A Guide to Parenting Podcasts

By Ann Lam

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I don’t have much time to read the news these days, but if I’m driving or doing chores, I like to multitask and listen to the news via podcast. Lately I’ve been doing the same when it comes to gathering information about parenting. I have a long list of parenting books that I would like to read, but likely won’t get around to reading them all. Enter parenting podcasts.  

Podcasts are having a heyday at the moment. Name any topic, and you will probably find a few podcasts devoted to it. When I search for “parenting” on my smartphone podcast app, dozens of podcasts devoted to multiple subcategories of parenting (discipline, feeding, adoption, etc.) appear. It can be a bit overwhelming to sort through them all to figure out which ones have the information you are looking for.

Below is a quick guide to my favorite podcasts. Many of them have websites where you can find “show notes” for each episode—containing links and even additional information not on the podcast—as well as Facebook communities where you can interact with the podcast creators.  

Longest Shortest Time
One of the first-ever podcasts devoted to parenthood, the Longest Shortest Time was created by Hillary Frank in 2010 following a very difficult childbirth and postpartum period. If you like “This American Life,” you’ll probably find this podcast appealing. Very exploratory and full of stories, this podcast touches on just about every subcategory of parenting. Note: After ten years, “Longest Shortest Time” is ending this December, but the episodes will still be available after the podcast finishes.

Comfort Food

Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana from Yummy Toddler Food

Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana from Yummy Toddler Food

This podcast tackles issues related to feeding babies and toddlers. The hosts, Amy Palanjian and Virginia Sole-Smith have very different personalities and backgrounds that reflect in their approach to food. For example, Amy, a recipe developer, is a meal planner, and Virginia, a writer who specializes in how society relates to food, is not. That dynamic makes this podcast interesting in that you’ll get a range of opinions and tips, some of which will resonate more than others. Episode topics include “Enjoying Family Meals with Food Intolerances and Allergies” and “When Family Dinners Don’t Happen.” The show notes of this podcast are very helpful. In addition, Amy is the creator of the website, Yummy Toddler Food, which has so many great recipes for toddlers.

Didn’t I Just Feed You

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Stacie Billis and Meghan Splawn are an energetic duo that host this podcast and tackle topics relating to feeding your entire family. They focus on the nitty gritty of cooking but also address issues that come up with older children, like “How to Handle Caffeine for Your Kids and Tweens.” Both of these moms are recipe developers and give helpful tips on how to freeze food, the many ways of using meatballs, their favorite Instant Pot recipes, and so much more. They regularly invite guests on their show and also have a very active Facebook group, where people can ask questions and share their tips and recipes.

Your Parenting Mojo

Self described as “research-based ideas to help kids thrive,” this podcast is very academic in terms of style. In other words, you’ll have to pay attention to the host, Jen Lumanian, as she cites various studies to support her parenting ideas. Episode titles include “Playing to Win: How does playing sports impact children?” and “How can I decide which daycare/preschool is right for my child?” Full transcripts of each episode are available on the podcast website.

Motherly

On each episode of this podcast, host Liz Tenety interviews a famous or notable personality, who also is a mom. Guests include former supermodel Christy Turlington and Senator Tammy Duckworth. If you enjoy “Fresh Air” on NPR, you probably will enjoy this podcast. Inspirational and interesting, it is a different window into the private lives of some very public figures.

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NPR Podcasts
These parenting podcasts are part of a larger series created by NPR called Life Kit. They are the most news-like of this list. Episodes are relatively brief and very straightforward with numbered takeaways. Featuring lots of interviews with experts in their fields, it is classic NPR.

NPR Life Kit: Parenting: Screen Time and Your Family

NPR Life Kit: Parenting: Raising Awesome Kids

NPR Life Kit: Parenting: Difficult Conversations

Hopefully this list will get you started on your parenting podcast exploration. You can find them on your smartphone podcast app or just listen directly from the show website. If you are already a seasoned podcast listener, please share your favorite parenting podcasts, or even specific episodes in the comments. I’m always looking for new podcasts to keep me company while doing chores!