Perhaps BabyCenter's greatest strength is the way the site is organized. It's easy find what you're looking for. User tools include:
- Due date calendar
- Ovulation calendar
- Development calendar
- Height predictor
- Growth chart
- Pregnancy and fertilization tips via phone
- Baby cost calculator
- Recall finder
- Immunization scheduler
- Baby name finder
- Celebrity baby names
- Baby name polls
Once you begin to explore the many features available on BabyCenter, it becomes abundantly clear the site is a one-stop social networking site for new and expectant parents. The breadth of information available is what sets BabyCenter apart from similar social networking sites for parents.
Similar to other parenting social networking sites, BabyCenter offers users expert advice as well as parent-to-parent networking. But unlike family-oriented sites such as Disney Family Community, BabyCenter targets everyone from soon-to-be parents through people with children up to age eight with an emphasis on pregnancy, pre-family planning and babies.
Like most social networking sites, BabyCenter has a place for blogs -- two of them actually. MOMformation and FameBaby are both blogs written by mothers for mothers. Blogs found on MOMformation are snippets of commentary that can be both informative and entertaining. Much of the content in these blogs is similar to an editorial you'd find in a newspaper or magazine devoted solely to mothers. FameBaby, on the other hand, is purely entertainment. If you're looking to get your fix of celebrity gossip with a twist of parenting, this is the section for you. These blogs discuss how celebrities cope with parenting. Remember, you're still at a social networking site even if you're there primarily because of your love for parenting. Why not have some fun along the way?
Two of the most popular features on BabyCenter are the "is it safe?" and "is it normal?" sections. These two sections have answers to many of the most common (and uncommon) questions regarding children's health, safety and overall well-being. If you can't find it here, don't sweat it. BabyCenter has a search function for you to find whatever it is you need.
If you're having trouble finding something on the site, the search function works like a charm. Type in a topic and the search engine will scour the entire site to help you find whatever it is you need. Once the search comes back with its results, you can choose to sort them between Expert, Community or All Results. This is especially helpful when you're searching for information on what to do if your baby has a temperature of 104 degree (40 degree Celsius). In this case, BabyCenter's search engine prioritizes the expert results, rather than those from other site members.
Though the site is based in the United States, BabyCenter appeals to users around the world. Referred to as outposts, BabyCenter reaches more than 6 million users in 18 countries, and site content is written in seven different languages.
The power and creativity of the human mind combined with the immense amount of information on the Internet has spawned a new age of social networking. In this case, it gives parents the chance to share their successes and find answers to their problems.
For more information on social networking Web sites and related topics, head on over to the next page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- BabyCenter. (June 5, 2009) http://www.babycenter.com/
- Britt, Robert Roy. "Life expectancy in America hits record high." LiveScience.com.Feb. 28, 2005. (June 7, 2009) http://www.livescience.com/health/050228_life_expectancy.html
- David, Leonard. "Planet's population hits 6.5 billion Saturday." LiveScience.com.Feb. 24, 2006. (June 10, 2009) http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/060224_world_population.html
- U.S. Census Bureau. (June 8, 2009) http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html
- U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. "Birth Rate." The World Factbook. (June 8, 2009) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2054.html