Being a first-time parent can be scary, especially if you have no family nearby to help you navigate the murky waters of constant diaper changes, 2 a.m. feedings and sleeplessness. Fortunately, the Internet has been a godsend in this regard. No matter where you live, you can communicate with others who are in the same boat. You can get advice from community forums or download an app that will help you when your child is sick.
Surf the Internet and you’ll find millions of websites about parenting. It can be hard to navigate through them all and find ones that are truly helpful for first-time moms and dads trying to balance everyday life with a new mouth to feed. Lucky for you, we found eight excellent sites and apps that you should know about if you want to get through the first few years of your child’s life without going insane.
Café Mom is the place to go to meet with others and get advice for every stage of your child’s life, from newborn to toddler to grade school to tween to teen. Café Mom is like a virtual coffee shop, where moms with children of all ages meet online to ask for advice, give advice and peruse articles about the joys and struggles of parenting. You’ll find stories about teens and their high school angst, dealing with the holidays and enjoying your baby’s firsts. You’ll get a parent’s point of view with first-hand stories about important events in their lives. Need a break from parenting articles? There are also lifestyle articles, in which you can peruse makeup tips and find out how to stay healthy. You can also catch up on your favorite TV shows and celebrities with entertainment articles.
Momtastic is well, fantastic, for new moms, moms with years of experience and even pregnant moms-to-be. The site offers practical, useful and even funny stories to show you that while parenting is the hardest job ever, it’s also a lot of fun. This 2015 Webby Award winner offers interesting articles about food, health, style, beauty, life, love and entertainment. There are even craft and baking ideas to entertain your older kids or create a birthday or holiday party that’ll be the talk of the town. It’s your one-stop website for just about everything.
Weelicious is the place to go when you don’t know what to feed your picky toddler. You may not appreciate this site when your baby is young and primarily feasting on formula or breast milk, but once he’s eating solid foods, you’re going to want to cook something different besides mac ‘n cheese every night. This site offers ideas for yummy toddler recipes, school lunches and family dinners that everyone will enjoy. You can sign up for free daily recipes delivered to your inbox and read articles about choosing recipes that are easy to make and delicious.
Trekaroo offers ideas for going on vacations and getting out of the house. There are fun guides for various locations, as well as family-friendly vacations in other states. Just click on the state you plan to travel to and get ideas for activities, hotels and restaurants. You can also look at reviews to get an idea of the experiences others have had so you know what to expect when traveling with your little bundle of joy. While taking your little one out of the house can be a challenge, you don’t really want to spend the next 18 years sitting at home, do you?
Cool Mom Picks is your inside scoop to what’s cool in the world of parenting. Once you have a baby, it’s common to lose track of what’s happening in the outside world. With your focus primarily on caring for a little human, you tend to feel like you’re living under a rock. With this handy website, you can feel like a cool mom. Find out what’s cool when it comes to baby clothes, toys, bedding, diaper bags and much more. You can even look cool, with fashion and beauty picks for Mom as well. There are also some cool articles about art, décor and storage. Peruse the gift guides to get ideas for birthday parties, baby showers, Mother’s Day, holidays and more.
White Noise Baby is a lifesaver for those times when you absolutely cannot get your baby to stop crying or take a much-needed nap. This app can help your baby (and you!) relax with white noise sounds such as an air conditioner, hair dryer, car ride and classical music. What happens when Baby starts a crying fit in public? No problem; just bust out the baby rattle feature and your baby will be mesmerized with fun, colorful shapes and sounds. This app is a great way to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep. White Noise Baby is free for Android phones and 99 cents for iPhone users.
Baby MedBasics is another lifesaver – literally. Once your baby starts walking, medical issues become more common. Your baby can get burned, choke on a piece of food, accidentally swallow a poisonous plant or fall down and start bleeding uncontrollably. With this app, you’ll be prepared for any emergency that comes your way, thanks to the step-by-step instructions. You can get the app on iOS for $3.99 or purchase the book on Android devices for $7.99.
Cloud Baby Monitor is a cool app for Apple users. If you’ve been thinking about shelling out hundreds of dollars for a high-tech baby monitor – don’t do it! You don’t have to spend that much at all. All you have to do is spend $5.49 and use an Apple smartphone, tablet or watch as a monitor. You do have to use two devices for this, so hopefully you have two Apple devices in your household. One must be left in the baby’s room and the other stays with you. You can check in on your baby from afar with clear, color video footage, live sound and noise/motion alerts. You can even use the microphone to talk to your baby.
Not all of us are lucky enough to live next door to our parents or down the street from our sister with three kids of her own. Families are more spread out nowadays, which means that more and more people are relying on technology for just about everything, and parenting is no exception. From buying the right toys to finding the cutest clothes to getting advice on cloth diapering, the Internet offers tons of information for just about any parenting problem you may have.