Selling a stroller is one thing, but it is all about sending a message. That is something Joolz accomplishes. ‘Buying a stroller is just a single moment, however we are trying to add more to this, think of positivity, health, a meaningful message,’ says managing director Stan Vermeulen during the press convention in the Joolz Day Studio in the Westergasfabriek Amsterdam. There are plenty of examples: the packaging of Joolz strollers is truly unique, you can use it for making either a chair, birdhouse or a mobile for baby’s room. The Joolz team drives in electric cars and they lunch organically from nearby farmers. One tree is planted for each registered baby at Joolz. ‘We are not the greenest, but certainly try to do our part’ said Stan.
There was stroller news: founder Emile Kuenen presented the new Joolz Day Studio Noir and Gris, influenced by French haute couture and a unique tailor-made program. In this program, parents are able to create a tailor-made stroller with a choice of frame colors, fabrics, handles, safety bars, labels and zippers. The Configurator program on the site is exceptionally clever: this custom-made stroller can be shared with others.
The day ended with a fitness workshop given by personal trainer Radmilo Soda for famous Dutch singer Do and other pregnant women. This workshop and several other courses are available on their website, since Joolz likes to contribute to a healthy pregnancy. It is clear, the label Joolz does not only sell strollers, but also a positive and honest story!
Are you looking for a luxurious baby room? You might think this is a bit ‘too much’ for us as the sober Dutch, however these baby rooms are not only sold to international celebrities but these are sold to ‘Jan Modaal’ in Holland as well. You do have to reach deep into your wallet, prices from 1700 to 2800 euros for a bed, chest of drawers and wardrobe are no exception. But than you have something outstanding, in comparison with the ordinary white and whitewash babyrooms of today. A good example is this Chelsea Lifetime from the USA. This luxurious baby room has been built from scratch exclusively using environmental-friendly wood.
Another special feature is that all ‘cribs’ can be build from crib to toddler or adult bed. You can also check out the more local European brands Picci and Dili Best. And if you really want to give your baby room ‘a finishing touch’ and you can afford it, then hire an interior designer who can style your baby room with bed sheets, carpet, curtains and a ‘custom made’ night lamp!
At the upcoming Kind und Jugend, a new pavilion recently opened: called kidsroomZOOM. Here are some special designs for baby rooms and children’s rooms, so I am definitely paying them a visit. One of the participants of which I am impressed, is Jäll und Tofta. Passionate designers from Berlin and specializing in ecological design that is made in Germany, therefore quality is assured! To give you a taste.
Brilliant or lazy? An American father of six children invented the Smart PJ’s, pajamas telling stories before bedtime. How it works? The 47 groups of colored dots are read as braille using a special app with your smartphone or tablet that results in telling a bedtime story. Older children can even read along. After a long day of work, all you have to do is listen in! The aim is to bring more apps to the market with themes like holidays, songs and games. The pajamas remain the same, although the story changes constantly. The interactive Smart PJ’s are available at Walmart for around 19 Euro and are for children that are 1 to 8 years of age. Watch the video!
The Dutch family business Mutsy caused quite a stir with the introduction of a completely new frame in the 90’s. An engineering marvel. Up to this day, this so-called Z-shaped frame still is the starting point for all of Mutsy strollers. Parents can choose from five different modular stroller systems so that all parents can choose one that suits them the best. They recently introduced the Mutsy IGo and compact Exo. The IGo model offers an ultra-light carrycot for on the road and a royal comfort model. The stroller seat is made out of a soft three-dimensional shaped cushion and can be clicked on the frame in two different ways. The back of the seat and leg rest are both fully adjustable and the protective hood can be enlarged, very useful for the lying position. The stroller can even be folded compactly, weighing only 8.4 kg and can be easily stored and worn with a convenient carrying handle. You can choose between air or lightweight foam tires, a black or silver frame and combine it with 12 different kinds of coating. The leather-look handle and the bumper bar really complete the picture. The smaller and more compact Exo combi stroller has a lightweight travel cot which only weighs 3.4 kg, has various accessories and looks very stylish. The adjustable backrest ensures optimum comfort for the baby as it sleeps. Again you can choose between: large lightweight foam tires and small buggy wheels. Both choices guarantee a smooth ride. Besides the carrycot and the hooded seat, the Safe2go, the Traveller and the Maxi-Cosi carseat, fit on the neatly designed frame. Both are beautiful Dutch designs and are selected from the 655 submission for the Dutch Design Award with a reason. Fingers crossed that they will win in October!
