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The Most Innovative Companies for Families Might Surprise You Fatherly's list of the 20 Most Innovative Companies for kids and parents features both the sharing economy and new takes on old favorites.

By Lydia Belanger

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ian Waldie / Staff | Getty Images

Parents love trustworthy brands that make their hectic lives easier. That's nothing new. But today's busy, progressive and connected young moms and dads expect more than ever from the products and services their families rely on.

To guide overwhelmed parents and recognize the companies that are working the hardest to keep their best interests in mind, millennial dad website Fatherly has released its list of the 20 Most Innovative Companies for Kids & Parents.

Instead of creating a ranking, Fatherly evaluated the companies qualitatively and divided them into six categories: toys, apps/books, parenting gear, home and community, services and entertainment. To determine which companies were most deserving of a spot on the list, Fatherly enlisted partners with expertise in toys, the science of play, gift registries, ecommerce and more. Fatherly then reached out to the each company to better understand its vision.

Related: Check Out This Year's 'Best Places to Work for New Dads'

The brands Fatherly selected aren't Kickstarter startups trying to gain momentum, explains co-founder and chief content officer Simon Isaacs. They're established companies who have been around at least a few years. Even 61-year-old Mattel, which recently released a line of Barbie dolls with varied body types and complexions and developed a virtual reality viewer for kids, made the list.

Many companies highlighted reflect how roles within households are shifting. Fifty-two percent of young dads are their family's primary grocery shopper, Issacs notes. Fatherly, founded to provide parenting resources and a sense of community for dads amid a sea of mommy blogs, values companies that promote gender equity. This includes those that empower little girls and abandon the traditional pink and blue children's toy color coding in favor of neutrality, such as Target.

Millennial parents, according to Isaacs, look for beautifully designed products that they'll want to display in their homes. They also seek educational kid-friendly tech. Fatherly even recognized Uber for its UberFamily service, which provides on-demand rides in vehicles equipped with Immi Go car seats -- and drivers who know how to use them. Missing from the list is Ikea, which Fatherly opted not to feature after it recalled its dressers that have fallen on and killed six children as well as injured at least 19.

In general, the companies Fatherly selected all "make parenting more frictionless," Issacs says. "They're innovating across multiple products or iterations of a single product -- and hopefully across everything they do and stand for."

Related: 10 U.S. Companies With Radically Awesome Parental Leave Policies

The following companies fulfill the requirements of young, socially conscious, aesthetically inclined families. To read more about these brands and the solutions they've created, view the report on Fatherly.

Toys
Mattel
LittleBits
Sphero
Loog
Tegu

Apps/Books
Tinybop
Tiggly
Lost My Name

Parenting Gear
Mountain Buggy
Kiinde
CliniCloud

Home and Community
Dyson
Amazon
Target
Monstrum

Services
DonorsChoose.org
Uber
Pley
e-Nable The Future

Entertainment
Sesame Workshop

Lydia Belanger is a former associate editor at Entrepreneur. Follow her on Twitter: @LydiaBelanger.

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