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    Join us for a FREE Friday Morning Playdate at the brand new Kensington School of Lincoln Park from 9-11am. Music, Play and Exploration will be included for ages 2-5! Snacks for the children will be provided and Parents – grab a cup of coffee and enjoy as your kids have fun and engage with peers! Kensington School of Lincoln Park is located at 2745 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
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    Join the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago to celebrate the last Family Day of the season! Sueños Music Festival will be raffling two pairs of tickets for the Sueños Music Festival event. Join us as we bring together incredible local artists for a day of workshops and interactive experiences. Salvador Andrade will be leading a collaborative workshop using found objects that draw inspiration from Mexican textiles. Mr. Pintamuro, known for his captivating artwork that merges Aztec and Mayan storytelling with Japanese anime, will share his expertise and creativity with families. Printmaker Atlan Arceo will guide participants of all ages through a workshop on various print techniques for all ages. The Mexican Consulate of Chicago is collaborating with us to share two stories from Home is Somewhere Else, directed by Carlos Hagerman and Jorge Villalobos, which is a unique and timely animated documentary that tells stories of immigrant youth, exploring each character’s inner world alongside their colorful hopes, and dreams for a better future. Don’t miss our family workshop, Tell Me About Your Wings, to learn more about the traditional techniques of indigenous cultures in Mexico, such as the Wixárika, in commemoration of Jorge Marín’s sculpture Wings of Mexico. Last but not least, Borderless Magazine will be conducting family interviews for all ages to highlight stories that will be published in the near future! Designed and led by Chicago artists, Family Day is a monthly program that allows families and youth to connect and engage with contemporary art through activities and performances for all-ages. Enjoy FREE admission while taking part in workshops, open studio sessions, gallery tours, performances, and more. Activities are facilitated in English and Spanish with ASL interpretation provided. This is a free event, and no RSVP is required. But you can go here for more information and advanced tickets. Parking garage is located on Chicago Avenue just west of Fairbanks Court and adjacent to the museum. The garage does not provide direct access to the museum. When you exit the garage, simply turn right and walk west up Chicago Avenue. Our entrances face Mies Van Der Rohe Way. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: sypervaiz@mcachicago.org.
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  8. Embarking on family adventures, such as road trips, airport travels, or exploring foreign lands, often poses the challenge of picky eating. A change in routine, exposure to new environments, and the availability of unfamiliar cuisines can all contribute to a child's resistance to trying new foods. As a registered dietitian, I emphasize the importance of healthy eating, consistent meal frequency, adequate protein and energy intake, and hydration while minimizing highly processed foods. In this article, we'll explore the reasons behind children's picky eating during travel and offer practical tips to ensure proper nutrition whether on a road trip, at the airport, or overseas. Tips to Improve Eating Habits and Promote Nutrition on the Road, at the Airport, and Overseas Create a Portable Pantry for Road Trips I advocate for planning by packing a cooler with ice packs and a variety of healthy snacks. Options like cut-up/whole fruits or vegetable sticks paired with a healthy dip like dark chocolate/regular hummus, plain Greek yogurt, or nut butter packs, along with single-serving packet choices such as yogurt-covered/plain raisins, applesauce, low sodium jerky, seaweed snacks, popcorn, dried mango, dates, mini energy bars, cheese sticks/balls, drinkable kefir, cheese/nut crackers, plain/dark chocolate pretzels, pistachios or dark chocolate almonds, and sunflower seeds can provide essential nutrients during long drives. As a dietitian, I recommend avoiding excessive reliance on sugary treats, which can lead to energy spikes followed by crashes. Airport Adventures Navigating airport dining can be challenging, but with thoughtful planning, it becomes manageable. Carry a mix of healthy snacks such as the ones mentioned above. Look for airport restaurants offering balanced options like salads, wraps, or grilled chicken. Whether you're on a road trip, at the airport, or overseas, having a stash of familiar, healthy snacks can be a game-changer. Hydration is Key I stress the importance of staying hydrated during travel. Carry reusable water bottles and encourage regular sips. Limit sugary drinks and opt for water or diluted 100% fruit juices. Coconut water is also a great choice! Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining energy levels and overall well-being. Balanced Fast Food Choices While on the road, fast food may be the most convenient option. However, as a dietitian, I recommend making mindful choices by selecting items with a balance of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. Many fast-food establishments now offer healthier alternatives, such as grilled chicken options or salads. Opt for Buffets or Family-Style Dining Choose restaurants that offer buffet or family-style dining options. This allows children to explore various dishes in smaller portions without feeling overwhelmed. It also gives them a sense of control over their meal choices. Embrace International Flavors Traveling abroad provides a unique opportunity to expose your child to diverse cuisines. Encourage kids to try small portions of local dishes. For food safety, focus on foods that are cooked thoroughly and filtered bottled water. Engaging in the cultural aspect of food can make the experience more enjoyable. Explore Local Markets While overseas, immerse your family in the local food culture by exploring markets. Allow your child to pick out fresh fruits, vegetables, or local snacks. This not only promotes healthy eating but also provides an exciting cultural experience. Maintain Routine with Time Zone Changes If traveling across time zones, try to maintain a consistent mealtime routine as much as possible. This helps regulate your child's hunger and ensures they receive the nutrients their growing bodies need. Set a Healthy Example Children often model their behavior after their parents. Demonstrate the importance of nutrition by making mindful food choices yourself. If they see you enjoying a variety of nutritious foods, they may be more inclined to do the same. Juggling picky eating during family travels requires creativity, preparation, and a dash of flexibility. By understanding the reasons behind picky eating while on the road, at the airport, or overseas, and implementing practical tips, you can transform mealtime into an opportunity for nutritional exploration. As a dietitian, my emphasis is on creating lasting memories of nourishing adventures for your child, ensuring they receive the nutrients their growing bodies need.
  9. NPN Sitaara

