Instagram post - App Neurosis, postnatal OCD
In the first few days and weeks of having a baby, I got asked a lot of questions: "How many wet nappies is he having?"
"How many dirty nappies?"
"How often is he feeding, and for how long?"
"How long is he sleeping?" And I didn't know the answers. I could guess and blearily assume.
But this was our brand new baby (so tiny, so wrinkly) and I didn't want to screw it up already because I answered 6 hours and it was actually 4. What if that was the thing that meant he got ill?
Also, there seemed to be right and wrong answers: 5-6 was good, more than 4 was bad, more than 20 on each side was "just for comfort", less than every 3 was dangerous!
Whatwhatwhatwhat?!? I was not going to be a bad mother already. I downloaded a load of baby apps. (One of them was called Baby Manager, like you can manage a newborn 😂). And I logged every damn poo. Every "open air accident" as one app called it. Every nap, sleep, doze. Every feed, 30 seconds or 30 minutes.
This was during a time when awake, sleeping and eating (and pooing tbh) all kind of merge into one. He would feed for 30 seconds, sleep for 2 mins, feed for 6 minutes and so on. I logged it.
And god help my husband if he changed a nappy and didn't log it. Poor sod.
I drove myself bananas. But when asked the question, I could confidently scroll through and answer "18 hours" confidently when asked how long he had fed for in the last 24 hours. Not a typo.
My husband tentatively asked me a few times if I thought we needed to be doing it, then finally said he thought it would be better if I stopped. That it wasn't helping. That actually he was worried about me.
I think this was me afraid of my own intuition, not believing that I knew the answers. Thinking there was some formula to the perfect baby (4 nappies + 18 hours sleep + 10 hours feeding = 👶) I get how these apps can help with shared parental duties, babysitting, nannies, childminders, setting routines if that's your thing, whatever.
But I don't think it helps people like me. If there are any ☺️ And if there are, and I get my doula hands on you then you will get so blimmin confident you'll be calling *yourself* the Baby Manager 💪❤️