The online world of parenting has become almost as overwhelming to navigate as the real-life version. Almost. There are some truly fantastic resources out there to help us ‘parent up’ and learn how to raise awesome kids. But as a discerning parent it can be a huge time suck trying to find the best educational parenting websites that are relevant, trustworthy, engaging and genuinely helpful.
It’s not like you can just trust the Google algorithm to sort out the sites dealing in evidence-based fact from the ones dishing out opinion-based, fluff-covered poop nuggets disguised as fact.
Nope, sirree. That takes time. Patience. Focus. Attention to minute details… All things you naturally have in exceeding abundance when you’re a parent.
Well, no need to get your nappies in a knot, or throw the baby out with the bathwater (that’s some legit parenting advice you can have for free).
Help is at hand!
Following is a list of some of the best educational parenting websites I’ve come across in my own parenting journey (and while filtering through loads of ‘best parenting websites’ lists which aren’t always that helpful).
My goal here is to save you some homework and get you past that awkward blind dating phase so you can skip ahead to the good stuff!
Here’s the main criteria I’ve used for any parenting website that makes it onto this list:
1. Educational Focus
These sites are created and run by experts and/or passionate parents who are focused on helping other parents prepare for or get better at raising awesome kids. No generalist lifestyle blogs, heavily news or entertainment-focused sites making this particular cut.
Offering well-researched, evidence-based information, advice and tips, either drawing from a wide variety of sources, or a true depth of knowledge on a particular topic.
Well-designed, nicely mapped-out and easy to navigate (no labyrinths within the labyrinth, thank you!)
Engaging, (mostly) error-free writing that doesn’t distract you from what you’re trying to learn with its lack of 7th grade grammar skills.
5. Up to date
On the ball, delivering new material and updates on a regular basis. (Parenting throws us a new challenge every day — let’s stay on the ball, people!)
(I’ll be updating this list as often as I find even better sites, so feel free to check back when you’re bored!)
Best educational parenting websites for pregnancy, birth & baby:
If you’re looking for the Mothership of all things pregnancy, birth & baby, BabyCenter is pretty hard to miss. They’ve got over 7500 expert-reviewed articles, a host of tools (like pregnancy trackers, baby costs calculators and baby name finders), videos, and courses covering the entire gamut from getting pregnant to parenting through the years, along with a huge collection of product recommendations and a custom registry-builder.
This is where the mommy masses are heading (32+ million of them, apparently), but it’s not hard to see why. As a new or expecting mom, you’re going to find tons of helpful science-backed content here.
2. Pregnant Chicken
For something a little less conventional, Pregnant Chicken is a popular and brilliant site developed by Amy Morrison (and her small but passionate team) to help make people feel prepared and excited about having a baby. Together with their community of moms and experts, they’re out to demystify the medical jargon, baby gear, and those weird things you’re too scared to mention because you think it’s only happening to you.
Indeed, the Burd — as it’s known to insiders — does an impeccable job (had to do it) of being both genuinely helpful and friggin’ hilarious to help keep us awake on the job. Seriously, take a look at this post on awkward pregnancy photos right now. It will change your life (or at least, your choice of photo shoot venue).
3. Kelly Mom
When it comes to breastfeeding, formula feeding…all things feeding, really…there is a ton of conflicting, opinionated, and controversial info out there (and that’s just in your own family circle). As a new mom who wanted to keep a relaxed approach to getting my babies happily fed and watered with minimal fuss and maximum sleep, Kellymom became my go-to for practical, down to earth, evidence-based advice.
Best Science-backed parenting websites for all ages & stages:
4. Ask Dr Sears
When you have an online resource run by a well-seasoned pediatrician married to a registered nurse, who together have written over 40 best-selling books, and more importantly raised eight children…two of whom are now also well respected pediatricians who also help run the website…(whew)…it’s not like they have to try too hard to convince you they know what they’re talking about.
AskDrSears is a massive resource with medical articles, videos, personal stories and a blog covering everything you’d want to be able to ask a pediatrician or ‘expert mom’, as Martha Sears likes to call herself (and why shouldn’t she?). The tone is always informative but empathetic and non-patronizing, and the content is clearly focused on turning a huge wealth of theory and experience into real-life practice. It really does feel like having a friendly conversation in your favorite pediatrician’s office (without the $100 bill at the end!).
5. Verywell Family
Verywell is another one of the giants on the parenting scene, with a wealth of resources geared to supporting parents right through from planning for pregnancy to navigating all the complex stages of parenting. The site is really well organized and easy to navigate, with a great mix of content that goes deep and wide, ranging from short overviews and FAQs, to medium length articles that are perfect for parents who want to get a decent grasp of any topic without getting bogged down in the details.
Every single piece of content is medically-reviewed and fact-checked. As the site discloses, all their writers are notable voices in their respective disciplines, from OB/GYNs to pediatricians to other parenting experts. These individuals are specifically selected for both their extensive knowledge and real-world experience, as well as their ability to communicate complex information in a clear, helpful, and unbiased way. I think they’ve got it right.