    Making Travel Au-some

    Traveling with children can be fun, exciting and challenging and traveling with a child with a special needs child adds a whole new dynamic. I’m a mom of three: I have one 3 year old son and 5 year old boy/girl twins and my oldest son, Owen, has autism. To get ready for a trip, whether that be an outing in the city, a car trip or a flight, I prepare well in advance, know my resources, plan for the day and embrace a positive attitude. Prepare in advance: Clear expectations, visuals and schedules help Owen process new outings. When preparing for our trip to Florida, we worked with Owen’s incredible and life changing therapy team at Chicago Pediatric Therapy and Wellness Center and utilized a social story. To our delight, Shannon Hurst, Owen’s Occupational Therapist, even went as far as to create a mock trip to Florida to help him prepare. During this mock trip, Owen boarded a flight with his own ticket, practiced wearing headphones to block out loud noises, engaged in a few typical Florida activities while working through sensory challenges such as using sunscreen, playing in the sand and wearing a bathing suit and sandals, and practiced boarding a flight home. This mock trip approach helped Owen know what to expect and equipped him with the tools to navigate uncomfortable situations, such as counting when applying sunscreen and wearing sandals when walking on the beach. Know your resources: Did you know that airports offer a variety of services such as TSA Cares to assist travelers with diverse needs? On the TSA Cares website, you can submit a request for assistance through the screening process and indicate any foreseeable challenges. For Owen, it is imperative that he carry his comfort item through security so I request that a hand scanner is used. We have been very fortunate flying out of O’Hare and have worked with extremely compassionate TSA Cares representatives. Additionally, airlines offer accessible travel options. Since most airplanes can be overwhelming sensory experiences, you can request to board early to get settled and some airlines even offer special perks like a children’s activity packet with a sensory calming strip. When traveling locally, seek out sensory friendly kid attractions. One of our favorites is Lincoln Park Zoo. They do a fantastic job hosting sensory friendly events throughout the year, including a sensory friendly evening during Zoo Lights. Like many other museums, sporting venues and concert arenas, they have a partnership with KultureCity, a non-profit that is dedicated to “creating sensory accessibility and inclusion for those with invisible differences”. When dining out, be sure to indicate your family’s needs when you make your reservation. Request a table or quieter spot in the restaurant that might suit your child best and provide the restaurant with any relevant allergy information. Plan for the day of: Preparation is key for any type of travel and if possible, allow your child to engage in gross motor play prior to and during the trip. If you’re driving, take a minute to walk around the rest stop. If you’re in an airport and see an empty gate, take advantage of open space. Be sure to throw some extra clothes in for the unexpected spill or accident. And of course pack many highly preferred snacks, as you can’t go wrong with snacks. YumEarth has Elderberry lollipops infused with vitamins and they are allergy friendly - a win win, boost your child’s immunity while giving them a calming treat. Additionally, Melissa & Doug mess free coloring sheets and workbooks as well as fidget tools provide entertainment for those long trips and potential delays. Embrace a positive attitude: Traveling can be an exciting opportunity for children to see the world in a new way and certainly will come with many hiccups. It has been helpful for us to break down the travel day into steps and explain each part to our children and celebrate as we make it through the various parts of the day. And yes, there are moments when I look at my husband and wonder, “Why did we sign up for this? Are we crazy?” and then we remember, we are turning therapeutic moments into valuable experiences and making lifelong memories.
  10. It used to be a painful exercise when I had to write a note to our son’s teachers to let them know we would be taking our son out of school for a family vacation. The guilt would sink in and I would start to think we were bad parents for not putting enough focus on his education. I would write and re-write these emails and would get a knot in my stomach after hitting send as I wondered what his teachers must be thinking of us for prioritizing a trip over the classroom. But as we’ve traveled more and I’ve gotten more practice writing these types of emails, I’ve come to a few basic conclusions: Travel is education. The memories and experiences gained through travel can sometimes be more valuable than the lessons learned inside a classroom. Our son is still very young and him being absent for a handful of days each school year is not going to have an impact on him learning the class material. The time we enjoy together on vacation is crucial for our family. The reliance on technology, work stresses, and constant running around the city for errands, after school activities and birthday parties takes a toll. It is a huge release to be able to leave all this behind and just focus on each other. Some will argue that vacations are no reason to take a child