I've read several questions that are along the lines of, "I have a baby that's two days old, they're eating fine, but they don't sleep very much." (E.g. here.)

YEAH! That's a thing!

Is this just something that we (or rather, I) just need to deal with, or should these questions be handled differently?

  • I'm looking forward to answers to your question, but I've edited the title to make it clear what you're asking. Hope that's ok with you. :) Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 17:14
  • That's fine. I edited it again.
    – John Doe
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 18:03
  • 1
    Even basic questions need answers, don't they? Possible dangers are probably mostly: 1) duplicates, 2) too broad questions. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 18:08

2 Answers 2


There isn't anything wrong with answering a basic question. There is nothing in the help pages for questions you can ask or questions you shouldn't ask that prohibit a basic question. (And "basic" to a veteran parent is not the same as "basic" to a brand new parent.)

If a question is really basic, it's likely someone has asked it before. If you can find a good dupe target flag/vote to close as such. Dupes aren't bad, it just makes it easier for others to search for information that is already here.

If it hasn't been asked before, we should welcome such questions. I see no reason why we wouldn't want such information here. We are trying to help all parents. And every parent has had a basic question at some point. Why should we exclude such things?

And as with all questions, if there is something else wrong with it (too broad, medical questions, etc.) flag/vote to close. We want good questions. Period. No matter how basic, complicated, out there or whatnot. Heck, we even have questions about dinosaurs on buttons.

  • "If it hasn't been asked before" That's all I was getting at: this particular question has been asked several times before. It seems like every time I pop over to the parenting exchange, there's a new version. But I agree.
    – John Doe
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 15:44

I already upvoted the accepted answer, to which I cannot add anything. So I'll take the opportunity to challenge

YEAH! That's a thing!

I was in a private Family Practice (practicing Obstetrics as well) when I first became pregnant. Without fail, I used to tell the mother (or parents) on several visits as their due date approached how the baby would have no circadian rhythm, to sleep when the baby sleeps, and to expect to get nothing else done, including getting out of their pajamas. If you managed a shower and a load of laundry, it was a really good day.

Then I had my first baby. Everything I so carefully warned my future moms about flew right out the window. I couldn't understand how something so little that slept so much could rob me of so much time. Once when the baby went on a crying jag, I just broke down in tears.

So, "yeah, that's a thing!" isn't helpful when you're the one struggling, sleep deprived and perplexed by the difference between your former highly productive and competent self and your now minimally productive, always tired, still in your pajama self with a newborn whose only interaction with you is to sleep, fuss, look around glassy-eyed, and eat, pee & poop.

We're here to help and support people in all stages of parenting. Parenting is hard work, and often baffling to the parents if not to you.

So, to this:

Is this just something that we (or rather, I) just need to deal with...?

I'd answer yes. Vote to close, though, if you find a good dupe.

When I was a resident, one of my OB-patients-turned mom lived in the same apartment complex as I did. She often called about and I examined her baby with colic. One evening she called me in tears and said she was absolutely at her wit's end. Maybe the most unprofessional thing I ever did, I told her to bring me the baby and go out and walk, or sleep, or take some photographs (she was a photographer) and come back in three hours. She did. I did everything I knew and had advised to soothe the baby without success. She came back looking grateful and reanimated, and I read everything I could get my hands on (no computers back then) about colic. There's nothing like real life experience to teach you how little you know.

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