The baby industry is constantly evolving, and it’s because there are some amazing women at the helm. From vegan accessories and revolutionary feeding gear, to back-saving baby carriers, mom inventors are changing the face of what it means to manage the newborn and infant stage. Keep scrolling to see our favorite baby gear products that will have you saying, “oh baby!”
Buttery Soft Blankets: Coco Moon
Amber Thibaut grew up as the daughter of a Maui waterman, which connected her strongly to the island culture. Late one night while nursing her son, she realized the blanket she reached for held no special meaning or connection to Hawaii, which embodied arts, tradition and community. That night, Coco Moon was born. Now, Thibaut's brand specializes in buttery-soft baby goods that are all inspired by memories of a childhood in Hawaii. Parents can shop island-inspired quilts, security and throw blankets, swaddles and clothing with whimsical prints and the softest materials.
No More Snaps: Zipease
Taeler Horak was a first time mom and she already despised trying to snap baby clothes in the middle of the night. Armed with her great grandmother's sewing machine, she set out to make the first ankle to ankle zippered baby romper. When local moms began asking for custom orders, Horak knew she was on to something. After creating her own website, rebranding and a soft launch on Facebook, Zipease, LLC was born. The female-owned and run business now employs four more women who make the company's entire inventory in house.
Lactation Support: Milky Mama
After having her second child and returning to work, Krystal Nicole Duhaney struggled with her milk supply like many moms. As a Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant she knew there were not enough resources for breastfeeding mothers and wanted to come up with a solution for low milk supply. Using her medical background, Duhaney came up with a milk-making cookie recipe and in November of 2015, Milky Mama was born! Today, Milky Mama's product line includes Lactation Cookies, Brownies, Emergency Brownies, Tropical Iced Tea, Lactation LeMOOnade, Lactation Smoothie Mix, and Herbal Supplements. In addition to offering products, the company also facilitates weekly Facebook chats and a lactation support group so women can come alongside each other in support.
Easy Squeezy: UnbuckleMe
Towards the end of her maternity leave, Becca Davidson's mom offered to watch her daughter once a week. Her mom was really looking forward to spending some quality time with her new granddaughter, but soon realized that because of some arthritis in her thumb, she wasn't able to press the red button hard enough to release the buckle on the carseat. After realizing that a federal regulation required 9 pounds of pressure to release the button for safety reasons, Davidson and her mom set out find a solution. As an Occupational Therapist, Davidson's mother created a tool using splint material, which used leverage to reduce the force needed to unbuckle, and UnbuckleMe was born!. The duo refined the design, ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, attended dozens of events, acquired patents and continues to spread awareness.
Sweet Dreams: Snuggy Buddy Sleep Sack
Susan Bortone's two kids were never good sleepers. They loved to snuggle and always wanted a soft toy to hold but Bortone never wanted to leave an unsafe toy in the crib, which meant they would wake often looking for their lovey. After trying every sleep trick in the book, she started sketching and making a protoype that combined the security of a sleep sack and a safe toy all in one. When her daughter tried it for the first time, shel slept through the night! Now, Snuggy Buddy is in production and taking pre-orders for the breathable sleep snack made from muslin with a weighted butterfly with soft plush wings stitched at chest level. In addition to providing a safe sleep experience, Snuggy Buddy is also partnering with a charity, donating fabric for them to make blankets for babies in need.
No More Toddler Toss: Busy Baby Mat
Beth Fynbo was tired of the "toddler toss," when littles keep throwing things on the floor or putting their mouth on germy restaurant tables. In response, she created the Busy Baby Mat, a food-grade silicone placemat that firmly sticks on just about any surface including shopping cart handles, floors and tables. The innovative silicon tethers attach to toys to keep them in arms reach and the placemat is perfect for eating, and eating drawing on!
Vegan Bibs & Changing Mats: Bek & Jet
Bekah Marsden didn't love when her baby’s bibs or changing mats got stained and gross. As a mom, she set out to create a product that would stand the test of time and look stylish while doing it. That's when she came up with vegan leather bibs and changing mats for her site, Bek & Jet. The amazingly soft products can be easily wiped down after each use––no more stains!
Carseat Safe Jackets: Buckle Me Baby Coat
Mom of three Dahlia Rizk was sick and tired of wrestling her kids in and out of coats when it came time to getting into the car seat. She imagined a time when zippers weren't in the middle of coats and then instant excitement came! Rizk applied for a patent and some time later, the world’s first and only car seat-safe winter coat was born. Her genius design means that car seat straps and harnessed go under the coats and not on top, and are crash tested. They passed the first time around! Buckle Me Baby Coats are evaluated by CPSTs, first responders, and EMTs too but her "biggest experts are the kids who love not having coats forced off and on them all the time and parents who love having one less thing to worry about!"
