Thinking about having a baby, but don’t know who to turn to for advice? Your mom says that she loved raising newborns; your friend — currently in the trenches with an infant — says it’s not worth the sleep deprivation. Wouldn’t it be ideal if there were a website, like Yelp or Urban Spoon, to provide reviews of newborns?
Meet your new favorite resource: Yelp Reviews of Newborns.
“I was looking for Yelp reviews for something else,” says creator Raquel D’Apice, who said she was inspired when she realized that “Everything else has a … review besides a baby.”
This led D’Apice, a comedian and mom to a 2-year-old, to create the series of spoof reviews on her website, the Ugly Volvo. She wrote entries from parents ranking their experience with a newborn as if it were a Mexican dinner or a banana slicer. The reviews capture the funny, frustrating, and rewarding feelings of parenting a newborn while including the hilarity of online reviews.
NewMom417, for example, gives newborns two stars and says, “Planned ahead but still had an extremely long wait (Over 9 Months). Unacceptable. Then came the birthing process. 1. Delivery: First off, gross. There’s a good reason the brochures don’t show you how the baby gets out of your body.”
Newborn baby responds with a Message from the Proprietor. “We understand that people often come to this with unrealistic expectations (not your fault) and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We often find that the best way to adjust is to let go of what you expected from having a baby and be open to the actual experience of caring for one, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad.”
HappyByondWords disagrees with the haters and gives newborns five stars. “HOW COULD ANYONE GIVE THIS EXPERIENCE ONE STAR? Are we living on the same planet? You get to create LIFE from nothing."
Another happy customer, SoCuteSoSweet also heaps on five stars. “Most amazing experience. I cried tears of joy when baby was born and having been glowing since.”
But NoKidsNoCry believes newborns might be swaying their rankings by asking their friends to rate them. He writes about SoCuteSoSweet: “Just read the above comment. Is there a way to contact Yelp and have them prevent grandparents from leaving reviews? Am worried it will skew the accuracy of the feedback on the site.”
D’Apice says her own experience influenced the reviews.
“I did like six intense months of research on the newborn side,” she says. “It was an attempt to rank having a newborn … it’s like going to a restaurant, some people love it and some people hate it.”
For 10 years, D’Apice performed as a stand-up comedian, but after her son was born, she didn’t have as much time for it. She directed her energy into a blog about parenting.
“[The blog posts] are just kind of about having a child in general and not having [my son’s] entire childhood documented,” she says. “It is just about kids … I am bringing up things I think [parents] have in common.”
Other popular entries include “All of My Issues with the ‘Goodnight Moon Bedroom’” and “10 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever, Ever Get a Tattoo According to My Mother (But Having a Baby is Fine).” Blogging helps D’Apice process some of the feelings she experiences as a mom.
“This was the only way I knew how to cope,” she says. “It has been so amazing for venting these minor frustrations.”
The Yelp Reviews allowed D’Apice to air the ugly thoughts that popped up as she struggled during new motherhood. But the reviews also show the good.
ThxButNoThx gives parenthood one star with a terse review. “Sorry, but not a fan.”
But then he follows up.
“Edited: Ok. Still give the newborns one star but it’s been a year now and I’m actually really into this. For those of you who don’t like it, give it time. It totally gets better.”