We are an Amazon Echo family and we now have several units all over our house. We all LOVE the Echo and even my 3 year old daughter can be heard saying “Alexa, play kidz bop” quite often. 🙂 If you don’t know what the Amazon Echo is, it basically is a speaker that you can talk to and tell it to play any music, do certain tasks and answer questions! All you have to do is say “Alexa” and the unit turns on and does whatever you ask it to!
We actually got our hands on one of the very first Amazon Echo’s. I’m not sure how I got selected, but they emailed me asking if I would be interested in being one of the first to buy it. I had no idea what it was but I was intrigued, so I said yes! We’ve had it for over 2 years now and along the way added a Tap and a few Dots (other devices that are similar to the Echo but not as big.) I’ll get into those a little later.
We keep our Echo in the living room and we mainly just play music from it which if that was the only thing it did, would be good enough! We subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited which basically gives you access to any song in the Amazon library which is basically every song ever made. I mean I don’t know that for sure but every song I’ve asked it to play, it plays it! It’s never not been able to find a song that I wanted to hear.
I also love that they have pre-made playlists and stations that you can listen to. All ad-free! So when I’m working or in the car (I use the Amazon Music app) I can play whatever music I want and never have to hear a commercial! And it’s so great when I’m working and a song pops up in my head, I never have to look at my computer or phone to switch the music, I just say “Alexa” and tell it to play whatever song or playlist I want to hear. It’s amazing!
If you are a prime member it’s only $7.99 a month. We actually subscribe to the family plan which allows up to 6 members to have their own accounts – which means that my husband can listen to his own music and saved playlists at work while I can listen to my music and it never interferes with each other! Since I didn’t need all 6 accounts I gifted my brother and his wife an Echo for Christmas and gave them their own music accounts as well! The family account is $14.99 a month which I think is well worth the price. Right now you get a 30-Day Free Trial for Amazon Music Unlimited. I highly recommend just giving it a try and seeing for yourself how useful it is. If you download the app and your car can pick up your phone by bluetooth, it’s SO worth it because I can’t stand the regular radio so being able to listen to any music and access all my own playlists is so nice when I’m sitting in traffic.
5 reasons why every mom needs Amazon Echo (Tips & Tricks)
Use it as a bluetooth speaker
I listen to a lot of podcasts and I love that I can easily connect my phone to the Echo as a speaker and have it play all my podcasts as I’m cleaning or doing my makeup. We keep a Tap in our master bathroom so I even play podcasts when I’m in the shower! Some days when I am so busy and get no time to myself, the shower and a podcast is the best 20 minutes of the day. The Tap is a mini version of the echo and it’s portable! So I can bring it from the bathroom to the bedroom to my closet so no matter where I am in my morning routine, I can bring the speaker with me.
Set a timer
So good for when I’m cooking! I use it almost every time I cook and it’s so helpful when your hands are full or dirty and you don’t have an extra hand to set the timer on the oven. I just tell Alexa to set a timer for however many minutes I need and it’s done!
I also use it to time my daughter when she cleans up. Not to make me sound like a mean mom (I promise I’m not!) it drives me crazy when I ask my daughter to clean up her area and it should only take 5 minutes but she ends up stopping and playing with every single toy that she picks up so really it takes 30 minutes or more. Lately, before bed I’ve been telling her that she gets 5 minutes to clean up and I set the timer. She never gets in trouble if she takes longer then 5 minutes but setting the timer helps keep her focused and when she makes it before the timer goes off, we give her lots and lots of praise which makes her so happy.
Check your Calendar
You can connect it to your google calendar! In the mornings I always ask her what’s on my calendar today and get a recap of all my meetings and to do’s. It helps me so much so I remember what time all my meetings are and any other important details. Of course I have to remember to put everything on my google calendar but it’s something that I use all the time, so I rarely forget.
Check the weather/traffic
I know you can also do both on your phone but in the mornings when I’m getting ready, getting my daughter dressed, preparing breakfast, feeding the dogs, etc… I really don’t have a lot of time to look at my phone. So I often just ask Alexa what the weather will be like and then I can dress my daughter and I appropriately for the day. For traffic, it’s not quite as advanced to tell you traffic for all locations but it remembers a specific location, for me, it’s my office/warehouse and it tells me information about the commute, if there is any traffic/accidents and how long it will take me to get there.
Put your child to bed with music or white noise
My daughter has always been a good sleeper. She was sleeping through the night, very early on. We didn’t have much sleep issues up until she was about 2. That’s when she decided she wasn’t so into sleeping. 🙂 Once she’s asleep, she rarely gets up, but she’s very much a night owl and has so much energy at night! It can be so hard to put her to bed sometimes. When we put her to bed at her regular bed time, she would either stay up and play in her room until late or if we made her lay down and stay in bed she always wanted someone to stay in there with her. Even then she wouldn’t go to sleep quickly. It was just so difficult and often times I’d be in her room until 11pm before she finally fell asleep. We’ve always used a white noise machine in her room and I do think that helped her sleep well as a baby.
Once she got older it just didn’t have the same affect but I got her a Dot to play music (there’s tons of lullaby playlists that you can have it play) and it really helped her settle down and fall asleep. Truly, it was amazing the affect it had on her! I think it also helps with part of the sleep routine that we turn on the lullabies as we read her a book so she knows that it’s time to go to sleep. There are also white noise options that you can use which I’ve turned on for her before and I think just changing it up and having a different sound to listen to, helped her sleep as well. And you don’t even need to go back into their room to turn off their music! Just tell Alexa to “sleep in 30 minutes” or however long you want it to play and she will turn off my herself.
We have a Dot in my daughter’s bedroom and use this adorable bluetooth speaker with it. She loves it and it goes well with her decor. It’s not just cute, it’s a great speaker as well! My daughter and I got a custom fashion sketch done at an event we went to, which is what’s behind the speaker. It’s one of my favorite things ever!
This is the Dot that I keep in my home office. I also have a bluetooth speaker that I have connected to it. The speaker on the dot is not great, so I highly recommend you connect a bluetooth speaker to it, although it’s totally not necessary. The dot works just like the Echo, it’s just more compact and needs the bluetooth speaker connected if you want to have better sound but otherwise, it does all the commands that the Echo does.
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They are always coming out with new things that Alexa can do so it’s been fun to get to see how the device continues to improve. They also do Alexa only deals which I have to say are pretty great! You just order directly by asking “Alexa, What are your deals” During the holidays they had some pretty great deals that I ordered from!
For more great Amazon finds:
- The best fall fashion under $50 on Amazon
- Holiday Party Dresses on Amazon for under $50!
- The Top 5 Things You Need On Amazon for the Modern Tech Girl
In case you were wondering this post is not sponsored, I truly love the Echo!
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