I want to get an idea of the big picture timeline that we should be prepared for, especially over the early, pre-nursery years.

For example, when should we expect teething, when should we arrange swimming lessons & nursery school, etc.

The day-to-day things are easier to nail down, but the timing of the big picture stuff can be hard if it's your first child.

Please provide citations/references where possible (possibly to other questions on the site).

  • I'm closing this, as shopping recommendations are specifically off topic. If you want to phrase these as specific questions (e.g. "When should we consider first swim lessons?", "when should we start planning for nursery school?", etc.), then they'd probably be fine. Please check with our faq regarding what types of questions are appropriate for our site.
    – user420
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 14:17
  • @Beofett I commonly see "list of resources" questions on SE sites. I didn't ask for shopping recommendations. Also, the whole point of my question is to avoid thinking of all the questions to ask -- I'm asking for help determining which questions I should be asking at certain points in my child's life.
    – Finch
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 13:35
  • I'm not sure where you are seeing "list of resources" questions. Any question that encourages a bunch of answers that each list one or two suggestions (i.e. "I like this book") has been repeatedly demonstrated to be a poor fit. Again, I refer you to our faq: "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much."
    – user420
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 14:06
  • 1
    In my eyes, this question is too broad, so answers cannot be very specific. This How to ask page says If you ask a vague question, you’ll get a vague answer. You could write a whole book with many chapters to answer this question in its current form. Let's break the question into smaller bits, then each bit can receive precise answers. Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 11:00
  • 2
    I respect that there are a set of guidelines to keep things on topic and focused, but then let's be consistent: parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/67/… and parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/1443/… as examples. The former is a lot like my question and the latter is completely subjective.
    – Finch
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


At risk of sounding obvious, parenting.stackexchange.com is likely to be much more useful, as those three examples you give are entirely subjective:

  • Swimming: some people start at a month, some not for a couple of years
  • Nursery: some start at a few months, some at a couple of years
  • Teeth: brushing is important whether or not you use formula

I would definitely suggest browsing here to find out the bigger picture issues and real-world experience that you can even chat about, rather than things in a book (some of these books have been written by non-parents, so I am very skeptical)

  • 1
    +1: Agreed that this site is of value, although I think some parents find milestones comforting. Also, while every developmental milestone's subjective, there are guidelines on when your child is too young for nursery, and when it would be best to start them swimming if you want them to enjoy it.
    – deworde
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 10:34

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