It is known that manufacturers like to work with designers. Think of Maclaren Philippe Starck, Bugaboo Bas Koster, Missoni and Viktor & Rolf, Quinny with Henrik Vibskov. This ensures attention in the media and is a positive aspect for the branding of a manufacturer and designer. I have just returned from a trip to London and was able to witness the launch of a completely new cooperation between Cybex and great fashion designer Jeremy Scott. I travelled in the company of fashion editors to Shoreditch; a tiny artistic place in London with a booming nightlife. Scott likes to design outfits for popstars like Lady Gaga and Robbie Williams with courage and a bit of humor. He was the one who designed the Adidas sneaker-line with ‘wings’ on them. Scott loves challenges and the moment CEO Martin Pos from Cybex arrived there was no doubt. ‘I love the idea of doing something completely unexpected, like designing a baby stroller. Plus I have so many friends who are young mothers and knowing how they struggle to find something that they feel is cool. It felt like a natural fit to me to design something that I could give as a gift to my friends.’
For the Cybex Callisto 3-in-1 stroller, buggy with feet pouch and diaper-bag, Onyx buggy, Aton 3 carseat and carrybag Go Baby Carrier, Scott has designed using the theme ‘Food Fight’, since giving food to children often ends up in a fight, he said. And so, these babyhardwares are designed with patterns of cartoony pizza-slices, French fries, popcorn, hotdogs, hamburgers and bottles of lemonade. The presentation took place in the Shoreditch Studios, which for the occasion was transformed into the colorful world of Scott. During the informal and animated after-party we were allowed to ask questions and take pictures without any problems. I admit, I have to get used to these types of prints, but the longer I look at it, the more fun it becomes. In my opinion, Scott should have taken his designs to the next level, something like a unique diaper bag or sun-cap. If there is anything else to learn from this presentation is it that we shouldn’t take life too seriously, you should enjoy it and there is nothing wrong with going crazy and letting loose once in a while!
I always find press conferences interesting, as you get to see the latest products, combined with a bite and a drink and I always see some new faces. This afternoon I was in Amsterdam for a meeting of BabyBjorn. BabyBjorn is a wonderful family company that produced the well-known Babysitter in the 60’s and the famous Carrier in the 70’s. The owners Bjorn and his wife Lillemor Jakobson are still very intensively involved with the organization of developing products and design. And I had the pleasure to personally meet them in Sweden, a couple of years ago. Now I always find it extremely hard to meet in the city centre, but parking went smoothly and I easily found the location; it was so original! We were at the Bag Museum Hendrikje at the Herengracht, and a small committee with some other bloggers, in a beautiful room with high ceilings, golden ornaments and beautiful wall paintings. The communication manager Mirja Alvin showed us the newest BabyBjorn products, such as the new useful chair raiser with handle and attachment belts which are easily stored away by the use of a winding system with just one push of a button. The new Classic Original Carrier in the new colours Lightblue and Raspberry. And the famous BabySitter had an upgrade; it cannot only be used as a rocking chair for sleeping, resting and playing but also as a children chair. The seat is covered with a soft comfortable fabric in three colours and when the baby time is over, than you can turn the fabric and you can make your toddler a small children chair!
Doing groceries with your baby, how do you do it? Walking with your stroller and a shopping cart, pushing both at the same time? Or do you put your baby in the messy-looking seat of the shopping cart? And something else I often see: babies in a car seat that is put on top of the seat of the shopping cart. Whenever I see this, I cannot help to point out to the parents that this is a very unstable and dangerous situation. There has been an accident once where the car seat with the baby fell on the ground and the baby died.
Doing groceries is not my favourite thing to do. In my home life we do that once a week at most, even when my children were babies. Then there was always someone at home to take care of our babies. If I forgot something anyways, then I would manage just fine with my stroller. However, I needed to be careful not to buy groceries that were too big and wouldn’t fit in the little shopping basket of the stroller. For every mother who does like to do groceries with her baby, the Pippi Carrier from Kleine Dreumes is a very useful discovery. A very smart set of tubes that can easily be transformed into a stable frame that fits every shopping cart whenever you need it! On top of this frame you can secure the car seat safely with safety belts. When the groceries and your child are safe and sound back in the car, you can store the Pippi in the bag that is included.
A German association of paediatricians advises against carrying a baby in a carrier while facing forward, as it is considered harmful for the hip joints. However, they jumped to this conclusion, and did not expound on their statement. First of all, it is very important to know that you can only carry your baby this way when it can keep its head up straight itself; in other words, that the neck muscles and vertebrae are strong enough. For both newly born and very small children, this way of carrying is strongly discouraged.
But when babies can keep their head straight up themselves easily, which is mostly after about four months, and start to become curious about their surroundings, they are just glad and happy when they finally get to see something other than dad’s or mom’s chest. Various medical experts have written reports that recommend this. The key to this is that the hip joints should always be in an open position, preferably in the so-called ‘M-position’, with the knees higher than the bum. By the way, in the United Kingdom an article appeared stating that doctors were worried about tightly strapping babies, with their legs against one another in a straight position, restricting any movement. This can lead to a higher risk of hip dysplasia! See http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/news/general-news/2012/march/tight-swaddling-linked-to-rise-in-baby-hip-problems.aspx