There are a ton of things that I don’t do well and I’ve come to accept all of them. Like, I’m just an okay-ish cook, I’m terrible with make-up and have to be the least talented crafter ever. I don’t say these things in a self-deprecating way… they’re pretty much facts. Trying to get better at any of them would be the epitome of the law of diminishing returns, so I don’t really bother.
But do you know what I do like a rock-star, though? Internet research. I find online resources like a champ! If it’s available on the web, chances are I’ve hunted it down, and then found a site that has it better and cheaper.
As such, I’ve collected a hodge podge treasure trove of resources that have helped me through the last few years of parenting. I thought I’d put them all down in one place in case they can help someone else. There are dozens of other sites and blogs that I love, but I really wanted to force myself to a top 10. If it’s helpful, I’ll do another post with more.
10 Online Resources Every Parent Should Know
This is the definitive source for any question you might have about kids and cars. Want to know the safest car seats? Wondering how to fit 3 car seats across the back of a small car? Can’t remember how old your child needs to be to sit in front? How do you travel with kids in a taxi? Founded by an avid car seat researcher and now led by her pediatrician daughter, this site has everything you need to know about kids and car safety.
Every time there is big toy recall, well-meaning grandparents send me a link to local news articles. But those are only a small fraction of the recalls for kids toys, clothing and household products. Sign up on the CPSC site to get email notifications of recalls and safety warnings. You can select the categories you’re interested in hearing about and the frequency, so you won’t be inundated with spam.
The Weelicious site is a collection of easy-to-search recipes, real-life menus and tips for healthier family eating. Chef, entrepreneur, cookbook author and mother Catherine McCord specializes in nutritious, easy-to-make meals that will please the pickiest children (and their foodie parents). It makes an average cook like me able to put a yummy meal on the table every night. (Ok, not every night, but you know what I mean…). Be sure to check out her #smoothiechallenge which we’ve been doing for the last few months with great success.
Parenting Guru Amy McReady offers simple, concise advice on parenting from toddlers to teens. Her site and blog have tons of helpful hints and resources (the free webinar is definitely worth joining), and her bestselling book If I Have to Tell You One More Time makes my top 5 list of parenting book must-reads.
Developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kids Doc is a go-to resource for basic pediatric medical information condensed into an app. Having it on my phone helped me many times. It features a symptom checker, first-aid instructions and handy dosing tables for over-the-counter medicines. My favorite part, though, is that it clearly tells you how urgently to seek medical attention (can it wait until morning or should I wake our pediatrician?) and what to do in the meantime.
Slightly off-putting name aside, Bikini Body Guide (or #BBG as its commonly known around the ‘gram) is a runaway hit of a workout program, especially among busy moms. This 12-week routine of 28 minute (yup-just 28 minutes) workouts is a solid mix of cardio and strength training which you can pretty easily modify to do at home. BBG means I have one less excuse not to exercise regularly! And while it is clearly targeted at women, there is no reason men can’t hop on this train. I have yet to make it through the 12-week challenge, but maybe 2019 is my year?
Shopping for kids shoes is on my list of “things less fun than doing my own taxes”. Instead, I order almost all of their shoes (and some clothes) online from Zappos, which is owned by Amazon. Zappos offers a massive selection of shoes with free standard shipping on all orders and free next day shipping to Amazon Prime customers. You can’t beat their 365 day period for returns (including free return shipping) and price matching. Plus their fabulous customer service is so great there is even a book on it.
This is a treasure trove of information and inspiration for living simply and intentionally with kids. Armed with a PhD in Child Development, author Denaye Barahona gives matter-of-fact parenting advice in articles like “Why I Got Rid of the Toys” and my personal favorite “10 Simple Tips for Raising Well-Behaved Humans”. I also recommend her Simple Families podcast.
TurboScan is an app that turns your phone into a document scanner. Sure, you can use the old “take a picture” trick, but the quality of TurboScan is much better and it turns your image into a professional quality .pdf file. I use this app to scan, store and email all kinds of kid-related documents like school physical forms and allergy care plans. In the weeks leading up to the start of the school year it’s a total timesaver. Plus you can save files right on the app, so I always have essentials like our insurance cards and the kids immunization records easily available.
Who among us doesn’t want to take better pictures of our kids? With the tagline “the power of photography lies in the hands of parents”, Kyle Schultz, a professional photographer, teaches parents to capture the everyday moments in beautiful photos, instead of random snapshots. The site offers a free intro course – one minute per day for one week – as well as tons of articles and tips on how to easily take better photos of your kiddos. Of course, there is more paid content too, if you’re keen.
What are your go-to online kid/parenting resources? I’d love to hear in the comments below!