I am sure that at least 90 percent – no, I think nearer 98 percent of mothers (and possibly dads, aunties, brothers, grandparents or just caring friends) have dived into the depths of Google to search for parenting advice or just reassurance that they are doing the best for their child.
I am also sure that many of these marathon Googling sessions took place in the dark of the night, in the early hours of the morning, whilst millions of other mothers were in the same situation, tapping rapidly at their phones and sending, probably, the same questions whilst trying to comfort a crying child. (I find that almost a magical image: many are sleeping peacefully, but the glow of phones and iPads are dotted like stars around the world, held by the tired mummies and daddies that are forever striving to solve the mysteries of their helpless babies).
I am also pretty sure that Google has told you that your child has something drastically wrong with them, or has sent you into a mild panic that your baby has not reached milestones, is not eating enough, or should most definitely be sleeping through the night at seven weeks old, thus sending you into a hysterical meltdown that your child is different to everyone else and you must definitely be doing something wrong! In a previous blog post I have discussed controlled crying and after reading a heated debate on a mummy site, I was being accused of neglect and I honestly felt depressed about my techniques for a few days. You may, then, as I did, throw rhetorical questions at your other half.
“Am I doing something wrong?”
“What’s wrong with my child?”
“Shall we take him to the doctors?”
“Is this normal?”
Obviously, your other half should NEVER actually answer these because, let’s be honest, Google must know best! (In my house, if husband has answered or questioned me back, it has spiraled into a sobbing ‘discussion’. He actually took my phone off me today, stating that everything I read upsets me, so just bloody put it away – all in caring way, of course!)
Everyone will tell you that you should not Google, but EVERYONE does it! So, I have decided to create a section where I sum up answers to my most Googled questions. There are, in fact, too many to put in one post so this is deserving of its own category!
Here are three, of many, ‘Mummy Googles’ (can I call them Moogles?). There will be more to follow in up coming blog posts.
What can I give my 10-month-old for lunch?
I genuinely cannot think of new things everyday to give my little man for lunch. He is already scarily stubborn and likes to feed himself and purees actually make him sick now. He has a love of all things carby; bread, potatoes, crumpets, pasta and I think as long as I mix it up with a bit of fruit, veg, cheese and yogurts everyday, maybe fish or beans, I feel content. What do I do on days he doesn’t fancy eating? Obviously Google it, or give him a banana. If he is waving his arms excitedly when eating, what more could I want? Today, However, I made the mistake of Googling lunch ideas and, wow, I felt inadequate! Please tell me that not all parents make salmon risotto for lunch, or minty lamb stew and what on earth is baby kedgeree? Am I just a terrible mother, that my little man just likes a cheese and tomato sandwich?
The metaphorical advice that I read, and the one I will stick with, is the notion of baby eating the rainbow. Picture what they eat throughout the day and if it’s full of colour, they most probably have eaten what they need!
Is separation anxiety normal?
I actually listened to someone once saying that their child must be cleverer than most because at six months they were suffering from ‘separation anxiety’. (Seriously? Feel free to roll your eyes too!) I was told that this is due to their memory developing. I didn’t think much of it because I had not experienced it yet, but, three nights ago I felt the full force of it; every time I left the room he went MAD. I was completely baffled, but after Googling it, the diagnosis was unanimous. Other beads of wisdom that were the consequence of this question were: that it can last until they are four (WHAT?!), to try and practice separation during the day (peek-a-boo is not effective enough) and minimise scary television (I best turn the Walking Dead off then… JOKE!) There was some really useful advice too, but nothing would work immediately; it had to be practiced over time and I wanted to sleep NOW! (It actually lasted five hours in the end, no, it didn’t feel like five hours, it WAS five hours of screaming).
My husband was really poorly at the time (not man flu, actually real flu) and I did not want baby to catch it, so what did I do? I lay on my child’s bedroom floor with him in my arms and fell asleep. Tiredness can make you do crazy things. According to Google this is not the correct way to deal with SA, but in answer to my actual question (see above), yes, it is completely normal; do not panic, it is not just you, you are doing nothing wrong and you can’t stop it!
What happens if baby eats the skin of a melon?
Yes, this happened. I had very, very lovingly cut up melon pieces into triangles for a snack (I was loading the dishwasher and I needed a distraction). I had done this many times before and he usually uses it to chew as it was chunky enough to not be a choke risk. He had eagerly taken a piece and I zoomed off to empty the dishwasher. I came back and the melon was gone – totally, all gone. I assumed he had got bored and thrown it somewhere, however, I searched high and low and it had vanished; eaten. (Since then the house has been tidied and furniture moved and it was definitely GONE). He was perfectly happy though- actually reaching out for more.
What did Google say about this? Nothing (that I can see). Clearly no other baby has been hungry enough to eat the skin of a melon. Or no other parent has been awful enough to not chop the skin off. I knew my child has quite a lot of teeth, but I didn’t think he could stomach that! After Googling, I could tell you that melon is a healthy snack, list the name of melons and when they are in season, but are the skin of melons deadly if digested by an infant? Who knows? This was a terrifying fact – Google could not answer me. I glanced at my child, who was not choking, not coming up in any rash, and just wanted to stack cups. I try not to think about the incident of the ghostly melon skin now and just glance a lot in his direction when this is the chosen snack.
As there was no real answer, I have made up my own: cut the skin off, give baby an apricot instead, or just keep an eye on baby if you have any inking that he a might monster chewer.
I have many more Google (Moogle) questions to chat about, but, for now, I will leave it at that.
Please be assured that you are not alone.
And feel free to share any of your Moogles in the comments section below!