By Misty Vogtritter, BBP Blog Contributor
If I haven’t said this before, baby boy #3 was a complete surprise! Six years after we’d declared our family complete, he proved us wrong and, as you’d expect, we found ourselves like deer in headlights touring the aisle at Babies ‘R’ Us. So many things had changed since we brought home our first bundle of joy ten years ago – among them, the concept of the diaper changing pad. What was once simply a stuffed pillow has transformed into oversized curved foam pads or plastic-covered mini-mattresses.
We weren’t going baby-crazy this time around. We learned our lesson with the first two. It’s not necessary. This time around, I needed something small and transportable. Enter the Ah Goo Baby Plush Pad. Its smaller size makes it a perfect fit for my small diaper changing table. It’s made with memory foam to keep the little guy happy and content at changing time. And even better, it has this cool patented roll-up function so I can take it on the road with us when we travel. The pad cover is machine washable (just unzip and take the pillow part out).
I wish I’d known about this a few years ago to save myself a lot of trouble. The Ah Goo Baby Plush Pad is sold for $34.95 on the Ah Goo Baby website.
By Joe Marcucci, BBP Blog Contributor
Oogaa. It’s a fun word for a fun product and it started in the imagination of a very fun nine-year-old girl.
“Oogaas are something that have always been around me,” momtrepreneur Sam Skolnik, and creator of Oogaa, said during a recent phone conversation. “A friend and I may have created them as children, but even then I knew they were something significant and would be with me for the rest of my life.”For years, these little critters lived in Sam’s sketchbooks and always at the back of her mind while she finished school, toured the world, started a career as a successful interior designer and, eventually, became a wife and, later, a mother to a little boy named Max.
“When my son was about six months old, I realized that there had to be an easier way of getting him to eat,” said Sam. “So I set about to make mealtimes more fun and had the idea of really making the spoon into an airplane or a train or bowls that got happy as they emptied.”
Which brings us back to the oogaas.
“They were a natural fit,” Sam adds. “If the goal was to make meals more fun, what’s more fun than an oogaa?”
She got to work, designing the first line of Oogaa products and researching how to get them into production.
“While I was drawing and designing, I assumed the products would be made of plastic because after growing up with plastic all around me, I assumed it would be safe but the research proved me wrong,” she said.
Instead, her research uncovered that plastic contained a plethora of chemicals like BPA and phalathes, which can be harmful for little bodies. Eventually, she gave up the search for a chemical-free plastic and decided to use a silicone product. Silicone is known to be non-toxic, environmentally friendly as well as microwave and dishwasher safe. Perfect!
“Fortunately, at the time I was doing this research, we lived in Hong Kong and which put in me in a prime location for finding a factory that was able to put together a silicone prototype,” said Sam. “As soon as I saw the prototype I knew it was right. The whole thing just came alive for me and I felt comfortable moving forward.”
And she did, but it took time. Max celebrated his eleventh birthday this year and Sam celebrated the arrival of the oogaa products on the virtual shelves at Babies ‘R’ Us.
“It’s been kind of crazy getting here, but we’ve had a lot of fun along the way,” she said.
Oogaa is not Sam’s first foray into entrepreneurship. She has worked with her husband, who owns a motorcycle accessory distribution company and, as mentioned before, she also worked as a successful interior designer. A couple years ago, she wrote a book about her life experiences, which include living in the United States, China and England. Sam credits these diverse experiences for giving her the opportunity and expertise to move forward with starting Oogaa.
“I wouldn’t have been so brave without that prior experience,” Sam adds.
Her advice for other moms looking to start their own business?
“Don’t compromise. It would have been very easy for me to manufacture the oogaa products with regular plastic but that would have been harmful for the children and the environment and that’s not what I’m all about.”
Brilliant Baby Products has declared 2014 the year of the Momtrepreneur. Each month we will feature a different mom taking her “brilliant” idea and using it to make the lives of parents around the world easier and more fun!
|By Kathleen Tomes, BBP President & Editor|
|From the moment a child is born, parents face dozens of choices every single day. Should I use cloth diapers or disposable? Which car seat will be the safest? However, none is perhaps more important as the choice to breastfeed. . A study published in the journal Pediatrics finds only a third of new moms meet their goal to exclusively breastfeed for three months and even fewer make it to the World Health Organization’s recommendation to exclusively breastfeeding for six months.Believe me, I know! I went through it myself. As the new mom with twins, I struggled to establish and maintain a breastfeeding routine with my babies. My struggle to nurse led to the creation of our company, Brilliant Baby Products, which now works with dozens of products specifically designed to make life easier for nursing moms.While there are lots of different reasons why women stop breastfeeding, the four most commonly cited problems can be solved with some amazing new products that you can find on store shelves across the nation.Problem #1: Tough beginnings: The simple truth is – breastfeeding is hard work, especially at the beginning. It takes time for both mom and baby to get the hang of it. Throw in sore nipples and the exhaustion of having a newborn and it’s easy to understand why some moms give up breastfeeding.Solution: Support and comfort. If you know a new mom who is struggling to breastfeed, offer to help her by putting mom and baby’s comfort first.|
|Smart Choices Women: From contoured nursing pads to prevent leaks to soothing lanolin creams, Smart Choices Women offers a wide variety of products to help nursing moms heal from cracked or bleeding nippes, mastitis and other breastfeeding woes. The products range in price from $3.00 to $10.00 and can be purchased online at Amazon or Target. More information on product selection is available on the Smart Choices Women website|
|Boppy: A nursing mom’s must-have! These crescent-shaped pillows lift baby to a more ergonomic position for feedings. The pillow also transitions to the perfect spot for propping, tummy time and learning to sit. There’s no wonder the Boppy is America’s #1 Baby Product! Boppy pillows are sold for $39.99 at stores across the country or at the online Boppy store.|
|Problem #2: Concerns over just how much baby is getting: It’s hard to quantify what you can’t see and because breast milk digests easier, breastfed babies want to eat more and more often. Couple that with the pressures of making sure baby gains an appropriate amount of weight in between doctors’ visits, moms aren’t wrong to get the idea they aren’t giving baby enough.Solution #2: Give mom the tools she needs to track baby’s progress at home.|
|Milkscreen: Take the guesswork out of breast milk production. The new innovative MilkScreen calculator not only helps mom figure out exactly how much breast milk she is producing, it also calculates whether her breastmilk production is normal, high or low for her baby. The calculator kit costs $19.99 and can be purchased online at Target or at the UpSpring Baby website.|
|Milkies: For moms who struggle with low breast milk supply, the Milkies Milk Savers can be a lifesaver. These specially designed bags capture leaked milk from the unused breast when mom is feeding baby or pumping with a single breast pump. This extra milk can be stored for baby to receive via bottle at a later feeding. Milkies can be purchased for $27.95 at select baby boutiques nationwide or online at the My Milkies website|
|The Aqua Scale: Track baby’s weight gain and progress in between doctors’ visits with The Aqua Scale. This incredible scale doubles as a baby bath, complete with water thermometer, so that baby is comfortable and happy during weigh ins. The Aqua Scale is sold for $69.99 at Babies ‘R Us and Target stores nationwide or on The Aqua Scale website.|
|Problem #3: Fear of nursing in public: Time and time again we hear horror stories of women kicked out of public malls, restaurants and stores for breastfeeding her child in public. Even though breastfeeding is a natural process, our culture unfortunately doesn’t support it.Solution #3: There’s a trick nursing in public without drawing attention and it starts with having the right foundation: a good nursing bra, an easily accessible top and an impressive cover-up.|
|Dria Cover: Stay modest with these stylish nursing covers that give both mom and baby the privacy to feed in public without sharing the intimate moment with those around them. Dria covers come in a wide variety of colors and prints. They are sold for $79.95 online at the Dria website.|
|Problem #4: Going back to work: Working and breastfeeding can be done, but finding the time and place to pump can be stressful and derail even the best of plans.Solution #4: Before she heads back to work, mom needs to get the support of her boss, her family and her baby’s caregiver. Then, enlist the timesaving abilities of a great breast pump and bottles designed to make frequent transitioning between breast and bottle as easy as possible for baby.|
|Closer to Nature Double Breast Pump by Tommee Tippee: Not only can mom simultaneously pump both breasts at the same time, this pump also eliminates the need to transfer milk from pump containers to bottles. The pump allows mom to express milk directly into Tommee Tippee bottles or storage pods. It is sold for $249.99 at most Target and Babies ‘R Us stores nationwide or on the Tommee Tippee website.|
|Easy Expressions Hands Free Pumping Bra by Medela: This marvelous attachment allows moms to simultaneously pump both breasts at the same time, while keeping her hands free for work or just relaxing. It’s easy to transport and is compatible with most electronic breast pumps. It’s sold for $33.99 at department stores nationwide. More information is available on the Medela website.|
|Mimijumi Bottles: The next best thing to mom’s breast is a Mimijumi bottle. Invented by a doctor, these bottles have nipples just like moms that require baby to latch to get the milk to come out. They are also vented to reduce colic and have porous features for a more natural feel for baby. They are sold for $13.99-$14.99 (depending on size) at baby boutiques nationwide and online at the Mimijumi website.|
|When it comes to products to make breastfeeding easier, these products are just the beginning. We love to feature the new products we find on our Brilliant Baby Products Facebookso go “like” us and we’ll also keep you up-to-date on some of the most “Brilliant” baby products available.|