Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Win a FREE PunkinWrap: The Unique (and Practical!) Must-Have for New Mamas and Mamas-to-Be

Introducing the PunkinWrap.
Besides having an adorable name, the PunkinWrap is the new must-have item every mama or mama-to-be needs to have on their Baby Registry and Wish List. It's the all-in-one, life-simplifying answer to so many moms' frustrations regarding the never-ending baby supplies we must carry around that first year with the bambino.

Can You Relate to this #TrueStory?: You are driving with your little one safely in the backseat, a blanket draped over her to fend off the chill.  Ten minutes into your drive your bundle of joy has successfully kicked off the blanket leaving her little limbs exposed.  Or, maybe it has happened when you are out strolling or jogging – one good kick and the blanket is covered in dirt. Enter the PunkinWrap!

Here's the scoop: ThePunkinWrap is an all-in-one carseat cover, nursing cover, sunshade, strollerblanket, and tummy time mat.  The idea is to have one piece that does it all rather than carrying separate blankets, nursing cover, car seat covers when on an outing with baby. The PunkinWrap has a detachable neck strap so you can use it to nurse the baby and then detach it and leave baby with the wrap and not worry about strangulation. The included PunkinLinks  will attach the PunkinWrap to your carseat, stroller, or chest baby carrier. 

And my favorite part? The PunkinWrap is MOM INVENTED! Power to the mamas! I had the chance to interview the creator of PunkinWrap - Laura Gravett - to find out more about her awesome product, how she came up with the idea, and how she turned her idea into reality.

But FIRST - ENTER BELOW for a chance to WIN a FREE PunkinWrap for yourself or to give to that new mama in your life.

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Now, back to my interview with PunkinWrap creator, Mrs. Laura Gravett...

SLM: What was your AHA moment that you decided "Why doesn't this exist? I NEED something like this, and so do other moms!"

LG: My daughter was four and a half months when we traveled to Chicago for the first time.  We had to do the river cruise as that seemed like one of the more enjoyable ways to see the city’s architecture with a newborn.  It was a short walk from our hotel, a beautiful day, and I was happy to carry little one in the chest carrier so as to enjoy that newborn smell and also burn a few extra calories carrying my 13lb bundle of joy around.  (You have to get creative when trying to lose that baby weight!)  We were onboard less than 10 minutes when I realized I was trapped.  We had just pulled away from the shore when I noticed how warm little ones arms were in the sun.  I took great pride is dressing her appropriately for the weather that morning.  It was sunny, 82 degrees with a decent breeze – a little onesie was perfect.  I brought her sunhat of course – and she was adorable in it!  As a first time mom, I was following the new infant rules to the max – no sunscreen for babies under 6 months I had read.  Silly me, I forgot how much that reflection from the water can really cook that ivory skin.  As my husband settled into his seat and became fully engrossed in the tour, my mind was racing. What should I have done differently?  Covered her little limbs so that she was sweating but protected from the evil sun rays?  Should we see if anyone on board has sunscreen and, if they do, would I dare put it on my baby?  I get out my smartphone.  I’m perusing articles about sunscreen and infants and scary things and inconclusive studies.  I can’t handle the pressure.  I look at my outfit and my husbands.  We have no clothing to spare.  My nursing cover.  I have my nursing cover.  Bingo.  I was saved.  I put the strap on over my head, carefully tuck the edges of the cover around my daughter’s toasty limbs, and hope she falls asleep since the cover isn’t very wide and I barely have her covered.  She is asleep within minutes…and then I start to get awfully toasty myself.  My husband commends me on my solution, but also gives me an odd look when I ask about moving her to his chest.  He asked if the nursing cover was part of the deal.  Um, yeah.

As we walked around Chicago, I slowly, mentally, was discarding items out of my diaper bag.  If I could truly create my vision, I would no longer have to carry the big “first time mommy” diaper bag stuffed with multiple blankets, a nursing cover, a changing pad, a car seat cover.  I could be one of those hip, relaxed-looking moms who easily puts a few key items in her purse or messenger bag and thinks nothing of it.  The PunkinWrap was born.  I am still far from being a hip, relaxed mom, but I am carrying a smaller diaper bag and enjoying the ability to use one item so many different ways…and discovering new uses everyday.

SLM: How did you take your idea from concept to reality?

LG: I started by sketching the design and trying out some homemade prototypes.  Then as things were as fine tuned as possible, I met with an attorney to apply for my patent.  While that was getting underway, I met with an engineer to design my plastic links.  I did a lot of research and had a specific baby-safe plastic that I wanted to use - it was trial-and-error as I tried to find the right design for this type of plastic.  I took a sewing class so I could make a real prototype.  It was rough, but it worked well enough that I could start meeting with manufacturers.  Over a few months I interviewed and  found two different manufacturers – one for the plastic links and one for the fabric pieces.  I hired a marketing gal and creative team to help me brand and work on getting my idea to market.  I found a web designer and spent several months bringing the marketing, creatives, and website together.  The website went live while I was in labor with baby #2 in July!

SLM: Other than the PunkinWrap, what are your FAVORITE creative products for mom and baby?
LG: I have lots of favorites!  The UppaBaby Vista – maneuvers so well that I can't live without it!!  Booginhead Pacifier Clips, BenbiniWatch, Haba Magica Rattle, Num Num Dips, Think King Mighty Buggy Hook, BabyBanana Training Toothbrush (we use it primarily as a teether!), Nosefrida NasalAspirator, Nuby Bug-a-Loop Teether which goes hand in hand with one of my favorite "aha! Why didn't I think of that?" item: the Baby BuddySecure-a-Toy.