Writing a baby blog is a dream assignment for some online content providers. After all, there are just so many adorable things to write about babies: baby names, bath toys, baby books, first steps. And who wouldn’t enjoy blogging when they got to use words like “binkie” and “onesies” and “Johnny jump up”?
Beyond the whimsical, however, baby blogging has a serious purpose: providing parents with valuable information. That information can be divided into two distinct categories: the timeless and the timely.
Child bearing is as old as mankind. Even older, if you believe Darwin. And despite all our modern research techniques, psychological studies and medical advances, some of the issues that face new parents today are the exact same issues that faced parents thousands of years ago. Bonding. Breastfeeding. First foods. Colic. How to calm a crying baby.
These things matter to new parents. They have a thousand questions that need answers. Will I spoil my baby if I rock him to sleep? How long should I breastfeed my daughter? When should I start potty training? Parents need comforting, reliable advice, preferably from someone they know has walked the floor with an inconsolable baby themselves. Sometimes just learning something as simple as the fact that all babies spit up from time to time can help a new parent make it through a long, uncertain night.
On the other hand, modern parents face a literally staggering array of problems and issues that their own parents could not have imagined. Two income families. Whether to use a nanny cam. The Family and Medical Leave Act. And there’s more. A recent news article posted by ABC News stated that a stranger had figured out how to hack into a baby monitor. The CDC now recommends that all infants receive ten different vaccinations in their first year—nearly double the number recommended just 20 years ago.
Modern parents need up-to-date information to help them navigate this complex maze of issues. Does a woman have the right to pump and store breast milk for her infant once she returns to work? Are immunizations safe? Do babies need sunscreen? Can Sudden Infant Death Syndrome be prevented? These are the kinds of timely questions that a good baby blog needs to answer. And parents need up-to-date information. Older, outdated information is useless to them and can even be dangerous.
As a baby blogger, you owe it to your readers to provide accurate information. While you can give off-the-cuff advice about some issues—story time and shower gifts, for example—others are too vitally important not to be accurate. Use authoritative resources when you write about topics that can affect a child’s health and wellbeing. Use La Leche League International, for example, when discussing breastfeeding topics, and the American Academy of Pediatrics when you address medical concerns. And always, always advise parents to consult their child’s pediatrician when they have concerns. When a baby’s wellbeing is at stake, a blog should never be represented as the final authority.
Kate C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.