What are you going to do with that two-hour nap window? Or that precious evening when baby’s asleep? Surf the web! (After taking a shower in peace, of course.) Here are our favorite sites for parenting tips, tricks and inspiration. You’ll get your fill of straightforward advice — and some funnies, too.
photo: Tom & Katrien via flickr
Royal names, unisex names, currently trending names … basically everything you ever wondered about baby names is located on the easily accessible Name Berry. And we do mean everything! Search from how unique to how internationally well known the moniker is.
Learn to be okay with not having a perfect family through Scary Mommy. This judgment-free community is where moms post their funny stories, provide insight and navigate the roller coaster ride of parenting. There’s even a useful “What to (Really) Expect Month to Month” pregnancy calendar.
It’s always best to stock the pantry in the case of emergencies. And while your little slurper might not be ready for solids yet, Weelicious has a plethora of puree recipes filled with yummy ingredients that mom and dad won’t mind practicing on first. Plus, their Weekly Meal Plans really ease the headache that comes with grocery shopping.
Cut to the chase with Momtastic for smart, practical and detailed advice on everything you want to know. The community at Momtastic is a friendly bunch — moms who’ve lived through the experience you’re about to embark upon. They’re willing to offer first-hand accounts of parenthood and maintain relationships all around the board.
Instead of frantically calling your doctor and waiting for a callback, check out Bundoo for all the answers to every question that’s ever crossed a new parent’s mind. Got a ultra-specific question that hasn’t been answered? For $9.95, Bundoo has several pediatricians online who can question them for you, but leaving a comment in their stories can also prompt helpful advice too!
PhD in Parenting
While scientific notes, proven recipes and tricks to getting your tot to fall asleep are definitely all helpful tips, there are quite a few cultural and social variables in parenthood that are harder to cover. Thankfully mom of two, Annie, created PhD in Parenting, a site that helps us think deeper about the ethical, social and feminist roles of bringing a kiddo into the world today.
Having a new addition to the family is often the turning point of many lives. What kind of bed should we get? How should we arrange the room? Turn to Inhabitots, the IKEA of parenting advice, that proves you don’t have to sacrifice style when including your lil’ one in the design process.
Connect with moms all over the world at CafeMom, an online meeting space where you can divulge and glean information on all kinds of topics. Get advice on navigating the stages of pre-baby life, or skip over to Mom Confessions to find out you’re not alone when it comes to parenting problems. Don’t forget to stop by The Stir, a blog about everything from fashion to home care.
Huffington Post Parenting
For a hub of pages and pages of relatable content and stories that might have never crossed your mind when it comes to the realm of having kids, Huffington Post Parenting is your one-stop shop. Read touching stories of other parents to funny (and only barely exaggerated) lists of how life will be different after that newborn enters the front door.
Do you prefer watching videos to get your information? As a 2013 Webby Award Honoree (the official Internet awards), MomLifeTv is a lifestyle network that’s all about helping moms create a balanced, strong and peaceful family life. Get the essential 411 on all stages of mom-hood.
New parents will find the r/Parenting community invaluable. Lurk the forums for über-specific content like “What do you do if you cancel your sitter? Do you pay or not?” or make an account to contribute your personal experience so that a new parent isn’t left hanging. Sort through threads by hot (current popular posts), new (just created posts) or top (all time popular) to see what’s trending. It pays to read the rules in the sidebar before jumping into r/Parenting culture. Tip: The text in parenthesis next to the title tells you what webpage you’ll end up at. Sometimes it’s a link to a photo; sometimes it’s website or just a regular thread you can comment on. To add a comment to a thread that goes to an external link, click “comments.”
Being a first time (or third time) mom or dad can be quite an adjustment, especially when your kids aren’t going “by the book.” And you want your kids to enjoy displaying good behavior instead of being bribed into it. Aha Parenting is all about finding the “ooh, yes!” moment in the ever-changing and growing relationship with your kiddo, from birth to teens.
