Smart parents need smart tech. We learn to be resourceful and find a way to manage anything that is thrown at us, but it doesn’t have to be so hard. Read on for some tech ideas that can help make life with kids so much easier by leveling up your locks, making missed doctor’s appointments a thing of the past, and speeding up your morning routine.
Find Your Keys Fast
Distracted parents everywhere fail to have a set place for their keys. This means time is wasted digging for them in the bottom of a diaper bag, searching coat pockets and sometimes overturning couch cushions. Solve this problem by putting a small Tile on your key ring. Synch the Tile with your phone and use the app to find your Tile whenever your keys have gone missing. Bonus: You can also use the Tile to find your phone for those times you know exactly where your keys are but your phone has wandered off. If your wallet, purse or tablet tend to disappear, Tile makes a long, slim version to track larger items.
Available at amazon.com; prices vary.
Level Up Your Locks
When juggling a car seat, diaper bag and a baby, not having to also manage a key can be a very handy convenience. For under $200, it’s possible to get a keyless Kwikset Smartkey lock that makes house keys a thing of the past. Set individual codes for a nanny or grandparent that you can activate only when you know they are coming. Older kids can have their own code to let themselves in after school without worrying they will lose a key and get locked out.
Available at amazon.com, $170.14.
A Fitbit Sense can help you get your health and life in order. Sync the watch to your Google calendar for reminders you can’t miss, like important meetings or doctor's appointments. Reduce the number of times you pick up your phone by setting your Fitbit to display text messages and answer incoming calls right from your wrist. Your Fitbit can also remind you to move more and track your sleep. This can help you stay healthy and reduce stress to make you better able to handle the demands of parenting.
Available at amazon.com, $279.95.
The Google Nest Mini can do everything from play lullabies and white noise to help get babes to sleep, act as an intercom to tell your toddler lunch is ready without shouting, turn on the television without a remote, to streaming music, looking up recipes, setting alarms, programing reminders and making hands-free phone calls. At $49, you may want to consider getting a few to stash in the rooms you spend the most time in. Even when you are not home, your smart speaker can be useful by broadcasting messages you send from your phone or sending your grocery list to you. The Nest Mini also integrates well with other Nest products for a truly smart home. For example, the Nest Thermostat can be set by telling your smart speaker how warm or cool you would like it to be and can be set through your phone.
Available at store.google.com, $49.
If working smarter, not harder, is on your wish list, it may be worth your while to invest in a Sidetrack Monitor, a lightweight, portable second screen for laptops. Once you have had the luxury of keeping your email open on one screen and Zoom or your document opened on another, you will never go back to a single monitor. More productivity means more time to spend with family, so it’s a good investment! You'll also love it for staying productive on road trips.
Available at amazon.com, $299.99.
Say Hello to Your New Best Friend
If you want a doorbell that does double-duty as an assistant, the Nest Hello may be what you are looking for. This doorbell has a camera that not only shows you who is at the door but can also alert you to when packages are delivered. It has facial recognition and can send an alert when that special someone (whether that is your significant other, the babysitter or the UPS driver) arrives at your doorstep. You can also have two-way communication through the Hello so you can let your BFF know you will be right down or tell your letter carrier where to leave a package when you are not home.
Available at store.google.com, $229.
Make Looking Good Easier
Tech can help speed up your morning routine, which makes the entire day run more smoothly. Although these items may be pricey, investing in tech that will not just save you time but up your self-esteem by making it easy to look polished as you head out the door will pay off for years to time. The Dyson Corrale flat iron ($599.99) and the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer ($620) both make it simple to look sleek.
—Jamie Davis Smith