That time I Googled “how to have a baby”

December 20, 2015

Dear Baby,

From the day I found out I was pregnant with you, I have been able to find out anything I needed/wanted to know by Googling it.

Symptoms of pregnancy? Google

Am I going to ruin my unborn baby if I eat too much cake? Google

Can you do squats in your third trimester? Google

What do you do with a week old baby? How do you help a baby sleep? Why are my boobs bleeding? How can I function on no sleep? What is a typical schedule for a 3 month old? Does a 3 month old have a schedule??? Why is everyone so obsessed with schedules?

Literally, if I can imagine it, I can Google it and the access to answers is driving me fucking bananas.

Baby, one time I thought your upper lip looked weird and I actually Googled “weird upper lip on newborn baby.” What the fuck can the internet tell me there that can help me? Dr. WebMD just proceeded to scare the shit out of me and I ended up panicking about nothing- your upper lip was fine, it was just a weird shadow. I scared myself with your shadow. Good for me.

I think the obvious problem with looking everything up is that if there was one definitive answer to how to have and raise a perfect baby, everyone would be doing it. You wouldn’t have a Dr. Sears telling you to keep attached and a Baby Whisperer telling you to let them cry. There would be no articles on sleep, wakefulness, breastfeeding, bottle feeding- everything would be one standardized set of rules and we would all follow them.

So there I am Googling every little thing you do and relying on a panel of “experts” that live in my computer.

When the “expert” articles fall short, there are also these amazing online forums for new moms. New moms/ any moms should be banned from online forums because they are crazy. Here’s a sample of what you can find when you Google “when should I start putting my baby down for the night on a schedule”:

  • The over-attached parents. “Schedules- never, babies should only be with you or on you all the time and a well-adjusted baby will never thrive on a schedule.” (You should be taking your baby to the bathroom with you. Every. time.)
  • The overly rigid parents. “Schedules start beginning at birth. babies need schedules immediately to properly thrive and develop good habits.” (Did you miss a day? you have RUINED your baby.)
  • The neurotic parents who have no clue. “They put their baby on a schedule right away but the baby never stays on schedule- do we think there is something wrong with their baby? Is it sleep regression? Is the baby doomed for a life of sleeplessness? Should they contact another sleep consultant? Yes, they definitely need a sleep consultant. Which one? Did letting their baby cry it out for 5 minutes ruin their lives? Should they have let the baby cry more? (Did they ask too many fucking questions????)
  • The judging parent who will happily preach. “Every baby is different, you shouldn’t be worrying about a schedule and you should focus on enjoying your baby” (now go hang your head in fucking shame because you have spent 10 minutes thinking about schedules and not about your baby and EVERY moment is precious)
  • The mom who wants to use your every concern as a venue to brag about her baby. “I think getting the baby to sleep early is important, my baby went to bed at 6pm every night from BIRTH and slept 12 hours straight.” (I’ll bet he did. He probably never takes smelly shits and already can walk and talk at 3 months. Tell me ALL about it.)
  • The supportive moms who don’t answer your damn questions. “You go mama”- insert emoticons of stars and fairy dust. (BUT YOU DIDNT ANSWER MY QUESTION. And where do you get crazy blinky star dust emoticons from anyways?)

Anyways, the point here is that you can basically find anything and anyone to validate what you want to them to. I can promise you this Baby- all of us are just trying to do the best we can with what we have. No one is out to fuck their kids up intentionally and everyone just wants to feel good about the various decisions they make for themselves and their families.

So Baby, while Google may be a limitless resource for information the key is to always take the information you read with a grain of salt. Trust yourself and your own instincts and question everything. I never want you to do something because some random article that you found online said to.

As for me, I’ll be spending my night resisting the urge to Google “travelling with a baby” in light of our upcoming trip and trusting myself to know what you need. Sorry in advance if I forget anything.




That time I Googled “how to have a baby”

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