Ask Dr Sears
Little ones will have a harder time sticking through an ear infection than ol’ pops, which is why Ask Dr Sears is like the web-tonic for all the health concerns might have crossed your mind (way before they’ve become a reality). This is the A to Z guide to maximizing your tiny tot’s well being.
Leave it to Google to help parents hop right into the digital age with Google HelpOuts. Get live advice via Google Hangouts without ever leaving your home (cheers for stay at home or work from home parents) by simply connecting to their Parenting 101 hub. We’ve covered everything you need to know about this awesome service here.
Lay Baby Lay
The idea of a tiny human running around the house might make you want to wrap everything in bubble wrap and call it a day, but Lay Baby Lay shows how your lil’ tastemaker can actually contribute to beautifying your home even more than ever. For DIY home building projects to room inspirations, check out Lay Baby Lay.
Want the latest updates on products? Then you’ll need to put Stroller Traffic on your radar. Be the first in the mom circle to know about living the four-wheeled carriage life (kids 3 and under) in trend setting style. In addition, Stroller Traffic will keep you in-the-know about product recalls on food, gear and other baby related things.
Shopping as a mom is like waiting at the doors of Target on Black Friday — overwhelming and you’re not 100% sure if you need that product or what good it will do, but it’s brightly colored and says “America’s Favorite” so, buy it right? (Psst … the answer is no). Clear your head by visiting weeSpring. It’s a review site for parents, by parents, where you can see how items have fared with other families before purchasing them for yourself.
This website is all about the bump — from way before your mini-me has come existence to the preschooler years when they’ve gained independence (well, the first level of it). Over thousands of questions are answered every day on The Bump, so you can be sure to find everything you’re afraid to ask (like weird pregnancy dreams) to hot topics like finding baby appropriate food, toys and more.
Your friends without kids are exaggerating because life is not over, first-time moms and dads. Rookie Moms shows you how to spell fun differently, at different life stages (like 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12 months), and sometimes without kids! Read other moms’ success stories or fails to know you’re not alone. This is about as real as mommy life gets.
With over 10 Webby Awards, BabyCenter is a go-to resource for everything parenting and pregnancy. Sort through expert advice and make use of all the on-hand tools, like the ever-so-useful First-Year Baby Costs Calculator to keep yourself within the budget.
Breastfeeding can be a he-said-she-said topic, but KellyMom provides all your need to knows with evidence-based research. If the non-formula route is more your style, consider joining KellyMom’s close-knit support group on Facebook for real-time advice. The site even covers the most obscure questions a new mom might have about breastfeeding.
Browse this site for ideas on how to give all those empty baby wipe containers (yes, you’ll go through them in a heartbeat) a second life. But Parent Hacks isn’t just limited to making use of old jars and boxes either. Find hacks on potty training, baby proofing, organizing and more without breaking bank.
Bargain hunters love this online marketplace. At reCrib, you can score some really amazing deals on gently used baby gear, clothes and anything else your kid might need. It’s the reliable version of Craigslist, and a lot less overwhelming than eBay. A stroller marked down to $150 instead of the retail $450? Yes, please!
As soon as they’ve popped into this world, your baby is absorbing information at a rapid pace. Get a view into their world through PBS Parents, an amazing resource for kid-based education. Get an idea of your short stack’s skills by the year with their Child Development Tracker — PBS Parents can even recommend age-appropriate activities and programs.
For a more light hearted (but still factual and good advice) approach to parenting, check out Mom.me. Delve into insightful stories from other moms around the world or take a break from new info overload and read humorous columns like “Bad Vintage Pregnancy Advice.” You won’t have to leave the site to find what you want.
Raise your bundle of joy by learning how to channel their inner creativity, confidence and curiosity into fun activities. Highlights Hello is a growing library of content of quick-read articles about bonding as a new family. Their Your Child & You section is organized by age so that you can easily find age appropriate content, from helping your kiddo take their first step to soft pretzel recipes.
What websites did you use as a new or expecting parents? Share them with us in the Comments below!
— Christal Yuen