There are loads of great parent resources out there and lots of them are online. However after a while you may forget about one or two of them.
For example, when you first have a new born, you’ll be researching breastfeeding left, right and centre. Then suddenly, your baby’s one year old, and the last time you looked at breastfeeding information was 11 months ago. Where did you find all that information?
Free resources for parents
In order to keep tabs on all these helpful parent resources, I’ve collated this list. And the good news is lots of this stuff is online and free. You can look it up at 3am when you’re feeding your baby or at 3pm when you’re at a cafe with a friend.
I’ve divided the resources up into the following categories:
- Breastfeeding, Sleep, Health and more!
- The ‘feel-good’ mums
- Facebook groups
- Parenting Books and Parenting Magazines
- Non-baby resources – to stop you thinking about babies all the time!
Feel free to comment below with parent resources you’ve found helpful!
Parent resources: Have a laugh! Entertainment
Because when the going gets tough, wine will not be enough.
Hearing about other people going through what you’re going through can be extremely uplifting. Straight away you connect over these shared experiences. ‘Someone else went through this! And they turned out okay.’
The mums and dads below have shared some of these experiences and their well of humour is deep! When you watch their videos and read their tweets be sure to watch with tissues, as you may cry.
And empty your bladder first.
The entertaining resources
Kristina Kuzumic – This lady is an inspiration to all mums out there! You will connect with Kristina immediately, as she doesn’t cover up the difficulties she’s faced in life. She was one of the first entertaining mums I found on YouTube. Her goal seems to be to encourage mums, as well as make them cry with laughter. She also has a Facebook Page and an Instagram account.
Cat and Nat – These ladies soared to fame with their Mom Truth Friday videos. They talk about parts of reality that we otherwise would avoid. They also have a podcast, do Facebook Live sessions and have an Instagram account.
How to Dad – This is a Dad who exemplifies Kiwi humour. He makes ‘How to’ videos on being a Dad and tries to be funny in them (and succeeds in my opinion). He also has a Facebook page and, believe it or not, Instagram.
James Breakwell – He tweets the different conversations he has with his four daughters. Needless to say the phrases children come up with are hilarious! I can’t wait to start recording things my own child says to me. He also has a Pinterest account, a Facebook page, an Instagram account and a Youtube account.
Parent resources: Breastfeeding, sleep, health and more!
As alluded to, you’ll be churning through all the breastfeeding information for the first 2 – 3 months of your baby’s life and then you’ll be digesting all the first foods resources out there.
Now, you can’t read everything and some of these may not apply to you. If you can’t breastfeed, why would you want information on breastfeeding? Or perhaps your baby sleeps through the night from 3 weeks old, so you may not feel the need to find out everything you can about infant sleep.
Therefore, feel free to pick and choose from these parent resources. Know that these resources will often have an attachment parenting style flavour.
Breastfeeding and Sleep resources
La Leche League NZ and La Leche League International – Leche means Milk in Spanish. This is primarily a breastfeeding information website, although you’ll quickly find that the way you breastfeed your baby will affect how you do sleep and vice versa.
Pinky McKay – This lady is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and writes about breastfeeding, sleep and other parenting topics with an attachment parenting philosophy. The Natural Parent magazine features her articles from time to time.
KellyMom – This mum of three is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, so therefore also writes about breastfeeding and many other mum related topics (pregnancy, nutrition etc). She aims to provide research based information.
Baby Sleep Information Site – One of my favourite information sites of all time (my baby didn’t sleep, can you tell?) It is a University based non-profit website, which looks at the data from studies and analyses them to help mums know what to expect when it comes to their baby’s sleep. If you’re thinking of trying out sleep training this is a website to check out first!
Health and Food resources
This blog post may or may not have affiliated links on it. For more information see my Disclosure and Disclaimer page.
World Health Organisation – Child development, Child health and Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age. Their website is not the most sleep deprived, parent-friendly. However the Guidelines pdf is worth having a look at, as it states the WHO’s position on screen time for under 2s. You’re getting information from the horse’s mouth here.
