ITEM OF THE DAYItem of the Day: weeSpringLaura Kadner

Babies are hard work. Along with the infant comes a free ticket into the world of all things baby, not to mention the worrying. Oh, is there worrying! As a parent, your thoughts are hijacked by the (terrifying) prospect of caring for an entire other living human being. You have to think about things you never ever thought about before. Things that would’ve never crossed your mind. You suddenly find yourself wondering about breastfeeding pillows and orthodontic pacifiers and the ingredients in baby shampoo — and so the flood of questions starts. How can a parent ever begin to sift through that sea of concerns?

Well, it’s a lot easier these days thanks to weeSpring. weeSpring takes the guesswork out of finding essential baby products in a totally genius way: by showing you what worked for your friends. Parents and parents-to-be use their Facebook account to log in, and voila: all of the must-haves and don’t-buys, curated by people you know and trust.  Think of it as a way to Yelp your way to parenting success.

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So if you’re looking for a car seat, you can see that your cousin thought hers was too heavy, while your college roommate says her Maxi Cosi Mico “fits into both small and large vehicles and is easy to maneuver in and out of the car.” weeSpring basically gives you a way to survey all your friends who are parents without the pesky e-mails, phone calls, and texts.  And better yet: it’s taking the conversations about diaper cream off your Facebook wall.

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They also keep rating simple: you click “have” on a product, and if you love it (or regret it!) you can add that, along with a short comment. You can also track the products you “want,”so if you’re just looking for a crib sheet for parenting (pun intended!), you can browse a friend’s profile and “want” all of her must-haves.

They’ve made it so simple, in fact, that — even as a start-up — they’re leading the field in product recommendations and have quickly become the go-to source for honest reviews.

Our favorite thing about weeSpring: it was launched (just last year!) for parents, by parents… not some corporation that secretly wants to push their own product on you.

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When weeSpring founder Ally Downey made her first trip to a Babies R Us in her first trimester, she burst into tears of panic looking out at all of the stuff you need.  She fled the store immediately, and when she got home, she started sending frantic emails to her friends with babies.  As she started collecting emails and spreadsheets and texts with all of their recommendations, cross-referencing and collating, a lightbulb went off: there was a better way to do this, and she would build it. After her son was born, Ally and her husband Jack got to work, testing the idea out and designing a prototype. The site went live in January 2013 (happy first birthday, weeSpring!), and it’s been going gangbusters since: tens of thousands of parents engaging on the site, and more than 75,000 product ratings so far.

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