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Cyber Savvy Sites for Mothers of Multiples
by Amy Schwimmer and Rachelle Chong
While many moms-to-be reach for the traditional pregnancy bible "What to Expect When You Are Expecting," others of us Internet mavens log on to the Internet to mine cyberspace for a broad variety of information: pregnancy and parenting sites, twin information and chat sites, shopping sites for baby equipment, doula information, and even suggestions on what to name our babies. Here is a survey of favorite sites for you to enjoy the next time you log on. Pregnancy and Parenting Information Sites Baby Center:
www.babycenter.com Our sources at BabyCenter tell us it is the leading web site in the expectant-and-new-parent area with some 5.5 million page views per month internationally! BabyCenter offers a great index of sites and organizations, links to articles on a wide variety of pregnancy and baby issues, chat rooms, baby names, bulletin boards, et al! You can find articles by experts on everything ranging from preconception issues (e.g. effects of caffeine, sexual positions, donor eggs, surrogacy) to such topics as teaching your breastfed baby to use a bottle and how to introduce solids into your baby's diet. There are cheat sheets for questions to ask at OB & pediatric visits, articles on infant month-by-month development, a free newsletter, a daily pregnancy calendar, etc. See below for info on BabyCenter.com's online store!
ParentsPlace (www.parentsplace.com): This wonderful parent-founded site contains a tremendous amount of information on all aspects of pregnancy and parenting. Highlights include a bibliography to children's literature, a live chat and bulletin board on twin issues, links to twin organizations and services, and Multiples Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). On the main site, try out the fun "interactive pregnancy calendar" which gives you a day by day customized calendar detailing your baby's development. Or check out the link to "Parenting Twins or High Multiples" which can be found at:
Parent Soup at "www.parentsoup.com" is another good resource for parents. They have chats, expert columns, and "at home dad" message boards.
Yahoo itself has a good site for information, advice, and links for pregnancy and birth issues. View it at "www.yahoo.com/health/reproductive_ health/pregnancy_and_birth".
Or try "www.parenthoodweb.com" where you can find some good information on parenting and pregnancy, including a recall alert area for those buying baby equipment such as car seats.
Expecting twin moms may be interested in checking into the site of Lamaze International: www.lamaze-childbirth.com. It features FAQs, pregnancy tips. and how to find a local Lamaze educator.
If you are looking for a doula, go to the Doulas of North America site for information on local doulas to contact: www.dona.com
To learn about au pairs, try: www.aupairinamerica.com or www.worldlearning.org.
Many twin moms and expectant moms on bedrest love the Net for its multitude of great (and convenient!) online baby shopping sites. Be sure to add in shipping costs when shopping through the Net.
Baby Bargains: Devotees of Alan and Denise Field's book "Baby Bargains" can log onto their web site.
For updates, recall information on car seats and other baby products, a stroller features chart, links to other sites, and new baby bargain hunting tips. It's at www.windsorpeak.com/babybargains/default.html.
Burlington Baby Depot: Several Burlington Coat Factory stores in the Bay Area have a "Baby Depot" section offering a range of discount baby goodies, and they're on the web as well. This is an especially great site for equipment and large items such as strollers and high chairs at very good discounts. Go to "www.coat.com", then select "Shop BCF Direct", then select "Baby Furniture and Accessories".
BabyCenter.com has just launched an online store that is amazingly "full-service." They carry a wide range of pregnancy and infant products, largely in partnership, California-based Lullaby Laneó1,500 products so far, with plans to expand in all categories. At the end of September they will be adding maternity clothing from Pitterpat, a Bay Area-based enterprise. In October/November, print baby announcements will be available, with 70 designs to choose from, and a cyber-quick 3-day turnaround time from order to shipping! Other features of the BabyCenter store include a product search, gift wrap, worldwide shipping, and an upcoming baby registry. Store manager Lauren Kawasaki tells us that the store prides itself on its customer service center, where customers can call/phone/or fax in questions about any aspect of the products, from how many layers are in a Gerber cloth diaper to what the difference is between alloy and steel running stroller wheels. Phone toll-free 1-877-551-BABY, fax 4152845169, or press "Shopping" on the BabyCenter.com home page.
