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10 Revolutionary Products that Make Parenting Smart And Fun

10 Revolutionary Products that Make Parenting Smart And Fun

Most people who have ever lived, have, at one time found themselves fulfilling the role of a parent. You, reading this now may be a parent or will soon be one (otherwise this article might not be super interesting). Every single one of your ancestors, dating back to the beginnings of humanity has been a parent.
Yet, despite this being a parent can be incredibly difficult at times. There are countless little stresses that can make parenthood needlessly daunting and complicated.

Thankfully, there are a number of parenting products out there designed to make being a parent as stress free, smart and as fun, as possible. Here are ten handpicked by Lifehack team members who are parents too.

1. The Lalabu Dad Shirt

    The Lalabu Dad shirt makes carrying your baby around town much easier and safer. Traditional baby pouches, whilst secure can be uncomfortable for both you and your baby, and needs significant adjustment as your baby grows.

    This is not the case with the Lalabu shirt, it is made from comfortable, breathable fabric that adjusts to the size of your baby. Maximizing comfort and stability. Think of it like the human equivalent of the Kangaroo pouch.

    On top of everything else, the shirts themselves are quite stylish, so you can dress well, and safe, at the same time.

    Lalabu Dad Shirt, $75

    2. Hatch Babygrow Smart Changing Pad and Scale

      This smart changing pad will totally affect, and improve the way you change your baby, and keep track of their health. With it, you can get accurate and reliable information on your baby’s weight and how much it is consuming at every feeding. On top of this you can sync the data to the Hatch Baby App for your smart phone to help record this data (and keep track of your baby’s sleep patterns, nursing sessions, and more). As such, in a matter of moments you will be able to tell how well your baby is developing.

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      It also works as a comfortable, and easy to clean changing pad for your baby.

      Hatch Babygrow Smart Changing Pad, $129.99

      3. The Aspen Traveler Smart Diaper Bag

        The Smart Diaper Bag is both a mobile changing station, and storage unit for your baby’s clothes, socks, and diapers. The bag is easily adaptable, and can function both as a backpack and messenger bag, ensuring that it will always be easy to carry with you.

        With this bag, travelling with your baby becomes far less complicated and stressful, allowing you to focus on enjoying your time with your child.

        The bag isn’t currently available but you can pre-order your own in Kickstarter now.

        Smart Diaper Bag

        4. Blooming Bath Lotus – Baby Bath

          Bathing your baby can be a very complicated procedure. Though it is commonplace to wash your baby in a sink, they are poorly designed for the job. You have to be extremely careful to do it safely. It can also be difficult and stressful for your baby too.

          The Blooming Bath Lotus changes this, by turning your sink into the perfect bathtub for your baby. Its Lotus Flower appearance is both eye-catching, and clever, each petal of the flower can be adjusted to fit your sink whatever its shape or size. Once it has been fit into your sink, it provides a comfortable and soft surface for your baby to lie on, making their bath time both fun and comfortable for them, and stress-free for you.

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          Blooming Bath Lotus, $39.99

          5. Swaive Intelligent Ear Thermometer Baby Thermometer

            The Swaive Ear Thermometer, like the previously mentioned Smart Changing Pad, can be synced to a related app allowing you to readily get accurate information about the health of your baby. Also, you can share the app and the information easily with other carers or doctors in order to make sure the health of your baby is being correctly observed.

            As it is an FDA approved medical device, you can be safely assured of the accuracy and reliability of your Swaive Thermometer.

            Swaive Intelligent Ear Thermometer Baby Thermometer, $19.85

            6. Bloom Coco Go 3-in-1 Baby Lounger

              With this product, your baby can lounge, bounce around, or rock in the seat in the highest comfort. The lounger has a vibration function, meaning your baby can have a fun time with it, without you necessarily having to be there. Your baby can be entertained for hours and later sleep soundly without moving, or having to be moved. In this sense, though it is a single item, it can function as three.

              Bloom Coco Go 3-in-1 Baby Lounger, $125.00

              7. Lullaby Sleep Guardian

                One of the most difficult aspects of being a parent is being woken up, sometimes many times a night by your crying baby. It is extremely commonplace. On top of being an irritation, it can affect your health and your ability to be the great parent you are.

                The Lullaby Sleep Guardian can help you with this, by providing a source of comfort for your baby when it experiences nightmares or night terrors. This has been proven to be one of the most effective, non medication ways to help your baby with night terrors.

