Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook. But it should. There are plenty of aspects to parenting that are confusing and overwhelming—especially without a support system; it can be challenging to know where to find the answers.
I was in the dark as a new parent, and to help shed some light on it all, I attended a bunch of new mom groups in my area. It was in these sessions that I realized I wasn’t alone in having no idea what I was doing. I was able to ask all of my questions without judgment, hear about other people’s experiences, and also received recommendations for courses and resources that other new moms found helpful.
Since these mom meet-ups are not being held right now, it can be extra challenging to know where to turn to for answers and support.
Before having a baby, there were a lot of things I assumed I’d just figure out on my own. Then, I actually had my baby and realized I didn’t know anything. I was gifted the Taking Cara Babies newborn sleep course, and it was one of the best gifts I received. I had no idea about the intricacies of getting my baby to sleep. I didn’t know about wake windows, sleepy cues, or calming techniques. The course was approachable, easy to follow, and truly enlightening. After taking the course, I felt like a pro mom.
Since mom meet-ups are not being held right now, it can be extra challenging to know where to turn to for answers and support.
And next came introducing solids. I figured I’d give my baby some puree on a spoon, and she’d enjoy it. Nope, that’s not really how it works (or at least not for my kid), and it was yet another topic that I had a lot to learn about.
Sure, our ancestors didn’t have online courses on breastfeeding, sleeping, or eating to turn to and they figured it out. But we do have support available at our fingertips, and there’s no reason not to arm yourself with knowledge. There are tools to take some of the guesswork out of parenting. Take advantage and turn to those experts.
While you can search for free content online—and there is plenty of that—these courses expertly pull together all of the info you need and present it in a cohesive way that you can put into practice. Also, with many featuring videos, you can see the work in action.
So while there isn’t a literal handbook on parenting, thankfully there are online resources that can guide you through the wild journey of parenting.
Here are seven parenting courses you can take online right now.
1. Taking Cara Babies Sleep Courses
Cara of Taking Cara Babies is a mother of four, neonatal nurse, wife of a pediatrician, and in my personal opinion, a baby sleep wizard. Choose from the Newborn Course (0-12 weeks), the 3-4 month eBook, or the ABCs of Sleep (5-24 months). The Newborn Course and ABCs of Sleep course are made up of short videos and helpful PDFs to teach you both the basics and the more detailed parts of baby sleep, guiding you into a good routine with your little one.
2. Milkology Breastfeeding Courses
While we’d love to say that breastfeeding is intuitive and will naturally come to you once baby arrives, that would be a lie. A lot of women struggle with breastfeeding and the complexities that come along with it. It is not as intuitive as many are lead to believe. It’s extremely helpful to meet with a lactation consultant if you are experiencing issues, but understandably that might not be an option right now.
If you can’t meet with a consultant (either in person or virtually), a course on breastfeeding basics is a great place to start. Milkology offers five classes, each one priced under $20. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class includes 90 minutes worth of videos that explain everything from latching and positioning to pumping and storing, and everything in between.
3. Feeding Littles Baby Led Weaning Courses
Sign up for this course and prepare to get messy. If you’re interested in trying baby-led weaning with your baby, it can be hard to know where to start and how to do it safely. There are two courses to choose from: Infant Feeding (birth to 9+ months for new eaters) and Feeding Littles for Toddlers (10 months to 5 years to prevent or manage picky eating).
The infant course includes videos and PDFs that explain how to know when your baby is ready for solids, how to introduce them to food, and choking hazards to be aware of. If you’ve introduced food and have watched your baby gag, you know how stressful this can be. This course also features videos of babies eating and gagging to show what is normal, which can be very reassuring as you navigate this somewhat anxiety-inducing time.
4. Mastering Medical Emergencies for Moms by Shannon Tripp
It’s scary to think of emergencies and accidents that might happen with a baby. Knowledge and confidence are really important to be prepared if something does happen. This course by Shannon Tripp, a mom of four and pediatric ER nurse, will give you the confidence to know what to do. The course will help you recognize emergencies and know what steps to take. This includes how to react to choking, allergic reactions, seizures, burns, head injuries, and more.
5. Nurture the Online Birth Class by Erica Chidi Cohen
If you were planning to take a birth class that is no longer being held, you can still prepare yourself via an online class. Nurture is led by Erica Chidi Cohen, a birth and postpartum doula, and covers pregnancy and childbirth information, but also includes the emotional and relationship aspects that are so important. Expect information on unmediated, medicated, and C-section births for mothers preparing to deliver in a hospital, birth center, or at home.
6. Tinyhood for All-Things Baby Courses
For a one-stop-shop on all things baby and parenting, Tinyhood has you covered. Available classes cover breastfeeding, sleep, eating and nutrition, behavior, and potty training. Courses are taught by a variety of professionally certified experts and most courses cost between $15-$40. This is a great place to take an infant CPR and choking refresher, made up of videos and takeaways to save and reference in the future. Breastfeeding courses are currently free during the Covid-19 outbreak.
7. Positive Parenting Solutions for Dealing with Tantrums and More
If you find yourself losing your cool around kids more than you’d like to (especially now with more together time than ever before), this course might have the answers you’ve been looking for. Positive Parenting Solutions is an online, self-paced course made up of videos, workbooks, and a mobile app that will teach you techniques to deal with high-stress tantrums and fights. The course claims you will see results in just a few days. If you’re feeling more on edge than normal, now is a great time to give this course a try.