Every now and then I read another news message talking about an out-of-control stroller. These are strollers that weren’t tied down properly and accidentally rolled off a steep hill into a lake or onto the railway. This is every mother’s nightmare, but it is still happens from time to time. There are moments where you don’t constantly want to think about the brake, whilst keeping your hands free. Meeting someone you know on the street, your phone rings or you want to grab a few things out of your bag. This is why the new Navigator by Phil & Teds with auto-stop feature is a great and inventive idea. Besides the common brakes, a thin braking bar is implemented in the pushing handle, the braking bar is released and the stroller will stop moving. If you want to move again, simply push the braking bar into the pushing handle and the brake is released. It is possible to lock the braking bar in place if you wish not to use it. I think the Navigator is an all-round stroller, its lean frame, small turning circle and 26 driving options makes this a very user friendly stroller.
The Nuna family grows, besides baby seat Leaf, buggy Pepp, carseat Pipa, highchair Zaaz and carrycot Sena, they introduce the Nuna stroller named Ivvi! Ivvi can be used with a carseat, carrycot and an adjustable seat. This is a complete and compact system that can be used from birth until the end of the toddler period. Folding the stroller does not require you to remove the seat. Ivvi offers a few more extra’s: the wheels can be removed to limit the compact size of the stroller even further. Once fully folded, the stroller stands up straight. The hood is implemented with a little see-through window of mesh and an extendable sunscreen. When driving on rough terrain, the handle bar allows you to pull the stroller behind you like one would with a trolley. What I personally like about the design is that they have paid attention to the baby on its own: the carrycot and the seat offer enough space for the baby stretch or to sleep on its back !
The Dutch label EasyWalker introduces the EasyWalker MINI stroller. It’s has become a beautiful collaboration between EasyWalker and MINI, the car brand. It should be obvious: this stroller is designed for parents who are looking for a compact and tough looking stroller. As far as the coating of the stroller goes, parents can choose from MINI’s famous stripes chilli red, stripes laser blue, stripes black, union jack or completely black jack. A unique feature is the ability to adjust the stroller to their liking, with a choice of five designs, black or silver frame, black or white wheels and various accessories such as footmuff, blanket, umbrella and nursery. The leather handle bar provides the finishing touch to the baby’s first car. In terms of driveability and ease of use, this stroller is an all-rounder, it steers smoothly when driving on both rough and smooth terrain and it can be used from birth because of the reversible and foldable carrycot. This will save you a lot of time! Also, the stroller fits in the smallest car trunk when fully folded.
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!
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.
The demo at the international Kind + Jugend beurs was impressive, a stroller that can fold and unfold itself by pressing a button! It seems like every mother’s dream, because every parent has had some trouble with folding the stroller, sometimes even with a baby on the other arm. The American label 4Moms brings us the solution: the Origami. The Origami will come to the Netherlands with an impressive amount of high tech extra functions, including a built-in charger for your cell-phone, safe front and street lights, a thermometer and even an odometer! With the Origami, you will know how fast you walk, the distance walked and what the outside temperature is. The battery, hidden between the rear wheels, charges by walking the stroller. Two cupholders are found on the holding rail of the stroller, two more next to the child’s seat and there are plenty of other places for additional storage potential.
And how does it look? In my opinion, American strollers don’t always win the beauty award. A little too much plastic, often in terrible pastel colours and built for a small trip to the mall and not for long hikes. However, with the Origami, the designers sure did their best. At first sight, the black and spiderlike frame looks big, but the bright inserts combine perfectly with the black seating and the hood. A travel cradle is optionally available. It can be used on smooth and/or rough surfaces, but in my perspective it looks like it is built for city terrain.
Until now, thumbs up, but there are some disadvantages that come with it as well. The stroller isn’t exactly a ‘lightweight’ with its 15 kg. Despite the fact that the stroller folds on its own, you still have to carry it in or out of the car! The shopping basket on the bottom is very small and I don’t find much use to it. Finally, the stroller is very pricy, for this high tech stroller you would have to pay 995 euro.
Have a look at their video:
A few days ago, I got a phone call. Since I am the chief editor of trade journal BabyWereld and consumer trendwatch site www.babystuf.nl they wanted to hand over their new book to me. The book was written by Mieneke van Noort, owner of the only stroller museum in The Netherlands. She was for the last 30 years, and still is, collecting an impressive amount of retro strollers that are perceivable at her personal house and museum in Nieuwolda, Groningen. This outstanding book ‘De geschiedenis van de kinderwagen’ with a lot of Dutch designs has people with an interest in strollers as a target audience. A must have for designers and producers if you ask me. This stroller of Van Werven really is an example of how strollers used to look, back in the sixties. What a lovely retro feeling! You can order this unique edition on www.inboekvorm.nl
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!
That’s the result when you have not visited the post office for some days due to the activities concerning the Negenmaandenbeurs (‘Nine Months Fair’). In our mailbox was a press release about the new all-terrain stroller Bugaboo Buffalo. An all-terrain stroller by Bugaboo? Fancy name! We would like to know everything about it. I cannot really see the all-terrain aspect of it by throwing a quick glance on it, but we have to take a closer look. It has a high and spacious seat for children up to 23 kilograms and a retractable suncover for more protection against harsh weather conditions. I guess it has tougher wheels, but I am not completely sure. The Buffalo has plenty of space for storing things; the luggage net can hold up to 10 kilograms and other groceries can be suspended from the hooks on the pushbar. Many strollers can tip over due to the weight on the pushbar (such as groceries), whereas the Buffalo seems to be the first stroller that comes with a safety certificate for more than 6 kilograms suspended from the pushbar. That is a smart move by Bugaboo, but I then would like to know what the maximum weight is and how to control this as a mother doing groceries? Furthermore, the stroller looks robust and cool, although it shows many similarities with the Cameleon. This though ‘brother’ is available with a black or sand-coloured frame and with off-white, red, pink, petrol, blue, royal blue or black upholstery. I would also like to show you the various possibilities the Buffalo offers you. It will be available from the middle of March.
Here in the West, people do not really think about the symbols of new life. In Japan however, they do this very well. The Japanese illustrator Hiyoko Imai worked on the Joolz Day Tokyo. It resulted in a list of wishes the life of the baby lying in this stroller. The symbols that Imai wants to bring across stand for a bright future and good luck. To illustrate this, she made a pine tree that symbolises youthfulness and a long life. The bamboo symbolizes strength. The plum stands for beauty and optimism in times of need. The black frame of the stroller forms a stylish combination with the black fabric of the crib and the chair. A special velvet-like fabric was chosen. The push- and safety bar are made of comfortable brown leather, which has been stitched with beautiful red thread. The Joolz Day Tokyo will be delivered completely including frame, seat, crib, shopping basket, rain cover, sleeping bag, a special designed parasol and furoshiki; a traditional, multifunctional cover. If you want this stroller, be quick! This limited edition will be available from February. Perhaps a relieve: at the BabyStuf.nl stand at the Negenmaandenbeurs (‘Nine Months Fair’) you can win one!