From pregnancy, teething, potty training, puberty to parenting a teenager, chances are there’s a parenting podcast that covers just about every parenting dilemma. Whether you are an iPod guru or a newbie, there are so many podcasts available that you might not know where to begin. Search “parenting” on iTunes and you will find 270 choices. Here are my top five picks:
Quick and Dirty Tips podcasts are well-known, perhaps mostly for the Grammar Girl, but I love Mighty Mommy’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting. This weekly podcast is a favorite because of its straightforward approach and variety of topics. Recent topics include taking small children to the movies, umbilical-cord care, convincing your toddler to brush his teeth and sibling rivalry. While I found some of the parenting advice to be common sense, such as not taking a grumpy/sleepy child to the movies, most of the podcasts are informative and helpful.
I found my favorite Mighty Mommy advice in the Taming Temper Tantrums podcast. The Mighty Mommy says that you can stop a temper tantrum with bubbles! The Might Mommy says, “Bubbles work well for two reasons: First of all, kids love bubbles. Floating bubbles will almost always distract a child. Once distracted, hand the bubble wand over to the child or hold it out for them. Take turns blowing bubbles. Blowing bubbles causes you and your child to take deep breaths and then blow out air. Whenever we are upset about something we are told to take a deep breath to help calm us down. Bubbles create that effect for both parent and child in this situation. Chances are you’ll feel better as well.”
I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical of this advice at first, but I was able to try this approach after a recent outburst from my 4-year-old daughter, and it worked great. She went from throwing her socks and shoes across the room to chasing bubbles in only a few minutes.
The other great thing about the Might Mommy is that each podcast is short. Most podcasts are about five minutes.
Manic Mommies is the podcast for “moms trying to do it all and do it all well, and then some, and more and go crazy. …” Hosted by moms Erin Kane and Kristin Brandt, this weekly podcast features practical parenting advice with a healthy dose of humor. The show is honest and includes candid conversations about motherhood, pop culture and finding work-family balance. Regular features include questions from listeners and advice from parenting coach Kathy Surro, who has not only been a licensed family day-care provider for 18 years, but is also the mother of four. Questions are also answered by Dr. Robert Lindeman, who is board-certified in general pediatrics and pediatric pulmonary medicine.
Recent topics include redshirting, divorce, traveling with small children, blended families, learning to say no so that you don’t spread yourself too thin, lead-testing kits and household budgeting.
I liked the witty dialogue between Erin and Kristin and often found myself giggling out loud, but I do wish the one-hour podcasts were shorter.
Hosted by moms Gretchen Vogelzang and Paige Heninger, MommyCast is “for and by women immersed in the fullness of motherhood and life, holding the world together, one child at a time.” Recent topics include preventing premature births, birth control for students, parent-teacher conferences, adoption, tips for conceiving, potty training and superwoman syndrome. Gretchen and Paige aren’t as lively as the Manic Mommies hosts Erin and Kristin, but the advice they give is just as informative.
If their iTunes reviews are any indication, Gretchen and Paige have certainly made a connection with listeners. “It’s like having a couple of friends over to talk about parenting issues that we all face with our children,” writes Scarlett1939. Catsdream writes, “What I love best about the MommyCast is that Paige and Gretchen are so down-to-Earth and engaging that they end up pulling me into their conversations, and I feel like I’m right there with them, chatting and laughing.”
The weekly podcasts are usually 30 minutes to an hour.
Pedia Cast is hosted by Dr. Mike, who is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He earned his medical degree at The Ohio State University and has more than 10 years of parenting and clinical-practice experience. Dr. Mike answers questions from parents and shares medical news, tips, “interviews with child-health providers and the latest research findings — with explanations you can actually understand.”
What I liked most about PediaCast is that you can expect three or four podcasts each week. The topics are also extremely varied — pacifiers, infant sign language, vaccines, divorce, cough medicine, biters, growing pains, MRSA and lazy eye and much more. Podcast lengths range from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the topic.
As its name implies, this weekly podcast focuses on pregnancy. Guests include pregnancy experts — doctors, doulas and authors — and hosts are pregnant women “with the same joys, concerns and swollen feet as [its] listeners.” No pregnancy concern or topic is off-limits. Recent discussions have focused on VBACs, inductions, breastfeeding, midwifery, helping siblings cope, folic acid, birth plans and gestational diabetes.
What I liked about this podcast is that it’s extremely balanced, no matter your birth plan (home birth vs. hospital) or whether you choose to breastfeed or use formula.
Podcasts are 45 minutes to an hour.
Myra Wright is a freelance writer and editor of Piedmont Parent in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is the mother of a 7-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter and is expecting her third child in September.