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About this site: This is the only parenting website founded by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the content is supported by the latest research and children's health guidelines. Users can find information on children's physical, mental, and social health issues from newborns on up. The site is also updated frequently, so you know you're getting the latest advice from a source you can trust.
Pros: After registering and logging in, you get a personalized web page tailored to your interests and kids' ages. Well-organized articles are categorized by both age group and general interest topics, including Healthy Living, Safety and Prevention, Family Life, Health Issues, and News. You can also sign up to receive the AAP's eNewsletter for updates, and use the "Find a Pediatrician" feature to locate board-certified pediatricians in your area.
Cons: Some pages are dense and difficult to scan, and the writing can be a little dry. If you're looking for a warm and fuzzy tone, this may not be the site for you.
Best Feature: For a small fee, you can download the KidsDoc Symptom Checker app for your phone. It won't replace a visit to the doctor, but it can help you handle the bumps, bruises, and minor illnesses every child experiences. (You can also access this information for free on the website.)
About this site: Sponsored by the Nemours Foundation (established in 1936 by Alfred I. duPont), the KidsHealth site promotes the foundation's mission – to improve children's health. Parents will find resources on everything from baby and toddler development, infections, behavior, and emotions to food, fitness, and ways to grow up healthy. And with plenty of games and animation, this site also appeals to children and teens.
Pros: The site is updated daily with health tips and special timely messages. You can also sign up to receive a weekly eNewsletter with information for parents, kids, and teens as well as the latest health news and additions to the website. Overall, the site is well organized and easy to navigate.
Cons: Search results can be too broad. For example, if you search the parents' section of the site, results include articles aimed at kids and teens.
Best feature: The growth and development section has in-depth information by age in 10 categories, including communication, feeding and eating, learning, and playing.
Zero to Three
About this site: Zero to Three, a nonprofit founded in 1977 and based in Washington, D.C., aims to advance the healthy development of babies and young children. The site has extensive articles for parents on everything from what a baby senses to how fathers enhance their baby's development.
Pros: The site's index is easy to use, and search results steer you right to the information you're looking for. The resources on assessing children with developmental delays and disabilities are top-notch.
Cons: There's no community area to connect users. Some may find the writing dry.
Best feature: The public policy section includes information you won't find on other sites, including links to help you advocate for the child development issues that concern you the most.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
About this site: This government website has a section devoted to children's health and wellness. In addition to articles on parenting and health issues, you'll find links to other sites approved by the CDC.
Pros: The site delivers information in engaging formats, including online articles, podcasts, videos, and downloadable brochures. There's even a Milestones Quiz widget you can add to your blog or personal website. The widget automatically updates with quiz questions from the CDC – you don't have to do anything other than download it.
Cons: Because it's not a standalone website, you won't find the depth of information some other sites have.
Best Feature: You can download and print Positive Parenting Tip Sheets. They're organized by age, so you'll have plenty of tips on hand as your child grows older.
National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health
About this site: This government website offers child development information. Although it's more of a resource page, it's well worth a visit for the links to external sites.
Pros: This page is a one-stop shop for links to information on everything from how your child learns to read to what to do about sleepwalking. The links are organized into categories that make it easy to find what you need. You can also print out developmental milestone records for different ages in both English and Spanish.
Cons: The site is most useful for researching a specific topic. It's not a site that's easy to browse.
Best Feature: You can sign up to receive free email updates on topics that interest you. You can even specify how often you want to receive the emails, which are available in both English and Spanish.