Top 20 Parenting Sites for First Time Parents
Being a new parent is hard. Being a first time parent is even harder. For many, the feelings of isolation and overwhelming fatigue can take down even the strongest parents. In fact, postpartum depression, commonly known as the baby blues occurs more frequently in women who feel they do not have the support of their community.
For many parents, the internet is the place they turn for the community, advice and humor they need. Unfortunately, at times, it can be just as confusing, overwhelming and frustrating as parenting itself. Thankfully, we’ve done the leg work for you. Here is a list of the top 20 sites that provide the resources, humor, advice and community every parent needs.
Scary Mommy, founded by Jill Smokler, is all about accepting the imperfections life has to offer. The management team strives to show moms that everything can be real while still being loved and accepted. They even offer a guide that shows moms what they can really expect month to month during pregnancy and life as a new mom. The site offers everything from the sarcastic to the heartwarming and even a virtual Thanksgiving basket drive annually.
The Scary Mommy community is a great place to see that everyone is as imperfect as you are. The confessional gives moms a place to vent frustration, confess their fear and let their darkest secrets out. Additionally, onlookers can sometimes get a good laugh. Scary Mommy is a great place to find support, imperfections and all.
Every parent has moments that makes them want to tear their hair out. Aha Parenting is designed to help parents in just those circumstances. The advice is divided into the various ages and stages that kids go through. It covers most difficulties a parent could face including sleep issues, feeding difficulties, discipline struggles and much more.
Articles about positive parenting, brain development, play and more are also found around the site. In addition, the site also features reviews of a variety of books and videos. With Aha Parenting, parents will find the answers to the dilemmas they face.
Ask Dr. Sears
In addition to being a family of pediatricians and pediatric nurses, William and Martha Sears are also parents to eight children. They have experience everything from birth to adoption, breastfeeding, special needs parenting and everything in between. Three of their children have gone on to follow in their father’s footsteps. Between them, they have authored more than 40 books and appeared on over 100 television programs.
The site features a variety of topics including nutrition, breastfeeding, vaccine information, behavior and common ailments, among other things. Of particular note is the Medicine Cabinet that offers correct dosing, by weight, on a variety of common medications. Parents can feel good trusting these doctors and nurses.
Stroller Traffic is the ultimate baby gear site. In addition to their award-winning reviews, they send out six newsletters every week, depending on the city of residence. They put out region-specific newsletters on Monday and Thursday. These go to folks in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, and Chicago to discuss the local stores, play spaces and other happenings. The national, Any City edition, is sent out on Tuesday and Friday. It covers a variety of expert tips and product reviews.
In addition, they have a sister site, Scooter Traffic, for parents of older children. Scooter Traffic, like Stroller Traffic, offers a total of six weekly newsletters. They also offer product guides and reviews. These sites will help the first time parent find the perfect gear for their growing tot.
The Bump, a spin-off of the popular wedding site The Knot, is an excellent resource for new parents from the planning stages of preconception until the trying days of the terrible twos. It features everything from tips and articles to product reviews and links to registries plus much more. New parents can sign up for weekly emails, find a community, create a web page and much more. The free app is also a good addition to this site.
Heather and Whitney, the founders of Rookie Moms, combine humor, irreverence and sensible advice into a single package with this site. They give parents an extensive list of activities, divided by age, to try with their child. They also give a variety of product suggestions and other services that new moms and dads need. In addition, they help push moms out of their comfort zone with the “Rookie Mom Contest.”
Baby Center is an extensive guide to all things pregnancy, birth and baby. Afterwards, it follows development through toddlerhood, into preschool and beyond. It covers medical information, such as growth and immunization charts, childhood symptom checking guide, pregnancy safety guides, and due date calculators as well fun items like the Chinese Gender Predictor, baby naming guide and much more. The message boards are another feature that many parents truly enjoy.
Breastfeeding is hard. Kelly Mom seeks to make it easier. The articles are evidence based and give sound advice on the many situations a breastfeeding mom might encounter. The site has extensive sections on safety during breastfeeding and normal nursing behavior. Other noteworthy sections include those on nutrition for moms, weaning, tandem nursing and breastfeeding while pregnant.
Inhabitots shows modern parents that they don’t have to sacrifice style to include a new baby in their life. The site features sustainable designs, clothing, gear and more for babies, toddlers and children. It also focuses on green playgrounds, homes and other designs from around the world. Natural health articles, parenting tips and other articles round out the site.
reCrib has been called the Craigslist of infant and toddler gear for good reason. At reCrib, they only sell the very best gently used gear for babies and kids. The site is much easier to use than ebay, has a better selection than craigslist and, unlike many consignment shops, does not require items be shipped anywhere prior to being sold.
