Posts from: February 2016

Does a kindergartener need a tutor to get ahead? |

If a child is behind in speech or language development, or not keeping up with his class academically, hiring a speech therapist or tutor is a no-brainer. But does a 5-year-old with typcial development need extra help—just to get ahead? 

An NPN member posted this question on our discussion forum this week after discovering that many of her friends' young children were enrolled in tutoring programs. Do kindergarteners need this kind of academic challenge, and is this really as perv...

Posted on February 26, 2016 at 11:45 AM by Laura Baginski

Philanthropy spotlight: Special Olympics Chicago

Anyone who has competed in sports knows the positive effects it can have: learning what it means to be a part of a team, testing physical and emotional limits, and improving overall health. Thanks to Special Olympics Chicago, 6,000 athletes with intellectual abilities get to experience all the highs and lows that come with participating in sports—without having to pay for a thing.


How does the Special Olympics accomplish this? Through creative fundraising endeavors, such as the up...

Posted on February 25, 2016 at 11:16 AM by Laura Baginski

Why I chose a midwife for my third birth |

Photo credit: Courtesy of Corene Peloquin


Before the birth of my first child, I prepared by taking classes, reading and meditating with the intention of having a natural, calm and drug-free delivery. Instead, I left the hospital with my son feeling very disappointed in many things, including myself.  

With a doctor-led birth, you are putting all your trust in your doctor and expecting everything to be what you...

Posted on February 24, 2016 at 11:55 AM by Corene Peloquin

7 ways daycare changed our lives for the better

Truth be told, I’m the last person who wanted to put her child in daycare. When my son was born, we had a full-time nanny. When he was 18 months old, we found ourselves needing a new child care arrangement, and my husband suggested daycare so our son would have more socialization and learning activities.

I started researching daycares (on NPN’s forum, of course), and we chose a referral. My son’s first few weeks in daycare were a transition—more for me than him—but he quickly became co...

Posted on February 23, 2016 at 10:26 AM by Lidia Varesco Racoma

Why we chose a nanny over daycare

With our first child, we agonized over most decisions, but deciding what to do about child care was the hardest. It gave me constant anxiety and frequently kept me up at night. It was one of those BIG scary decisions we procrastinated making.

My husband and I grew up with stay-at-home moms, and while I knew I would go back to work, it took me a while to realize what that meant. Would we still be raising our daughter if she spent more wakeful hours in child care than with us? What type ...

Posted on February 23, 2016 at 9:21 AM by Katie Wilson

When your kid isn't invited to a birthday party |

Photo credit: Brian Geltner/Flickr

When your kid is one of the few kids in her class who didn't get invited to a classmate's birthday party, the exclusion stings in many ways. You hurt for your kid, you are annoyed at the birthday boy's parents and it may even dredge up some old, long-forgotten hurt feelings from your own childhood. What's the best way to handle this slight and the emotions that come with it? That's one of the many topics NPN members are weighing in on today on th...

Posted on February 19, 2016 at 2:27 PM by Laura Baginski

5 awesome Chicago services for special-needs kids |

Photo credit: Courtesy Therapy Yoga Gymnastics Rocks

If your child has a developmental difference, you know you need to find a support team to help him excel, whether it's a therapist, a specialty school, a developmental pediatrician or all of the above. You'll be able to find all of these resources at NPN's Developmental Differences Resource Fair on March 13, but you'll also be able to find services that provide realy cool experiences for your child. 

Check out these exhibito...

Posted on February 18, 2016 at 9:38 AM by Laura Baginski

NPN releases brand new perk discounts on indoor play & birthday party pacakges!

There is no excuse for boredom when you're a NPN Member! Save $100's on kid's classes, activities and birthday party packages with NPN Parent Perks! Here is a small sampling of brand new discounts: 

My Gym Chicago: $60 Off a Deluxe or Premier Celebration birthday party. Party can be held anytime during the year, just needs to be booked by February 29th. 

Take a Break Playcare: 15% off 2 hour private rental for children's parties or special event on a Sunday. Must book by 3/30/...

Posted on February 16, 2016 at 6:06 AM by Ellie Ander

Potty training doesn't have to be a battle

Oh, potty training. It’s something you look forward to (hello, end of diapers!) but in reality it is like you are going to war. And the worst part? You are under the command of a temperamental toddler who couldn’t care less about your expensive furniture or about taking a break from playing to sit on a cold, hard toilet. But here’s the thing: You will get through it. How? By being flexible, investing in some great carpet cleaners (and a bottle of wine if need be) and maintaining a sense o...

Posted on February 13, 2016 at 9:42 AM by Amanda Simkin

Overheard on the NPN forum: Simple, easy meals

It's hard enough to cook dinner on any given day, but when you have a picky eater—or, even more challenging, a picky, vegetarian kid—putting together a meal at the end of a stressful day becomes a herculean task. So what are some good recipes that involve very little prep and cooking time that doesn't involve Hamburger Helper? NPN members offered tons of great ideas on the discussion forum this week in two different threads: one about simple, cheap vegetarian meals for kids, and one about ...

Posted on February 12, 2016 at 8:45 AM by Laura Baginski