Dear Google: Answering a New Mom’s Questions
Answering a New Mom’s Questions
Is my baby eating enough? How do I warm a bottle? What is the best formula for sensitive tummies? How do I get my baby to sleep? What is the best bedtime routine? What is sleep regression? How do I avoid sleep regression? Why is my baby congested? How do I alleviate congestion? How long does milk last in the fridge? What happens when I feed my baby bad milk? How much spit-up is normal? How do I adjust to the crib? How do I take away the swaddle? How do I transition to daycare? Why is my baby eating soap in the bathtub? Is that safe? How much coffee can I drink? How much wine can I drink? What is an acceptable time to switch from coffee to wine? When will my baby start talking and telling me what is wrong and when will I stop asking you all of the questions every 10 seconds of every day?
These were my Google searches today.
I am sort of joking, but not really. I have certainly researched all of these questions and so many more. I Google every single day, multiple times a day. Google has become my new best friend. I ask her (Him? It?) every question that pops into my new-mom brain, and I usually ask the same questions eight different ways as well.
Now, some of you moms may be horrified and thinking, "No! No Google. Call your pediatrician!" Have no fear—I do that too. I call my pediatrician, my mom, my grandma, friends, church mentors, my neighbor who is a mom, my hospital’s nurse hotline and my husband (although that one is mostly for reassurance rather than any actual answers, of course). I was recently watching a new television show about parenting and the actors love to joke about the phrase “It takes a village” and how much they hate when people say it, but it is the ultimate truth. You cannot answer all the mom questions on your own. You should not put the pressure on yourself to try to answer them all. Finding a good support system is vital to helping you wade through the questions and answers, and Google can be a great alternative place to look.
It did not take me long as a new mom to realize how little I know, how much a baby changes every single piece of your life, how much I need community, how much I need quick and easy meals, how much I need family-friendly outings and how many questions I have that I need answered. Moms, do you feel me? If you have not realized this, you soon will. And realizing these things is good, healthy and not something to ever be ashamed of. The list of things to learn and figure out in your new role as a mother is endless, and what makes it even more difficult is the truth that every baby is different and will have different answers from the baby down the street or at church. You will often need suggestions and ideas from a variety of people and places, like those listed above. Use that village. Try it all out and find out what works best for you, your baby and your family.
So, all of you mamas who feel helpless, silly for having a million and three questions, ashamed for not knowing it all...please know you are not alone. We are all struggling in our own ways, no matter how much we hide it behind cute baby pictures on social media. Google away. Use up all the minutes on your cell phone from calling everyone you know when your sweet baby is screaming and you literally cannot stop it and need ideas, or a break. Or even when Baby is happy and you need ideas for tummy time, stimulating activities or which bathtub works best for those tiny bodies.
And please, do not let anyone tell you that having endless questions makes you a bad mom, because if someone says they do not have any questions and are knowledgeable about all things mom, they are straight up lying—or else they are a magical creature you should make your best friend. But probably the former.
You do you, Mom. No one is perfect; we were not made to be. We do not know it all; we also were not made to. We've got this. And when we don't...Google, we love you.
Lauren Cook lives in Spring Hill with her husband, one sweet baby girl and one sweet little pup. She thinks that baking (and eating!) delicious treats can be the best kind of therapy.
As always, please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns.