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BabyCenter.com
Date: 05/19/2000
 
BabyCenter.com is a large and comprehensive source of information and resources on conception, pregnancy, and child development from infancy through toddler years. Content is focussed on typical development and experiences, and does not include information related to children with special needs. There is no biographical information on those who produce or review the content, but babycenter.com's self-description indicates that the site is the result of effort by parents, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. Much of the content is provided by various commercial sources (so remember they have a bias toward promoting their products in some way...), and the on-line store offers products from a number of companies.

The website is easy to access for those familiar with navigating a website, and areas are well-labeled and cross-connected enough for most novice navigators as well. There were no text-only versions or accommodations for accessibility by those with disabilities. Informational content covers a wide variety of topics, which can be accessed by topic area or by the age or the child. There are printable versions of many of the information pages, and options to send some of those pages by email. There is a good "news" area, with synopses of current stories on research, product recalls, etc. Ask-the-Expert sections are preceded by a disclaimer regarding their inability to answer all questions, and the need to use expert opinions in a responsible manner. There are on-line chat rooms and bulletin boards, and several options for contacting babycenter.com, depending on your needs.

Overall this is a great resource for finding information about typical pregnancy, infancy and early childhood issues and experiences. However, since the sources vary, it would be wise to cross-reference factual information, and to seek a second opinion from a more "local" expert (for instance your child's teacher, your doctor, etc.) if you have any questions.


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