out of school, and I am also very aware that just being able to take a vacation is a privilege. But if you are able to take a trip and decide to do so during your child’s schooldays, here are a few tips on how to write that note to your child’s teacher: Before you send that email, review the school’s policies. What is considered an excused absence vs. an unexcused absence? What, if any consequences, will there be if your child accumulates too many unexcused absences? Communicate well in advance of your trip. Telling your child’s teacher a day or two before you plan on taking your child out of school for a trip is not best practice, and it’s not respecting the teacher’s time. We like to give our son’s teachers at least a month's heads-up when we need to take him out of school so they can modify their lesson plans for him, if necessary. Focus on academics. Your child’s teacher is concerned about your child’s academics, not your family spending a week at Disney World or Spring Training in Arizona during the middle of March when school is in session. So, let your child’s teachers know that your child will be making up any assignments they’ll miss. If assignments are posted online in Google Classroom or another platform, even better. Your child can still complete/submit work on time when they’re gone. Be honest. There’s no reason to make up a story about why your child is going to be absent. You’re taking a trip. At the same time, as mentioned above, you don’t need to share your vacation itinerary with your child’s teachers.
  11. ACM School of Music has taught thousands of adults and kids to express themselves musically. We offer recitals, jam sessions, karaoke nights, and the chance to create new music for our Molto Tutti Festival. Being at ACM means you’re part of an organization that produces wildly creative events like the Sound of Silent Film Festival, the Thirsty Ears Festival, the PBS series Songs About Buildings and Moods and many others.
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    Exhibit Hall Visitor Tickets You are registering for Exhibit Hall Visitor Tickets to The Ultimate Baby Shower. Click the green "Register Now" button to register. Mobile users, scroll down. New visitors will be asked to create a username and password. This gives you free, limited access to NPN. For full access to NPN, join now. Exhibit Hall Visitor Tickets gives you access to the expo to meet local businesses, childcare experts, and services dedicated to supporting families. This ticket level does not include a gift bag, speaker break-out sessions, or mini-spa area. However, you may be able to add on those services at the event, pending space available. Enter the raffle for giveaways by bringing dipaers or wipes to donate to Share our Spare. To purchase General Admission, Special Guest or VIP tickets, click here $20 General Admission: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, and info bag SOLD OUT - $30 Special Guest: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, and mini-spa area $45 VIP: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, mini-spa area, gift bag, and keynote speaker When you register for the baby shower, you permit us to share your contact information with the organizers. Do you have questions for the organizers? Let us know. Would you like your business to be involved in this amazing event? Click here to let us know.
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    How do Parents Advocate for their Neurodivergent Students in a Classroom and Support Student Self Advocacy? School can be an amazing place to learn and be in community with others. It can also be a really tricky place to navigate for Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people. Although supporting students through a neurodiversity-affirming lens can lead to positive social-emotional and learning outcomes for all kids, awareness about neurodiversity and neurodiversity-affirming practices within the schools is just emerging. So, how do you share this information with some members of your school team? How can students learn to self-advocate for themselves in the space? Stephanie Boron, M.S., CCC-SLP, will share information on how to make this process easier and more approachable for you and your child that fosters genuine collaboration with your school team. Stephanie Boron, M.S., CCC-SLP is a licensed and Certified Speech and Language Pathologist and Assistant Clinical Professor at Northwestern University. With a focus on creating safe and inclusive spaces, Stephanie specializes in neurodiversity-affirming, child-led evaluation and treatment, with a special interest in gestalt language processing (i.e., communication through scripting/echolalia). Stephanie has an online advocacy presence on Instagram @BeMeSpeech. Stephanie's own neurodivergent identity impacts her advocacy work. She is passionate about creating space for others to listen to and learn from neurodivergent perspective. As a strong believer that disability rights are human rights, I love getting to actively mentor the next generation of clinicians to empower their clients and advocate for change in their communities.
