Googling Newborn Advice: Bad Idea or The Worst Idea?

shiningparentingFirst off, the babies are doing great! And parenting twins so far is Crazybonkerstown, USA. I can’t decide whether I have more respect for parents that have successfully raised children to adulthood or the fact that kids are resilient despite parents that have no idea what they’re doing. Either way, nice work, humanity! I have no idea how you’ve made it this far!

Honestly, we’ve just been doing our best to stay out of Mediocre Parenting Monthly, which means we’ve been Google Searching EVERYTHING.

Ever since WebCrawler and Lycos abandoned me without saying goodbye, Google Search has been a close friend of mine. With a little “Strutting Leo meme” here and some “flyest ways to tie shoelaces” there, my search for meaningless knowledge and ascension to pop culture nirvana was progressing swimmingly.

Then the babies came.

Before this period of my life, rarely did a Google search have to do with the caring and/or sustenance of a human life other than my own.

(Full disclosure: Maybe I also searched “wipe standing up?” Which you should, by the way, because the breakdown of people who do versus don’t…staggering. Pun intended. Not really a life-or-death human situation though. Moving on. Not moving on.)

But when your pediatrician and his office’s kick-ass foam playmat aren’t at arms-length, you find what is at arms-length (your phone) and you search for answers (on anything but Bing). Granted, sometimes the answers are helpful, but Google needs to have a New Parent Filter that just pops up with the following message every time we search anything baby-related:

EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT AND NONE OF THESE PARENTS ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING OR TALKING ABOUT. (But feel free to click here for your dumb ass search results if you’re into that.)

That would be way more useful than some comments and advice that I see over and over. But then again, it’s completely my fault, because I’m the one who keeps searching.

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In any case, for any newborn parents or future parents out there, these are the most annoying comments and advice starting with the most bullshittiest:

1 – “Drowsy but not asleep.”

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Internet Supermoms’ Take: “After you’ve worn out your LO (little one) with the most creative, educational, stimulating, age-appropriate activity that everyone knows about but you, slowly rock her while you sing her the most loving song that your mother sang to you, until she becomes drowsy. Before she is asleep, place her in her bed, take one last loving glance, and allow her to fall asleep on her own.”i-am-not-saying

Yeah effing right. If you keep trying to follow this and your baby doesn’t sleep, it makes you feel like you’ve done something wrong. Then you think about it for a couple seconds after you’ve gotten sleep and realize that any baby that goes from soft, warm arms to a hard-as-a-rock crib mattress without darting awake is either wrapped in so many blankets that her new baby smell has been replaced with her unescaped farts OR is an alien baby. No in-between.

Real life: Feed the baby a shitload, burp them, let them spit up all over the floor and yourself, rock them until they are so passed out that they might be mistaken for dead, place baby on any surface other than a crib mattress.

2. “Feed them before they start crying.”

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Internet Supermoms: “It’s best to feed your baby when they are showing signs of hunger like sucking on fingers, acting restless, rooting, and turning his head away.”

So, like, all the time? They are just describing what newborn babies act like. These moms are acting like we have the gift of telepathy.

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And if you think there are more than two seconds that pass between your newborn waking up and crying their eyes out for food, you’re delusional.

Real life: Mermaids sing. Crossfit culture is weird. Babies cry. Facts of life.

3. “Hold upright for 30 minutes after feeding.”

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Internet Supermoms: “If your LO tends to spit up or has acid reflux, hold her upright for 30 minutes after feeding before putting her flat on her back.”

Newborns are supposed to get crazy amounts of sleep, and we’re supposed to feed them every 2 hours or so. So, feeding them for 30 minutes, then holding them up for another 30 minutes leaves time enough for them to…fall back asleep for a little bit before repeating the whole process.

Also, holding a blobby newborn upright for 30 minutes after feeding them is akin to finishing a game of Monopoly; it gets pretty damn boring after a while, you never make it to the end, Grandma is always willing to give it a shot, and there really is no point. Those times that you really commit to holding a baby upright for that long, you set them down and they vomit everywhere, thus wasting everyone’s time and awarding you no points.

Real life: Get a couple good burps, make sure they’re surrounded by burp cloths when you lay them down, and let the chips fall where they may.

4. “Spit-up is just a laundry issue.”

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The doc always tells us about “happy spitters” and that if babies spit up and seem happy afterward, it’s just a laundry issue.

