Things parents should know

In 2019, it was reported that there were 5.6 billion Google searches per day. Would it be crazy to think that was largely being consumed by the things parents Google? Maybe. Maybe not…

Whether it’s your first kid or your third, you’re on your own or you have a village around you, we all wake up in the middle of the night with a jolt and the urge to Google something. At least that’s when it hits me… just when I’m drifting off to sleep or as a sudden urgent thought as some horrid hour. Well, horrid now, but that midnight calm is homely to so many new parents. The mention of Meningococcal in a poster I saw somewhere once. Where enough vegetables in his dinner? Was that kid mean to him at school? Was he mean to another kid? Is he kind? How can I help him learn XYZ. 

While I was Googling what to do to get a baby tooth to hurry up and wriggle out when the adult tooth had broken through and caused a razor tooth shark to emerge, I remembered the best parenting advice I ever got. 

“No-one knows what they’re doing” 

Proof? The things that parents Google. Some logical, understandable. Others to make you spit out your likely-cold tea. 

Here’s a list of oft-Googled questions, followed by some pure gold from Twitter. 

When will my baby sleep through the night? 

Let us know if you find something definitive. In all of my research (and by research I mean asking every parent I’ve ever met) – they’re all different but it’s around 6 months but then you’ll still need to handle ‘ghosts’, bad dreams, occasional gas, teething, growth spurts and the midnight hunger that may roll with it. 

How to swaddle a baby? 

Sometimes, only an image will do. 

Is that spit up or vomit? 

The difference between spit and vomit has to do with the force with which it erupts from the little body. Spit-up is a more natural, easy flow of what was in your baby’s belly. Vomit comes out a little stronger. Check out this article from the Mayo Clinic

Why is my baby vomiting? 

First, make sure it’s not just spit up. If it’s a once-off vomit, you may be ok but if it’s more or accompanied by a fever, you may be best heading to the doctor. Again, I’m no doctor. Trust your gut and call a specialist or after-hours doctor if you need to. More here

When should I stop breastfeeding?

Mama, this is 100% up to you. Some babies start solids around the 4 months mark, which may be a point at which you stop breastfeeding as much, but some continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years. Let’s leave that to each baby’s own journey, and each mother’s journey with feeding because, again, they’re so different. 

“The World Health Organization recommends that all babies be exclusively breastfed for six months, then gradually introduced to appropriate family foods after six months while continuing to breastfeed for two years or beyond. Some babies decrease the number of breastfeeds as they begin to be able to digest solid food.”

Link to Better Health for more.

How do I baby proof? 

Look, no matter how well you baby proof, there will be something discovered that you’ve missed. For the most part, look out for sharp edges and things that can be discovered on the floor or lower walls (CABLES). Then comes the pulling up phase, so table cloths, anything hanging down that could dislodge with a little tug may need to be secured or packed away. Good news, Bunnings has a whole range to help you get started. You can also have a look at The Bump for a nice comprehensive list. 

How do I potty train? 

Of all the things parents Google, the ‘when’ part of potty training is a hard one. Will pushing too hard at a young age cause a mental block? Again, not a doctor. However, some things you can do to get the process going: 

  • Get some words flowing so there is an understanding of what a potty is and what needs to happen. 
  • Try create a connection between peeps and poops and the use of a toilet or potty. 
  • See if you can get to a point where nappies stay dry for around two hours or so. 
  • Encourage sitting on the potty for a bit of time. 
  • Look into pull-up nappies and… cheap undies. Sometimes, soiled ones can be chucked rather than coming home from child care for a clean. See how you go there, though. If your method is a chuck each time (and there will be a few times there are ‘oopsies’), it could add up. 
  • Finally, if your child is attending daycare, make sure you keep them in the loop so they can reinforce your hard work during the day. 

When do babies get teeth?

Oh teething, what fun! Some pop out and you sigh with relief knowing your child was teething and had not turned into some sort of demon. Some you know are coming and can help your small fry work through. Either way, there’s a whole lot of chewing that needs to happen to help soothe little gums. Somewhere around the 6-month mark is when the first teeth may start scratching through. Here’s a great chart from HealthyChildren.org

baby tooth chart

How many times a day do babies poop? 

Babies poop around 3 times a day, although sometimes it’s much, much more. It may depend on their diet, what’s happening in their bodies and development, what you’ve eaten (if you’re breastfeeding), and a few other variables. 

Just keep those supplies topped up, always, so you can catch an eruption before it catches you. 

Here’s a great chart from Healthline Parents. 

Best growth charts for kids

You know, because that percentile is important… until you realise it’s possibly more important that they’re just good, kind, curious humans. However, it’s not a bad idea to keep on top of weight to make sure they’re eating enough, although your nurse will be able to help with that at vaccination time. Here’s a set of charts from the WHO, shared by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. 

DISCLAIMER: I am but one parent. Let’s hear your lessons and adventures through the internet for answers. Comment here, contact us or find us on Instagram.

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