Plunket – In New Zealand every parent gets a Plunket information book. This lives in our bathroom at the moment, so whenever you’re spending too much time there (the only way to be alone for 5 minutes) you can read something useful. Turns out the whole book is also online, so if you want to get information on, say dog safety, you can type it in the search box and hey presto! No need to go flipping through pages!
KidsHealth – Another non-profit website, which has good information about children’s health. For example, here is the information they give on a child’s fever. Definitely a better starting point than Dr Google. Of course, in New Zealand you can call HealthLine (0800 611 116) or PlunketLine (0800 933 922) to get a nurse to give you advice on your specific scenario, which may not be straightforward.
Dr Julie Bhosale – She is our very own nutrition expert when it comes to first foods. Her book The Nourished Baby: A Step by Step Guide to Introducing Solids has a great page on what foods to introduce when to babies (although I won’t lie, I’d borrow this from your local library, perhaps write down the week by week guide, and then return it). Her website also has helpful recipes on it.
Brain Development, Activities and Education resources
Under5s.co.nz – I particularly like their Kid’s Activities – Things to do category, as there are loads of cool ideas there (I’ve included some of their activities in my Indoor Activities for Toddlers post). They have a Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Education – Now formal Education may seem like a far away thing for your new born. School is 5 years away, right? But if you’re looking at buying a house, then you’ll still be in those same school zones 5 years from now. A thought to have in the back of your mind when your sleeping baby won’t let you move.
Nathan Wallis’s Brain Development blog post by me! I made compilation of interviews that Nathan Wallis has given in the past, so you don’t have to go hunting for them. He is a Child Brain Development commentator and educator, who has also co-written a book called Nurture: The art of parenting with Peter Alsop.
Kiwi Style Mum’s Activities Blog Posts – because I did a series on different activities you can do and would love it to be useful!
Parent resources: Watching someone else’s life – Mum Youtubers
When you’re stuck under a sleeping baby you sometimes just want to watch something lighthearted, to make you feel good and inspired. You can’t always watch or read something funny, as you’ll wake the baby with your laughter, so inspiring mothers are a good alternative. Below are some YouTubers I have enjoyed.
The ‘feel-good’ mum YouTubers
Emily Norris – This lovely lady has 3 boys and is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. She has travel videos, organisational videos, food videos… She even posted a video of her giving birth to her youngest!
Amanda Muse – Something I love about this lady is she’s not afraid to speak on slightly icky topics (like menstrual cups and vasectomies). She has two children and married someone a lot older than herself. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and her own website are all places you can find her on.
Jordan Page, FunCheapOrFree – This mum has built her business around being frugal, in a good way. I came across her when thinking about scheduling time with a block schedule. It didn’t quite work for me (I’m such a do things in the spur of the moment kinda gal), but it did allow me to find her fun videos. She can be found on her own website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.
Channel Mum – As I was researching this post I stumbled upon this gem. Turns out someone has collated lots of mum videos and posts into one space. Emily Norris and others are on here, sharing their life and advice. Who knows, maybe I’ll join them?
Parent resources: Facebook groups to look into
Facebook provides community. I can highly recommend joining a parenting group in your area and with similar (or different) philosophies to you, as they’re a responsive parent resources (I’m part of the Parents of Christchurch group and the Natural Parenting Canterbury group because I live in… Christchurch, Canterbury). Books and videos don’t talk back to you with an answer, but another mum on Facebook will. Sometimes that is what you need.
Below are some groups that I’ve joined because they share similar philosophies to me and because they’re a great place to ask questions.
Another way of using Facebook is with Messenger. I’m in a group chat with about 15 other mums. If one of us feels like going to a park, then we’ll message the group. Sometimes no other mums can make it that day, other times 3 or 4 mums will get together and be able to catch up. There’s no obligation to go along to anything, but it’s nice to have the opportunity to do something with a friend.
The Facebook groups
Clean Cloth Nappies – They used to be called Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under, so there may be a Kiwi/Aussie flavour to this group! They also have a website with all the information collated and easy to search. This is the best place to start if you’re wanting to go ahead with cloth nappies. They also have information on Instagram and YouTube.