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                It is simple in design, once you have filled in data about your baby’s sleep patterns, it will vibrate at the perfect moment to comfort your baby when it suffers. As such after only a handful of weeks, your baby, and you, will be happier, and better rested. Many pediatricians have recommended its use too.

                Lully Sleep Guardian 2, $229.00

                8. Flyebaby Airplane Baby Comfort System

                  Flying with your baby can be a very stressful experience, not just for your baby, but for you, and other passengers. You may once have flown in a plane with a loud crying baby, it is a common occurrence.

                  Thankfully, with the Flyebaby Airplane Baby Comfort System, this experience may become a thing of the past. It is the ideal travel companion for you and your baby, making sure your baby’s flight is as comfortable as possible from takeoff to landing.

                  It easily attaches to the seat in front of you on the plane and around your waist, functioning as a hammock for your baby. As such you will be able to interact face to face with your baby, giving your baby extra comfort by knowing his or her parent is close by.

                  It is fully FAA approved. Your baby, (and all other passengers) will thank you for it!

                  Flyebaby Airplane Baby Comfort System, $39.95

                  9. Piggyback Rider SCOUT

                    If you are a lover of the outdoors, and enjoy a good hike. You might think having a baby will make hiking impossible. Let’s face it, baby harnesses don’t seem to be designed to to suit the outdoors lifestyle and you certainly can’t take a stroller into the woods or mountains. But this isn’t the case with the Piggyback Rider SCOUT model.

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                    Even if you don’t hike, carrying a baby in a harness for long periods of time can be damaging to your back, or can be really uncomfortable.

                    The Piggyback Rider SCOUT model is incredibly light weight, and is designed to comfortably transfer the weight of your baby to your shoulders. Therefore encouraging a healthier, and more natural posture as well as taking the pressure off your back. With it, you will be able to carry your baby on your back for however long you like, whatever the terrain in comfort.

                    Piggyback Rider SCOUT, $109.98

                    10. The Doodle Pillowcase

                      You may have found that your child, if they are particularly artistic, may have started drawing on walls or clothes. This can be damaging, and potentially ruinous to whatever they decide to draw on. With this pillowcase, your little one (and you!) will be able to draw, doodle, and write to their heart’s content.

                      Even if your child doesn’t draw on surfaces, this pillowcase can provide entertainment for you and your child as a fun, artistic activity you two can share, something that has practical use too.

                      They are 100% cotton, and totally machine washable. So you will be able to use it again and again.

                      Doodle Pillowcase,  $19.95

                      More by this author

                      Brian Lee

                      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                      Feeling tired all the time?

                      Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                      I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                      Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                      If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                      In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                      What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                      If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                      Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                      • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                      • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                      • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                      • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                      • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                      • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                      • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                      Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                      Unfortunately, yes!

                      Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                      Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                      Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                      Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                      Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                      Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                      1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                      2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                      3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                      The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                      It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                      Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                      Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                      If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                      Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                      Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                      But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                      Symptoms of fatigue include:

                      • Difficulty concentrating
                      • Low stamina
                      • Difficulty sleeping
                      • Anxiety
                      • Low motivation

                      These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                      Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                      How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                      The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                      Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                      So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                      The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                      Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                      Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                      If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                      And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                      It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                      4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                      Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                      1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                      2. Exercising regularly
                      3. Using stressbusters
                      4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                      So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                      After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                      In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                      I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                      Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                      • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                      • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                      • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                      • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                      The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                      And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                      But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                      L — Living Healthy

                      Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                      So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                      In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                      As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                      Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                      1. Unplug

                      Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                      So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                      2. Unwind

                      Do something to relax.

                      Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                      3. Get Comfortable

                      Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                      Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                      Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                      Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                      If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                      Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                      This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                      E — Exercise

                      Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                      That’s what happened in my case.

                      But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                      As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                      My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                      That made sense to me.

                      So, I decided to swim.

                      I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                      Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                      Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                      So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                      If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                      A — Attitude

                      Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                      When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                      Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                      Breathing.

                      But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                      Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                      1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                      2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                      3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                      4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                      5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                      6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                      This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                      When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                      Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                      N — Nutrition

                      Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                      If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                      Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                      For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                      Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                      Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                      1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                      2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                      3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                      4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                      5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                      6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                      7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                      8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                      9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                      Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                      That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                      Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                      The Bottom Line

                      If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                      If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                      If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                      • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                      • Regular Exercise You Love
                      • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                      • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                      Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                      More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                      Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                      [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                      [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                      [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                      [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                      [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                      [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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