Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Internet Parenting

Ah, the internet… isn’t it great?  Without the internet how would I have googled “why have my nipples gone brown?” or “my baby is staring” or “postnatal crying”?? 

(For your info ‘future Nic’: All very normal, 1. Darken to provide contrast so your baby can find milk. 2. She’s trying to focus. 3. You will cry at everything for the rest of your life.)

I don’t know how people coped without the internet.  I’m guessing, though, that parents were MUCH less crazy back in the day.  Although it’s great to be able to look up every little thing, if you look up too much it can just end up worrying you more!  And if you’re the kind of person who looks up milestones and “normal” development, it may just totally freak you out and put you under pressure to make your baby achieve.  I’m not like this really - maybe because I work with kids with special needs so anything my luckily fully able baby can do is AMAZING to me. She’s clearly a genius!  Although I must admit I did worry slightly when everyone else’s babies seemed to be crawling before the Duck.  Yeah, those 24 hours felt like an age…

So don’t get too hung up on what the internet says, ok?  It is useful, but not half as reliable as common sense and real life doctors and health visitors.  I think it depends on your luck but my health visitor was great.  You can always guarantee a laugh (appalled laugh) from the ridiculous questions you find people have asked on the internet. When we thought the Duck had an ear infection, she smelt a lot like vinegar.  I still have no idea if that’s normal, but we had to type it in.  If you try it, you will find that other people have babies smelling of ‘metal’, ‘cheese’ and ‘maple syrup’ amongst others.  Some smelt of “vomit”.  Surely that one is a no-brainer?

And remember your INTUITION.  If you feel like something is not right, no one is going to blame you for checking it out with the medics, I was down at the walk-in with a fair few queries and I never got told off for wasting anyone’s time.  

I found signing up for weekly/monthly emails about baby development really useful (Bounty/Baby food companies etc – and Dad Info for the male in your life) because you’re so busy getting on with everything that sometimes you forget things (OK you forget EVERYTHING).  For example, emails served as timely reminders in our household that we needed to start thinking about solid food, or baby-proofing the house, or stocking up on teethers…

Second hand sites like eBay and Gumtree are also AWESOME for buying baby stuff, if you can’t get it free.  You really don’t need things for long at all so go cheap cheap cheap. 

One last thing, internet social sites make it really tempting to show off pictures of your baby at every opportunity. You can’t win. If you put too many on you’re a show off and baby-fanatic.  If you don’t put any on people assume your baby is damn ugly.  So do whatever you want!

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