Turns out, I was totally wrong. All it did was turn me into a paranoid, worrying, gibbering wreck. (Well, worse than usual anyway!). Instead of being a positive place, full of useful tips, and support, what I found was lots of conflicting advice and scaremongering. Instead of getting positive, don't worry this happens to everyone replies, I noticed that people would reply with worst case scenarios. The mildest of symptoms would always lead to replies of "oh it sounds like X, cos someone I know had it and their baby ended up in hospital", when it could be down to something really simple. Everyone's an Internet doctor/expert. So I ended up veering away from those websites because the more I read, the more my mind jumps to the worst conclusion, instead of using my head and gut instinct.
However, I still recieve emails from these websites. Very rarely do I even open them, because their title is usually something scaremongery. This week I opened one with the title "7 Disturbing Toddler Habits". Then the text inside "7 Disturbing Toddler Habits: Nose-Picking, nail-biting & thumb-sucking.
He always has his hand down his pants. Seriously? Are these things normal?"
Hardly disturbing right? To me, they all seem like normal things kids do. But to anyone, like me, who's a little less secure in their parenting skills, it's enough to make you worry if your child IS acting in a "normal" way.
Similar emails I've had have had headlines with articles like "My Traumatic Birth", "What's You're Baby Afraid Of" "Stroller Injuries" and "Sibling Bullying and it's Lasting Effects". Ugh. Makes for really depressing reading.
I'm sick of scaremongering emails. Where are the emails to say, "hey, you, 1st time parent! Don't beat yourself up, you're doing a great job!"?
I've decided I'm unsubscribing to these emails, they're getting thrown straight in the trash, and we're going to be less paranoid, (or try at least!). If I'm looking for advice, I'll ask family, friends, or even Twitter, where folk are so supportive and give the best advice.
Stuff the baby websites, we're doing fine without them.