There is so much confusing and conflicting information out there. It can be hard to make sense out of it and know what to believe. I’ve curated these sites for accuracy as a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, and they really help me too as a toddler mom.

In this article, you will discover where you can go for accurate and authoritative information that will help you in your journey through toddler mom life. These may not be the most famous websites with viral content. Solid, reliable information that works isn’t as sexy as whatever sensational challenge is going around the internet. But if you want something effective, you will need to go with what is actually backed by research and experience.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

1. Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University

This site has a wealth of resources for parents of young kids. You’ll learn a lot about serve and return interactions. These are very, very important in your everyday life as a toddler mom. These are what so many of the activity guides on the internet miss out on. They focus on the materials, on the product, on things to do. While it is possible to use a complicated activity to connect with our kids, often we can get so caught up in the details that we miss out on the big picture.

Check out this video on how to enhance serve and return interactions. Just this alone already provides the basis for so many toddler activities that actually work, and that don’t need any preparation. Why is this important? Check out what the research says about building resilience in children. Particularly during these difficult times, we need to build resilience more than ever.

Many of us parents are worried about what will be the effect of the pandemic on our kids. Will they grow up to be okay? Will they be scarred from this experience? Will they miss out on important childhood experiences and have poor social skills because they are spending so much time at home nowadays? This site will encourage us and give us hope, and help us know what to do to make the best out of this time.

2. Healthy Children, by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Learn tried and tested methods from the experts. When you read their articles on safe toys and choking hazards, you’ll automatically be able to rule out many of the materials we see being recommended for toddlers. Check out their information on childproofing your home. This will be useful in creating your set up for independent play. There are also screen time recommendations and many other helpful tips.

Many of the things we read on the internet are just based on what one person did, or what a few people experienced. While these can be helpful, it is still best to go with what has been validated. You can learn more about this here.

3. Center for Disease Control

The website for the Center for Disease Control is not just for information on the pandemic. They also have very helpful information on child development. You’ll read about the developmental milestones to expect at each age. They also have recommended activities at the different ages.

Parents often ask when a child needs to learn a certain skill. Or they may want to know when they should teach their kids certain concepts. This site has excellent guides on this. Their downloadable “Milestone Moments” has a milestone tracker and simple but very effective ways to help your child’s development.

4. Zero to Three

The first three years of life are critical for brain development. This site has resources to help you build these all-important pathways in your child’s brain. They have great articles on topics like developing early learning skills and school readiness. What’s great about this site is that unlike many others talking about “early learning”, their recommendations are developmentally appropriate.

I especially LOVE this quote from their article on school readiness, “Formal classes and other activities that push toddlers to learn concepts before they are ready do not help their development or make them do better in school. In fact, they can even make children feel like failures when they are pushed to do something they can’t succeed at or don’t enjoy.”

5. The Thoughtful Parent

This excellent blog by Dr. Amy Webb helps parents make decisions “based on real science, not societal pressure”. As toddler moms, we are often bombarded by so many conflicting messages. We are left confused and overwhelmed. However, when we understand what science actually says, we’ll be better able to meet our children’s needs. Read her article on research-backed ways to thrive through the toddler years.

6. Transforming Toddlerhood

This is a wonderful site for toddler moms! Devon Kuntzman has a wealth of tips and experiences to share. I attended the Raising Toddlers Conference this year and learned so much from it. Visit this site for practical, realistic, and actionable ways to practice positive parenting during the toddler years.

7. Dev Peds Village

This site is close to my heart. I started this with two other developmental pediatricians. Our mission for this site is to help parents create a happy home with an understanding of child development. We realized that many problems and stresses come from a misunderstanding of what we can expect from kids. We blame a child for acting her age. Or we force him to do something that he is not ready for.

It takes a village to raise a child, and nowadays we can feel cut off from the support we need. We hope to create a nurturing community to fill this need. We also created this site to help families of children with special needs and to advocate for them.

Conclusion

The best information on child development and toddler mom life isn’t always the one that has gone viral or the most shared. At Effective Mommy, I focus on what actually works. We don’t have time to waste on things that just add to our to-do list, make us more stressed, but don’t bring actual results. Simplify your life, and bring on the terrific two’s today by downloading our free guide to toddler activities.

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