  14. Since my dad died about a year and a half ago, I haven’t visited his grave, I skip past old family photos when my phone reminds me of what happened this day X years ago, and I haven’t spoken about him much with your 7-year-old son. Avoidance has been my way to grieve. But now that my mom has finished grieving the loss of her husband of 50 years and has moved on to find a partner she trusts and is truly happy with, my avoidant behavior is no longer an effective strategy. My mom tells me to just be myself when I first meet her “new friend,” but my other question now is how do I talk with our son about his grandma’s new partner? For guidance (for myself and hopefully others who are in similar situations), I reached out to Dr. Natalia Kaczmarek, a clinical psychologist who is the founder and owner of Northbrook-based Indigo Therapy Group. Here is part of our conversation: Q: How confusing can it be for a child to hear that their grandparent has a boyfriend or girlfriend when all they've known is seeing their grandparents together? Dr. Kaczmarek: I think confusion would be dependent on timing of the disclosure and how they understand love/relationships. It may be helpful to provide some education or a metaphorical story around the importance of seeking out joy, sharing as much love as you can, and that we can never replace special people in our lives, rather, grow in different directions with different people. For younger children, it may also be helpful to explain the expectations around how to relate with the girlfriend or boyfriend. Again, in the spirit of concreteness, they may need to know that calling them by their first name is okay, that relationships take time to grow and there may be some awkward moments, and that finally, this person may be similar to getting to know a "fun aunt" or "cool babysitter". Q: How do you initiate a conversation with your child about their grandparent having a new "friend"? Are there preferred ways of how to refer to their grandparent's new partner? Dr. Kaczmarek: In my experience, kids don't really know what boyfriend or girlfriend fully entails. Sometimes, it's more important to explain who the person is and what the label means. For example, "Grandma has a new boyfriend named Jeff. Jeff and grandma have a lot of things in common that they do together, like... After getting to know each other, they realized they made each other really happy and something special." It may also be helpful to insert some direction around your/the family's reaction is and build in space for the child to ask questions/bring up concerns. For example, "We are really happy for grandma and Jeff because they make every day a bit more fun, and we hope you like Jeff too. If it ever feels a little weird, or, if Jeff makes you miss grandpa, you can always let me know." Q: Should these first few meetings between your child and their grandparent's new partner typically be short, informal, and in a neutral place? In other words, not at your home for the holidays? Dr. Kaczmarek: I recommend something fun and something that has a natural built-in distraction or common activity, like the zoo! Holidays and dinners can feel high pressure, and let's be honest, most kids don't want to sit for extended amounts of time and just talk. Doing something with a common point of interest, even a game or decorating cookies, allows a natural connection to happen that can feel comforting and natural. Kids are intuitive and they will pick up on the feelings of the adults. The more comfortable the adults are with one another, the more grounding it will also be for the kids. Q: What do you tell your child if they ask if their grandparent's friend is going to be their new grandma or grandpa? Dr. Kaczmarek: Well, we are not psychics and it's impossible to answer this question with certainty! But your child probably isn't asking because they need to know the definite answer. If your child is asking about this, they are probably curious or maybe even anxious about something else - for example, will everyone just "forget" the deceased family member? / will there be new traditions? / what if you child doesn't like the new friend? / etc.? If your child is asking this, it's important to be honest with your uncertainty, and to lean into the question with some curiosity. Providing space for your child to express their concerns and validate those things (not necessarily providing solutions), can be very healing in their journey through adjustment and loss. Q: Are there signs parents should look for when trying to determine if their child needs to see a therapist about their grandparent dying? Dr. Kaczmarek: Every kid processes so differently that it's difficult to give a "one size fits all" recommendation. However, if you see any marked changes that are particularly disruptive to their functioning, like frequent emotional distress, externalizing behavior, persistent worries/ruminations about safety/your life, school issues/avoidance, nightmares, or potty issues, it may be helpful to get in with a therapist. It's also important to know that some level of distress is normal and should be anticipated. Other red flags would be if the changes are happening for an extended period of time and if things they used to enjoy don't seem to have the same positive impact. For sensitive children and families that have the privilege of planning, getting started with a therapist pre-emptively may be helpful. Again, it may take quite a while for a therapist to build a connection, reinforce a sense of emotional safety in the room, and teach a variety of emotional concepts to even begin grief work. Starting that work sooner than later would be helpful - and worst comes to worst, your child doesn't need as many sessions as you anticipated!
  15. NPN Jana

    iO Theater

    Join us at the iO Theater this summer for an exciting and immersive week-long improv class designed specifically for teens and youth! Commit to less screen time and more stage time this summer at iO!
  16. NPN Jana

    Family Day | Spring Blooms

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    Join the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on a fantastic journey into the world of alebrijes! Renowned masters of folk art from Oaxaca, Mexico, Jacobo and Maria Angeles, and their son and daughter Sabina and Ricardo Angeles experts in wood carving and creators of the popular figures known as alebrijes, will guide you through a unique experience of color and creativity. In this interactive hands-on workshop, you will learn to color your own Tonas and Nahuales using natural pigments and dyes while exploring authentic techniques passed down through generations. Artist Moises Salazar will leads a hands-on workshop as part of this month’s Family Day and create your own figures and characters through puppet making. Designed and led by Chicago artists, Family Day is a monthly program that allows families and youth to connect and engage with contemporary art through activities and performances for all-ages. Enjoy FREE admission while taking part in workshops, open studio sessions, gallery tours, performances, and more. Activities are facilitated in English and Spanish with ASL interpretation provided. This is a free event, but RSVP is required. Please go here to register. Parking garage is located on Chicago Avenue just west of Fairbanks Court and adjacent to the museum. The garage does not provide direct access to the museum. When you exit the garage, simply turn right and walk west up Chicago Avenue. Our entrances face Mies Van Der Rohe Way. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: sypervaiz@mcachicago.org.
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    Join ALR Connections (HR and Staffing Company) at Werewolf Coffee Bar for coffee and networking. A representative from ALR Connections will be present as well as other NPN Members who are interested in connecting about professional opportunities. ALR Connections has been bringing authenticity and passion to the niche of helping women find jobs where their skills can shine. The locally focused team helps people pivot, reinvent and re-establish themselves in the current workplace by building personal relationships, highlighting transferable skills, and developing a community of professional support. At the same time, ALR helps small businesses without HR departments grow and thrive by vetting and placing perfect-match talent on their behalf. For more information visit alrconnections.com Werewolf Coffee Bar is located at: 1765 N ELSTON AVE, CHICAGO PARKING IS AVAILABLE IN THE 1765 N ELSTON PARKING LOT. ADDITIONAL PARKING IS ON ELSTON AVE.
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    Greektown Chicago is excited to announce the Annual Greek Heritage Parade, celebrating the rich Hellenic identity and culture in Chicago. The parade has been established as one of the biggest annual events in the Chicago Greek community since its founding in the 1960s. During this parade celebration, visitors can see colorful traditional costumes, experience traditional Greek music and dance troupe performances, and watch as the community officially celebrates Greek Independence. Keep a look out for more parade announcements on GreektownChicago.org and follow Greektown on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates. No RSVP is required, but please go here for more information. This is a free event and street parking is available. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: Maggie@silvermangroupchicago.com.
  19. According to NAYEC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), Early childhood education settings are often among children’s first communities outside of the home. "Schools should be environments in which children learn that they are valued by others, learn how to treat others with fairness and respect, and learn how to embrace human differences rather than ignore or fear them." Learn about what Early Childhood programs are doing in the classroom to offer developmentally appropriate curriculum to cultivate Socially Conscious Communities. Thank you to our Supporting Sponsor: Park West Co-Op Nursery School Panelists Include Representatives from: Park West Co-Op Nursery School Bennett Day School
  20. NPN Admin

    Tutu Camp

  21. 🚨 BIDDING CLOSES TONIGHT AT 10PM! 🚨 NPN's annual Online Auction offers great items that Chicago parents want and love, including kids' classes, activities, restaurant gift certificates, massages and access to cool experiences you can't find anywhere else! Peep some of the items at biddingforgood.com/npnparents. 🌟 NEW THIS YEAR! There will NOT be a second-chance auction this year so bid while you can to avoid missing out on a great deal! NEW auction items released DAILY so check back each day! Check back often to see if an item you're eyeing has a slashed price! With the proceeds from our auction, NPN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, will be able to continue to provide support and resources designed to solve the challenges of parenting in Chicago. Questions? Email Amy Johnson at amy@npnparents.org. Want to donate an item, gift certificate, or experience? Donate here. Thank you to our Online Auction Sponsors
  22. NPN Sitaara

    NPN's Online Auction LIVE!

    NPN's annual Online Auction offers great items that Chicago parents want and love, including kids' classes, activities, restaurant gift certificates, massages and access to cool experiences you can't find anywhere else! Peep some of the items at biddingforgood.com/npnparents. 🌟 NEW THIS YEAR! There will NOT be a second-chance auction this year so bid while you can to avoid missing out on a great deal! NEW auction items released DAILY so check back each day! Check back often to see if an item you're eyeing has a slashed price! With the proceeds from our auction, NPN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, will be able to continue to provide support and resources designed to solve the challenges of parenting in Chicago. Bidding opens March 13th at 5am and closes at 10pm on March 17th. Questions? Email Amy Johnson at amy@npnparents.org. Want to donate an item, gift certificate, or experience? Donate here. Thank you to our Online Auction Sponsors
  23. NPN Sitaara

    NPN's Online Auction LIVE!

    NPN's annual Online Auction offers great items that Chicago parents want and love, including kids' classes, activities, restaurant gift certificates, massages and access to cool experiences you can't find anywhere else! Peep some of the items at biddingforgood.com/npnparents. 🌟 NEW THIS YEAR! There will NOT be a second-chance auction this year so bid while you can to avoid missing out on a great deal! NEW auction items released DAILY so check back each day! Check back often to see if an item you're eyeing has a slashed price! With the proceeds from our auction, NPN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, will be able to continue to provide support and resources designed to solve the challenges of parenting in Chicago. Bidding opens March 13th at 5am and closes at 10pm on March 17th. Questions? Email Amy Johnson at amy@npnparents.org. Want to donate an item, gift certificate, or experience? Donate here. Thank you to our Online Auction Sponsors
  24. NPN Sitaara

    NPN's Online Auction LIVE!

