New mums turn to Google for help with babies

Researchers found thousands of mothers turn to the internet. Picture: Getty
Researchers found thousands of mothers turn to the internet. Picture: Getty
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The most common questions asked on Google by new mothers are, “how can I get my child to sleep more”, “how to clear my baby’s nose” and “why is my baby crying”, a study has found.

Researchers found thousands of mothers turn to the internet to answer questions or concerns they have after having a baby, with health worries, sleeping habits and a child’s development the most popular search topics.

Almost two thirds even went as far as to describe Google as their “best friend” during this time.

It also emerged as many as 85 per cent of mothers felt they had no idea what they were doing after giving birth to their first child. And almost three quarters described having a baby as the “biggest shock of their life”.

A spokesman for Cussons, which commissioned the research, said: “Becoming a mum is a massive life-changing event, and it’s natural to feel unsure or apprehensive at times.

“The study results show that while mums often feel like the only one in the world worrying about a particular thing, more often than not it’s something 
really common that most mums will have experienced and asked for advice on.

“When you first bring your baby home, it can feel pretty daunting knowing you are 
responsible for this little person, who doesn’t come with an instruction manual.

“This can be especially true when dealing with their first cold or illness.”

The study of 2,000 mothers also found that 82 per cent admit they feel constantly worried about their child. And to put their minds at ease, during their pregnancy and in the weeks and months after giving birth, three-quarters regularly turned to Google for answers.

“How can I help my baby sleep more” is the most common question asked by new mums followed by “how do I clear a baby’s nose during a cold”.

“How to treat a teething baby” is third in the list, along with “how do I treat a baby’s cold” and “when should I wean my baby”.

Other questions to feature include “why is my child crying”, “how much milk should my baby have” and “is my baby’s rash normal”.

The list also included questions such as “what is colic”, “how and when to potty train my child”, and “when should my child crawl or walk”.

As well as Googling answers to their questions, the study also found 26 per cent of mothers have asked friends for advice on Facebook, while another 12 per cent have turned to Twitter.

Just over half have browsed parenting sites, with 19 per cent actually posting their question on parenting forums. Researchers found for some mothers the questions start immediately, with more than one in ten turning to Google on the day they found they were pregnant.

Another 17 per cent did so within a few days of a positive test. One in 20 even searched the internet to the answer to a question they had on the day they gave birth. But 87 per cent of mothers found they worried less as time went on, and eight in ten believed they spent less time Googling things and 
worrying with second or third children.