Mom knows best, right? In the world of parenting, most definitely! These women have created six groundbreaking businesses that are making lives easier for parents all over the world.
Little Spoon believes your baby’s food should never be older than your baby. Makes perfect sense, but in reality the shelf-stable baby food that we get at the store is much older than the food that we’re giving our littles should be. Enter Little Spoon, the company that’s rapidly revolutionizing the baby food category. Their vision is to bring nutritious meals and snacks to babies and children everywhere through a convenient, direct-to-consumer subscription model.
Cofounder Michelle Muller states: "Having had three kids before 30, I know how hard it is to feed our babies healthy options without spending hours in the kitchen. Little Spoon will provide an alternative for new parents in 2017 by optimizing the health of your baby, but also leaving a lasting impact on your baby’s cognitive development, including their motor and speech skills, sense of smell, taste palette and general eating habits. Being a parent is hard enough. The one thing no parent should be asked to do is compromise the health of their child. With Little Spoon, parents now have the benefit of feeding their kids the freshest and healthiest food without taking precious time out of their day.”
Until recently, scheduling classes for your little one was just as challenging as doing your taxes. Booking things like baby yoga, art classes, and math tutoring was handled by a multiplicity of providers, requiring individual scheduling through phone calls (who has the time?) and paying by check (any idea where you last saw your checkbook?) Sawyer provides the solution for that dilemma; it is an online marketplace for parents to discover, book and manage local classes, camps, and activities for their toddlers.
"Sawyer has reimagined the way parents can access education by bringing all of the education providers online. Gone are the days of listservs, word-of-mouth marketing and checkbooks. Now, parents can easily discover, book and manage their child's next educational adventure through our seamless user-friendly platform!" - Marissa Alden, cofounder
When a friend or relative announces they’re having a baby, we jump to find the perfect gift. Finally, there’s a company that focuses on expectant moms and meeting their needs while pregnant. The Stork Bag is a reusable subscription bag (think BirchBox but for moms-to-be) curated to each contain 8-12 products to meet your trimester and postpartum needs. Once the expectant mom uses the goodies in the bag, she can continue to use said bag! Unlike other pregnancy subscription services on the market, all products in the Stork Bag are OBGYN-approved.
"The Stork Bag is revolutionizing parenting by redirecting the attention back on the expectant mother when it comes to prenatal gifting. We believe that more focus should be given to pampering moms during pregnancy, which is why we've enhanced the pregnancy shopping experience by creating trimester-specific, reusable care packages, " explains cofounder Ericka Perry.
Preparing for your baby has never been so easy! Gugu Guru is the customized baby registry website that uses style quizzes to curate a baby registry based on a parent's personal style and lifestyle. It is a game-changer for parents because no longer do they have to sift through 10,000 bottles, strollers and cribs, but can just take our style quizzes. After they do so, we suggest items based on their house, personal style, and car choices, among others. They are then able to find products that are custom-tailored to suit your tastes and living situation.
“Gugu Guru is revolutionizing parenting because the site is innovating the baby registry and overall product-selection experience, in a way that nobody has before. Parents can now cut through the noise and discover the best products for their families from across the web, in a way that is intuitive and fun, and not overwhelming,” says cofounder Monica Banks.
Hawk + Sloane
When your kid goes to the bathroom, do you even want to know? How about when the monsters come out of the closet as soon as you turn the lights out? Hawk + Sloane is an innovative company that has curated sprays for your littles to solve everyday problems.
Co-founders Candice Crawford Romo and Hollie Siglin state, "These days, parents are constantly on the go and many of them are tackling numerous responsibilities in a day. Each of our sprays were created for their own unique purpose, but all with the common goal of making parenthood a bit easier.
For example, Soothie Spray is an irritated-skin spray made with micronized silver. It works wonders and you get to avoid getting thick cream all over your hands. Many of our sprays are formulated with essential oils and they are all in travel-sized bottles, so you can easily throw them in your purse or carry-on. As parents ourselves, we are all for anything that helps make parenting easier!"
Candice Crawford Romo and Hollie Siglin
Once you become a parent, constantly preparing healthy meals for yourself and your family can be a challenge, with all the responsibilities you juggle in between. Daily Harvest solves these problems; it’s a subscription-based service that delivers clean superfoods that are ready in seconds. You'll never need to wonder what you’re making for a meal again, removing the unnecessary stress from our already exhausted mom-brains.
"As a New Yorker and a working mom, my mornings are filled with pure chaos and I know the last thing any parent wants to think about is chopping, prepping and dicing fruits and veggies! Daily Harvest was constructed on the premise that convenience doesn't have to mean compromise. We want healthy eating to be a no-brainer. That's why we introduced a health hack for parents, offering perfectly portioned, ready-to-heat soups and ready-to-blend smoothies, all filled with balanced, organic vegetables and fruits. Our mission is to provide parents with 'superfoods, super fast.' This is revolutionary for parents who want to put both their and their children's health first," describes founder Rachel Drori.