Internet Baby: Another good shopping site devoted just to discounted baby stuff: "www.internetbaby.com". They offer a multiples discount for purchases totaling over $250 if you buy more than one of the same item. The discount is 5% on the additional item.
Baby Catalog of America: "www.babycatalog.com". If you join their Baby Club for $25, you and three "associate" members (the grandparents or friend) get 10% off everything.
Premiewear: Baby clothes for tiny premies are at www.premiewear.com
FourDee is a company founded by twin parents that sells only twin baby products such as Nursemate nursing pillows, Connect Two stroller accessories, twin bouncer, and a twin baby bather. Find it at "www.fourdee.com".
e-toys: Self-billed as the web's largest toy store, this playtime emporium can be found at http://www1.etoys.com/html/et_home.
Gymboree: This popular clothing store just put up a colorful website at www.gymboree.com. It features a nice online Gift Center where you can order gift certificates as presents, toys, and complete layette sets that can be mail ordered and sent for you.
Discounts for Multiples
One place to find a list of discounts offered to parents of multiples by companies can be found on the Capitol Area MOTC site. Go to www.geocities.com/heartland/estates /9261 and choose "discounts".
Another listing can be found at twin parent Sue Shayler's personal page if you go to http://pages.prodigy.net/twingles/twins.htm at Parenting Multiples and click under "Free Stuff."
Twin Organizations and Information
The National Organization of the Mothers of Twins Club has a site at "www.nomotc.org". This site features many articles about twins, twin tips, club links and a bulletin board. One new feature of this site is a "Fathers Site" for dads of twins! You can also link to local MOTC sites.
For twin information, try the Little Ones Marvelous Multiples page at: www.littleones.com/familyguide/multiples/. It has a useful feeding schedule spreadsheet to download, survival tips, and a multiples reading list.
You can even use the Net to help you name your twins!
The best site is Parent Soup's Baby Name finder: http://bnf.parentsoup.com/babyname/
If your taste in names runs to soap opera names (always the trendiest names), Shakespearean names (Hamlet, Juliet and Othello?) or the 1997 popular names list, try "www.babynames.com" for fun.
Finally, Parentzone has a baby names area: www.parentzone.com/parents/names.htm.
Exciting New Site Find Award: TheMiningCompany.com (now about.com). Maybe you've already found The Mining Company site on your own but if not, you've got to check this one out. So named because "we mine the net so you don't have to," this site has "real people" guides to a plethora of fun and useful areas. A fabulous subsection is Travel, within which you can find great tips on traveling and travel destinations for grown-ups as well as for families. Or go to the Family area and choose one of many subtopics, including Crafts for Kids, Focus on Girlscouting, Penpals, Fatherhood, Family Internet, and of course, Parenting of Multiples, with links to lists, articles, FAQ's, etc. on such topics as freebies (GREAT freebie multiples lists!), breastfeeding multiples, fertility, sibling rivalry, etc.
Miscellaneous Good Stuff
If you're going on a trip and leaving your twins behind, you can download a medical release for a long term baby-sitter by going to www.MOSTonline.org/free/index.htm.
Children's Literature Web Guide: www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/index.html.
To order a free National Highway Safety Traffic Administration brochure on "Buying a Safer Car for Child Passengers" go to www.nhtsa.dot.gov or call 1-888-DASH2DOT.
Family Travel: Loads of sites in this area, including: Travel With Kids; The Family Travel Forum; the travel section of Family.com; the Great Outdoors Recreation Pages (GORP); Indoor Playgrounds, for rainy days.
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written consent from the authors. For more information,call 415-440-twins
or log on to our web site San
Francisco Mothers of Twins Club