One thing everyone reading this blog has in common: we all sit in front of a computer screen on a semi-regular basis. So, I thought I’d put together a listing of websites and blogs that are helpful resources for pregnant women and parents in our ‘hood. A great asset most local parents probably already know about is the Fort Greene Kids Yahoo group. It’s a good place to reconnect with a lost baby hat, buy a cheap second-hand stroller, and even sometimes find an apartment (I have done all these things with the help of FG Kids, in fact). There is also a group for expectant parents and parents of babies called Fort Greene Babies, and one for Bed Stuy families called Bed Stuy Kids. To join these groups, send an email message to the moderator. You can do this by visiting: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fgkids, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fortgreenebabies, or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bedstuykids.
A Child Grows in Brooklyn is another site I like a lot. Run by local mom Karen, it offers information for pregnant women and parents in Brooklyn including recommendations for pediatricians, resources for finding childcare, and green parenting tips. Visit: www.achildgrowsinbrooklyn.com.
Pregnant women in the neighborhood should check out www.choicesinchildbirth.org, where you can find information on local hospitals’ childbirth intervention rates (cesarean, epidural, induction, etc.) and compare them to rates of other NYC hospitals. You can also download the New York Guide to a Healthy Birth, which has listings of local midwives, doulas, bodyworkers, and more. Full disclosure: I serve on the organization’s board. You can also use the Birth Survey at www.thebirthsurvey.com to read feedback about doctors and midwives you might be considering for your birth or to give anonymous feedback if you’ve had a baby recently.
Still Hip, our local shop for used kids’ clothing and gear, also has classes (for example, baby-wearing, infant CPR and cloth-diapering) as well as playgroups and activities. Visit www.stillhipbrooklyn.com for details and scheduling.
For parents of school-age children, www.insideschools.org has a ton of useful information to help you navigate the maze that is the NYC public school system. You can find comprehensive information about gifted and talented programs, school choice, ESL programs, how to apply to kindergarten, and lots more. The reviews of individual schools are helpful as a jumping off point too.
The New York City Parks Department has a user-friendly website with a ton of helpful information for families. There are listings of pools, basketball courts, nature centers, playgrounds, zoos and aquariums, ice skating rinks and more. It is possible to search by location or use a calendar to find upcoming events. You may go to the site to find things in our own neighborhood, but you’ll probably also come away with some nice ideas for daytrips to other parts of the city. Check out: www.nycgovparks.org.
In a similar vein, the Brooklyn Public Library has a site at www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org where you can do things like order a library card online, get help with homework, and search a database designed for kids.
Some additional websites and blogs:
Go City Kids at http://gocitykids.parentsconnect.com/region/new-york-ny-usa Time Out New York Kids at www.timeout.com/newyork/kids www.mommypoppins.com
Since there are so many websites for NY parents, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What online parenting resources can’t you live without?