AOL Introduces AOL Parenting

    October 18, 2004

America Online has given birth to its newest offering, AOL Parenting, a one-stop online resource to help parents and families manage their busy lives.

With nearly 30 percent of online moms using the Internet to get information about pregnancy, parenting or being a new mom,(1) this new resource for the first time joins respected content from Healthy Pregnancy with Baby Talk and Parenting magazines, all in one convenient location. The new channel delivers customizable planning and organizational tools such as the Healthy Pregnancy Planner and a new baby namer, the latest, need-to-know parenting information and shopping guides to meet everyday parenting needs. By joining Pregnancy Circles and Mom-to-Mom Circles, parents can connect at anytime with other moms and dads for advice and support.

“Managing a family is one of life’s greatest challenges, so AOL Parenting offers a comprehensive array of services and information parents need, in an easy to access format,” said Tina Sharkey, senior vice president of AOL Life Management and Community. “AOL Parenting marks a continuation of our Life Management strategy to provide members with all the services they need to make their days, and lives, easier to navigate.”

Available at AOL Keyword: Parenting, the Parenting channel joins AOL’s series of offerings to make everyday life easier. Through services such as Bill Pay, AOL Food, AOL Diet & Fitness and AOL Research & Learn, AOL provides busy parents everyday tools and solutions that simplify their daily routines and responsibilities, including raising a family. Recognizing parents’ concerns about their family’s online safety, AOL offers Parental Controls to help members manage their kids’ and teens’ activities and time spent online. The KOL and RED services are designed entirely for the kids and teens audiences to ensure for a more secure and personalized online experience for young audiences.

“The daily demands of parenting and raising a family can no doubt be overwhelming, as can the endless questions that surface throughout pregnancy and the stages of childhood,” said Susan Kane, Editor-in-Chief of BabyTalk. “That’s why we are thrilled to further the AOL/Time Inc. Interactive relationship, bringing AOL members expert editorial advice and answers to such plaguing questions as ‘How do I choose the right day care center? What type of stroller should I buy? What are the most popular baby names?'”

Key features of AOL Parenting include:

— Ages + Stages: This comprehensive directory featuring thousands of articles from the editors at Parenting magazine provides AOL members with authoritative information on the major milestones to look for in a child’s physical, mental and emotional development. Topics such as health, eating and lifestyle are addressed for children ranging from birth to 12 years.

— The Healthy Pregnancy Planner (HPP): This innovative, customizable weekly planner provides the mom-to-be with personalized information from Parenting, BabyTalk and Healthy Pregnancy magazines, coaching her from conception to due date. The customized Weekly View illustrates fetal development with photos and gives timely tips on health, exercise, body changes and more. Synched up with AOL Calendar, a Pregnancy Calendar not only keeps track of prenatal care appointments and the baby’s first kick – it also links to relevant articles for each week of pregnancy. A weekly e-mail includes even more relevant news and tips from other women based on their own pregnancy experiences.

— The Pregnancy Record: Moms-to-be can create, print and share a keepsake of their personalized pregnancy experiences. This record captures milestones, thoughts and information about the baby for easy retrieval of what moms want to remember most about their pregnancies.

— Pregnancy Circles and Mom-to-Mom Circles: AOL’s community of 23 million members offers a built-in support network to which expectant mothers and parents can turn for real-life advice and to share momentous occasions. The Pregnancy Circles and Mom-to-Mom Circles are an extremely popular way for members to meet other parents across the country, with members posting more than 2,500 entries a week to the two communities.

— Shopping: Integrated with AOL’s inStore commerce channel, AOL Parenting makes shopping easy with the click of a mouse, allowing parents to search for different items while comparing the various brands and prices. Also on the AOL Parenting channel, parents can consult expert recommendations and Parenting “Mom-Tested” reviews on the latest gear such as strollers and high chairs, as well as the must-have toys of the season. Parents can also consult a checklist of essential items and create, store and share “wish lists” with friends and family. Additionally, parents can sign up for free product recall Alerts and other timely product safety announcements.

— Baby Namer Tool: Members can explore thousands of names gathered by the top experts in the field, organized in fun to use categories like “Celebrity,” “Cool Trends” or “The Classics.” The Baby Namer also provides the story behind a name, tracks the name’s popularity over time and enables members to share their favorites with friends and family.

— Learning: Through AOL Research & Learn, families can obtain tips on how to maximize a child’s potential and properly prepare kids for school. Grade readiness checklists track a child’s progress from preschool through high school.

— Other AOL Parenting features include a birth options planner featuring a checklist to help guide women through the many delivery options.

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