Being a parent is hard. Anyone who tells you differently is lying or stuck in a ’90s family sitcom. While this may or may not be scientifically true, it’s my opinion as a stay-at-home dad to a fun and insane toddler. I spent more than a decade as a journalist before my daughter was born, so getting to the truth has always been something I am passionate about. So, imagine my frustration when it came to parenting and parenting questions.
I quickly discovered there isn’t one truth to follow, or even three or four. Regardless of the topic, there are thousands of ideas, suggestions, and articles on how to do every aspect of parenting. Never mind that this is incredibly daunting; it provides a wealth of information that is sometimes contradictory and would take a lifetime to sort through. It leads to new parents turning to Google for answers to their parenting questions . . . a lot of parenting questions.
Googled Parenting Questions Aren’t Just From New Parents
According to a poll conducted for the skincare company CeraVe, new parents make over 2,000 Google searches of parenting questions related to their babies yearly. That averages six searches per day, and that’s not just from those who are new to parenting.1
However, there are things to keep in mind. First, the most popular questions on Google can change based on the period. So, for this exercise, I researched common parenting questions and topics over the last 12 months. I then cross-referenced how popular they are using Google Trends.2
This is a long way of saying our list of the top Googled parenting questions won’t be perfect, but it provides an idea of what parents are searching for most.
20 of the Top Googled Parenting Questions
Here’s our list of the 20 top Googled parenting questions over the last year.
1. Why Won’t My Baby Stop Crying?
One of the hardest parts of being a new parent is figuring out why your baby is crying when they cannot communicate. Babies cry when tired, hungry, gassy, in pain, or for countless other reasons. Kids Health reminds parents it’s common for newborn babies to cry. But if your baby cries for more than three hours per day, more than three times per week, you should consult your pediatrician to see if they have colic.3
2. How to Potty Train
According to Google Trends, potty training is a very popular parenting question year-round. There is no one way to potty train your toddler, but the three-day method is becoming popular. It can be fast and effective, but parents must clear their schedules and focus solely on their children.
3. What Can I Do for My Child’s Fever?
Fevers are a red flag that something is wrong with your child. It means their body is fighting off an illness. Depending on your child’s age, you can offer acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with comfort. Hydration is also crucial, and make sure not to overdress them because you can cause their temperature to rise even more.
4. How to Treat My Baby’s Rash?
This parenting question maintained near-peak popularity over the last 12 months, spiking in July and December. The answer can vary based on the rash’s location and the irritation type. Baby cream and a less humid environment can be effective for children dealing with heat or diaper rash.4
5. How to Swaddle a Baby
I remember watching the nurse show me how to swaddle my daughter after birth. Then my wife showed me. Then our nanny showed me. Three months later, I started to get the hang of it, just in time to stop using the swaddle. Step-by-step guides are beneficial. But if you’re anything like me, practice on a doll, and once you get the hang of it, use your child to see if you can pass the test.
6. Why Does My Child Pee the Bed?
It’s normal, with 15 percent of children still wetting the bed at age 6, so most pediatricians don’t address the issue before then. After that age, psychological problems like bullying or stress could be to blame. Your child could also be a heavy sleeper.5
7. How to Soothe a Baby
Stop me if you have heard this before: There’s no right answer to this parenting question. Every child is different, so what is effective for one child may not work for another. Sometimes a swaddle does the trick. Other times a baby wants to be held or rocked or in their car seat to feel comforted. You can also try comforting sounds, like white noise. We have a full list of ways to soothe your baby and the five S’s to soothe your baby, if you need more ideas.6
8. How Do I Get My Baby to Sleep in the Crib?
Most new parents will tell you getting your baby to sleep in the crib is tricky. Cracking the code feels like solving the most complicated riddle. Even then, that riddle can stop cooperating a week later (my daughter was this riddle). The consensus is to put your baby down drowsy, use a swaddle or sleep sack, and stay consistent with your plan. Googling this question returns more than 24 million results, so you’ll have no trouble finding suggestions.
9. How to Change a Diaper
This is a tough one to learn without practice. I changed my first diaper as a dad and learned a lot in those first few days. My style is to slide the new diaper underneath the one your baby is wearing before taking it off, grab both ankles with one hand and gently wipe using your free hand. There are plenty of sites out there, like Baby Chick, with tips and step-by-step guides for how to change a diaper with videos, but you can try the following:
- Prepare a safe, clean surface with everything you need within arm’s reach.
- When ready, lay the baby down, remove their pants or romper, and push their shirt up toward their armpits so it’s out of the way. Then, unfasten the soiled diaper.