Beyond the Sleep Training Project – If you’re sick of trying to sleep train your baby, then you’re not alone. This group is quite extreme in its views, but is also supportive and can encourage anyone who is sleep deprived.
Parent resources: Parenting books and parenting magazines
There are thousands, no tens of thousands of books out there on parenting. In an effort to be environmentally friendly I will always recommend buying ebooks or borrowing books from the library. This way you can get a taste or a feel for a book before purchasing a hard copy.
For example, Sleep is for the Weak by Emily-Jane Clarke is a book I bought as an ebook for about $6 and am now thoroughly convinced I need a hard copy of it. It’s a book I come back to time and again, and I wish I could lend out to people.
Also, please see if you can borrow Parenting Magazines from your local library. I mean, are magazines in general worth keeping for more than a couple of months? Even if there’s a particular article that is super helpful, can’t you just take a photo of it?
So, I suppose this is my little ‘be a minimalist and save trees’ spiel. Get the electronic version or borrow from the library, unless your 100% sure you’ll want to revisit this book once a year for the next 10 years or you’ll want to lend it out to multiple friends.
Parenting Books and Parenting Magazines
Sleep is for the Weak by Emily-Jane Clarke – A book that is on my ‘buy a hard copy’ list. This book made me cry with laughter, as it was putting a finger on exactly what I was experiencing at the time. I think I first came across her writing online (she has a website with her writings and links to where you can find her writings), so check these out to see if her humour matches yours (and mine). Disclosure: It does have a little bit of swearing in it.
Magazines like Natural Parent – Get these from your Library. The Natural Parent magazine is one I’ve enjoyed reading, as it touches on all sorts of topics with a gentle parenting philosophy. Often the Natural Parent features people like Pinky McKay (who is mentioned above).
If there is no electronic option for your favourite magazine and your local library doesn’t have it, then perhaps it would be best to get together with some friends and share a magazine subscription. This way you’ll only end up with half of the magazines in your home, that will end up in the bin at the end of their life. Just a thought
Nurture: The art of parenting by Peter Alsop and Nathan Wallis – I enjoy listening and reading about Nathan Wallis’s theories (hence writing a whole blog post on it). You can imagine my excitement when I discovered he had co-authored a book! Thankfully our local library allowed me to borrow it. This book is designed to work as a coffee table book or a display book (I think it would work well as a calendar). Their idea was to combine pictures and wise parenting sayings across 6 virtues, which Martin Seligman came up with (6 virtues, 10 nuggets of wisdom – one for each week of the year plus some).
Libby – Meet Libby. She’s awesome! She is my library’s app, so when I feel like reading a novel at 10pm at night I can (as long as I don’t have any outstanding fees). Unfortunately my library (Christchurch City Libraries) doesn’t have any of the resources mentioned above electronically (the do have hard copies of magazines and Peter Alsop’s book.
General resources – to keep you from only talking about babies!
No one wants to talk about the same topic ALL THE TIME. And when you have a baby it seems that that’s the only thing that’s ever talked about! Here are some resources that are not parent specific, so you can talk about something other than parenting.
TED and TEDx talks – Difference between describes the difference between these two as TED is an even organised by the official TED centre, whereas anyone (even you!) could organise a TEDx event, which follows the TED rules. TED also have their own website and of course, Facebook page, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.
Crash Course – I describe Crash Course courses as edutainment. The presenters project a lot of humour into their presentations, as well as a lot of content. The pace is quite fast with these, so aim at remembering one fact per video. They are also carving out a space in the Instagram world, the Facebook world, the Twitter world and the Blog world.
Today I Found Out – Do you ever have random questions, like could I power my house using hamsters running on little wheels? Today I Found Out caters to exactly such questions. Again, this is a form of edutainment and it will definitely make you feel smarter.
Like what you see? Then sign up and get access to the Free Printable Library! I have all sorts of printouts around my house to help me, say, pack my child’s lunchbox, and I would love to share them with you.
Looking forward to hearing from you!