PBS knows that kids are born with a need to absorb the world around them. Because of that, they built the PBS Parents website. The site offers parents resources to help educate and entertain their children. In addition, it offers sound advice in multiple areas of child development, parenting, nutrition, education and much more. New parents will particularly enjoy the child development trackers.
PhD in Parenting
Annie, the author of PhD in Parenting, is a self-proclaimed feminist, an entrepreneur, and an advocate for change in the world. She regularly uses the blog as a platform to seek change in the world. The blog contains a good mix of rants, personal anecdotes, advice and advocacy. It shows parents how a real, modern feminist raises sons in a world that makes it hard to do either. PhD in parenting helps first time parents think deeper about the issues that surround bringing up a child in this modern world.
Motherlode, the parenting section of the New York Times blog, covers a wide variety of subjects that are important to parents. It explores the relationship between family, the news and our lives. The blog covers subjects ranging from entertainment and parenting to current events. It even touches on controversial subjects such as gender identity and sexual orientation. This site is one that will work the new parent’s brain.
The Full Plate Blog
Feeding kids is hard work. Seeking to provide nourishing, balanced meals is even harder. For many moms, in fact, it means spending many hours in the kitchen that can’t be spent doing other things. Eila DeBard Johnson, the personal chef and culinary instructor turned mother of two, that authors the blog seeks to give the reader back those “bonus hours” with simple meals that can be prepared ahead or easily made in the moment. In addition to the recipes, she also offers an ebook and online cooking classes to further help new parents negotiate the maze of childhood nutrition.
Often, new moms just need support. CafeMom provides that, along with gentle advice and entertainment. First time parents, as well as their experienced counterparts, can explore a variety of advice topics from pregnancy through the teen years as well as topics on food and nutrition, beauty, pets and much more. They can also explore videos, play online games and read about current events. In addition, the community section gives parents a place to find their tribe.
Most parenting sites focus on the mom. Thankfully, this site exists for the other half of the new parenting pair. DIY Father offers a variety of resources for new dads. It includes information about pregnancy, childbirth, infancy and all stages of the growing child’s life. The founders seek to offer inclusive support, practical information and stories from the trenches of fatherhood. In addition, it addresses issues exclusive to single dads, stay at home fathers and others that are typically ignored in parenting circles.
Solid food is a significant milestone in the life of a baby. While some parents choose the typical, store-bought purees, for others, handmade baby food is an extension of the love they feel. For the later group, Weelicious is there from the beginning. For the first group, Weelicious is there as baby moves into the complicated flavors, textures and nutrition requirements of childhood. They feature a variety of toddler-friendly foods and family meal ideas. Weelicious even has a section of school lunch ideas your child will enjoy for years to come.
Bundoo is not your typical parenting site. For starters, all of the sites are reviewed by doctors and other childcare experts. Additionally, parents can comment on articles, get expert response and find a community of like-minded individuals. When parents sign up for the premium service, Bundoo has even more to offer. For fees ranging from a one-time 9.95 payment to a monthly fee of 29.95, parents can ask questions and get real-time, expert advice. Bundoo puts the experts literally at the parent’s fingertips.
Huffington Post Parenting
Huffington Post, a renowned source for news, has a page just for the things that matter most to parents. On Huffington Post Parenting, there is a variety of news articles that give parents an opportunity to think, feel good, take a stand and much more. In addition, there are a variety of links and resources a first time parent might need.
Mom.me is an excellent source of the light-hearted information parents need. It follows parents from pregnancy all the way through their child’s growth. Afterwards, it continues to follow through the empty nest period. It covers a variety of parenting topics including delivery, breastfeeding, illnesses, bullying, nutrition and much more. Mom.me also has a variety of videos, beauty tips and even the occasional man in a towel. For many parents, the “Play and Learn” section, which features the hottest educational toys, is of particularly noteworthy.
Unlike previous generations, today’s parent has no reason to feel alone. These sites will help them find, and connect with, the tribe they need. For first time parents, these links are particularly important. They provide support, information and entertainment during those trying days of early parenting.
This is by no means the full list.What do you think of our selection? Which site did we left out? What site dedicated to first time parents do you absolutely love?
Have your say in the comment section below.