NECESSITY REALLY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION!
As the founder of In Its Place Kids and a mom myself, I can’t help but be impressed when I come across other moms who have a specific need and, in the process of finding a way to fill it, end up launching a new business venture. That’s exactly what Cathy Lendvey and her daughter Mindy Busseletti (pictured above) did when they created the Baby Strap, a unique strapping system designed to hold bottles, sippy cups, toys and other items used by babies and toddlers. These straps keep items off the ground and safely within a child’s reach. According to Cathy, each strap is handmade from eco-friendly materials with a design that is fully compliant with safety guidelines for children’s products from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
We’re pleased to promote the Baby Strap System at In Its Place Kids. Here are the highlights of this innovative product:
- It’s lab-tested for safety and small parts.
- It’s made from eco-friendly materials.
- It includes natural wooden rings that can be used as teethers.
- It features special knots that little fingers can’t undo.
- It adjusts to fit all size bottles and sippy cups.
- It attaches just about anywhere (high chairs, strollers, car seats, shopping carts, cribs, play yards, bath tubs – even car windows!)
Read below to get the inside scoop from Cathy on the need that led to the creation of the Baby Strap, how the straps are made and the emphasis placed on product safety.
Q & A with Baby Strap Co-creator, Cathy Lendvey.
In Its Place Kids: How did you come up with the idea for the Baby Strap?
Cathy Lendvey: My granddaughter was born at 26 weeks (three months early) and weighed only two lbs., five oz. She was in the NICU for three months. When she finally came home, she was on oxygen and heart and oxygen monitors for another three months. We were advised by her pediatrician not to take her out during the first three months she was at home. Once we were able to take her out, we had to be very careful with her. I started looking at straps available for holding her items, which were always dropping to the ground. At that time, there weren’t many available so I decided to create one. Then my daughter Mindy and I decided to make them and sell them, assuming other people might have the same need.
IPK: How many designs did you have to go through before arriving at the final Baby Strap product?
CL: We probably went through about 12 different designs, eliminating items that would not be lead- and phthalate-free (such as metal rings and clasps) and any small parts that could come loose in small-parts testing. We also discovered that we couldn’t use elastic (it didn’t hold up on our testing for full bottles) or Velcro (my granddaughter learned to undo that early on).
IPK: What are the eco-friendly materials used in the Baby Strap?
CL: The materials in The Baby Strap are polypropylene webbing and parachord (both are textiles and do not contain any BPA, lead or phthalates), Kamsnaps and Adams suction cups (both tested by their manufacturer to be BPA-, phthalate- and lead-free) and wooden rings that are not exposed to any chemicals.
In addition to being eco-friendly, we also wanted all the materials used in the Baby Strap to be sourced in the USA. Finding wooden rings manufactured in the USA was the hardest part. We initially worked with a company in Vermont, but looked for another source when they started importing their rings from China. We ended up finding a company in Texas called Woodworks that now supplies our wooden rings. Their rings are all-natural; they’re just cut, sanded and kiln-dried. We rub them with a combination of natural bees wax and pure coconut oil, so they make great teething rings.
IPK: How is the Baby Strap manufactured?
CL: Each strap is made by hand. It takes about 45 minutes from start to finish to make a complete strap.
IPK: Describe the testing you did to ensure the Baby Strap system meets CPSIA safety requirements.
CL: I started researching the requirements for selling products for children. The CPSIA defines the term “children’s product” as “a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger”. It generally requires that children’s products “be tested for compliance by a CPSC-accepted accredited laboratory (unless subject to an exception), have a written Children’s Product Certificate that provides evidence of the product’s compliance; and have permanent tracking information affixed to the product and its packaging where practicable.”
Our straps were third-party tested five times before we arrived at a design that would pass all safety requirements. The testing we had done was for small parts, which consisted of not only making sure all parts were big enough to pass but also to make sure that any small parts could not be dislodged during use. We did not have to test for lead or phthalates because we sourced all products that were either textiles (which do not need testing) or were from suppliers that have had their products tested for these chemical elements.
IPK: What sets your Baby Strap System apart from similar products?
CL: The Baby Strap is unique because it is actually a series of straps that can be used together or separately. This makes it convenient for moms to leave one strap on the high chair and take one with them for use in the car or on a stroller or shopping cart. The Baby Strap features a suction cup base which allows it to be used on a car window, plane window, bathtub wall, restaurant table, etc.
Additionally, I worked with an ombudsman at the CPSIA in the development of the Baby Strap and I learned from him about an important safety issue regarding the length of the strap, which should not exceed 12” to prevent choking or strangulation. That’s why our straps have break points every 12”; most of the similar straps on the market do not.
Want a Baby Strap to keep your child’s stuff within reach and off the floor? Click here to get it: The Complete Baby Strap System