By Noah Henry • February 20, 2014
Retail catering to parents with new gadgets that claim to simplify their lives is something that’ll never end. Countless products come out year after year posing new answers to the daunting role of being a parent. From the Time Out Pad to Her First High Heels, the kids industry is one that never seems to be void of strange and dubious solutions. But every once in a while there comes a product that resonates with such genius, a parent’s job is irreversibly changed for the better. Yes, mothers and fathers, there is hope. So take a deep breath and check out these products that make parents’ lives easier.
Serenity Star - $89.99
One thing we never stop hearing about is the insomnia of babies. “I put them to sleep an hour ago and now they’re bouncing off the walls!” It’s enough to make any parent question the whole deal. The Serenity Star, available at Bed, Bath & Beyond, comes to rescue to at least put a dent in the bipolar sleeping habits of babies. It not only offers soothing sounds to put them to sleep soundly, it’s also a room temperature indicator, a clock, and a nightlight. The free shipping and 20% off with newsletter sign-up will take a big chunk out of the purchase price, so go on parents, take a load off.
KidsWatch Pro - $45.95
In today’s world, much of your child’s experience will revolve around the web. A sad but true reality, especially considering the dangers of the Internet and your child’s exposure to certain aspects of it. KidsWatch is the all-in-one answer to the concern of too much Internet usage, vulnerability to inappropriate websites, and lack of parental monitoring. It’s been rated as the No. 1 Parental Control Software seven years in a row from TopTenREVIEWS. You can easily set it up in less than ten minutes, and it carries all the tools for comprehensive protection. You’ll be able to control time spent online, block dangerous websites, and receive real-time reports of activity. The wacky online world is something parents will always have to protect their children from, and KidsWatch is a definite winner in helping parents keep a watchful eye out. Currently, 20 percent off with a KidsWatch promo code, it's now more affordable.
Stay With Me Socks - $5.95
They claw and pull; they stepped in fruit punch and now the sugars have formed a scratchy layer under the toes. Your baby has successfully yanked off his socks and now they’re nowhere to be found—probably in sock heaven. Parents can avoid this scenario with Stay With Me Socks. A simple solution for busy parents, these cool little creations are kept on through adjustable Velcro straps and you can tighten them on so they’ll never come off. Being a parent is all about keeping tabs on minute details, and Stay With Me Socks make that to-do list a bit shorter. Plus, they’re freaking adorable.
Summer Infant Lil Luxuries Tub - $50
You deserve spa treatment as a parent, but so does your baby. Children from birth to two can relax and wash off in a bubbling spa, whirlpool and shower (it’s an all-in-one). It’s double-walled so the water stays warm and it’s high-tech, modern design makes it easy to store around the house without causing embarrassment. An ergonomic shower handle makes it easy for parents to wash their young’uns and a motorized jet gives it a Jacuzzi-like feel. (It could double as a foot massager!) Toys R Us is also in the spa-for-babies biz with the Summer Infant Lil Luxuries Tub. Right now, you can save $5 on your purchase with a printable coupon and receive free shipping since it’s over $49.
GPS Tracking Key - $169.99
Although it breaks the cardinal rule of micromanaging your teenagers too much, they really don’t have to know about the GPS Tracking Key. It should at least provide you with some calm knowing where they are when they tell you they’re going to the movies with “a couple of friends.” Available at Brookstone, the GPS Tracking Key records vehicle routes, driving spends and general activity beyond your gaze. Looking like something out of Breaking Bad, it’s basically a private investigator sending you information based on signals from 24 Department of Defense satellites, and it stores up to 100 hours of activity. But a warning to you parents: if they find out, a whole new slew of issues might arise.
Yepp Mini Front Bicycle Child Carrier - $159.99
And you thought as a parent you wouldn’t have enough time to exercise. Fitness enthusiasts can take their babies along for the ride with the safe and comfortable product from REI. Nylon straps will hold your baby in and EVA on the pads will keep your child from feeling uncomfortable. Online reviews emphasize it’s easy to install. Babies nine months to three years old can get a rider’s eye view of the road. If you’re bent on keeping your active lifestyle intact, you can save on this product with a free $25 member bonus card when you spent $125 at REI.
Uncommon Sense of Parents with Teenagers – used for $3.43
Parenting teens is one of the hardest things in the world. I’m not parent, but I empathize with the plight of mine in retrospect. The coauthor of Chicken Soup for Teens had this to say about the book: “This is the first time I have read a book for parents that will actually work.” I myself read it out of curiosity and was impressed with the profound messaging and constant acknowledgement of how tumultuous it is for kids drifting through adolescence. The author, Michael Riera, does a great job of nailing the importance of moving from a child’s manager to mentor. He also encourages true communication by clearly defining what it is. It’s tough being a parent—especially one of a teen—and this book brings you out of the dark and into making sense of your role as a parent.
Noah Henry Noah Henry is an amateur movie critic, foodie, bowler, and beer reviewer. But he's no amateur when it comes to saving money, so listen up!