Parents understand the power of a social network. From the day we bring baby home, we defer to experienced “been-there, done-that” parents and other newbies to answer pressing questions like, “what’s the tooth fairy’s going rate?” or “what’s the trick to getting a picky eater to eat?” almost daily. And what better place to expand your knowledgeable network than through the Internet’s original virtual network—Facebook. So whether you’ve got questions about baby wearing, need a play date in your ‘hood or want to trade out your tyke’s bike, we’ve got a group for you.
Things to Do with Kids in Seattle
Find the tools and tips you need to parent like a rock star on Red Tricycle’s own parent group page, Things to Do with Kids in Seattle. On it, you'll find events, ideas and activities that transform everyday parent-kid outings into memorable adventures that are surprisingly easy to do. It’s also a place for moms and dads to ask the “who, what, where and when” questions that always seem to crop up before you hit the Emerald City with your crew. Or to post what you know by sharing your own kicking kid-friendly events within the group. Ready, set, connect!
Hike It Baby Seattle
Part of a larger, international non-profit, Hike It Baby Seattle hooks up parents who like the hit the trail with their tots in tow. And while the group is geared to families with kids, ages birth through five, their real goal is to connect families to nature, at any age. Hike it Baby Seattle’s Facebook group is where their over 4,000 active members go to ask questions, swap or sell gear and find hikes in and around the city. It’s the icing on the cake of the group’s larger annual membership benefits package ($10) that kicks in once you officially join. From the get go, you’ve got 90 days to check things out and decide if you want to make the financial commitment. If you do, you and your sidekick can access the community calendar, participate in virtual challenges (like April’s 30 days, 30 minutes, 30 miles challenge) and score some sweet discounts from their sponsor partners. What members love most is hiking with other parents who totally get that poop happens and so do meltdowns, and it’s the reasoning behind the organization’s number one rule: no hiker left behind.
West Seattle Moms
What started as a social group between a West Seattle mom and her Texas sisters has grown into an active online community of nearly 4,000 West Seattle moms. It’s a place where they get together at all hours of the day and night (yep, you can post and get responses in this group during your 3 a.m. feeding!) to share resources, ask questions and generally revel in the honest ups and downs of motherhood. While most members are moms of young kids, there are definitely moms sharing about high school graduation and college visits within the group too. What they all have in common is a focus on connecting locally. In fact, group members have done everything from showing up, presents and kids in hand, at a no-show birthday party to collecting dragon-themed gifts and delivering them to a member’s son on his last day of chemo. You can also find some comic relief in the group while you’re doing your parent thing. Members share funny stories, articles and memes meant to make moms smile, in between arranging park play dates, coffee shop hangouts and impromptu gatherings with other West Seattle mamas. If you’re over the bridge, you gotta join.
Seattle Attachment Parenting
Whether you’re well versed in the world of attachment parenting or are just starting to learn about its practice, forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their kiddos, this Facebook group is where you want to be. It’s a place to connect with others on the same path, to ask questions, offer solutions and dish tips on how to treat your wee one with kindness, respect and dignity at every turn. The over 1,000 members are an active, genuine group of parents and caregivers who take a "general approach” to attachment parenting. Although many members may use tools like baby wearing, bed sharing and breastfeeding, they aren’t requirements for practicing attachment parenting and fostering healthy emotional bonds with your mini me here.
Seattle Family Bike Swap
The only thing kiddos outgrow faster than their training wheels are their clothes. So when your petite pedal-er needs to transition from a balance bike or training wheels to a more typical two-wheeler, you can scan the pages of Seattle Family Bike Swap to find just what you’re looking for. Once you join, parents can browse for-sale or for-swap bike listings or offer up their own outgrown bikes for other Seattle families to find. With about 525 participating members, you’re sure to find exactly what you were looking for. Ride on!
Seattle Gay Families
Get out and about with this LGBTQ group that hosts monthly play dates for its nearly 400 active member families. Each gathering is about getting together, supporting each other and having a good time with other LBGTQ parents and their kidlets. The page also acts as a resource for parents (prospective parents, too!) looking to connect, build friendships and exchange stories within the local LGBTQ parenting community. Online: facebook.com/groups/SeattleGayFamilies
Part of the busy-ness that comes with being a parent is managing all the kid gear that rotates through the house. Every new stage brings new accessories, clothes, even new furniture! Amiright? Joining your local Buy Nothing Facebook group is one way to avoid being swept up in the never-ending current of kid stuff. Each group is hyper local, which means its members are your neighbors, the people you bump into at the store or when you’re out walking the dog on a warm spring day. And there’s nothing for sale about it. With a focus on sustainability and reuse, items are gifted freely between members, no strings attached. It’s the perfect place to pass along the clothes and gear your sidekick’s outgrown, while at the same time foraging for much-needed items to fit the next stage… without buying a thing.
Find your neighborhood group online to join in.
Seattle Mom & Dad-TOGS!
