It's no secret that navigating newfound parenthood can be tough. Every mom has had their fair share of uncertainties, from what diapers to buy to how to get their little ones to fall (and stay) asleep — but finding products that work is an obstacle all on its own. That is, until moms started taking matters into their own hands by creating their own problem-solvers ... and confirming that the old adage remains true: Mothers do know best.
Parents Editor-in-Chief Grace Bastidas stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY to talk about her favorite products from brands founded and created by moms. Some of these must-have hacks can save parents time, restore their sleep schedule and even make a family heirloom to be passed down for generations.
From clever placemats for your energetic baby to a stylish compact diaper bag, keep reading to see all the useful mom-made finds designed to make parenting life a little simpler.
Mom-made products for babies and toddlers
This mom-made and sibling-owned company created the perfect placemat to keep your baby busy while you enjoy your meal. "It was invented by a mom who was out to lunch with her friends and their one-year-olds and watched these parents constantly fetch toys from the floor," said Bastidas.
Featuring silicone suctions to keep everything in place, the placemats also come with handy tethers that attach to your baby's toys, saving mom and dad time and energy of constantly picking them off the dirty ground.
"The founder came up with the idea out of necessity. She was frustrated with bulky diaper bags and having to dig around for those essential items," said Bastidas. This vegan leather belt bag comes with a detachable changing pad, a water-resistant exterior, an adjustable strap and a gender-neutral look — making it perfect for on-the-go moms and dads.
Bastidas says this sleep machine and night light lets tired parents reclaim their nights; her co-worker uses one for her child and raves about it. "It was co-founded by a mom and dad trying to solve their own sleepless nights when they had their first child," said Bastidas.
According to the brand, this product helps promote healthy sleep habits and is perfect to use through all stages of childhood. The machine features an in-app color wheel and a library of sounds, such as white noise, ocean, rain, heartbeat and more. Bastidas loves that you can set the light to remind your older child when it's time for bed.
Mom-made products for older kids
"Maria Cielo Mandaro is the creator and founder behind Daddy’s Little Dress Shirts who wanted to make children's clothes from the fabric of her husband's old dress shirts. More than just clothes, the designs are family keepsakes and pieces that could be handed down from generation to generation," said Bastidas.
Mandaro is a fourth-generation seamstress, so it's no surprise that she believes sewing is "in her blood." She can take any used shirt from dad or grandpa and turn it into your child's favorite skirt to twirl in. She can even sew a matching bow or headband.
Another option, is this adorable romper. Not only are the tiny straps and peachy color a perfect fit for the season, but the entire 'fit makes for a great conversation starter since it's a family heirloom.
According to the creator, she had a blast adding the details of the original daddy's shirt to these little pants, which include a cute back pocket.
Bastidas says this mealtime set was created by a pediatrician mom who was worried about the possible harmful chemicals that can be found in plastics. So, she created these BPA-free stainless steel dinnerware sets for kids. Available in bright and shiny colors, the set features a three-section plate, bowl, cup and silverware.
"Mom and mental health advocate Chelsea Elliott created the EQ Kids Crew! Social Emotional Card Game to help kids understand that all of their feelings are normal," said Bastidas. "I have two young daughters and we're all about feeling your feelings."
The set comes with a spinning wheel, journal and fidget spinner octopus. The game is designed to help children learn and identify their emotions at an early age in a fun, engaging way.
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