Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say—and consequently there are inventions to meet just about every mother's need.
A system for analyzing a baby's cry, patented in 2002, claims to diagnose the cause of the wail. To soothe a crying baby, there is any number of products—a blanket with a built-in heartbeat simulator and a pacifier with a convenient remote control that allows parents to locate it using light or sound, to name a couple. Certainly some of the gear created for infants and their caregivers is questionable—a remote controlled and motorized baby walker? But those inventions that make it onto shelves are there for consideration. The market for baby care products alone is expected to climb to $66.8 billion by 2017, from $44.7 billion in 2011.
There are gizmos for every stage of development. A special toilet paper dispenser, patented in 1988, keeps toddlers from unraveling rolls. A smart timer with entertaining trivia questions limits the length of teenagers' showers.
A search through the United States Patent and Trademark Office archives turns up loads of inventions meant to make a parent's life simpler. Mamas, you may not approve of all 27 ideas here but chances are you can understand the desire for them.