Snapping pics of your kiddos to share on social media or with grandparents is a daily, and if we’re totally honest, sometimes hourly activity for any parent. How can we resist digitally capturing their adorably messy faces, bright smiles and silly personalities to cherish forever? Whether you’re a Nikon neophyte or a photog pro, this Facebook group, hosted by professional Seattle photographer Heleyna Holmes-Rasmussen, focuses its lens on taking great pictures of your tots. The group meets every other week, with cameras and kids, who’ll hopefully strike the perfect pose for mom or dad during the shoot. It’s a great chance for parents to learn techniques and tips on lighting composition and more from Heleyna and other parent ‘togs, in a supportive environment. The group’s Facebook page is the place to get the deets on the bi-weekly meets up that started March 31 and will run through the end of October. There’s no cost to join. It’s all about getting photographers of all different skill levels together to improve their craft and have a great time with their family in the process.
Seattle Parents of Preemies
Moderated by the Seattle Parents of Preemies leadership team, this dynamic, private Facebook page provides a virtual space where parents of preemies can connect once their little ones have been released from the NICU. It’s a place where moms and dads, who might otherwise feel isolated and alone with their littlest bundle, can get those much-needed "me too's!” that let them know they’re not alone in their experience. Beyond this virtual platform that’s filled with questions, resources, and emotional support, families can connect in the real world, too. SPP hosts monthly parent-led support group meetings, and exciting educational events and expert speakers around the city for preemie families, too.
Families of Color Seattle
For self-identified parents of children of color, their accomplices and allies, belonging to FOCS’s ever-expanding, 800-member group page is a must. Beyond the articles, giveaways, event notifications and meet ups everyone shares within the group, parents will discover this a comforting, healing spot to be, a true place to connect. And if you’ve got questions, concerns or resources to share, this group is on it, enthusiastically responding based on their wide range of experiences and viewpoints. It’s one of the many ways FOCS works with parents and caregivers to empower kids of color, giving them room to grow in compassion, agency and self-awareness so they can thrive.
Adoptive Friends and Families of Greater Seattle
In 1994, four families in the Seattle area saw the need for a support group for adoptive families. Now, twenty years later, the group has grown significantly, been incorporated as a non-profit, and hosts small groups, events and outings around the city for adoptive, adoption-hopeful and foster families. Their Facebook page is the virtual arm of their active real-world group. On it, families can find resources, ask questions and get the low down on AFFGS's upcoming activities. Beyond hosting monthly meetings and speakers, the group also loves catching the M's at Safeco Field, hitting the roller rink on a Friday night, and making a splash at their annual pool party, one of many events that are free for paid members ($35 annually). It's a membership that families continue to renew each year, and not just because it's a screaming deal. For them, the group provides a place to learn and grow as their adoptive family changes through the years.
PNW Cloth Diaper Group
Whether you crush on cloth diapers or simply want to learn about them, the PNW Cloth Diaper Group helps parents in Snohomish, Skagit, Island and King counties dish on all things diaper in this virtual platform. They aim to be a helpful space where members can ask about diapering (any brand, any style, any size) and get quick, informed responses from each other. And if you’re looking to offload or pick up cloth diapers for your cutie, they have a separate buy/sell/trade site where you can do your business.
Northwest Seattle Parents
Northwest Seattle Parents (NWSP) is all about converting a virtual neighborhood into real life, leveling-up online relationships in order to build community. All of their 300-plus, active members live within the same geographic area (west of 1-5, south of 145th and north of Mercer St.), making it easy for families to get together. If you’re up for a beer and ice cream at Chuck’s Hop Shop or an impromptu sunny-day play date at a local park, simply post a shout out here to make it happen. Getting out and getting to know your neighbors is what this group is all about. And they’ve found that once you do, it makes supporting each other with meal trains, childcare exchanges and parents’ night outs (which they host once a month) all the more likely to happen.
Seattle Nanny Parent Connection
If you’re wondering where all the sitters are, they’re hanging out on the Seattle Nanny Parent Connection. Focused on connecting nannies and sitters with Seattle area families, this active group has over 14,000 members, who ask and get great responses to questions and nanny search requests multiple times a day. Whether you need to find a sitter for a Saturday night, a nanny share in Queen Anne or a full-time nanny for your crew, this is a good place to start. It’s also a good place to find resources too, like liability waiver and how to run a background check when you think you’ve found the right fit for your fam. And their Events page usually lists a few area happenings each month. The only thing left to do once you join is plan that much-needed date night!
Parents in Magnolia, Ballard & Queen Anne
If you live in Ballard, Magnolia or Queen Anne (or just outside those neighborhoods), you need to get in on this Facebook group. Its nearly 5,000 members get together (virtually) to trade tips and dish details about upcoming events, classes, camps and more so that even neighborhood newbies can parent like they’ve been at it for years. Getting to know each other, building community and supporting other parents along their Parenting Journey is the group’s main order of business. And to keep things focused, they don’t allow any buying or selling within the group…. they’ve got a different group for that. Both are worth a like!
Good to Know: Many of these groups are closed, so you will need permission from an administrator to join. Some require answers to quick questions, others are more rigorous and some are just a formality. So, ask away!
Do you have a favorite Facebook group other Seattle parents should know about? Do you belong to one of these? Tell us in the Comments below.
— Allison Sutcliffe