Method


The limit and offset request parameters can be used to limit and offset the results set respectively. For example, the following request will return five diaper changes starting from the 10th diaper change entry:

curl -X GET 'https://[...]/api/changes/?limit=5&offset=10' -H 'Authorization: Token [...]'
    "count": <int>,
    "next": "https://[...]/api/changes/?limit=5&offset=15",
    "previous": "https://[...]/api/changes/?limit=5&offset=5",
    "results": [...]

Field-based filters for specific endpoints can be found the in the filters field of the OPTIONS response for specific endpoints.


Returns JSON data in the response body in the following format:

  • count: Total number of records (in the database, not just the response).
  • next: URL for the next set of results.
  • previous: URL for the previous set of results.
  • results: An array of the results of the request.



All endpoints will respond to an OPTIONS request with detailed information about the endpoint's purpose, parameters, filters, etc.


Returns JSON data in the response body describing the endpoint, available options for POST requests, and available filters for GET requests. The following example describes the /api/children endpoint:

    "name": "Child List",
    "renders": [
    "parses": [
    "actions": {
        "POST": {
            "id": {
                "type": "integer",
                "required": false,
                "read_only": true,
                "label": "ID"
    "filters": [

POST Method


To add new entries for a particular endpoint, send a POST request with the entry data in JSON format in the request body. The Content-Type header for POST request must be set to application/json.

Regular sanity checks will be performed on relevant data. See the OPTIONS response for a particular endpoint for details on required fields and data formats.


Returns JSON data in the response body describing the added/updated instance or error details if errors exist. Errors are keyed by either the field in error or the general string non_field_errors (usually when validation involves multiple fields).


Contributions are welcome! See for detailed information about how to contribute to Baby Buddy.