    NPN's annual Online Auction offers great items that Chicago parents want and love, including kids' classes, activities, restaurant gift certificates, massages and access to cool experiences you can't find anywhere else! Peep some of the items at biddingforgood.com/npnparents. 🌟 NEW THIS YEAR! There will NOT be a second-chance auction this year so bid while you can to avoid missing out on a great deal! NEW auction items released DAILY so check back each day! Check back often to see if an item you're eyeing has a slashed price! With the proceeds from our auction, NPN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, will be able to continue to provide support and resources designed to solve the challenges of parenting in Chicago. Bidding opens March 13th at 5am and closes at 10pm on March 17th. Questions? Email Amy Johnson at amy@npnparents.org. Want to donate an item, gift certificate, or experience? Donate here. Thank you to our Online Auction Sponsors
  25. Does this sound familiar? You have a breastfeeding problem and go to your doctor, who looks back at you with a blank stare. Or recommends you switch to formula. Or sends you to another doctor who doesn’t know what to do. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. It happened to me when I had my first baby! I saw a lactation consultant as well as my OB/gyn for recurrent plugged ducts and eventually saw a breast surgeon who couldn’t figure out what was going on. Thankfully, we ruled out anything serious, but I continued to struggle with an uncomfortable situation throughout my lactation journey. As a direct result of my difficulty getting answers to my breastfeeding problems, I pursued specialized training in lactation and discovered the field of Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine (BFLM). Excellent breastfeeding and chestfeeding support can and does come from various professionals: lactation consultants, counselors, specialists, midwives, doulas, and yes - OB/GYNs, pediatricians, and family medicine doctors. Believe me, if I didn’t have lactation consultants helping me through my journey, I don’t think I would have made it through in one piece! But when I, like many, encountered a more complex problem that required physician expertise, I couldn’t find anyone to help. Through my professional goals of learning more about lactation, I learned about a little-known group of physicians who had been treating breastfeeding conditions for years – physicians with expertise in the medical nuances, evaluation, and treatment of lactation-related problems. I took every course and went to every conference I could find in the field. Since the start of my training, BFLM has become a board-certified medical specialty through the North American Board of Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine. BFLM provides something distinctive. It is a niche within medicine where providers from different specialties acquire specialized training in caring for breastfeeding dyads. BFLM physicians are different from other lactation professionals in that we can diagnose, order labs or imaging, and prescribe medications or other treatments as part of our care. We are equipped with evidence-based medical expertise to provide that crucial support that was lacking during my journey. BFLM covers a wide range of concerns: painful latch, high or low milk production, recurrent plugged ducts and mastitis, persistent breast and nipple pain, tongue tie concerns, and maternal or infant medical conditions affecting breastfeeding. It also includes support for mothers with twins, re-lactation, and inducing lactation for adoptive or non-birthing parents wishing to lactate. With the addition of BFLM physicians to women’s care teams, I hope that no one feels that their only choice is to switch to formula because they cannot find the support they need. How to feed your infant is a personal choice, and I support families regardless of their choices. However, I strongly advocate for access to appropriate support to make sure that those who do choose to breastfeed or chestfeed can be given their best chance at reaching their goals.
  26. NPN Sitaara

    NPN's Online Auction Opens!

    NPN's annual Online Auction offers great items that Chicago parents want and love, including kids' classes, activities, restaurant gift certificates, massages and access to cool experiences you can't find anywhere else! Peep some of the items at biddingforgood.com/npnparents. 🌟 NEW THIS YEAR! There will NOT be a second-chance auction this year so bid while you can to avoid missing out on a great deal! NEW auction items released DAILY so check back each day! Check back often to see if an item you're eyeing has a slashed price! With the proceeds from our auction, NPN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, will be able to continue to provide support and resources designed to solve the challenges of parenting in Chicago. Bidding opens March 13th at 5am and closes at 10pm on March 17th. Questions? Email Amy Johnson at amy@npnparents.org. Want to donate an item, gift certificate, or experience? Donate here. Thank you to our Online Auction Sponsors
  27. NPN Amy J.

    The Ultimate Baby Shower

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    All new and expecting parents are invited to Chicago's Ultimate Baby Shower! Join us for an afternoon packed with education, pampering, connection, conversations with local experts, and the best products! You will enjoy: - Break-out sessions with Chicago Experts - Complimentary min-spa services - Community building & parent connection - Maternity and new parent photo shoots with TK Photography - Giveaways and information from your favorite Chicago providers including Lil Gourmets, Fit4Mom, Chicago Family Doulas, Bennett Day School, B. Wise Rehabilitation, Kids Work Chicago, British International School of Chicago Lincoln Park, Beauty & the Babe, In Touch Pediatrics, Melt Children's Clothing, and more! Check back soon for more details. Baby gear expert Jamie Grayson of Baby Registry Lab will give the keynote address. Purchase a VIP ticket to attend the keynote! You will be able to ask questions and get hands-on demonstrations of a range of baby gear. He will walk you through products and safety basics in top baby gear categories like car seats, strollers, carriers, and high chairs. During Jamie's address, VIP ticket holders will have a chance to win strollers from Peg Perego and Joovy, a Peg Perego car seat, or a Joovy high chair! Plus, bring diapers or wipes to donate to Share our Spare for your chance to win one of our amazing raffle prizes, including baby mattresses from Kiwi Sleep and Naturpedic, a bottle warmer from Chicco, a play yard from Breeze Go, diaper bags from Enya Mond, City Mouse, and Liing Bag, gift cards from Mable's Labels and Sweetgreen, sensory toys from Innobaby, and a massage from Becca Grimwade Brown. Check bag for more details! Learn more and purchase tickets here: npnparents.org/babyshower Do you have questions for the organizers? Let us know. Would you like your business to be part of this amazing event? Please tell us.
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