Plush Pacifiers: WubbaNub
While on a family vacation, Carla Schneider’s infant son could not be consoled. When his pacifer wouldn't stay in his mouth, the mom grabbed the hotel sewing kit and sewed her son’s favorite stuffed toy to a pacifier. Instantly he was comforted, and this was the start of WubbaNub. Twenty years later Schneider still owns and operates the brand while remaining true to her original mission: "Comforting and soothing one baby at a time while raising funds and awareness surrounding illnesses that afflict newborns."
Carrying Alternative: TushBaby
Tammy Rant and Sara Azadi created TushBaby out of complete necessity. Back and hip pain led them to question: was there a better way to carry their kids? When traditional carriers didn't work, the idea to create a strapless baby carrier was born. After pitching their idea on Shark Tank, Tushbaby has taken off, finding a market in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The memory-lined seat comes with extra storage for essentials, and is perfect for any caregivers, from mom and dad to grandparents!
Life Skills, One Spoon at a Time: Kizingo
Lisa Sutherland and Kiyah Duffy are moms with seven kids between them. Both women have Ph.D.’s in nutrition and a shared passion for food, creativity and an interest in helping little ones learn to feed themselves. They knew what parents could do to help kids succeed at mealtime and learn to love eating healthy foods but didn't see the right tools to help them do that. Kizingo spoons work with the way young children hold and use utensils, making it easier for them to bring the food from their plate to their mouth! Why is this important? Kids who can feed themselves are less likely to overeat and less likely to become picky eaters because they retain control over mealtime.
The Convenient Baby Carrier: Tady
When Natalie Riley's daughter was young and riding in a stroller, inevitably, she would demand to be carried. Natalie always ended up carrying her daughter in one arm and pushing the empty set of wheels with the other. The same goes for hiking—Natalie found herself carrying her daughter in her arms with an empty baby transporter on her back. She needed a tiny baby carrier that she could carry in her pocket or use as a purse while her daughter is walking, and so Tady—a baby carrier that can support up to 60 lbs and easily converts into a diaper bag—was born.
Bespoke Sleepsacks: Bumbershoots by Nana
Give your babe a leg up in the sleep department with Bumbershoots by Nana. These oh-so-soft sleep sacks are designed and hand sewn by Judy Carr (aka Nana), a grandmother who works out of her Maryland studio using patterns she has made and refined over time. Bumbershoots by Nana was born when her grandson was transitioning out of a swaddle and into a sleep sack. Judy noticed that even more expensive sacks seemed cheaply made and didn't wear well. In part due to her grandmotherly love, and in part due to her entrepreneurial spirit, Judy decided to fix that problem—her high-quality, reverse-lined sleep sacks are functional (they hold up extremely well to machine washes and everyday use) and fun (check out their designs here). Fun fact: Bumbershoots by Nana stocks multiples in each size, but is also able to produce 30 or so a week without assistance.
A Mom-Invented Registry: Blueprint Registry
Lizzy Ellingson co-founded Blueprint Registry after experiencing her own frustrations with traditional wedding registries. She wanted a more fun, visual process—and it turns out she wasn't the only one. After having her first baby, she discovered that the baby registry world had the same problems and so she expanded Blueprint's platform into a baby registry with the goal of helping to educate new moms along the way. New parents can not only rest easy knowing Blueprint has the lowest credit card processing fee in the industry, but they can also shop from a visual blueprint of their nursery and add gifts from any retailer to their registry to fit their needs.
Check it out at blueprintregistry.com
Multi Use Baby Gear: Cheeky Chompers
Julie Wilson and Amy Livingston founded Cheeky Chompers while on maternity leave after their first babies were born. They noticed a gap in the market for a teether that attached to a baby and that’s when the innovative Neckerchew was born! What’s a Neckerchew? It’s a highly absorbent, reversible cotton dribble bib with a silicone teether integrated right into the design. After the success of the Neckerchew, they went on to invent the Comfortchew, Chewy the attachable sensory hippo teether, the Cheeky Blanket, the organic MultiMuslin (it’s a nursing cover, stroller cover, teether, burp cloth, swaddle and blanket all in one) and the Muslin Comforter. These two mamas and their innovative thinking are streamlining the world of baby gear.
Not Your Mother’s Diaper Bag: TWELVElittle
When TWELVElittle baby bags came on the scene, new moms everywhere sighed with relief. Stylish, practical (read: wipeable) diaper bags and accessories that feel designer-worthy without the outrageous price tag. Mom and designer Julia Min founded TWELVElittle to simplify and elevate new mom style. And she's succeeded! In addition to diaper bags and backpacks that you'll be toting around long after they are potty-trained, they also make backpacks for kids, smaller bags for storage (we love this striped bag trio) and the popular 12 LITTLE WONDERS dangles, inspired by the Chinese zodiac and made to customize any bag.
Waste Not, Want Not: Milkies
For any mom who has ever pumped for their nursing babes, you know how precious every drop can be. When her son Henry was born in 2008, Helen Anderson was working as an ER nurse and still breastfeeding. So she came up with a business, Milkies, and a product to help save time and make sure not a drop of the liquid gold was lost: Milk-Saver. The Milk-Saver collects the milk that leaks in between nursing or pumping (you know what we mean).
Kitchen Concept: Cheeky Baby
We’re pretty sure that Ayesha Curry doesn’t sleep. Not only is she a mother of two beautiful kiddos and wife of Golden State all-star Stephen Curry, but she also’s a cookbook author, hosts her own show on the Food Network, Ayesha’s Homemade, and is the co-founder of the recently launched Cheeky Baby. Partnered with Cheeky Kids, this line of reusable, high-quality plastic and silicone dinnerware products are designed just with little ones in mind. They help foster independence at meal-time with trainer and sippy cups, feeding spoons, traditional baby cutlery, and even a line of self-feeding cutlery; non-slip bowls and more, all with whimsical-but-chic patterns and animal characters. And if you need one more reason to love this woman, for every Cheeky Baby item purchased, a meal will be donated to a child in need through No Kid Hungry.
A New Tradition: The Finnbin
Catherine Merritt has been a long-time supporter of moms: she’s the genius behind MUMZY, the first and only crowdfunding platform for moms. Catherine sold MUMZY last year and is on to her newest venture, Finnbin. Co-founded with Shawn Bercuson (entrepreneur and superdad), Finnbin brings the Finnish tradition to the U.S. for the first time ever. What is a Finnbin? It’s a cardboard box full of newborn items, including bibs, bedding, clothing, a swaddle, bath essentials and more. The best part? The box can actually be used as baby’s first bed. Don’t believe us? The Finns have been doing this for more than 80 years! We love these self-contained boxes that pair down the clutter and focus on what you need for your new arrival, so you can focus on baby! “To play a role in providing the peace of mind to new parents is such an incredible feeling as an entrepreneur and a fellow mom,” says Catherine.
Taking a Bite: Grabease
Maya Shalev, founder of Grabease is a problem solver. As a busy lawyer, mediator and mother of three, she experienced all of the typical frustrations of parenting, including watching her little one repeatedly not be able to hold on to the spoon when trying to self-feed. So, she invented a better product: grabease utensils ($14.95), available on Amazon. These adorable fork and spoon sets are squat enough that tiny hands can grasp and control with ease, plus they are safer than regular "toddler" flatware: the handle is ergonomically designed and there's a choke barrier. It comes in several colors (including dark gray, teal, orange and white), and you can even grab a handy carrying pouch that tucks into your diaper bag or purse. The best part? It helps them develop motor skills right before your eyes. BPA free. Grabease also recently launched a 2 in 1 silicone spoon + teether, a double-sided toothbrush that helps helps with baby and toddler oral care and an all-over bib that helps to make the dinner mess less stressful.
Library Lifestyle: Savor Keepsake Box
You love all the notes and stick-figure drawings, but it doesn’t take long for paper to take over your house. That’s why moms Karla “neatnick” the Losen and Jennifer organization queen” McAllister-Nevins got together and invented The Keepsake Box by Savor, designed to help you keep treasures and cull the chaos. There are two versions: The Library: Baby Keepsake Box and The Library: School Years Keepsake Box. Each box includes a handcrafted, book cloth case; pre-categorized labels; 9 drawers for tiny things and 8 vertical files (baby version) or 16 vertical files (school years); a birthday survey for yearly highlights and more. It’s like scrapbooking without the scrapbooking. Everything is contained, sleek and easy to browse through so you can walk down memory lane anytime. As an added bonus, they look cute on the shelf. Stop shoving those things in a bin and start organizing your treasures! Prices start at $69.95.
—Kate Loweth, Amber Guetebier, Erin Lem and Karly Wood
All photos provided by companies