When it comes to making things a little easier, we parents will take all the help we can get. But with dozens of new products out there it’s easy to get overloaded before you find one that works for you. That’s why we’ve created a curated list of innovative products we think top the current trend. Scroll down to learn more.
photo: Eli & Nooli
1. Grabease by Elli & Nooli
What it does: Aids chubby little fingers in the practice of self-feeding.
These adorable fork and spoon sets are squat enough that tiny hands can grasp and control with ease, plus they are safer than regular “toddler” flatware: the handle is ergonomically designed and theres a choke barrier. It comes in four colors (dark gray, teal, orange and white) and you can even grab a handy carrying pouch that tucks into your diaper bag or purse. The best part? It helps them develop motor skills right before your eyes. BPA free.
Cost: $9.99–$14.99 for a set (fork and spoon).
2. The Pause Box
What it does: Helps you spend more uninterrupted time together as a family.
We’re all more connected than ever and sometimes, that’s not always a good thing. Kids need uninterrupted, device-free time and so do grown-ups. If you’ve got a teen in your house that won’t stop texting—or maybe it’s you that is guilty of reaching for your phone at every ding—put the outside world on Pause. This sleek device blocks the Wi-Fi signal of any incoming calls, texts, message, or emails. Make it a point of checking your phones in at dinner time, for starters, and enjoy distraction-free family time. We know you need to stay on top of things and we’re not suggesting you keep your phone in there all day long but this stylish box will actually give you back time, we promise.
photo: Simple Habit
3. Simple Habit
What it does: Helps you schedule relaxation into your day! Destress in just minutes.
We get it: between kids, after school care and classes, work, dinner prep and pets there’s barely a moment to breathe in your average day. Even though you’d love to start a regular yoga regime or a mindfulness habit, stuff gets in the way. Enter, Simple Habit, an app that offers you 5-minute meditations for your busy life. You can reduce your stress with taking just 5 minutes per day, and the mediations are customizable. Whether you’ve got a mega deadline at work that’s stressing you out, you need to improve your sleep when you can actually get it, or you’re just feeling run down there’s a mediation just for you.
Cost: Free, 7-day trial. Paid subscriptions vary after first week from $11.99 and up
4. Pixplplay Smartphone Camera
What it does: Transforms your old smartphone into an adorable-but-fully-functional toy camera.
So you’ve upgraded your Smartphone but your last one is paid off (and not worth trading in—we’ve been there). One of the most innovative ideas yet is the Pixlplay Camera. It turns your old phone into a totally functional, easy-to-use camera. With the look and feel of a 35mm, complete with a splash-resistant screen, it’s also interactive: it includes an iOS app and activities so kids can go on photo scavenger hunts and learn about photography. Now you can let the kids take pictures, see the world from their POV and actually get some photos that are print-worthy. Just don’t be surprised when they start asking you for their own Instagram account. While this one isn’t available until June of 2017, we suggest you can preorder now via Kickstarter. Fits the majority of standard smartphones.
Online: Pixlplay Kickstarter Page
5. Project Nursery Parent + Baby SmartBand
What it does: Get your family’s health and habits in sync.
This trio of tracking bands is designed for mom, dad and baby to wear and sync data. You can track your baby’s fetal movements and naps, and log feedings, pumpings, diaper changes, weight and more. Parents can chart their own weight, diet, exercise and sleep, too. Everything is displayed in logs and graphs in an app. You’ll love that the bands have a 30-day battery life. Plus, after the baby tracking features are no longer needed, the smartwatch is still useful for notifications of text messages, caller ID and app notifications.It’s like a family-style Fitbit with baby in mind.
Want more virtual assistance with baby? Here are a few more products we recently learned about to help you before and after birth!
6. The Keepsake Box
What it does: Helps you organize all of their artwork, treasure and papers into something you could display on a book shelf
You love all the notes and stick-figure drawings, but it doesn’t take long for paper to take over your house. Cull the chaos with The Library: Baby Keepsake Box and The Library: School Years Keepsake Box. Each box includes a handcrafted, book cloth case; pre-categorized labels; 9 drawers for tiny things and 8 vertical files (baby version) or 16 vertical files (school years); a birthday survey for yearly highlights and more. It’s like scrapbooking without…the scrapbooking. Everything is contained, sleek and easy to browse through so you can walk down memory lane anytime. As an added bonus, they look cute on the shelf.
7. Primary Clothing
What it does: Provides soft, on-trend clothing ideal for children with sensory issues or are on the autism spectrum.
The battle to get the kids dressed (and shop for kids clothes) just got easier thanks to the innovative clothing brand, Primary Clothing. Their clothing for babies and kids is tag-free, slogan-free and sequin-free. For anyone who’s ever heard the woeful cry of a tag scratch or any parent who just didn’t want a “brand” spread across the t-shirt, Primary is for you. They offer simple designs in basic colors at super-affordable prices. Founded by two moms who braved kids clothing shopping for more than 12 years, their site is easy to navigate. Many children on the autism spectrum have sensitivity to fabrics and textures, and Primary takes the worry out of shopping online for items you aren’t sure will work. Plus everything is under $25!
What it does: Helps you help baby (and toddler) language development.
Ever wonder if you’re speaking to your baby enough throughout the day? The number of words your little hears is key to her language development. The Starling gives you a goal of 20,000 words per day and tracks how many your baby is exposed to. Designed for children from birth to age 4, the device also includes fun activities and tips for language development.
What innovative products are you interested in? Tell us in a comment below.