These days, most of the mums and mums-to-be I know have sought information and advice online. Our own parents, siblings and close friends cannot (always) be with us 24/7 for advice, but online parenting communities are always there, offering advice and a sense of connection with others who are experiencing the same issues.
Over time, I've seen many different sites, communities and parenting resources for British parents, yet there are only a handful to which I turn often when seeking advice or company. These sites (in my opinion, and in no particular order) are 5 of the best parenting resources for British mums:
NetMums is a members only site (registration is free, quick and very easy). This is because Netmums relies on a sense of community and members sharing as well as taking information" which ensures the site is a friendly and helpful community for all involved.
When joining NetMums, you will be able to read boards specifically for your town or area, meet other parents locally and also read through the general (nationwide) boards for advice on parenting, recipes, family finances and any other subject relevant to mums.
Visit NetMums to learn more
The Times newspaper describes MumsNet as "The country's most popular meeting place for parents". Indeed, this is the main reason why I visit the site so much (the "Talk" section is unrivalled!), though MumsNet offers many more features useful for parents too.
There are dedicated sections for each stage of our children's lives, offering advice and information on every subject imaginable. Reviews of baby products, books and even entertainment help us decide if these items are right for us based on impartial reviews from other parents, while the recipes section offers tried and tested foods for the whole family to enjoy (most of which are also incredibly frugal).
Members of MumsNet can also start their own free blog to document their life as a parent (the best blogs are highlighted regularly on the front page).
Probably the most popular section is "Am I being unreasonable?" - a section of the talk boards where parents post their questions and are offered honest replies to their concerns from other members.
Visit MumsNet to learn more
My favourite section of the site is the "Digital Nanny", where you can type in the name and age of your child to get advice specifically tailored to your needs (scroll down on the home page to find this section).
Other useful sections include "20 Ways To..." (featuring 20 useful tips on a variety of different subjects); creative video makes to create with your toddlers, and the baby calendar for expectant mummies which helps you see just how much your little one is developing.
Visit YourFamily to learn more.
MyChild is a fantastic resource for parents of school-aged children which offers free reports, sample papers and support to help our children with their education.
There are also sections about child health issues, recipes and positive parenting; for those whose children have special educational needs, there are some highly useful articles and guides which both explain these special needs without patronising and offer helpful activities for positive experiences.
Visit MyChild to learn more
There are sections for all stages of children's lives, and even advice about motoring and child safety. RaisingKids also has a good community where parents ask questions and discuss parenting issues with each other.
Visit RaisingKids and learn more
Just one last mention...I know this is supposrd to be a "5 of the best" post but I simply couldn't write this without including one of my favourite blogs too: Parent Hacks. This site features real advice from actual parents: tried and tested tricks for parenting such as using empty egg and candy boxes as paint pallettes and taking a picture of your child(ren) before entering a theme park in case they get lost. Do pay a visit to see why I love this site so much. Although based in the US, most of the tips are just as suitable for us Brits!
Which are your favourite parenting sites?Have I missed out your own favourite site? Let us know your own preferences, or what you think of my favourite 5 my leaving your comments below.
Image credit (top right): lepiaf.geo, via Flickr Creative Commons.