One of my least appealing qualities as a person is the number of mom groups I belong to on Facebook. Seriously it’s embarrassing.
I am what “people who are in a lot of mom groups on Facebook” refer to as a lurker. I pretty much never post, rarely respond, but often roll my eyes at people that ask stupid questions like “my kid just cut his finger off with a butcher knife – would you guys suggest rosemary or tea tree oil for that?”
You think I’m kidding but I assure you I am not. There are also a lot of posts about things like screen time, vaccines, potty training, breastfeeding and co-sleeping that get incredibly heated and serve to change absolutely nobody’s mind about anything. Quite entertaining and very similar to Fox News in terms of factual basis.
“Ok moms – tell me the truth – does sleep training actually work?”
“Absolutely 100%. My kids all slept through the night before they were even born and only wake up to change their own diapers.”
“Um, how could you even ask that, sleep training is basically the same as murder. Haven’t you read all the studies that show that kids who were sleep trained are 4x more likely to become serial killers?”
“OMG I love Serial!
Me (in my head): Ooh, I love cereal too.
Anyway, in my almost 6 years of lurking mom groups on Facebook I have learned that there are a certain set of questions (lets call them new mom FAQs) that get asked like 50 times a week and answered the exact same way, every single time. They are questions that never in your pre-baby world could you ever even imagine asking, let alone posting on social media. But they are real. And they get asked over and over and over again, because, I promise you, every single disgusting one of them is normal. Unfortunately, babies are gross and weird.
For example, you may think right now that you would never post a photo of your child’s bare ass on Facebook (just wait until they get old enough do it themselves – ha!). But when baby Bobby’s soft-as-silk little tushy turns angry red and blotchy at 10 o’clock at night, you need answers damnit. And you need them now. Not when the pediatrician’s office opens. Not when your mom gets there. And not from your judgey neighbor Nancy who is guaranteed to blame it on a “chemical burn from those awful disposable diapers you insist on using!”
So you post a picture of your kids blotchy butt on Facebook and put a smiley emoji over his asshole.
This is millennial parenthood.
To save you the hassle of photographing your kids diaper rash, I’ve compiled 15 of my favorite new mom group FAQs along with the answers that get offered over and over and over again. Because they’re true. Unfortunately.
P.S. This is where a responsible blogger would say something like “I’m not a doctor and you should always seek the advice of a medical professional…yada yada yada” BUT if you’re turning to a Facebook group for medical advice, then, well, I think we’re past that.
1. Help! My baby is waking up every two hours all through the night – every night!
Yes, this is what babies do. Even when they are 5, 6, and 7 months old. Get some coffee and get used to it. You probably won’t sleep through the night for another year (or two or three).
2. I think I got my first postpartum period? But it’s only been 5 weeks since my baby was born…
Nope, that’s just your vag crying from the 8lb watermelon it recently expelled. You probably thought it was done bleeding after a couple of weeks but this start and stop bullshit will continue for at least 4 more. Stock up on Depends.
3. WTF my baby used to sleep 4-6 hours at a time and now they’re up every hour.
This is called sleep regression. It often happens around 4 months but also commonly happens at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 months, too. There is nothing you can do, except noise canceling headphones. Also sleep training, if you dare.
4. Gah! My kid has little pimples all over their face! How am I supposed to take newborn pictures?
It’s called baby acne, and that’s what Instagram filters are for. Or just stop body shaming your kid for something YOUR hormones did to them. All the other 1 to 3 month old babies have them too. Just like middle school, there’s no way out of this one but through.
5. My baby is only 3 months old and they are legit balding. Do I need to call the doc?
If you were forced to sleep on your back for 20 hours a day with no pillow and no blankets you would probably start balding on the back of your head, too. So no. It will grow back when they learn to roll over, or when the AAP makes their weekly change to the safe sleep guidelines.
6. Why does my baby have worse dandruff than Uncle Randy? Make. It. Stop.
Ugh, cradle cap. So gross, I know. But also inevitable. Rubbing mineral oil into their scalp and then scraping it off with a baby comb does actually work – although it will continue to come back until they outgrow it. Invest in some cute baby beanies.
7. My kid just got their first vaccine and now it’s red and hard at the injection site and they have a temp of 99 – should I go to the ER? Is this a vaccine reaction?
Yes, it is a vaccine reaction – in the same way that a bruise is a punch in the arm reaction. And you should only go to the ER if you enjoy spending $800 on 5ml of Tylenol. Redness and discomfort is normal after getting a sharp object stuck in your thigh. It still beats getting the measles, though. Low grade fever (pro tip: doctor’s don’t even consider a temp of 99 a fever) is also normal after a vaccine and will subside naturally. Give Google a rest and just hold your baby, wear them in a wrap, or dose them with Tylenol so you can sleep.
8. Why is my infant drinking 3x as much milk at daycare as they do at home? Also, why aren’t they napping?
Because daycare providers have to take care of a lot of babies at one time – so when someone cries they give them milk. Once your baby gets the hang of daycare they’ll stop eating so much and start sleeping some more. Daycare babies often become the best nappers because daycare teachers have magic sleeping powers. Trust me, just give it some time.
9. I’m breastfeeding like 97 times a day and not losing any weight – what is this bullshit?
Yea, the whole “lose the baby weight with breastfeeding” thing is a cruel lie. Well, it works for some people but for just as many their body actually holds on to extra weight to maintain milk production. Your body is suffering at the expense of your kid, welcome to parenthood.
10. My toddler used to love baths and all of a sudden they are terrified of any and all water – WTF?
There is no good explanation for this that I have ever read, but rest assured it happens to every toddler. Sponge baths and splash attacks until they come back around. Which they will. Eventually.
11. I really want to go on vacation but I’m scared to take my infant on an airplane – help!
Go now, before your infant becomes a toddler and any and all travel becomes an absolute nightmare. Traveling with an infant is easy peasy – they eat, sleep and stop crying as soon as they poop. And they usually stay wrapped up close to you and away from everyone else’s germs. As a toddler, they will lick the seats. Much more dangerous to travel with toddlers.
12. Why is my kid refusing to eat carrots when he consumed an entire jar of them literally yesterday?
Because jarred carrots are nasty. But seriously just get used to this annoying pattern of eating. They eat what they eat when they want to, and one day you will consider a happy meal a balanced diet so….the worst is yet to come on the eating front.
13. OMG my kid has the WORST cough ever. What can I give them?
Nothing, pretty much. There are no cough medicines approved for kids under 6 (at least ones that actually work) so just fill up the humidifier, suction their nose like 100 times, give them a homeopathic remedy if it makes you feel better – and then listen to them cough all night long. Tough break.
14. Speaking of coughs, my kid has been sick literally for an entire year after starting daycare – HELP!
This. is. the. worst. Also inevitable. On the bright side, if you make it through the year without dying or losing your job, your kid won’t get sick as much in Kindergarten. Things like extended breastfeeding and elderberry syrup can kinda sorta help with this, but your kid is gonna go through it eventually. Might as well get it over with now.
15. My kid just ate a dry erase marker – ER, urgent care, or finger down their throat?
Probably none of the above. You can give poison control a call if you’re really worried (the operators there are super friendly, we’re on a first name basis now) but 90% of the time they tell you to just watch for it to come out the other end. Kids are surprisingly resilient. And dry erase ink makes poop turn electric green, in case you were wondering.
Got any other new mom group FAQs? What new mom questions do you need to know but don’t really want to ask?