Author - Melanie Schlachter

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Melanie became involved with NPN shortly after the birth of her first child in 2007 as a member, a volunteer, and most recently a staff member. She is eternally grateful for the lasting friendships and support she received from her New Moms Group, and frequently relies on the invaluable tips and resources from NPN's Discussion Forum on topics ranging across the board. Melanie lives in Andersonville with her husband Christian, son Jack, daughter Clara, and dog Parker.

NPN Leadership Transition

One thing I learned when I had toddlers: transitions are never easy. Whether dropping off at preschool, leaving them with a sitter, or getting through the nightly routine of dinner, bath, books and bed - my kids seemed to resist every step of the way. Naturally, I picked up a few tricks along the way: give plenty of notice, offer clear choices, and set a time limit if necessary.


Now, I find myself trying to heed my own advice. After being a part of this valued and trusted organiz...

Posted on March 15, 2016 at 4:47 PM by Melanie Schlachter

NPN's 4th Annual Developmental Differences Resource Fair is Mar 8!

NPN proudly presents our 4th Annual Developmental Differences Resource Fair!  This event was created to help parents of children (ages infant through 8th grade) with a range of developmental differences - developmental delays (i.e., speech, motor skills), sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome, physical disabilities, and more. 


Where: DePaul College Prep, 3633 N. California Ave., Chicago


When: ...

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 5:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Top 10 reasons to take your little ones to Chicago Toy & Game Fair PLUS GIVEAWAY

Come out and play! The Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG), is two days of unforgettable fun for all ages - hands on play time, special events, life-sized toys & games, contests galore, costumed characters and so much more.  We are BIG FANS!  NPN is excited to be hosting a super fun lounge with Building Blocks Toy Store!  

Plan a day at ChiTAG (Nov. 22 & 23 @ Navy Pier): Purchase your discounted NPN $10 Family Pass Here and make sure you are ready to play! (normally $30 for a fa...

Posted on November 13, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

The Switch Witch

Many parents find themselves asking, "What do we do with all the Halloween candy?" Earlier this year, we discovered my son had sensitivities to just about every food imaginable. Thus began our clean eating regmine, free of all gluten, corn & artificial dyes (easier said than done). Needless to say, I knew that Halloween, once our family's favorite holiday, risked becoming a battle if I didn't figure out how to get the sacks full of candy that he could no longer indulge out of the house...

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

School Fair - Know Before You Go

The NPN Annual Preschool & Elementary School Fair presented by Bright Start College Savings is just days away! Here are all of the details you need to help you prepare before you arrive on Sat. October 18th, in order to have a great school search experience.


Check out the Exhibitor List to see who will be exhibiting. 

Create your "Must-Visit" list of exhibitors. ***Want to personalize your search criteria? You can do this with NPN's My Director...

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

NPN's My Directory: Your #1 School Search Tool

Need help finding the right school for your family? Look no further!  The NPN members-only My Directory has some amazing new features to make your daycare, preschool and elementary school search so much easier. Navigate your family's school search fast and easy from your home or office.

How does it work?

Make sure your NPN membership is active - RENEW or JOIN and log in

Search the online directory using the Keyword (e.g., Montessori) OR use the advanced search to find wha...

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

NPN 2014 School Fairs: What to Expect and How to Prepare

School Fair season has arrived! Since Chicago School Search is so overwhelming and parents want to make the most of their School Fair visit, we are here to help you get ready! 

The fairs are set up as an expo with schools, enirchment programs, and childcare exhibitors set up in rows around the room.  Attendees can walk around and talk with representatives from public and private preschool and elementary schools, non-profits, and businesses with activities and services that cater to lit...

Posted on September 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

How do you build your family network?

Who is in your family support network? Studies show one of the top 7 things happy families have is a strong support network - or mom friends!

I recenly chatted with Alison de Castro, host of the new family television program Playground Chicago, to discuss ways to build your network.

Here are some top tips:

Make it a point to get out of the house! Pick events or outings to go to where you’ll be in the position of meeting people. I suggest finding a moms group - NPN has ...

Posted on July 12, 2014 at 5:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

How to find a trusted doctor in Chicago

Looking for a reliable and experienced pediatrician, OB, dentist or speech therapist?

You can now find and recommend medical professionals quickly and easily from within your trusted NPN community. Our new Doctor Directory compiles member feedback straight from the Discussion Forum, making it easy to search by doctor name, specialty and location. Powered by Human Practice, we'll help you find the right doctor without the stress!

How it works:

Who has access to the directory...

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Elementary School & Beyond

Just because your child(ren) started school, doesn't mean you necessarily have all of the answers. For over 34 years, NPN has been helping Chicago families connect with the resources they need to navigate city parenting, primarily focusing on pregnancy through preschool aged kids. However, we recognize that there are so many more questions and so many more trusted resources that NPN can provide as kids get a little older.

As the parent of a Kindergartener (with my second one only a yea...

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 5:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter