The Biz: The Grapevine

Moving a baby from a bottle to a cup is a big milestone… it’s also a messy one! As children learn to swig with a sippy, parents learn which carpet cleaner works best for the inevitable stains that results from loose caps and hard throws. Then once the sippy cup is mastered, parents have to take on the Herculean task of teaching their rugrats how to drink from a real cup. Kiddos can now drink with the big gulps thanks to the Reflo Smart Cup.

It doesn’t take a professor to figure out that busy families can always use an extra hand. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a former professor with kids figure out a way to help out. “The first time I took my new baby into a public restroom and couldn’t find a convenient way to hang my diaper bag near the changing table, I knew I had to develop a hook that could help every parent and caregiver…” explained Lulabop founder, Mina Yoo. Yoo’s gift to families is the LulaBiner: a two-ended carabiner. It sports two functional hooks to allow for hands-off peace of mind.

“My 1-year-old and 3-year-old have a splashing good time in the bath, and I used to feel like we were in the ‘soaker section’ at the Shamu show.” While SeaWorld sells special towels to spectators in the “soaker section”, there has never been a fool-proof solution for parents trying to get a wet child out of the bathtub. For little ones, the prospect of bath time can either be a struggle or a chance to splash a tubful of water across the bathroom. After years of frustrating bath exits with her daughter, Amanda M. West came up with a perfect remedy. By combining the best parts of a towel and an apron, the Kozybaby was invented.

In the first few months with a newborn, parents are generally in a constant state of blurry exhaustion. Yet, somehow through the fuzzy haze of sleeplessness, joy and fear, parents need to track what goes in and out of baby with some frequency. And few things are as fraught as monitoring milk consumption. As days and nights run together, it’s not always easy to recall exactly when that bottle in the fridge was created, and methods like markers and post-its just don’t cut it for accuracy. That’s why there is a need forEepples MilkCharms!

New parents no longer have to listen to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” for the zillionth time, since they can instead enjoy lullaby arrangements by today’s top artists. Designed to soothe little ones while enhancing the enjoyment of music for all ages, Baby Blanket Music features sounds babies enjoy, including vibraphones and music boxes paired with classical instruments such as strings, woodwinds, pianos, harps and soft percussion. The gentle tones are calming and make for easy listening for both tots and adults. Baby Blanket Music is a sound way for parents, grandparents and caregivers to share music with a child.

Modern shoppers demand quality from conscious-driven companies, exactly the kind provided by Mim-Pi. The Dutch company is already a household name overseas, with its strong focus on developing wearable fashions for girls newborn to 10 years old. Leonora Nieuwenhuizen definitely understands her customers, who are thrilled to post pictures of their little ones looking cute in Mim-Pi wear. But there is one thing that really sets the brand apart, and that is its dedication to color, color, color. Every piece in the eclectic collections is saturated in gorgeous hues, from glowing fuchsias to stunning sapphires.

One of the biggest problems with children being outside during inclement weather is the damp. When it rains, socks, the bottoms of trousers, and the edges of sleeves typically all suffer, leaving school-aged children feeling uncomfortable throughout the day. Companies that create outdoor gear with an eye on breathability and functionality earn customer loyalty. Belgian powerhouse Ducksday has built strong brand recognition in Europe. The company is known for its ability to help kids shrug off dreary days and keep the fun rolling when the snow falls. Now it is making a name Stateside with stunning results.

Dress tots in children’s clothing created by British designers for a spot of fashion. Zip Zap from Brecrest Babywear is an exclusive label offering a wide range of styles each season and has become a huge hit throughout the UK and Europe. Now American kids can strut their stuff in these charming imports. Little girls positively glow wearing the dress in a pink, red and purple dot pattern with a frill down the center front and matching solid leggings with frills at the hem.

Michael Musolino, CEO of Make Good Choices, and his team are all about helping children develop sound decision-making skills. “We are doing our very best to make this world a better place, one good choice at a time.” This philosophy has opened up doors for the company’s message: its support of fundraising efforts has resulted in a strong relationship between many community organizations and Make Good Choices. The company’s logo has appeared on everything from key chains and wristbands to hoodies and hand sanitizers.