Dr. Google vs the new mom
Google is always right. Take for example the time when we bought a used fridge from the local online classifieds. As we were about to load our fridge into the back of our truck, we weren’t sure if we should transport the fridge on its back or standing upright. “Let’s Google it!”
After a quick Google search, we felt confident (based on several websites) that we could transport the large appliance on its back. Yay! Problem solved. Until the next day and my milk was warm and all my frozen food was thawing out. What happened?!
Our Google search did not produce the correct answer. It resulted in a broken compressor. So, our steal-of-a-deal fridge after repairs, became a $700 purchase instead of a $300 purchase.
Does this story sound familiar to you? It happens to all of us. We depend on Google to answer all of our questions, especially new moms. When I had my first baby, I went to the internet for everything. But a fridge is different than a baby. You can’t determine a fool-proof sleeping schedule based on the top ten search results. It’s much more complicated than that.
You don’t want to risk “breaking” your baby like I did my fridge.
But I get it. You’re stressed out. You just had a baby and you have a ton of questions:
- Should I wake her up to feed?
- Why hasn’t she pooped yet today?
- Why is her poop green?
- How tight should I swaddle her?
- Why doesn’t she like to breastfeed?
- Should I co-sleep with my baby?
- How many layers does my baby need to go outside?
All you really care about when you have a new baby is her health and happiness. But are you looking to the wrong sources to get your information?
Take a step back
No one knows your baby better than you do. Before you Google your next baby question, ask yourself, “What does my gut tell me that I should do?” Nine times out of ten. That will be the right option.
After my second, third and fourth babies, I took a different approach. I left the internet alone and guess what, I wasn’t as stressed out. There’s no right way to parent. You just have to do what’s right for you.
Google searches are still okay
We live in the age of technology. Take advantage of it. Just don’t let it overpower your own mother’s intuition. Here’s a few tips to consider when your inevitable baby questions arise:
- Can I solve this myself? Swaddling. Nursing. Sleeping. If it has to do with your parenting style, most likely you’ll read about what everyone else does and then do it your own way anyway.
- Ask your doctor first. Medical professionals have gone to years of schooling. They know what they are doing.
- Don’t always assume the worst. Your baby has a small rash and the symptoms online all lead to CANCER! Get real. Change your laundry detergent and move on.
- Use online forums with caution. This mom said this and then this mom said this. Who is right? No one is right. Do it your way.
- Check your sources. There are reputable websites from universities and hospitals that provide fact-driven information that is very helpful. Check out HealthyChildren.org (sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics).
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. There’s a lot of great websites that help you feel like, “Okay, good, I’m not the only here.” Here’s a link to 10 great parenting websites.
- Take advantage of family. Mother knows best, at least some of the time. Plus, the internet won’t love your babies as much as grandma will.
Want to learn more? Check out these links to some interesting posts about Dr. Google.
- Top mom searches on Google
- Stop Googling and call your mother!
- 8 things parents should know about Internet advice
What tips do you have for new moms and the internet? Leave your comments below.
Related link: 10 Things Kids Destroy and How to Fix Them