Mommy's Little Helpers
We’re in the midst of a baby boom in New York City. It seems that everyone is preparing for an influx of pint-sized residents. Pediatricians are expanding their offices. Daycares are ramping up. Co-op preschools are materializing. And just like the little ones who will be using them, new products targeted at this group seem to be springing from the woodwork.
As a mom (and expecting mom), I’m blown away by the sheer amount of new products and services that are targeted at me – and my growing family. Sadly, most of them miss the mark. It leaves me wondering if anyone is checking these concepts with parents?
There’s no end to the new boutique clothing lines and sample sale sites to help me clothe my kids in designer duds. And every time I walk by my local kid shop there is another premium-priced stroller in the window. But most parents I know aren’t hankering for more triple digit dresses or $900 strollers.
Here are a couple products I’d like to ask for. There is already some competition in these categories, but still lots of room for a leading idea with gorgeous design – and a great price.
- Suncreen.Wish list: Physical, not chemical. No parabens, no sulfates, no petrochemicals, no phthalates. I want it to rub in easily – and not rub off on me. It has to be less expensive than the options that are out there now. $7 an ounce turns out to be a serious investment by the end of the summer. Toss in a pump spray dispenser and I’ll be hooked!The ones to beat: California Baby and TruKid
- Maternity wear.Wish list: Well-constructed, reasonably priced, stylish and comfortable. Most maternity wear must be designed by people who have never been pregnant. If it’s comfortable and affordable, it looks dumpy. If it’s stylish, it is ill-fitting or expensive. There are some promising offerings out there, but generally they carry a steep price tag. Few women are looking for a wardrobe full of investment-quality priced maternity wear.The ones to beat: Old Navy and H&M
- High ChairWish list: Small footprint, simple to clean, works from 6 months to 2 years, made of renewable materials. A staple of home life with kids, most high chairs look like a padded plastic throne rather than a seat that allows your child to participate at the family table. This chair graces the most highly trafficked area of my home - so while I need it to be completely functional, it can’t be an eyesore. It needs to work hard, clean up well and not detract from the rest of the room. When my child is ready to use an adult seat, I don’t want it to remain forever in the landfill with the mounds of other plastic kids gear.The ones to beat: Stokke Tripp Trapp and Anka by Svan
So, if someone gave me a magic wand to create one dream product, what would it be?
A white noise machine that promises to lull a baby to sleep in 5 minutes or less?
A sleep positioner that completely alleviates the risk (and nagging fear) of SIDS?
A swing, turn jumper, turn activity saucer that solves a year’s worth of infant entertainment in one compact package?
A self-cleaning, anti-microbial diaper bag that can withstand restaurant floors, public transportation and playgrounds while looking reasonable stylish?
I’ll take an hour of carefree playtime everyday with my family. Lots of products promise to buy me more time, but none can remove all of life’s distractions and force me to slow down. That is what I need the wand for.