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.

Jump into NPN - Free Pass to Pump it Up!

Happy New Year from NPN! Can you answer yes to any of the following?  With my low-cost NPN membership I found:

A great childcare solution

Preschool & Elementary school search help

Help with sleep and potty training

Great events throughout the year

Connections with other parents

24-7 support on the Discussion Forum

We want to help more families answer YES! 

Join, renew or purchase an NPN gift membership through February 28, 2013, and recei...

Posted on January 01, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

New NPN Discussion Forum - The Backstory & Family Treasures Giveaway

What do you love about NPN's Discussion Forum? What new features are you most looking forward to when the new Discussion Forum launches later this month?

Tell us by commenting on the blog post below and be entered to win a Family 4 Pack of tickets to Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove! Show is Friday, Sept 14, 7pm at Allstate Arena. Perfect for ages 2+. One winner will be selected and contacted on Monday, August 13. Share your NPN "treasures" with us below for a chance to win!


Posted on August 08, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

New NPN Discussion Forum - Sneak Peak!

The NEW NPN Discussion Forum is launching very soon!  We can't wait to show you all of the cool features and enhancements. As with all technology projects, things always take a little longer than expected and given the thousands of forum posts and nearly 6,000 users, we want to make this a smooth and seamless transition. We thank you for your patience as we roll out this exciting new tool.

Here are a just a few of the newest features that are on their way:

Separate Ch...

Posted on July 25, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Working vs. Staying at Home

We’ve all heard the song. But when it comes to making the decision to leave your career and potentially become a stay-at-home parent, it may not always be as lyrical.

The NPN Discussion Forum is filled with parents grappling with work-life balance issues. Whether facing a change voluntarily or due to circumstances out of ones hands, we’ve heard lots about the benefits of staying in a career AND staying at home.

“If I go there will be trouble”


Besides the obvious need to p...

Posted on July 16, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Babysitting Co-Op: More than "Free" Babysitting

Are you fortunate enough to have friends and family nearby, willing to drop everything so that you can enjoy an evening out, attend an adults-only school function or just run some errands without kids in tow? If you're one of these lucky few, no need to read any further. The rest of you may want to read on. 


The typical cost for babysitting in Chicago starts around $10/hr and goes up from there. And a good sitter is tough to find. Our breaking point with sitte...

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

5 Birthday Party Planning Dilemmas - Solved!

As we prepare to host my daughter's third birthday party this weekend, my head is spinning with all of the little last minute details. Fortunately, I know I can turn to the trusty Discussion Forum to answer many of my party planning questions.

5 Birthday Party Planning Dilemmas:

What's the proper etiquette on inviting classmates and siblings?

To open presents during the party or not? 

How to host a "no gifts please" party or consider a donation drive in lieu of gift...

Posted on June 19, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Coping with Transition & Change - Summer Parent to Parent Newsletter is Here

One thing that's true of every parent's experience: just when you get used to one phase of your child's life, things change! In the Summer issue of Parent to Parent, we take a look at how parents cope with various changes and transitions in their family lives. Download the new issue now (may take 1-2 minutes to complete) to read about:

Transitioning from 1 to 2

Entering Mommydom

From Conference Calls to Playdates

And there's more!

Kid-sized fun this summer...

Posted on June 05, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Green Metropolis Fair: Green is About More than Recycling

The Green Metropolis Fair this Saturday, April 14,  is for individuals and families to come out and learn about Chicago’s green and sustainability community. Being Green is no longer just about recycling. It also includes:

What you eat

Where your food comes from

What you grow in your garden

What type of transportation you use

What you buy for your house, and

What you wear

As one of Chicago’s largest local green fairs, there is something for every...

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 5:17 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Get the gift of NPN at one of our NEW retail partners!

Looking for the PERFECT GIFT for a new or soon to be parent? NPN is thrilled to announce the sales of our gift memberships through these terrific Chicago retail partners:

Beautiful Beginnings

Flourish Studios


Lazar's Furniture

Little Beans Cafe

Little Threads

Urba Baby

vfish Designs

Give the gift of NPN - a year of connections, support & most-have city parenting information - for only $45. As an added bonus, receive $10 of...

Posted on April 02, 2012 at 12:58 PM by Melanie Schlachter

NPN's Upcoming Events

Spring has sprung, and NPN is sprouting with great events to try with or without the little ones. In case your email is in full bloom, here are a few you won't want to miss!

Two of the biggest worries facing most parents today are how to pay for your children's college education while still making sure you stay on track for your retirement. Join NPN and our panel of experts for Parent University: College Savings and Retirement on Tuesday, March 27 from 7:00 - 8:30pm at Flourish Stu...

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 5:08 AM by Melanie Schlachter