- Fold the diaper so the outer part is under the baby’s butt, and gently clean from front to back. This may take several wipes.
- Gently hold the baby’s ankles, lift their legs and butt so you can remove the dirty diaper, and wipe any spots you missed.
- Set the dirty diaper and wipes aside and away from the baby.
- Place the clean diaper under the baby’s butt but wait to fasten it until they’re dry. Apply any cream, if needed, with a gloved finger.
- Pull the clean diaper up and fasten it tightly to prevent leaks but not too tight to avoid red marks on their skin or so that it squeezes their tummy. Then redress them.
10. Does My Child Have Strep Throat?
Identifying illnesses can be incredibly difficult, even if your child is talking. Sore throats are a common symptom for kids, but only 20 to 30 percent of cases are strep throat. Unfortunately, some kids are prone to getting reoccurring cases of strep. If your child is dealing with a sore throat that doesn’t clear within a few days, call your pediatrician.7
11. How to Treat My Child’s Pink Eye
Pink eye is very contagious. It’s why many cases come from school-aged kids. Young children often get pink eye from a viral or bacterial infection that usually clears. Some cases do require antibiotic drops or can be caused by allergies.8
12. Why Isn’t My Baby Sleeping?
The age-old question. As you might expect, versions of this question have been Googled extensively over the last year peaking around the new year. Sleep regressions, teething, fussiness, and hunger are all reasons that can keep your child awake at night. The good news is it likely won’t last, and eventually, you’ll get to sleep again.
13. How to Bathe a Newborn Baby
Does your newborn baby need a bath? How often should they bathe baby? For how long? How do you properly bathe a baby? These are all parenting questions I remember Googling in the first few weeks of my daughter’s life. It turns out I had plenty of company. According to Google Analytics, new parents asked similar questions a lot over the last year. For some reason, that curiosity spiked around Thanksgiving. Fortunately, there is no shortage of guides available.
14. Why Won’t My Child Eat?
Picky eaters are frustrating. Even toddlers who are good eaters can become difficult at the drop of a hat. One reason is that they are toddlers and are battling for control. It can also be pressure to try new foods, normal child growth, problems with texture, or filling up on snacks.
15. Why Is My Child Getting Nosebleeds?
Experts say they are usually caused by excessive picking or climate. But colds, allergies, or an infection could also be to blame. If your child has a nosebleed, apply steady pressure to the nostrils for five to 10 minutes. If the nosebleeds become frequent, consult your pediatrician.9
16. Why Does My Child Keep Getting Lice?
I didn’t expect to find this question, but it is apparently very common. If your child has hair and friends, then lice is a common problem. This is particularly true in school and daycare settings where kids are in close contact. Experts recommend FDA-approved products to treat lice over home remedies. Also, machine wash and dry anything your child’s hair has touched.10
17. How Do I Teach My Baby to Self Soothe?
Variations of this parenting question were Googled the most between Christmas and New Year’s, so we know a lot of sleep training happened while parents had time off. This can take a lot of trial and error, but a consistent bedtime routine is vital. A warm bath, gentle massage, and white noise can all help establish that routine. Keeping the routine over several weeks is critical to reaching the goal of your baby’s self-soothing. For new parents, babies don’t typically learn this skill until they are between three and six months at the earliest.11
18. Am I a Good Parent?
I think most parents ask themselves this parenting question at one point. Parenting is hard, and doubting whether you are doing it right is easy. If you Google this question, 184 million results are returned. A little daunting. You will likely find dozens of explanations for why something you are doing is right or wrong. As a dad who asked himself this question countless times, I can say if you have your child’s best interest at heart, you’re doing a good job.
19. Why Does My Kid Hate Me?
This question sucks. As written several times above, parenting is hard. Doing so with a child who utters “I hate you” is heart-wrenching. It’s important to remember “hate” means different things at different ages. A frustrated toddler may say this because they heard it at school or from an older sibling. A pre-teen may say it during a fight. According to a psychologist, they likely mean, “I can’t handle this situation, and I don’t have the skills to respond in a more mature way.”12
20. What Is the Best Baby Monitor?
We end with a question I still don’t have an answer for, and my daughter is three. Baby monitors are essential for any new parent. But for some reason, finding one that consistently works well and meets your needs can be surprisingly difficult. You can check out some Amazon reviews or countless other lists. Here’s hoping it helps all of us!
Parenting questions come from new and seasoned parents looking to help their children or solve a problem quickly. Googling your parenting questions can be helpful but remember, there’s no substitute for expert advice from your child’s pediatrician. It sure is nice to know we’re not alone with these issues.