12 Essential Parenting Gadgets
Let's face it. Parenting is a decidedly low-tech job. But that doesn't mean you can't enlist some high-tech help to get you through that exhaustion and nervousness. To cut through the clutter, we've put together a list of gadgets to help parents survive the rough patches and better enjoy the precious moments.
Fevers are no fun – and determining when your child has one is nearly as bad. This garment, colored with an ink pigment imbued with heat-sensitive molecules, will take the guesswork out of the process. When the onesie turns white, your little one has a fever. It's expected to hit store shelves in October.
Itzbeen Baby Care Timer
"Baby brain" robs even the most intelligent parent of his or her memory. This timer will help you keep track of key baby care details, such as the last diaper change, feeding. etc. Even if your memory is still intact, sitters and grandparents can use the reminder.
Munchkin Voice Activated Crib Lite
Getting up with newborns throughout the night is exhausting. This device gives you a break, with warm lights and womb sounds coming on automatically whenever your baby makes a noise. It won't vanquish sleepless nights, but you may get a treasured extra couple of hours of rest.
Why Cry Baby Crying Analyzer
Can't figure out why your newborn is crying? Maybe this will help. (Hey, it's possible!) Programmed to recognize different pitches, this analyzer claims to determine whether your child is hungry, bored, tired, stressed or annoyed. Of course, you'll figure this out yourself eventually – but where's the tech fun in that?
Always Clean Pacifier
Babies are clumsy. They're dropping their binkies all the time. And while some parents just wipe it off and pop it back in junior's mouth, you're not one of those. (Are you?) This pacifier closes, shielding the nipple, when dropped– which, in most houses, happens about ever 20 seconds or so.
At some point, your baby's going to have a stuffed nose – and he or she is a bit young to use a Kleenex. Sure, the nasal bulb you got at the hospital does the job, but this battery-operated gadget will do it faster. And, according to its creator, it's a more sanitary snot sucker.
Only have one free hand and a hungry baby who's demanding food? We've been there. The Squirt holds up to 3 oz. of baby food in the bulb and fills up the spoon with a light squeeze. It's handy, but it won't make clean-up any easier.
TODDLERS AND OLDER
There's a correlation between how much you talk to your children during their first four years and their language development skills. This voice recorder monitors your conversations with your child and gives daily reports. At $400, it's ain't cheap, though, and it's bound to make obsessive parents even more crazy.
This GPS, which looks like a digital watch, can give worried parents peace of mind. Coming out at the end of July, it's designed for kids 3-12 and will send you a cell-phone alert if it's forcibly removed. It's a good idea, but it's pretty expensive and comes with a monthly subscription fee.
It sure is fun to eat ice cream and Popsicles in the summer, but who wants to clean up the mess afterward? This container catches drips from ice cream cones or Popsicles, saving you clean-up time. Who knows? You might even let the kids eat ice cream while wearing white – if you're brave.
This isn't a gadget, really, but it's a blessing for Mac-owning parents. Thanks to this software program, kids banging on your keyboard won't be able to rename your hard drive. Instead, they'll see a letter or shape every time a key is pressed or the mouse is clicked.
Dorel Air Protect
Car seats protect your child from front- or rear-end collisions, but they don't help much with side-impact crashes. This new technology, now available for pre-order, claims to help, adding (essentially) a pre-inflated airbag to the sides of their head. Safety 1st will roll out the tech first, but other companies will quickly follow.