"Like most things, parenting is all a matter of personal choice... cherry pick well-meaning advice and politely ignore what doesn't work for you."
Who can resist a bubble mohawk?
Becoming a parent for the first time is pretty daunting. New research from The Baby Show has revealed that over two-thirds of us secretly struggle when they take on their new role as mum or dad.
And about 20% are too embarrassed to tell friends and family how they are really finding it. Luckily that’s where the big old 'world wide web' comes in...
Even before the birth of my eldest child, I’ve found the Internet to be a great source of parenting advice, especially when it comes from other mums who’ve been there, done that and survived to tell the tale.
Read: 'What does your Google history say about you?', by Kirsty McCabe Where would we be without the Internet? Our weekly columnist considers the weird, the wonderful and the downright unexpected things that parents type straight into a search engine
Obviously you have to know where to look, stick to trusted sites (like Junior) and it’s always best to ask a real doctor and not to 'Google' symptoms when it comes to medical conditions.
Localised Facebook groups are a great place to buy or sell baby items, and contain a wealth of mama knowledge and experience waiting to be tapped.
Read: Kirsty McCabe: "The essentials for a child's first year" Kirsty reflects on the essential baby things she most needed for the first year of her child's life
However, there are certain topics that invariably trigger heated debates. Think very carefully about how you frame your question before you ask about the best hospital to give birth in, breast versus bottle feeding, nappies or reusables, nannies or nurseries, or even which buggy to buy.
Like most things, it’s all a matter of personal choice and individual needs and circumstances. If you’re a new mum, cherry pick well-meaning advice and politely ignore what doesn't work for you.
Read: 'When someone tells you they are pregnant...', by Kirsty McCabe From excited and envious to feeling relieved that you aren't the one who is pregnant, hearing someone else's joyful news can bring about a range of emotions
And accept that you will end up doing everything you said you’d never do before you had your own children. For me that was letting the kids sleep in our bed, bribing them with sweets and using electronic gadgets. So far, we’ve done all these and I’m sure there’s more to come.
Read: 'When did I become a boring (but happy) mummy?', asks Kirsty McCabe Our weekly columnist reflects on how life has changed since becoming a mum, and attends the Tommy's Awards 2015
Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine to keep up with the latest news
"And if you are in need of more, friendly, advice, have a read of some of my other columns..."
- "I'm not just a mother. Going to work keeps a little bit of my old identity alive." As a busy working mum to two young sons, Kirsty asks, 'is there such a thing as a work-life balance and exactly how controversial is it to enjoy being back at work?'
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- "Mum's the word!" Kirsty is looking forward to another Mother's Day with her two sons and contemplates how becoming a mother herself made her appreciate her own...
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- "I want my children to have a healthy attitude towards food" Kirsty discusses getting back into shape and being conscious of setting a healthy example for her own children
- "Being a parent can mean having to 'grin and bear it'" Kirsty discusses the trials and tribulations of potty training and how she deals with the less glamourous side of parenting
- "How to tackle long family car journeys and kids' birthday presents, successfully" Kirsty travels to Scotland to see family and friends, including an entertaining stop en route...
- "My family's ten of the best toddler and baby books" Our weekly columnist gives us the lowdown on her children's favourite books - are your favourites in the list?
- "Teething is such fun… said no one, ever." Kirsty discusses teething and how to make it through (as pain-free as possible) to the tooth fairy stage
- "How can you escape the British winter, when you have children in tow?" Kirsty prepares for a long haul flight with a pre-schooler and a toddler...
- 'Teaching children the importance of living green', by Kirsty McCabe "They haven’t quite got the hang of such concepts as money or waste. Toilet rolls are something to be spun rapidly, a la Andrex puppy..."
- 10 of the best toilet training aids, by Kirsty McCabe From reward charts to toilet seats and cool pants, our weekly columnist rounds up the things she has most found useful in the war on toilet training