Parenting Resource is “Just In Time”

Written by Theresa Rose on January 28, 2015

What can a baby see right after birth? How much should a 1-year-old eat? Should a 3-year-old have a hearing test? These and many more questions keep parents awake at night wondering how they can be a better parent to their children, said Janet Smith, a human sciences specialist in family life with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Fortunately, a free and easily accessible resource is available just in time to provide some answers.

“Parenting is hard and there is so much information available via the Web and social media sites that parents often are confused about what is best for their children and family,” Smith said. ISU Extension and Outreach, in partnership with extension specialists across the country, offers a resource called Just in Time Parenting to help eliminate some of the confusion.

“Just in Time Parenting is a series of newsletters designed to deliver research-based information to families in a free, convenient and easy-to-follow format,” explained Smith. Each newsletter centers on a specific age, starting prenatally and continuing through age 5. Newsletters for the first year of life focus on each specific month, then from age 2 to 5 each newsletter covers a 2-month age span.

All of the newsletters are available for download from the website or can be delivered electronically via email, Smith said. “Parents and other caregivers can subscribe for free to the newsletters by entering an email address and child’s date of birth, and the newsletters will arrive just in time according to the child’s age.”

Each issue has information on what it’s like to be that age, including “How I Grow and Talk,” “How I Respond” and “How I Understand and Feel,” as well as a “Help Me Learn” section full of ideas on how to engage young children. In addition to features available in every issue, each newsletter includes hot topics related to the specific age focus, such as teething, toilet teaching and safety rules as children become more independent.

“Just in Time Parenting offers ask the expert and frequently asked questions section as well, reassuring parents and caregivers they are not alone in their questions,” Smith said.

Just in Time Parenting is available in both English and Spanish. For more information, check out or contact any Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county office.