These Are the Most-Asked Questions in Every Online Parenting Forum

According to the headlines, social media moms’ groups are dens of high drama. The infamous Park Slope (Brooklyn) “blue hat incident of 2006” is still making news. Don’t believe the hype. The majority of moms who access these online communities are looking for advice, not adversaries. We surveyed some of the most popular ones to get a clearer picture of what women really want to know. Here, the five top most common questions.

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How Much Should I Pay My Nanny?

Groups like Park Slope Parents have nanny issues nailed. Like most of their local counterparts, they provide a community-vetted classifieds board to share caregiver recommendations and references. But their universally useful annual nanny survey results are a godsend. What’s an average nanny’s hourly salary? How do typical families handle paid vacation days? What’s an “open kitchen arrangement” (and are you obligated to offer one)? Parenting groups provide real-life answers to the questions you stress about on the way to work.

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How In The Name Of All That Is Holy Can I Get My Baby To Sleep?!

A single Facebook vlog by mom-fluencer Rachel Hollis called “How Do You Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night?” racked up 151,000 views in four months. A Facebook group called “Respectful Sleep Training/Learning” boasts 93,000 members and counting. The Fussy Baby Site Support Group offers just that to parents obsessing over topics like “Sleep training for high need babies” and “I feel like my baby hates me. Help!” Long, exhausted story short: This is a red-hot topic.

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How Do I Tie This Damn Baby Carrier?

You guys, baby-wearing is trending (as much as any ancient, global practice can be)—to the tune of millions of YouTube views. If you ever wanted a painstakingly photographed glossary of every baby carrier known to woman-kind, look no further.

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Why Won’t My Kid Eat Anything But Bread?

Anyone who’s ever washed red sauce off individual strands of spaghetti will understand why 70,000 people have joined Facebook group Feeding the Littles. Spurred by legions of carbatarian toddlers, they log on for finger food recipes, advice on baby-led weaning and to document in exacting detail every single thing they bought at Trader Joe's. Family-cooking site Weelicous boats a six-figure social community with recipes like Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts (seriously!) among its most popular. The upshot? If you build a website that purports to teach children to eat something (anything) besides mac and cheese, they will come.

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Is My Kid Normal?

What happens when you plug the phrase “Is it normal?” into BabyCenter’s search engine? You get 1,364 results. Topics range from “Is it normal for my baby to crawl backward?” to “Is it normal that my toddler eats the dog’s food?” to “Is it normal that my big kid lies to me about everything—even if I was there to see what really happened?” (Answer to all three: Very.) If search term popularity is any indication, it’s super normal to wonder if your kid is weird. When an online community offers that kind of comfort, you wonder how our moms survived without the internet.