How We Became Smart (Clueless) Parents

After staying the night in hospital we edged past reception and towards the exit. We made eye contact with the receptionist and nurses as we eased towards the door. ‘We are going to go now’ we said. ‘Yes, everything is done you can go’ was the reply. We looked at each other and eased further towards the door, pushed it and walked tentatively out. Like school children doing something they shouldn’t we left with our newborn.

Gone was the comfort of the (lopsided) Socratic dialogue with nurses. Instead, questions breezed between us with answers elusive. This began immediately out of the door, ‘Is it too sunny for her’; posing for a quick picture, ‘am I tilting her too much’; at the car, ‘should one of us sit in the back with her?’; in the car, ‘is the car seat fitted correctly?—it seemed safer without her’; and on the road, ‘is she okay?’, ‘does she like the car moving?’

If questions had a physical presence than parents’ houses would burst rather than just overflow. Take any topic and parents can ask a hundred questions (many rational, some irrational, some fanciful, some hypothetical, some philosophical and — my favourite — those to which you are 99.9% sure you know the answer but ask anyway, just in case, and partly to confirm you know something).

For those lucky enough to have family and friends close there is support for at least a subset of the questions, for others (and those questions we daren’t ask) there is Dr Google. But in both instances advice can quickly become divergent or contradictory, and it is often based on a very small ‘sample’ of babies.

Of course, every baby is utterly unique, but they do have some commonalities. Beyond milk and cuddles we wondered how many other things our baby might love that we didn’t know about or had eluded our small circle of advice givers. New products in particular fall into that category, but often make up for it with jazzy ads and packaging.

But that leaves us with the question ‘WHAT REALLY WORKS?’ Answering this is the sole aim of SmartParentsClub. It is the one big question behind a million small ones and we believe that together we can help each other to be the most effective, relaxed, happy and confident parents ever!


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