"Sh*t!" my daughter exclaimed as she dropped her iPad to the floor. A little bit of context; my daughter Victoria absolutely loves her iPad. And as I watched her bemoan the possible destruction of her favorite device, I thought to myself, "If I were in her position, I'd probably say the exact same thing."
In the Rastegar family, a word is only a bad word if used improperly. This is a concept that has almost become a family motto. Because in our household, we do things a little differently. To put it frankly, our practices are a little unconventional. Completely safe, one hundred percent responsible- but sure, a little unconventional.
And that's because my husband Ari and I have always felt akin in one major life philosophy; we want to live our lives our way. We have dedicated ourselves to a lifetime of questioning the world around us. And it's that philosophy that has led us to some unbelievable discoveries, especially when it comes to parenting.
Ari was an English major. And if there's one thing that can be said about English majors, it's that they can be big-time sticklers for the rules. But Ari also thinks outside of the box. And here's where these two characteristics meet. Ari was always allowed to curse as a child, but only if the word fit an appropriate and relevant context. This idea came from Ari's father (his mother would have never taken to this concept), and I think this strange practice really molded him into the person he is today.
But it wasn't long after we met that I discovered this fun piece of Ari Rastegar history, and I got to drop a pretty awesome truth bomb on Ari. My parents let me do the same exact thing…
Not only was I allowed to curse as a child, but I was also given a fair amount of freedom to do as I wanted. And the results of this may surprise you. You see, despite the lack of heavy regulating and disciplining from my parents, I was the model child. Straight A's, always came home for curfew, really never got into any significant trouble- that was me. Not trying to toot my own horn here, but it's important for the argument. And don't get the wrong impression, it's not like I walked around cursing like a sailor.
Perhaps I was allowed to curse whenever I wanted, but that didn't mean I did.
And this is where we get to the amazing power of this parenting philosophy. In my experience, by allowing my own children to curse, I have found that their ability to self-regulate has developed in an outstanding fashion. Over the past few years, Victoria and Kingston have built an unbelievable amount of discipline. And that's because our decision to allow them to curse does not come without significant ground rules. Cursing must occur under a precise and suitable context, it must be done around appropriate company, and the privilege cannot be overused. By following these guidelines, Victoria and Kingston are cultivating an understanding of moderation, and at a very early age are building a social awareness about when and where certain types of language are appropriate. And ultimately, Victoria and Kingston are displaying the same phenomenon present during my childhood. Their actual instances of cursing are extremely low.
And beneath this parenting strategy is a deeper philosophy. Ari and I first and foremost look at parenting as educators. It is not our job to dictate who our children will be, how they shall behave, and what their future should look like.
We are not dictators; we are not imposing our will on them. They are autonomous beings. Their future is in their hands, and theirs alone.
Rather, we view it as our mission to show our children what the many possibilities of the world are and prepare them for the litany of experiences and challenges they will face as they develop into adulthood. Now, when Victoria and Kingston come across any roadblocks, they have not only the tools but the confidence to handle these tensions with pride, independence, and knowledge.
And we have found that cursing is an amazing place to begin this relationship as educators. By allowing our children to curse, and gently guiding them towards the appropriate use of this privilege, we are setting a groundwork of communication that will eventually pay dividends as our children grow curious of less benign temptations; sex, drugs, alcohol. There is no fear, no need to slink behind our backs, but rather an open door where any and all communication is rewarded with gentle attention and helpful wisdom.
The home is a sacred place, and honesty and communication must be its foundation. Children often lack an ability to communicate their exact feelings. Whether out of discomfort, fear, or the emotional messiness of adolescence, children can often be less than transparent. Building a place of refuge where our children feel safe enough to disclose their innermost feelings and troubles is, therefore, an utmost priority in shepherding their future. Ari and I have come across instances where our children may have been less than truthful with a teacher, or authority figure simply because they did not feel comfortable disclosing what was really going on. But with us, they know that honesty is not only appreciated but rewarded and incentivized. This allows us to protect them at every turn, guard them against destructive situations, and help guide and problem solve, fully equipped with the facts of their situation.
And as crazy as it all sounds- I really believe in my heart that the catalogue of positive outcomes described above truly does stem from our decision to allow Victoria and Kingston to curse freely.
I know this won't sit well with every parent out there. And like so many things in life, I don't advocate this approach for all situations. In our context, this decision has more than paid itself off. In another, it may exacerbate pre-existing challenges and prove to be only a detriment to your own family's goals.
As the leader of your household, this is something that you and you alone must decide upon with intentionality and wisdom.
Ultimately, Ari and I want to be the kind of people our children genuinely want to be around. Were we not their parents, I would hope that Victoria and Kingston would organically find us interesting, warm, kind, funny, all the things we aspire to be for them each and every day.
We've let our children fly free, and fly they have. They are amazing people. One day, when they leave the confines of our home, they will become amazing adults. And hopefully, some of the little life lessons and eccentric parenting practices we imparted upon them will serve as a support for their future happiness and success.