It’s 3 in the morning; you stand with your newborn as you rock them in your arms trying to get them to fall back asleep. You’ve tried everything at this point and wish there was one place you could look to find an answer that might help you sleep even for a couple hours tonight. Enter, Village for Parents. Launched in July 2015, Village is a community for expecting, new and experienced parents to ask questions, get reliable answers and connect with parents who are in or have gone through similar experiences. We recently spoke with Chris Winn (Founder) and Carolyn Sutton (Public Relations) to learn more about this exciting new resource for parents.
Crane: Where did the idea and name for Village come from?
Village: Three years ago, my wife and I were expecting twins and felt pressure to have everything we needed and learn everything about how to be the best parents. We relied on our family and friends for general advice, but no one we knew had twins. We struggled to find dependable information, advice and guidance about this specifically. The internet is so cluttered with opinions that it’s a bad place to find good information.
“We wanted to create a place for parents to connect with other parents who are in the same boat and could share their hard earned advice.”
When it came to naming this community, we wanted to keep it simple, so it came down to the old saying, “It takes a Village to raise a child.” It’s the perfect name for our community.
Crane: Walk me through how to find your app on my phone and how to ask a question.
Village: Right now we’re only available for iPhone users, but we’re planning to release on Android in early 2016. To download, search “Village for Parents” in the App Store. Once you’ve created an account, asking a question is easy – you just tap the plus sign and start typing. You can also tag friends, add photos share your question on social media so your friends who don’t have the app can see and answer as well.
Crane: What is your ultimate goal in developing Village and what do you hope parents get out of being a part of this community?
Village: We wanted to empower moms and dads to reclaim the time and energy they might otherwise spend researching the web for advice and recommendations.
“As a parent, as soon as you’re comfortable and used to one stage, your child(ren) is already passed it and onto the next stage. You need advice and resources that move as fast as your child does.”
When you post a question to Village, we deliver it to other parents with children who are a similar age, having similar issues, etc. or parents who have already gone through these experiences. This way you’ll always get relevant and empathetic responses. For tougher questions, we also have a growing network of experts, including behavioral therapists, sleep consultants and lactation consultants who regularly weigh-in.
Crane: What question is most commonly asked?
Village: Generally the most common types of questions have to do with the greatest pain points of being a parent: sleepless nights, potty training, teething, and behavioral issues to name a few.
Crane: As parents yourselves, what are 3 pieces of advice you have for expecting or new parents?
Village:(Chris) Number 1, give yourself and your kids a lot of grace, life isn’t scripted. You never know what’s going to happen and you just have to roll with it sometimes. 2, Trust your gut. Village is a great place to get advice, guidance towards making a decision but at the end of the day you’re the only one who knows what’s best for your values and your family. And 3, Make a point to stop and smell the roses. There are so many great moments in parenthood that you have to appreciate those positive and special moments and use them to get through the tougher times.
(Carolyn) As a mom of three, I can tell you that, first, you have to take it day by day. Don’t try to be the perfect parent by rushing off to all these classes and filling your day with unnecessary tasks, but truly enjoy the time with your newborn. Instead of trying to get to everything I should have just stayed home and cuddled with my newborn to enjoy that first stage more. Second, what’s really important is to focus on what makes you happy. Especially now with the internet there are a lot of outside influencers telling you what to do and everything but ultimately you have to go back to your family and do what matters to you as a family.
Lastly, don’t stress if they don’t sleep through the night, eventually they will. You have to tell yourself, this too shall pass because it’s true.
Crane: What can users expect in the next couple months from Village?
Village: We have three big additions to Village that are coming up. As we mentioned before the app will be available in early 2016 on Android devices, and we’re very excited to be expanding to parents there. We’re also constantly working to grow our network of Village experts. We’re looking to add pediatricians and dentists. We want moms and dads to use Village to get the highest quality answers and having experts is a great way to ensure that. Lastly, we’re going to release a new feature that makes it easier to find products. Often the answer to many of our parents’ questions relate directly to a product or service so being able to direct them to the exact product or service will be beneficial both for the parents but also for brands.
Huge thank you to Chris and Carolyn for taking the time to talk to us about Village and all it offers for parents. Check them out on their website and Facebook page and be sure to download the app on your phone.
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