Do you know the concept reborn baby? I did not until today, but after some research I know more. Reborn babies are made by a small group of artists, called reborners, worldwide. Like Beatrice Landeghem in Belgium, and Marga van Koert-Sante in the Netherlands. They make baby dolls that scary enough, resemble real babies, eyes, eyelashes and hair, I can’t tell the difference. Even the weight seems to be correct. Many layers of paint are applied with specific characteristics on a vinyl head.
They are made for avid collectors who search the internet and fairs and sometimes treat these dolls as their own. Collected by treating parents and grandparents that can’t let go the image of a little baby and for parents who have lost theirs… In that case, the doll has been made into a replica of their passed child. Critics wonder whether these dolls can help in the grieving process. The fact is, that these dolls have such a lifelike appearance that they are saved by others from parked cars, they are mistaken for real babies.
source image: alford-massachusetts
I was at a seminar by trend watcher Li Edelkoort and she noted that she sees more and more fathers who carry their babies! This fits entirely in the image of solidarity. Because for those who did not know: the time of the individual has passed. Children nowadays are mothered and fathered, men will even become more attractive. This confirms what I see for some time in our market. We get more and more material supplied showing cheerful looking fathers with a child in baby carrier. Nowadays, fathers are not ashamed to go out with their baby and if they go out, they rather use their baby carrier than a stroller, it looks a bit more cool. A father with a baby carrier shows that he cares about his children and he can count on a lot of attention from women! You probably know the images or of male pop stars and movie stars casually walking on the street or in the garden with their baby in a baby carrier. Even our own king William Alexander was not afraid to get his pictures taken with one of his princesses in a baby carrier. I’ve never seen a member of another royal family do this!
From tough back carriers to soft carrying slings
I think BabyBjörn was one of the first brands that put fathers with a baby in a baby carrier in a sensitive spot. You know how it goes, an attractive, tough father in a beautiful Swedish landscape with lots of green and a lake in the background. The pictures seemed to say, go out with your baby, into the open air! Soon, other brands followed with pictures of carrying dads like ERGObaby, Elite Cruiser and Stokke. Perhaps these brands take these photos with dads from a commercial point of view. To tempt mothers to buy one for themselves or for their partners? Over the years, the pictures of fathers with tough baby carriers changed to soft images, there are now even pictures of fathers with babies in slings, such as those of Babylonia. Nobody would have dared to think that 15 years ago!
The fathers point of view
What reasons do the fathers themselves provide? We previously posted a request on our Facebook BabyStuf.nl. Now, our website is mostly being visited by expectant and new mothers, but all our fans bothered to question their partner to submit, thanks for that! Below is a sampling of the responses: “We have a baby carrier for bicycle trips because our youngest daughter, three months old, can otherwise not come with us.” Another male user said: “It’s purely practical, in a busy city it is easier to walk around with a baby carrier than with a stroller! “Another man said that he prefers it to a stroller because the baby is on eye level, so he doesn’t have to look down all the time with his baby. Another man says, “I loved to wear my son in the baby carrier. It feels very safe, snug and warm, and especially in the busy cities or during a short walk with our dog it is very practical. And besides this, it also looks cool! ” And some very social responses: some fathers noted that they also use a baby carrier to help their partner out. However, they also feel that some of the straps are not made for the manly torso’s!
Whether it is for the living room or your child’s bedroom, I find lamps one of the hardest things to buy. But they still are very important for the design of your child’s bedroom! I have searched everywhere for a couple of beautiful children’s lamps. But besides the standard Ikea moon and star and a wooden pendant in the shape of a helicopter I did not find anything. I was so desperate, that I took my fretsaw and just got to work. I made an enlargement from a key element on the wallpaper, because I had found beautiful wallpaper. Fortunately, I have the creative talent of my mother and then you can get a whole lot of work done, Creative Carola! The lamp has hung above my child’s cradle for years until the time had passed, it was too ‘baby’, not appealing for a growing toddler.
