Our readers and staff are genuine geniuses when it comes to finding products that make family life easier. Here, our web editor unveils the secret lifesaver that she uses to get her newborn to sleep. Plus, you’ll find products that aid in making savory and effortless meals, how to play fetch, sans slobber, and a fidget toy that knocks the spinner out of the park. Read on to learn more. And remember, if you’re obsessed with a product, tell us about it and we could feature it in Metro Parent and give you $25.
mamaRoo Infant Seat
Meet mamaRoo. This smartphone-controlled baby seat, dubbed the “space pod” by our friends, blasts my newborn off to Sleep Galaxy with just a push of a button. Choose one of five motions – car ride is my boy Nicholas’ favorite – and select from four sounds or attach an auxiliary cord to your phone to play music of your choice. Baby will be calm in 3, 2, 1 … Birth-6 months. $249.99. 4moms.com/mamaroo.
– Stacey Winconek
I truly love this garlic chopper. It’s really fun to use, minces garlic up well and cleanup is easy. It works like a toy car. The wheels turn the blade inside. I just plop the peeled clove in and zoom around on the counter until it’s all chopped up. The only downside is my daughters arguing over who gets to mince the garlic! For $10, it’s a great little kitchen gadget. I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond.
– Chantel Wright
Chuckit! Dog Ball Launcher
With my dog’s energy – Max is a Corgi-beagle mix who’s not shy about letting you know when he needs a stroll or a car ride – dog park trips and toys are musts. My Chuckit! sends the ball soaring, but it also spares me from touching the slobbery result. Pick one up at Petco for $8-$12. They’ve got one for every size dog.
– Carly Adams
My household has more than its share of fidget spinners. A trip to 7-Eleven isn’t complete without buying another, and there’s always a new one my kids want. But they’re also constantly coming apart or slowing down, and they get old fast. That’s why I love these new Fidgety Gears. They’re nice and sturdy, fun to play with and definitely less obtrusive (read: annoying) at the dinner table. $19.99. toyologytoys.com.
– Jessica Schrader
Fustini’s Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oils
As a vegetarian and working woman, I’m always looking for ways to add a twist to a tofu scramble or veggie stir-fry with as little prep as possible. That’s where these Traverse City-made oils come in. Simply replace your standard cooking oil or dressing with one of 18 flavors – like my favorite, Cayenne Crush – and you’re in business. $14.95-$30.95. fustinis.com.
– Christina Clark
Are you obsessed with something? Tell us what and why or email us your reasons at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we love your pick as much as you do, we’ll feature it in Metro Parent and give you $25.