Parenting is easy. Said nobody ... ever. But it can't be said that parenting babies and infants is as hard as it used to be.

Thanks to technological advances and about 200,000 years of trial and error, it is easier than ever to keep our little cherubs fit and well and occasionally even quiet.

Here is our list of the top eight 21st-century parenting innovations that make the hard times bearable and the good times easy.

The Neckerchew  

HeraldScotland:

OK, so we're a little biased because it's a Scottish product and we're featuring its creators, Julie Wilson and Amy Livingston of Cheeky Chompers, on Herald Scotland this weekend, but it's one of those great eureka solutions that comes up in conversation and ends up coming to fruition.

What is it? It's a bib that babies can chew, which has the double benefit of allowing them to ease teething pains while keeping their clothes clean.

The Bugaboo 

HeraldScotland:

What is it? It's a pushchair. It's a really slick, strong pushchair with wheels that work on all manner of surfaces and room for all manner of accessories. It has, inevitably, become a fashion statement for parents who care about that sort of thing, but there is no denying that it makes a stroll with junior on uneven terrain feel like walk in the park.

The Bumbo seat  

HeraldScotland:

What is it? It's a seat for children so young they haven't yet learned how to sit. For them, this is a notable improvement on lying down, rolling around and being carried. For us, it brings peace of mind in that we know where they are.

Cylindrical syringes  

HeraldScotland:

What are they? They are syringes for giving small children painkillers and other medicines. They are considerably more effective than spoons, and considerably cleaner in that it all goes in.

And big brands like Nurofen and Calpol have redesigned their bottles so that the fully cylindrical syringes fit perfectly into the bottle for speedy dispensement. This can be the difference between a cry of discomfort and a child fully awake and in pain. 

Amber jewellery 

HeraldScotland:

What is it? It's either a necklace, a bracelet or an anklet, and it is meant to soothe a teething infant without it going anywhere near their mouth. That is because amber beads are ever-so-slightly magnetic and have been proved to have healing properties. 

Buggy gloves 

HeraldScotland:

What are they? They are weather-proof gloves attached to the handles of a buggy. They do exactly what you would expect in that they protect your hands from cold and rain during a walk but allow speedy removal of hands for more dextrous duties such as tending to the child within. 

Apps 

HeraldScotland:

What are they? They are computerised applications that work on your smartphone or tablet and for mums and dads all over the world they have transformed parenting.

At the touch of a button (and sometimes a small fee) you can get everything from basic homeopathy advice to baby monitoring. And, of course, for slightly older children there are limitless options of games and TV shows and other distractions should you be willing to put your mobile phone's future prospects in the hands of one so young and experimental. 

Herald Scotland would advise any parent considering purchasing any of the items described in this list to do so from a reputable source and read the instructions.