You endure nine months of pregnancy and survive the labor. Then, your doctor lets you out of the hospital and you drive home with your new bundle of joy -- and not much more. New parenthood is daunting, to say the least, which is why new moms and dads rarely turn down advice. We've combed the Internet and asked some mom friends for their favorite websites -- the ones you have to bookmark, star, highlight and memorize. They will not only help you get through the scary times, but they'll also deliver some fun and even save you a few bucks.
Here, a dozen websites every new parent should bookmark.
Many new moms swear by this site, becoming addicts while pregnant and finding that it provides answers to some of those weird "preggo" questions. Turn to it for information on children's health and parenting, too, and even coupons.
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Why it's bookmarked: It's hard to pick just one reason. Sign up for its weekly newsletters and you'll get an e-mail pertaining to the development stage you are in (from pregnancy through your child's toddler days).
We love this oh-so-stylish shopping blog run by a few moms who claim to "track down cool stuff so you can stay busy being fabulous." From handmade jewelry and organic bambino clothes to the hottest new diaper bag and coveted strollers, this site will be your new resource when it comes to finding the coolest gear.
Why it's bookmarked: It features new products that you wouldn't just stumble across at Walmart or Target (not that we don't love those) and even has an entire section dedicated to Mother's Day gifts, shower ideas and safe toys.
This New York Times parenting blog hits on topics from colic to bullying -- all with the intelligence that you'd expect from this well-respected news outlet. With lots of reader comments, it's easy to get good advice on how to handle difficult issues that new parents -- as well as seasoned parents -- face.
Why it's bookmarked: Reading this brainy site makes us feel smarter. Trust us, your friends will be impressed when they hear you say, "Oh, I read it on the New York Times blog."
From the authors of the parenting bible What To Expect When You're Expecting, this site is broken down by stages: conception, pregnancy, first year and toddler. You can check out tips on everything from breast feeding and teething to sleep solutions and diaper rash.
Why it's bookmarked: It's a comfort to read about other parents who are traveling the same new frontier called parenting and get basic 101-style tips.
Being a new parent is hands-down the most thrilling time you'll ever experience. It's also the scariest -- especially in the middle of the night when you feel so alone that you could just scream. When your little bundle of joy gets a midnight fever (or you do, for that matter), check this site to see if you need to call the doctor emergency-style or if it can wait until it's light outside. It's the leading source for medical information and news.
Why it's bookmarked: This site has talked many new parents off the fear ledge. Its Symptom Checker can help you understand what your symptoms might mean.
This alphabet soup stands for Consumer Product Safety Commission. It's hugely important in that this is where you can learn about safety recalls and news.
Why it's bookmarked: Before you buy your tot the newest action figure or doll, check on this site to make sure you aren't giving him something hazardous.
An outlet of the designer go-to guide Apartment Therapy, its motto reads: "This is a site for people who care about good design, but happen to have children." Brilliant!
Why it's bookmarked: The folks behind this website believe that making your home a showstopper doesn't always require tons of money or space. And, they don't just make this assumption; they give solutions and ideas to back their claim.
Get up to 70 percent off everything from designer kiddie clothing to nursery essentials. What's not to love? This private, members-only site highlights daily deals, making you feel like you got a steal without having to fight the crowded malls or dig through any bargain bin.
Why it's bookmarked: It's free! All you have to do is sign up and the deals are yours.
Real parents dole out tips to other parents of babies, infants, toddlers, kids, and even teenagers. Advice is organized by child age so you can easily look for information that pertains just to you.
Why it's bookmarked: Some of the tips on this site are so helpful that you'll want to write these folks a thank-you note. We never thought about using Band-Aids as temporary outlet covers, but they work. What about putting a nursing pad over a healing umbilical cord? Yep, that's one of the suggestions, too.
Entertaining a child, while fun, can be absolutely exhausting. Read up because your tiny little baby is going to grow up fast. This site, an extension of Disney FamilyFun magazine, is full of printables, craft ideas, party-planning tips and recipes.
Why it's bookmarked: This site brings out the inner Martha Stewart in even the most craft-challenged mom.
Watch videos from show episodes, learn numbers and letters, print coloring pages, and play games all involving the beloved characters of the long-running Sesame Street. It's fun as well as educational, which is a hard combination to find.
Why it's bookmarked: Sesame Street started in 1969 and has been a comfort and joy ever since. You'll find yourself more riveted at times than your little one.
You wouldn't let your precious baby drink bleach, so why let him chew on a toy that's toxic? Find safety rankings, toxic chemical test results and information on government regulations on everything from toys to pet products.
Why it's bookmarked: "The government doesn't require full testing of chemicals before they are added to most consumer products," this site says. So, it's our job to do a little research to keep our kids healthy.
A local connection:
Of course we have to include this site, since it is the mom-produced blog of the Star-Telegram. But in all fairness, this one deserves a spot on the list.
You'll find stories, kid-friendly recipes, even how to make your own ribbon flip-flops (a super-easy craft). The blogs produced by local moms will give you a chance to hear what's on your neighbors' minds and find area resources.