Is it though? If I were eating not very much food then throwing it all up, I would not be very healthy. But for babies it’s okay? I’m not buying it. Just like I’m definitely not buying any of those fidget spinners. It’s like spinning a basketball on your finger without any of the effort or skill. Oh, huh. They kinda make sense now.

Real life: If your baby looks like this often, take advantage of your doc’s “weight check” policy where you just walk in and set your baby on a scale without an appointment. If they just drop little milk bombs on your shoulder, don’t worry about it, and always wear your least favorite shirt when burping them.

5. “I miss that time.”

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Sometimes people will see our tiny babies and say, “Aww. I miss that time.” You mean the time where they cried whenever they were awake and were extremely fragile and never smiled and couldn’t hold their floppy heads up and couldn’t figure out what they wanted? The time that makes you wonder how humans ever survived this long in the first place? Do you also miss Saved By the Bell: The New Class? GTFO.

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Real life: I know we will eventually forget how absurd life was with tiny babies that didn’t follow any of the Supermoms of the Internet Rules, and tell some other new parents that we “miss when they were like that,” too.

So what’s the point of this whiny post? Do not look to Google to solve all of your parenting conundrums. The absolute BEST resource is real people that you know that have been through the same thing. Lindsay has reached out to her parents, old college friends, and co-workers, all of whom have been extremely helpful and, more importantly, realistic about the parenting process.

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Also, everyone should watch Master of None. It’s fantastic. (Preferably not while you’re feeding your child, only to realize that the bottle hasn’t been in their mouth for the past few minutes. That happened to a friend…)

3 thoughts on “Googling Newborn Advice: Bad Idea or The Worst Idea?

  1. Ashleigh says:

    There is so much parenting realness in this post. I call all the stuff you describe “mommy propaganda,” attempts to make us believe there is one right way or one solution to these common parenting problems. There isn’t. You literally just have to get to know your baby(ies), use lots of trial and error, and hope for the freakin’ best. And you’re right, talking to real people with real stories about how they’ve managed different things you’re going through is 1000x better than any 2 a.m. google search (I speak from lots of experience with the latter). Also, h/t for your use of my favorite font on your blog. #calibrilightforever

    Like

  2. Joseph Burns says:

    Very much enjoyed discovering your blog via the recent Spider Pride article. Normally I don’t read this kind of thing but you are compelling and amusing writers. We have two daughters who are almost like twins, now 20 and 21. The 21 year old is about to be a UR senior & has thoroughly enjoyed her time so far at UR and gotten a lot out of it after deciding to stay after her first year.

    It’s easy to forget how tough it is being a new parent. You’re in what I think of as the golden zone, 0-11 years. Unlike you, I was an older parent, 49 when our first was born. I was reminded of driving my wife into the hospital in NYC, from our Long Island home (about 45 minutes), after her water broke with our first, with my wife lying in the backseat with a vomit bucket and grabbing the back of my shirt collar choking me while yelling at me to slow down because of the seams in the road pavement (we were going about 35 in a 55 zone)! 🙂

    Funnily enough, I grew up in tiny places for a large part of my early childhood. One was very similar to your place now, but since it was in rural NV, it came with black widow spiders (one bit my mother), tarantulas which attached to the bottom of the car, and sidewinder rattle snakes which were fast as hell. To this day, I always shake out my shoes and clothes before I put them on and snap my towels before using them. After that, we moved into a very small trailer that my parents bought and put on a piece of rural NV land that my parents had bought, on which to build our new home. We lived in the trailer for a year and half or so while my father built the house we lived in for the next couple of years. Oddly enough, I have mostly fond memories of those times. My brother was a year older and retarded but I didn’t know it until I was older. My worst memory, from that period, was one winter day when I was 3-4 and my mother bundled us into snowsuits and basically pushed us out the trailer door down the steps into the snow and ordered us to “go play”. In my memory the snow was about three feet deep and it was freezing outside – I have a lifelong dislike of the cold! Of course, she needed some time to herself! Strangely, I love skiing and wilderness camping and canoeing in Canada in spite of my dislike of the cold. 🙂

    I admire your decision to forgo a lot of creature comforts in order to be able to have kids and spend more time with them as they grow up. I would only say, take every opportunity to allow them to develop independence and make mistakes (later of course), and, remember, what you’re going through is largely self inflicted! The other tip I would give you is to make lots of short videos with audio as you go along (not just photos) and save them to DVD. Dip back into them when they reach their teen years and you begin to wonder what went wrong. They’ll make you cry at the unbearable sweetness of it all. Good luck to you both.

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