From Chicago and beyond, I've been pretty impressed with the resources people have divulged!
This list included some resources only located in Chicago but, some are internet and national. Hopefully this list can inspire you to find similar services.
First, Amazon Mom. Coming into my life about a week or so ago I haven't explored its full reach but something to think about if you use Amazon at all. One of the obvious tools is setting up regular deliveries of your favorite products such as formula or diapers. I personally just registered with Amazon and have found it to be extremely simple and helpful because I'm not limited to one store's stock.
Second, Freecycle. I receive daily emails from Freecycle telling me about FREE items Chicagoans are offering and items they want. I've found good homes for stuff I no longer want in my home and found items I've been searching for. Lots of clothes, electronics, children items, furniture, building supplies, working and broken items alike all show up on the site. It takes a bit to weed through but sometimes you can find some jewels! My last great discovery was a listing for Saturday's Freecycle FREE MARKET - like a flea market but everything is free including services!
Third, Neighborhood Parents Network. With this site I've found fun new groups to meet up with, new moms to hang out with, and fun talks to attend.
Forth, The Chicago Public Library. I am excited to get out of my house after having baby K and one of the free places will be the library. Although they don't have infant reading events they have instituted kids reading groups, Chicago Reads Together. The library also gives great resources for reading to your children and if they have learning disabilities.
Fifth, Sitter City. I am pretty excited about this resource. They have a compiled listing of nannies and sitters located in the area so if we a date night is calling we have an already vetted list of applicants. Check it out, they are nationwide!
There are, of course, more but these are some good ones I've begun to use in the last few months.
Do you have any other resources you think I should know about as a new parent?