6. Parenting Science
Hungry for science-savvy information on child-rearing? So was UC Berkeley Ph.D. graduate Gwen Dewar when she became a parent. With a background in evolutionary anthropology (and a number of other impressive, hard to pronounce fields), Dr. Dewar decided to focus her academic superpowers into studying comparative cognitive development and the evolution of parenting. On her website, Parenting Science, she distils her discoveries into reader-friendly, evidence-backed articles for science-minded parents who want to understand the big picture.
In an online world swimming in opinions and unsupported claims, Parenting Science is a beacon of solid ground. I’ve found her articles and tips on sleep issues and potty training particularly enlightening. Be prepared that Dewar takes a more academic approach that leads you to do more reading for yourself, rather than laying everything out on an oversimplified silver platter.
Best sites on Positive Parenting:
7. Aha! Parenting
Try googling anything related to parenting and discipline, and you’re sure to stumble onto some sites promoting the Gentle Parenting method (which is nothing particularly new, but rather an offshoot of what’s long been known as ‘attachment parenting,’ or the more recent ‘positive parenting’). One of its biggest ambassadors, Dr. LauraMarkham, a clinical psychologist and mother of two grown children, refers to her particular brand as ‘Peaceful Parenting.’
A visit to her popular site, Aha!Parenting will lead you to a well-stocked trove of detailed articles and guides from pregnancy through the teen years. Have a poke around and you’ll quickly get a good idea of what this approach is all about, what it’s intended to achieve and how it plays out in daily interactions with your kids. If you’re picking up what she’s putting down, you can check out her ‘Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids’ book series or sign up for her online course.
8. A Fine Parent
A Fine Parent offers a healthy stock of in-depth articles by moms and childcare experts, packed with real life examples and practical, step-by-step advice for parents who want to learn about or practice Positive Parenting. The AFineParent academy gives parents access to ‘masterclasses’ in the form of interviews with popular parenting book authors sharing the main lessons from their books.
Signing up for their annual free positive parenting conference (you’ll need to join the mailing list to find out when it’s happening) will give you access to a selection of masterclasses on offer each year for a limited time window, so you can see if this ‘parenting school’ is for you. While I don’t subscribe to the positive parenting philosophy in its entirety, I’ve certainly picked up some of helpful tips for better communication with my kids, insights into development from a neuroscience perspective, and some interesting parenting books to check out.
Best parenting websites for Dads:
(Obviously not being a dad myself, I asked my husband what he’d want in a great Dadsite. His answer was: “I just use Reddit.” So, I guess I’m on my own here.)
UK-based Dadsnet clearly understand their audience, because they know that most men don’t want to sit and read articles for hours — they’d much rather watch videos or listen to podcasts. Also, they would rather share stories and advice with other dads than ask some so-called ‘parenting expert’. Dadsnet seems to have the balance just right with their content nicely divided into ‘Read’, ‘Watch’, ‘Listen’ and ‘Discuss’ (dads just want to get on with it and do things, after all).
Articles are where you’ll find the majority of the educational info (appropriately brief and to the point), covering a range of topics on kids by ages, sex & relationships, gear & equipment, health, miscarriage & baby loss, and family law. Videos are focused on curated news stories, while Dadsnet original podcasts cover honest and entertaining angles on dad life with series like Don’t tell your mum, Little conversations and How to be a dad (anecdotes not answers). And, don’t forget to check out the dad jokes.
10. DAD (Direct Advice for Dads)
Direct Advice for Dads (DAD) is an Australian-based site geared to help new and expecting dads with “advice, sense and nonsense from dads who’ve been there, done it, and are wearing the spewed on t-shirt.” The content doesn’t exactly fall in the science-based camp, but clearly draws on a wide range of real-life experience, with articles that are practical, honest and humorous (as you’d expect from dads in the trenches). Topics are nicely sorted for expecting dads, new dads and those with toddlers. The site also features a popular podcast by two experienced radio hosts and fathers, swapping battle stories and sharing practical advice on relevant topics for the modern dad.
Friends Paul and John started Fathercraft after they struggled to find the kind of research-backed, actionable info they were looking for as they prepared for dadhood. They’re clearly not trying to be the most comprehensive parenting site ever, but instead focus on practical things dads need to know about, from a down to earth perspective. Get helpful checklists, read super thorough reviews on baby products, daddy gear and kid tech, or check out their video-driven Fathers Ed parenting course (which has had great feedback from moms too). I feel like I want to be friends with these guys — or maybe it’s just that the guy in this pic looks a lot like Will Ferrell…
For more dad sites, check out this list of 19 Best Dad Blogs for New Parents.
If you’re curious about the most popular parenting sites this year, here are the Top 20 Most Visited Parenting Websites in 2022.
I would love to keep growing and improving this list — please let me know in the comments if you have some more awesome educational parenting websites to recommend.