However, I would like to rearrange a nursery with the current products available. For example, consider these lights of the English company Lapin & me that we saw at the trade show ‘Kleine Fabriek’, available in white, pink, green, blue and yellow. Nice to know: they are hand painted and finished. And for the fans, there are also Lapin music boxes, pillows and other accessories available on the market. For the same retro feel, here is an image of the sisters Woodland Dolls. They were first made by a Japanese company in the 70s as a tiny figure. After some negotiation with the manufacturer, these toys are made exclusively for Lapin & me.
Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk has been doing 25 years of scientific research and studies about the innate ability of babies to communicate with parents from the very beginning. A science that designers of baby products should know before they develop baby products, says Zeedyk. Zeedyk is fascinated by the emotional development of a child’s very first years and how this affects the long term. It is about the emotional security, confidence and trust in others and relationships. To directly link this to prams and buggy’s: ‘Neuroscience of strollers and buggy’s, how buggy’s shape brains and how this leads to the science of designing for baby’s’, said Zeedyk. Us humans are evolutionary products and we descended from the apes, she says. When wearing a baby as a parent your hands are tied, causing designers and manufacturers to come up with ways to carry and transporting your baby whilst keeping your hands free. Think of the slings, cradle boards thought of by the Indians and later baby carriers, strollers and buggies were introduced. These are all solutions for evolutionary problems.
Infants are naturally social beings, she says, and therefore are capable to communicate from the moment that they are born. A newborn baby succeeds 10 minutes after being born in impersonating a father or mother’s facial impression. Babies also have the ability to imitate hand movements. Babies feel comfortable when they are being communicated with. Oxytocin is produced, a hormone which stimulates confidence and trust. They communicate by eye contact, touching and voice. If there is too little communication with the baby, an increase in cortisol, a stress hormone, is shown. Carrying a baby is more than just moving from A to B! The brain of a baby grows at an explosive rate between zero and three years, but later decreases to a slower rate. In these first years, brain connections are made on an extremely high rate. This first phase is crucial for a child’s development and we need designers of prams, strollers and carriers to keep this in mind, states Zeedyk. Studies show that you cannot start early enough with communicating back and forth. In a particular study, a women daily reads the book ‘Cat in the Hat ” out loud. After birth, the baby recognized the sound and rhythm of the storytelling, measurable by the babies sucking speed on an electric nipple. Other studies show images in which the mother frequently talks to her baby and her baby reacts and communicates back, until the mother stops talking and denies any form of communication. The baby is trying to communicate with its mother, but when that fails, it turns its head away in disappointment. According to Zeedyk, you are able to see after only 16 months that a lack of communication leads to language delay. At the age of three you can even see whether the child will become aggressive or not. This lecture was an eye opener for me! And it’s good to know that eye contact and communication with your baby, especially in the initial phase of his or her life, whether you wear your baby in a baby carrier or transport him or her in a stroller, buggy or car seat, is very important!
This blog has previously been published in our tradejournal BabyWereld and on the consumersite BabyStuf.nl but as it is of great importance, I republish this on my babytrendwatcherblog.
I am not that much of a fan of shirts that are heavily printed, but a striped shirt is something I do have! This might be because I have been to Brittany in France many times when I was young, walking down the many shores with my little sister. We were always looking for tiny aquariums that were left behind by the waves between the big rocks at the edges of the shore, looking for tiny fish, clams and anemones. I still have some good memories of that time. In Brittany, the Breton stripes will always be trendy and you will find them in most of the stores and on most of the markets. They originated from a design for French sea-men, if you would fall off the ship, you could be located more easily. Fashion icon Coco Chanel turned this into a popular fashion item. Big movie celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O, Birgitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe have been captured on camera or tape in the Breton stripes. Jean Paul Gaultier is a big fan of this classic design as well, as many will know. Recently, the Swedish brand Boob, introduced its new breastfeeding method (shirt, tunic and summerdress) in which this design is presented in black and white, blue and white or red and white. The clever tailoring allows you to feed your child in a modest way. However, this set of breastfeeding clothes seems perfect to wear after the breastfeeding period!