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The Mother Of Invention: 14 Great Parent-Created Kid-Friendly Inventions

parent inventionsDo you have a great idea that could make parenting and family life easier?

If I ever got invited in to the Shark Tank to pitch, I would explain my idea for a better baby bib. Let’s be real: those pockets on the bibs don’t really do much. There is still a huge gap between the edge of the high chair tray, and the kid’s mouth and the clothes still get covered in food.

My baby bib idea would make it more like a kayak spray skirt. The bib would fasten around the neck, and actually attach to the tray. Yes, there would still be food all over the floor, but at least you won’t have to do a wholesale clothing change after each meal.

That’s my idea anyway. I’ve never prototyped it, or pitched it to business. Other parents, on the other hand, have some great ideas that are actually on the market:

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  • The Joey 1 of 14
    The Joey
    It's a hoodie that also doubles as a baby carrier. Ace Burpee pitched this on Dragon's Den (Canada's version of Shark Tank) and sold his idea for $10 000. The Joey is not yet available.
    Image via CBC
  • Good Nite Lite 2 of 14
    Good Nite Lite
    Adam Nelson ran into the same problem all toddler parents have when the kid moves to the big bed. They get up and wander, and it's often too early. The $35 Good Nite Lite is a programmable night light that helps kids who can't tell time know when it's okay to go to Mom and Dad's room. A bright sun means it's morning, a sleeping moon and it's still bed time.
    Image via Good Night Lite
  • Handy Bites 3 of 14
    Handy Bites
    Tim McManus was at a restaurant with his daughter and watched her toss one baby carrot after another on the floor. They just slipped through her hands. McManus thought of the Chinese finger trap that gets tighter the harder you try to pull. He invented Handy Bites that makes it easier for kids to hold things without food ending up on the floor.
    Get it for $7.49 via Boon
  • Baby Timer 4 of 14
    Baby Timer
    Michael Kale is a stay-at-home Dad that is keeping his tech skills sharp should he ever enter the 'real' work force again by making parent-centric apps. Early Bird Software has a collection of apps helping parents track lactation, contractions, and Baby Timer ($4.99 iTunes) to track feedings and changes. Baby Timer has picked as one of Babble's Top baby care apps.
    Image via Early Bird Software
  • Seat Chiller 5 of 14
    Seat Chiller
    Natalie Prust invented this car seat cooler for kids. It's two frozen ice packs that you lay on top of the car seat to cool down the hot buckles and straps before you plop in the kids.
    Get it for $39.99 at SeatChiller
  • Mabel’s Labels 6 of 14
    Mabel's Labels
    Getting your name on your kids' stuff is important, and Mabel's Labels makes it easy. This mom-started company sells personalized labels that stick to everything from underwear to shoes to lunch bags.
    Get them at Mabel's Labels
  • Multipurpose Bib 7 of 14
    Multipurpose Bib
    Kenneth and Virginia invented the Multi-Purpose Bib, a hands-free pillowy bib that will help with your feedings. It was one of those products they invented because of a need, and then created a business behind it. Kenneth says "I soon realized I did not have a free hand when I was feeding him," so the bib was created. They didn't use customer relations, they used their own trial and error to make something they could use.
    Get it for $17.95 from Happy Go Baby
  • Kneekers 8 of 14
    Kneekers
    Knee shoes for your crawler. If you like to let your little one roam free in just a onesie, Kneekers will protect their little legs from carpet burn, or cushion on tough floors. They even come in lean leg and chunkalicious sizes.
    Get it for $12.99 from Happy Go Baby
  • Dropper Stopper 9 of 14
    Dropper Stopper
    Meredith LaMirande and her sister-in-law came up with the idea of something attractive to attach to chairs and strollers to stop the dropping that often happens around kids. The bottle, soother, whatever will always land in the mud when you have kids, so the Dropper Stopper strap secures everythinng.
    Get it starting at $7.99 from Dropper Stopper
  • Thudguard 10 of 14
    Thudguard
    Toddling kids can be trouble. They rarely stay upright, and are often bonking themselves. We wear helmets when we learn to ride a bike, or learn to skate, so why not when we learn to walk? Kelly Forsyth-Gibson is a mother of 3 and was born and lives in the Scottish city of Aberdeen. When Kelly's youngest child was 1 and learning to walk, the toddler fell and bumped her head. She searched for a helmet to protect her baby, couldn't find one, so she invented her own.
    Get it for $42.95 from Baby's First Headgear
  • The Tagalong 11 of 14
    The Tagalong
    Holding hands is a natural reaction for kids. The Tagalong is a strap to attach to your stroller so the walker in your family can hang on and stay close, while still having independence. Naptime Industries is the company that created the Tagalong, a company they say was created "out of necessity. The name was born out of the only time we had left to ourselves as parents of two little guys."
    Get it for $9.99 from Tagalong Kids
  • Sticky Bellies 12 of 14
    Sticky Bellies
    Carly Dorogi liked to document the age of her daughter growing up with tshirts declaring her age. Instead of buying a new custom shirt each month, she created Sticky Bellies. They are removable monthly milestone stickers. Carly's favorite part of the job? Every morning she wakes up to customer e-mails with pictures of adorable babies wearing Sticky Bellies.
    Get it for $14 from Sticky Bellies
  • Indestructibles 13 of 14
    Indestructibles
    When Amy Pixton had triplets, she liked to relax reading magazines. The mags quickly became destroyed as the kids would rip, chew, and play with the paper. Her mother-in-law showed her a material that "didn't rip, or tear when wet or rained on." She immediately made some magazines for her kids to play with and Indestructibles was born.
    They are available as books at various price points from bookstores.
  • Masketeers 14 of 14
    Masketeers
    Ian Nicholls is a graphic designer who started doodling away masks for kids while killing time on his night shift. Eventually he put them online for people to download as free printables. Ian says his company was "nearly called Mask-a-million or Mask-a-raid but then Masketeers popped up and as it was a short name I thought it sounded cool and more memorable."
    Get all 253 masks for $20 from Masketeer.

What’s your bright idea to make parenting easier?

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